When the Legacy Committee began in 2005, one of our long term objectives
was to find a permanent place to display our artifact collection. We
found it in 2011 when the Lawshe Memorial Museum agreed to accept donation
of our artifacts and to establish a permanent exhibit. Thanks
to VIP Club member emeriti Bernie Jansen and Millie Gignac who worked
with then DCHS Director, Chad Roberts to get the 'ball rolling'.
Bernie and Millie were also trustees of the Dakota County Historical
Society (DCHS) thus knew the people who could make the decisions. The
VIP Board and Legacy Committee are forever grateful for the hundreds
of hours which John Westergren put in to arrange for the transfer of
the artifacts collected over 7 years from retirees and stored at the
Eagan, LMCO facility.
There were already two small 'artifact' display sites in Minnesota;
at the UNISYS, Roseville facility and at the Minnesota Historical Society's
St. Paul Museum. Neither was positioned to become a permanent exhibit
location. Our archive advisor, Charles Babbage Institute, only accepts
two dimensional objects thus by policy couldn't do permanent hardware
We are aware of a few other museums which have one or two items displayed.
We are including links to those facilities hereunder as we indeed appreciate
their preservations of our Legacy.
Lawshe Memorial Museum - S St Paul, MN
Realization of a Dream article
relates the history of the beginning of the exhibit(s) at this museum.
over 1,000 artifacts this may be the largest collection that ranges
from individual Printed Cards to operator workstations.
The Dakota County Historical Society had a grant
from the state of Minnesota to solicit exhibit ideas and down select
from those ideas to develop specific history poster board topics. Keith
Myhre developed the original listing of history topics in section 3.1,
..., 3.5 below. Over a dozen exhibit posters were developed under
this grant during 2014/15. Within the listing are links to poster pdf
files or to pages on this web site which provide expanded topic details
or links to this web site's topical stories.
An upstairs multi-purpose room in the room has a suite of five
workstations where Club volunteers are working to catalogue some
~20,000 photos, slides, and films. There is also a small collection
of documents and books available for researchers to peruse during
“The Birth of Minnesota’s Computer Industry – A Photo Essay”
The displays are and will be located around the periphery
of the Museum's Great Hall as shown in a preliminary set-up in this
The topics listed below have links to posters developed by volunteers
at the Lawshe Memorial Museum as well as this site's articles about the topics.
3.1 Company History
- How/why ERA was formed
- Evolution of Twin Cities operations fromERA to Unisys/Lockheed Martin
- “The Original Geek Squad”
- Spin-off companies
- Well known people who began their career at ERA/Univac (potential
candidates): a. Seymour Cray, b. Bill Norris, c.
d. Bob McDonald,
e. Dr. Sid Rubens,
g. Arnold Cohen
h. Jack Hill,
and i. Frank Mullaney.
- Fred Hargesheimer Story
- Land of 10,000 engineers:
UNIVAC and the University of Minnesota.
- Twin Cities buildings used by ERA to Unisys/Lockheed Martin through the years &
ERA à UNISYS
- U.S. Navy office & personnel atPlant 2 in St. Paul
- Evolution of employee offices/workspaces over the decades
- Remote U.S. Facilities
- Foreign Facilities
- Marketing(Washington, DC)
- Employee Relations/Human Resources changes over the years: a.
Hiring practices, b. Benefits, c. Starting wages
- Company supported community activities: a. Winter Carnival,
b. Aquatennial, and c. United Way
- Company supported employee social activities: a. Softball, b.
Football, c. Basketball, d. Ski club, e. Bowling, and f. Camera
- Business attire over the decades
- Company/Union history over the decades
- Evolution of Univac/Unisys commercial computers
- Evolution ofmilitary computer family
- Semiconductors at Univac: Resource: Mike Svendsen Legacy Paper & Larry Bolton paper.
- Evolution of software:
- Binary - Assembly language - Compilers:
- Assemblers, Compilers
- Commercial languages adapted for DoD use
- Structured software development process
Unisys, Roseville Minnesota
This facility has a history wall of shadow boxes. One set shows the
technologies used in the commercial computer lineage from 1955 into
the 2000s; The first box in the picture at the right includes a pluggable
vacuum tube chassis from the ERA/UNIVAC 1103. Mike Svendsen and Lowell
Benson have documented the details
of these boxes. The other shadowbox set displays the systems developed
during the 80s; focusing on some of the micro-technologies employed
and technology from our Semi-Conductor facility in Eagan -
note: These shadow box displays will be moved to the UNISYS, Eagan
facility the summer of 2017.}
This history wall also has a display of almost 100 patent awards.
The Legacy Committee is seeking a volunteer to catalogue, review and
create an article about these items.
Charles Babbage Institute, Minneapolis Minnesota
CBI is the major repository of our collected documents [we've sent
them over 1,000], a photo on the wall of their main office [left]
is a drum memory collage showing various steps of the drum manufacturing
as well as various sizes of drums. The smallest was an airborne 2052
processor memory - being held in the engineer's hands. This collage is
about 4' x 7', originally hanging on the office wall of Bill
Norris' ERA/UNIVAC St Paul office.
When Mr. Norris left UNIVAC with others to found Control Data Corporation;
plant maintenance cleaned out his office - giving the collage to
Weidenbach, the young engineer shown kneeling in the picture.
After being in Don's home office for over 50-years, Don donated
the collage [right] to the Charles Babbage Institute - Dr.
Tom Misa, Director of CBI, is shown accepting the collage on behalf
The Babbage Institute is located at 222 21st Ave S #221, Minneapolis,
MN 55455 . For more information, see http://www.cbi.umn.edu/
Minnesota Historical Society Museum, St. Paul Minnesota
This facility has the original drum memory prototype [right], the great grandfather of today's computer hard drives.
Although not confirmed, they may have an operator/maintenance console/panel from a UNIVAC II - used in the ERA/UNIVAC plant in the
early 50's as St. Paul engineers developed a the UNIVAC II core memory for the Blue Bell headquarters.
This museum is located at 345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102.
Museums Away from Minnesota
Our traveling retirees have seen UNIVAC/Sperry/UNISYS 'relics'
in several other cities including a Dulles Airport extension of the
Smithsonian. The facilities listed hereunder contain one or more hardware
Computer History Museum
world's largest history museum for the preservation and presentation of artifacts and stories of the Information Age located in the heart
of Silicon Valley; Computer
History Museum. It is located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd Mountain
View, CA 94043. They have a number of artifacts from Univac including
a 642B computer as part of their NTDS exhibit.
The Computer History Museum offers a wide variety of information,
exhibits, research and a rich library of multimedia content garnered
from some of the most influential people of the computing era. Take
some time to dig deeper into computing history and the one-of-a-kind
information available here. There's something for everybody, they
have an extensive set of history videos,
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is located at 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, 92101, alongside the Navy
From Craig Neudahl: While on board the Midway Museum tour this month I saw some familiar things from my past. I hired
in at plant 1 to build the UYK-20's.
The S-3A Viking
computer [AN/AYK-10, Sperry type 1832] was a
co-project on the same test floor.
[snapshots taken 12/24/2015, posted 1/4/2016]
American Computer and Robotics Museum
This museum is located in Bozeman, MT. Their website is
MT has acquired the UNIVAC 418-II that was used in Houston during
the Apollo Moon Missions at the Mission Control Center. It was implemented
along with the three UNIVAC 493 computers for the reception of the telemetry
data prior to it being passed on to the IBM 360s on the other side of
the room. /p>
.4 Vintage Computer Federation (See www.vcfed.org for details.
Vintage Computer Federation –We were Mid-Atlantic Retro Computer
Hobbyists (MARCH) from 2004-2015. That group was just a computer club.
In 2015, we disbanded and reformed as a national non-profit, the Vintage
Computer Federation (VCF), which obtained 501(c)3 status. VCF then formed
a Mid-Atlantic chapter to replace the old hobbyists group. The VCF local
chapter operates as before, however the national organization is doing
far more activities. For example, we acquired the Vintage Computer Festival
West (to supplement our existing Vintage Computer Festival East), and
we also acquired Vintage Computer Forum which is our hobby's largest
discussion site. We have many other goals for 2017 and beyond -- incubate
new chapters, restore more systems, and so on.
Our museum group in NJ has a Univac 1219B - This suite of equipment came from
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where it was used
to develop software for the Terrier Surface Missile System.
We recently started doing some real work on it. Specifically, we made
progress on a paper tape I/O console. Next, we're having power
circuits installed to let us run the CPU and tape drive via its
- We also want to build custom forklift pallets, do some cosmetic restoration,
and build a modern educational exhibit for the systems.
To accomplish this
(and other projects related to our organization overall), we're
hoping to raise $5,000 -- one dollar for each calculation per second
performed by the original ENIAC. The fundraising page is
and, of course, it's tax-deductible. Thank you,
Evan Koblentz; Director,
Vintage Computer Federation, a 501(c)3 educational non-profit
The museum is part of the Info-Age Science History
Museum and National Historic Landmark.
Information Age Learning Center (InfoAge) is located at the old
Camp Evans base in Wall, New Jersey which is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
- InfoAge has an educational mission and its member groups
in addition to having unique exhibits are also working to preserve
Camp Evans for future generations.
The location is being developed as a Science Museum and repairs
to its buildings are in progress to allow expansion of the Museum.
You are invited to join this excellent work to save history,
honor the communication pioneers of wireless, WWI, WWII, space exploration
and the cold war.
- InfoAge the Science Museum, is a continuation of Camp
Evans being a home to new and different organizations.
The Information Age Learning Center (InfoAge)received a General
Operating Support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission,
a division of the Department of State.
VCF East 7.0 -
Computer Development at UNIVAC and Unisys - Al Rollin and Joe LaViola
[Both are/were UNISYS Blue Bell Retirees' Group board members.]