Since 1980 US Flag - fm

Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their predecessor companies

In this Chapter

1. Introduction [left]
2.1 Archi Lahti
2.2 Lee Granberg's Patents 
2.3 Gary Grundy, et al
3.0 Cost Savings Program
4.0 Docket Example Information

place holder for next article


Enginering's Patent Chapter

1. Introduction

We did a lot of creative engineering during the decades of our Legacy. Only a small portion of the ingenious ideas made it through the internal patent process. Many were just put aside because the 'Patent Board' didn't see a near term commercial value.

Without a patented device by Bill Davis, SHINPADS would never have worked and we couldn't have performed on the multi-million dollar Canadian Patrol Frigate program.

Bill [with the blonde beard] explains the passive connection device to Marc Shoquist and Ralph Kerler. [photo from Marc Shoquist]

2.  Patent Listings

2.1 Archi Lahti

I am listed as an inventor or co-inventor on nine US patents. The patent numbers and the titles are listed below. The two with the smallest numbers are probably from before 1975. The US Dept. of Commerce Patent and Trademark Office issued a Secrecy Order on one of the patents listed below when it was in the application process. I mention it mainly as a point of interest for your information as not many people are aware of the them. It probably isn't appropriate to include such info with the history anyway. {Editor's note: As illustrated on the right, many patent certificates were displayed on the walls of UNISYS, Roseville.}

  • 4875161 Scientific processor vector file organization.
  • 4873630 Scientific processor to support a host processor referencing common memory.
  • 4791560 Macro level control of an activity switch in a scientific vector processor which processor requires an external executive control program.
  • 4789925 Vector data logical usage conflict detection.
  • 4722049 Apparatus for out-of-order program execution.
  • 4691279 Instruction buffer for a digital data processing system.
  • 4376976 Overlapped macro instruction control system.
  • 3812463 Processor interrupt pointer.
  • 3806716 Parity error recovery.

I worked for Univac/Unisys from June 1956 to March 1989, when there was a voluntary retirement offer. I worked mostly on the 1100 series (latter models were called the 2200 series) starting with the Univac Scientific Model 1103A. They were all for the commercial market although many were used for nation defense and security purposes. Starting in 1967, I worked as a logic designer at Roseville. Names of some people that probably have patents and aren't members of the VIP Club are listed below:

  • Gerald Erickson: He died about 8-10 years ago. He worked on the 1107, 1108, and also some military computers at plant 2 in St. Paul. He also left with Duane Anderson.
  • Duane Anderson: He left as part of a group that started a successful company in about 1968. He worked on the 1107 and the 418 etc.
  • James Ashbaugh: He transferred to Blue Bell in about 1968 or so. He also worked on the 1107 and 1108. Any patents they may have for those computers would be before 1975.

Thank you for your work in compiling this history. Archie E. Lahti

2.2. Lee Granberg's Patents

Below is a listing copied from the U.S. Patent Office's web site.

From the government web site, Lee's first name is Mauritz! A surprise to many of us who thought that we knew him.
PAT. NO. Title

  1. 4,479,206 Scanning sonar display system
  2. 4,386,349 High resolution graphics smoothing
  3. 4,081,799 Character generation system for a visual display terminal
  4.  3,969,639 Transmission line driver circuit
  10.  3,510,634 708/274 327/126 345/16 345/443
  11.  3,489,946 315/367
  12.  3,466,645 345/12 345/26
  13.  3,434,135 345/19 345/27
  14.  3,417,284 315/367 315/397
  15.  3,378,720 315/367 315/397 348/E3.051
  16.  3,222,595 324/617 324/618 324/765 327/1 327/14
  17.  3,218,478 327/51 327/168 327/178 330/295
  18.  3,192,403 327/413 327/484 327/576
  19.  3,179,902 331/116R 331/117R 331/158 331/159 331/183 331/59

2.3 Gary Grundy, et al'

Radiation hardened sense amplifier for thin film memory applications, assigned to the U.S. Air Force per the contract for whom the work was done. 
Gary L Grundy, David C Steiner, Gerard C Gutzmann, and Ralph G Krueger.

Abstract: May 17, 1969.
An apparatus for a radiation hardened sense amplifier for operation in a radiation environment having a plurality of amplifier stages of the Darlington pair type utilizing transformer coupling. The first stage includes a common mode choke to provide a photo-current cancelling function while the Darlington pair in each amplifier stage provides a gain stabilization function. Submitted in honor of Gary Grundy by Gary Stanull

3. Cost Savings Programs

The company has had an on-going cost savings program. Engineers, Technicians, Clerks, Secretaries, Assemblers, Inspectors, etc were encouraged to identify ways of making their jobs easier and more efficient. These were recognized by awards and by the customers as the savings were passed on to them with lower costs for subsequent products. An example is illustrated at the right that appeared in a DCASR journal the year after it was implemented for Sperry printed circuit cards.

During the printed circuit card layout and 'tape up', pin 1 of any integrated socket or test point was made with a square instead of the round blivot of all other mounting holes.  This simplified 'eyeball' checks of routing circuitry and simplified trouble shooting when probing with a multi-meter or oscilloscope tip.

I got a pat on the back for this idea, drafting was quite willing to help implement and document the idea in a submittal. As I recall, Bob Langer helped set up, test, and implement the idea.  I have often wondered if other companies tried this after seeing it in the DCASR booklet. This cost savings idea was submitted by Lowell A. Benson, scan of article from and by Lowell. BTW, the Printed circuit card shown in the example was a 56-pin card  of the type used in the AN/UYK-15, the 1616, 3760, and AN/UYK-20. [lab]

At the left is a snapshot, circa 1974, taken at a cost savings award banquet.  The company would host a banquet to recognize people who had submitted cost savings ideas, especially those that had been implemented. 

Shown here is Don Mager shaking Lowell Benson's hand after presenting a gift.  These banquets were usually coordinated by a departmental administrator - at the right is Otis Elling 'Odie' who was the engineering administrator. [lab]  



4. Docket Example Information

VIP Club and LMCO employees have reviewed over 40 boxes of Dockets and Patent applications to list their information for subsequent searching. These boxes were transferred to the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota. The table below is an example of the listings from one box. [lab]

{Editor's note: Does one of our volunteers have one of these listings, I can't find mine. [LAB]}