| Blue Bell
| Burroughs, etc.
EMCC to UNISYS Chapter
Introduction to UNISYS
A significant part of our commercial computer operations grew out of the Eckert Mauchly Computer
Corporation (EMCC) which had its origins at the Moore School of Engineering in Philadelphia, PA.
The name UNIVAC, an acronym for UNIVersal
Automatic Computers, is well recognized and documented in computer history books.
Not so well publicized but discussed in Herman Lukoff's book "From Dits to Bits"
is the fact that the some of the UNIVAC II engineering took place at the ERA plant in St. Paul. Al Reiter's web site
showed a UNIVAC I in that plant, look for Bob Stark. When Al contracted Alzheimer's; we preserved his two web
pages as pdf files, UNIVAC I
Al passed away in November of 2015.
There is already a lot of history written about UNIVAC and UNISYS commercial operations so we don't want to duplicate the good work of others.
Look at several of the items already on the internet, we've provided many links to them on our
We provided additional information about associated and predecessor companies Burroughs, Remington Rand, as well as
some stories contributed by UNIVAC-UNISYS Blue Bell retirees under the
Blue Bell and Burrughs Tabs.
UNISYS Corporate Genealogy
UNISYS commercial operations has a heritage extending back to 1873, 72 years
before ERA provided the computer technology impetus in the St. Paul and Minneapolis area. As illustrated
on this slide [right], Remington, Rand, Sperry, Eckert-Mauchly, American Arithmometer, and Burroughs are the fore-runner
Ron Q. Smith [UNISYS, Plant 4] has assembled a
series of slides showing and discussing the sequences of corporate mergers. These slides also include the major computer product
line genealogies which have grown out of the early ERA computers as well as the relationship to the UNIVAC I computer series.
3. UNISYS Milestones
 was the 40th anniversary of Exec 8 (AKA OS 2200)
entering production. That was with Exec level 19 [about.] We are currently shipping Exec level 48.
The fall of 2007 was also the 45th anniversary of
the first 1107 shipment to CSC in California. 2007 was the 50th anniversary of shipment of Athena, the first
UNIVAC transistor computer.
The blue UNIVAC letters shown in this snapshot came from Ron Q. Smith.
4. UNISYS Computers: An Introductory History
by George T. Gray and Ronald Q. Smith
The companies that are encompassed
within UNISYS were among the pioneers in the field. They rank just behind IBM in the impact they had in the early years of
the computer industry. Unisys was formed in 1986 by the merger of Burroughs and Sperry, two companies that had themselves
grown through acquisitions and mergers. The first two U.S. companies to build a computer, Eckert-Mauchly Computer
Corporation and Engineering Research
Associates, were both acquired by Remington Rand Corporation (in 1950 and 1952)
which, in turn, merged with Sperry in 1956 to become Sperry Rand Corporation. In 1956 Burroughs added to its own computer
development efforts by acquiring Electrodata Corporation whose Datatron computer line became the company’s principal computer
product. This heritage of innovative design was carried on into the Sperry, Burroughs, and Unisys computers developed in
the last three decades of the 20th century. You may order this book at
5. Networking History
An applicable 'story' is our history of networking
by John Nemanich.
The internet was preceded by AARPA and DARPA networking. The initial network connected eleven government laboratories and one company,
UNIVAC in St. Paul, as related in David Andersen's "Invention of Voice Mail". Other
computer to computer and computer to peripheral interfaces are discussed on the Engineering - Interfaces chapter.
Somewhat thereafter, Universities became connected. [lab]