Oct 27, 2020 - Sale 2549

Sale 2549 - Lot 151

Price Realized: $ 531
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
Williams, Samuel B.
General Purpose Computer, Relay Type, Original Sketch, circa 1939. Pencil drawing on Strathmore bristol board with inked title citing Williams as "progenitor," with a prototpe design of what would become Bell Labs' Complex Number Calculator, Model I, designed by Williams and George R. Stiblitz; 30 x 20 in.

Williams was an experienced switching engineer at Bell Labs who was recruited by Stiblitz to design the Complex Number Calculator. Williams was also a fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, a fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers, Past President of the Association for Computing Machinery, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The CNC had 450 relays and 10 crossbar switches and could perform mathematical operations in binary form, finding the quotient of two eight-place complex numbers in about thirty seconds.