Oral history interview with William W. Butler

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Oral history interview with William W. Butler

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Charles Babbage Institute


Oral History


Butler begins with a brief description of his early life and education. He discusses his work on radar and sonar with RCA during World War II. He describes his decision to obtain a graduate degree in electrical engineering after the war and his subsequent employment with Douglas Aircraft. The focus of the interview then shifts to Butler's work with Engineering Research Associates (ERA). He recounts his start with ERA in sales under William C. Norris and his contribution to High Speed Computing Devices, and his work with John L. Hill and Arnold A. Cohen. Butler recalls the difficulty of selling the idea of the magnetic drum and his later engineering work on several ERA projects. He discusses product planning at ERA, including the 1103 computer, and later at Remington Rand. Butler describes the competition and cooperation between Eckert-Mauchly and ERA when both were divisions of Remington Rand and Remington Rand's corporate structure. He concludes the interview with a brief mention of Engineering Products Associates, Technical Systems, Inc., and Commbase, three firms he founded after leaving Sperry Rand.


Transcript, 105 pp. Audio file available at http://purl.umn.edu/95281

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William W. Butler, OH 92. Oral history interview by Arthur L. Norberg, 8 November and 11 December 1984, St. Paul, Minnesota. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107209

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Butler, William W., 1919-. (1984). Oral history interview with William W. Butler. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/107209.

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