Oral history interview with Herbert W. Robinson

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Oral history interview with Herbert W. Robinson

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Charles Babbage Institute


Oral History


The Council for Economic and Industry Research, Inc. was formed in 1952 to perform operations research and model building for the U. S. Air Force. In 1953 Robinson took over the project, which was designed to identify strategic bomb targets in the Soviet Union based on potential economic damage. In 1954 a public company renamed C-E-I-R, Inc. was formed with Robinson as its president. Orchard Hayes was in charge of computer operations for the nascent software development and programming business. Robinson discusses C-E-I-R acquisitions Automation Institute, General Analysis Corporation, Data Tech, ARB (a television rating company), and C-E-I-R de Mexico. He talks about the establishment of C-E-I-R operations in London and the Netherlands and the subsequent takeover of these by British Petroleum. Robinson discusses the difficulties in managing an industry that had no history. He discusses the involvement of Robert Holland and George Dick from IBM, their attempts to direct sales of C-E-I-R products, and the loss of technical personnel. He discusses the early lack of competition and the later entrance of IBM into competition with C-E-I-R. He talks of William Norris' interest and the acquisition of C-E-I-R by Control Data Corporation.


Transcript, 68 pp.

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Herbert W. Robinson, OH 147. Oral history interview by Bruce Bruemmer, 13 July 1988, Bethesday, Maryland. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107609

Suggested citation

Robinson, Herbert W. (Herbert William). (1988). Oral history interview with Herbert W. Robinson. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/107609.

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