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Edwin L. Harder and the Anacom: analog computing at Westinghouse

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1 Author(s)
Aspray, William ; IEEE-Rutgers Center for History of Electr. Eng., Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ, USA

The development of the Anacom, an analog computer that was placed in operations the same year as ENIAC and continued to do valuable work for the electric power field until 1990, in spite of competition from digital computers, is discussed. The career of Edwin L. Harder, who designed and developed the Anacom, among other machines, is reviewed. Although Harder characterized the Anacom as his top achievement, during the 20 years prior to building this machine it is shown that he had already distinguished himself as an engineer and inventor in the electric power industry, and his patents and other technical contributions helped to keep Westinghouse Electric Company solvent during the depths of the Depression. A list of engineering problems suited to the electric analog computer is provided in an appendix.<>

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )