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Biographies
October-December 2007 (vol. 29 no. 4)
pp. 90-102
David Anderson, University of Portsmouth
Janet Delve, University of Portsmouth
1. This biographical piece examines the life and work of the inventive researcher, memory maker, and electrical engineer par excellence, Frederic Calland Williams, whose contribution to the building of the Manchester Baby—the world's first electronic stored-program computer—was so invaluable. Williams is commonly, but incorrectly, characterized as the overall leader of the project while his engineering contribution is, equally often, understated. Based on a detailed re-examination of the historical evidence, Williams is resituated in his correct role as the project's chief engineer. 2. Jacques Vaucanson made a significant contribution to the development of the textile industry in the 18th century, particularly with his automatic perforated-cylinder-driven loom, which was later improved upon by Jacquard. His work on automata is also noteworthy. 3. Up until now there have been few reliable biographical details available concerning Jacquard. Recent research by a local Lyons historian has unearthed Jacquard's true identity as Joseph Marie Charles, together with a welter of new information about this mysterious but influential figure who developed punched-card looms.

1. F.C. Williams, "The Bakerian Lecture, 1964. Inventive Technology: The Search for Better Electric Machines," Proc. Royal Society of London, Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, vol. 283, no. 1392, 1965, p. 2.
2. "Bumping races are processional races in which the aim is to catch up with the boat in front and so exchange places in the starting order. Crews are grouped into divisions, with each division racing four times in one day. A consistently successful crew will rise up the starting order until it reaches the top, earning the title of Head of the River."
3. For further details about Blackett's career and the role he would later play in the development of computers at Manchester, see D. Anderson, "Patrick Blackett: Physicist, Radical, and Chief Architect of the Manchester Computing Phenomenon," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 29, no. 3, 2007, pp. 82-85.
4. "IFF enables radar operators to make the critical distinction between friendly and enemy aircraft."
5. F.C. Williams interview by C.R. Evans, 1976, "Pioneers of Computing 7: F.C. Williams," audio recording, Science Museum, London; transcription, C.D.P. Anderson, 1998.
6. A.M. Turing, "Proposed Electronic Calculator 1945. The original copy is in the (British) National Archives, in the file DSIR 10/385. The report was first published as the NPL report, Com. Sci. 57 (1972), with a foreword by D.W. Davies," For further information, see http://www.turing.org.uk/sourcesbiblio.html.
7. Turing, "Proposed Electronic Calculator," p. 48.
8. S.H. Lavington, Early British Computers: The Story of Vintage Computers and the People Who Built Them, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1980, pp. 18-19.
9. "Newman to J. von Neumann, letter, 8 Feb. 1946, box 6, folder 2, item 2," The Newman Digital Archive, http://www.cdpa.co.ukNewman/; the History of Computing Group, Cambridge, and St. John's College, Cambridge, UK.
10. "I.J. Good to Dr. S.H. Lavington, letter, 7 Apr. 1976," National Archive of the History of Computing, John Rylands Library, Univ. of Manchester Library (Special Collections), NAHC/MUC/2/A4. Newman had also discussed the vacancy with Williams during the summer of 1946.
11. "Notes of a meeting held in the Director's room 22nd November 1946;," available at http://www.alanturing.net/turing_archive/ archive/l/l24L24-001.html.
12. R.A. Smith, "Notes on a visit to the NPL to discuss the Automatic Computing Engine with the Director 25 Nov. 1946, TRE internal memo D.4070."
13. Lavington, Early British Computers, p. 28.
1. For example, see M.R. Williams, A History of Computing Technology, IEEE Computer Soc. Press, 1995, pp. 248-254.
2. M. De Montrond, Les Artisans les Plus Célèbres[The Most Famous Artisans], Librairie de J. Lefort, Paris, 1880, pp. 113-119, (in French). Joseph Marie Jacquard is also included in this highly anecdotal work.
3. D.M. Fryer and J.C. Marshall, "The Motives of Jacques de Vaucanson," Technology and Culture, Univ. of Chicago Press, vol. 20, no. 2, 1979, p. 257.
4. Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Paris), Jacques Vaucanson, publication of the Musée National des Techniques, Paris, 1983. This biography leans heavily on this publication (in French) which accompanied a major exhibition on Vaucanson at the CNAM.
5. See, for example, I. Grattan-Guinness, ed., Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences, 2 vols., Routledge, 1994, p. 1430.
6. Vaucanson was fortunate not to have fallen foul of the Spanish Inquisition, as happened to Pierre Jacquet-Droz following the exhibition of his writing android (see Fryer and Marshall, "Motives of Jacques de Vaucanson," p. 269).
7. This French term was first used in 1727 and refers to an automaton in human form (androbeing Greek for male and oidbeing Greek for "of the form of").
8. Fryer and Marshall, "The Motives of Jacques de Vaucanson," pp. 258-264.
9. Original citation "avec toute la précision et perfection de même qu'un habile joueur," Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Jacques Vaucanson,publication of Musée National des Techniques, Paris, 1983, p. 10.
10. Fryer and Marshall, "The Motives of Jacques de Vaucanson," p. 263.
11. For a reliable description of the workings of these automata, see A. Doyon and L. Liaigre, Jacques Vaucanson, Mécanicien de génie[Jacques Vaucanson, Mechanic of Genius], Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1966 (in French).
12. J. Perriault "Le concept de machine et de système" [The Concept of the Machine and the System], culture technique, no. 7, Mar. 1982, p. 117 (in French).
13. Fryer and Marshall, "The Motives of Jacques de Vaucanson," p. 267.
14. B. Jacomy, Une histoire des techniques [A History of Techniques], Editions du Seuil Paris, 1990, pp. 241-242 (in French).
15. Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Jacques Vaucanson, pp. 12-20.
16. Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Jacques Vaucanson, pp. 21-26.
17. Jacomy, Une histoire des techniques[A History of Techniques], p. 247.
18. Doyon and Liaigre, Jacques Vaucanson, mécanicien de génie[Jacques Vaucanson, Mechanic of Genius], pp. 417-418.
19. D. Lardner, Dr Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia: Useful Arts. Silk Manufacture, Longman London, 1831, p. 197.
20. Jacomy, Une histoire des techniques[A History of Techniques], Editions du Seuil Paris, 1990, pp. 239-250 (in French).
21. Lardner, Dr Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia, pp. 289-292.
22. Jacomy, Une histoire des techniques[A History of Techniques], p. 248.
23. Ibid., p. 239 (quote is my translation).
1. A. Hyman ed. Science and Reform: Selected Works of Charles Babbage, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989, p. 298.
2. J. Huchard, "Àpropos de Jacquard [Concerning Jacquard]," Bulletin Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon, nos. 5104, (18/02/1996); 5105 (25/02/1996); 5195 (16/11/1997); 5196 (23/11/1997); 5219 (03/05/1998); 5220 (10/05/1998); 5267 (04/04/1999); 5281 (11/07/1999); 5309 (23/01/2000); 5310 (30/01/2000); 5346 (08/10/2000); 5368 (11/03/2001) (all in French).
3. J. Huchard, "Entre la légende et la réalité: La famille de Joseph Marie Charles dit Jacquard," [Between Legend and Reality: The Family of Joseph Marie Charles known asJacquard], part 1, Bull. Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon,no. 5309, 23 Jan. 2000 (in French).
4. J. Huchard, "Entre la légende et la réalité: La famille de Joseph Marie Charles dit Jacquard," [Between Legend and Reality: The Family of Joseph Marie Charles known as Jacquard], part 3, Bull Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon,no. 5346, 8 Oct. 2000 (in French).
5. J. Huchard, "Les domiciles de Jacquard àLyon," [Jacquard's Residences of Lyon], Bull. Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon, no. 5104, 18 Feb. 1996 (in French).
6. P. Arrizola-Clémentel, Le musée des tissus de Lyon, [The Museum of Lyons' Fabrics], Albin Michel, 1990, p. 67 (in French).
7. M. Bouzard, La Soierie Lyonnaise du XVIIIme au XXme siècle, [The Lyonnaise Silk Trade from the 18th to 20th Century], Editions Lyonnaises d'art et d'histoire, 1999, p. 70 (in French).
8. W.D. Edmonds, Jacobinism and the Revolt of Lyon 1789−1793, Clarendon Press, 1990, p. 11.
9. Bouzard, La Soierie Lyonnaise du XVIIIme au XXme siècle, p. 71.
10. D.S. Cardwell, The Fontana History of Technology, Fontana Press, 1994, p. 56.
11. J. Etèvenaux, La Soierie Lyonnaise, [The Lyonnaise Silk Trade], Editions la Taillanderie, 2003, p. 26 (in French).
12. P. Arrizola-Clémentel, Le musée des tissus de Lyon, [The Museum of Lyons Fabrics], Albin Michel, 1990, p. 94 (in French).
13. J. Huchard, "Entre la légende et la réalité: Douze années dans la vie d'un artiste-mecanicien àla vocation tardive, Joseph Marie Jacquard," [Between Legend and Reality: Twelve Years in the Life of an Artist-Mechanic Following a Late Calling, Joseph Marie Jacquard], Bull. Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon,no. 5196, 23 Nov. 1997 (in French).
14. J. Huchard, "Entre la légende et la réalité: Les tribulations de la mécanique de Joseph Marie Jacquard," [Between Legend and Reality: The Problems of the Joseph Marie Jacquard Mechanism], Bull. Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon,no 5219, 3rd May 1998 (in French).
15. D. Lardner, Dr Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia: Useful Arts. Silk Manufacture, Longman London, 1831, pp. 244-252.
16. Cardwell, The Fontana History of Technology, p. 186.
17. J. Etèvenaux, La Soierie Lyonnaise, Editions la Taillanderie, 2003, p. 19.
18. Lardner, Dr Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia: Useful Arts, Silk Manufacture, p. 257.
19. The latest of these is J. Essinger, Jacquard's Web,Oxford Univ. Press, 2004. On p. 42 Essinger notes that "By 1812 there were about 11,000 Jacquard looms in use in France...".
20. Bouzard, La Soierie Lyonnaise du XVIIIme au XXme siècle, p. 14.
21. J. Huchard, "Entre la légende et la réalité: Le véritable inventeur de la mécanique dite àla Jacquard," [Between Legend and Reality: The True Inventor of the So-called Jacquard Mechanism], Bull Municipal Officiel de la Ville de Lyon, no. 5309, 10 May 1998 (in French).
22. L.S. Strumingher, Women and the Making of the Working Class, Lyon 1830−1870, Eden Press, pp. 1-2.
23. Lardner, Dr Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia: Useful Arts, Silk Manufacture, p. 253.
24. "Ibid," pp. 256-257.
25. Cardwell, The Fontana History of Technology, p. 187.
26. "Ibid," p. 218.
27. C. Babbage, On the Principles and Development of the Calculator and Other Seminal Wrtitings by Charles Babbage and Others, Dover Publications, 1961, p. 55.
28. A.A. Lovelace, Sketch of the Analytical Engine in Babbage, C., On the Principles and Development of the Calculator and Other Seminal Writings by Charles Babbage and Others, Dover Publications, 1961, p. 253.

Index Terms:
Patrick Blackett, Tom Kilburn, Manchester Baby, Max Newman, SSEM, Frederic Calland Williams, automata, android, Jacquard, perforated-cylinder, Babbage, punched-card, Vaucanson
Citation:
David Anderson, Janet Delve, "Biographies," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 90-102, Oct.-Dec. 2007, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2007.54
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