Ralph L. Palmer

1989 Computer Pioneer Award
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"For the IBM 604 electronic calculator"

 

Ralph Palmer graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering from Union College in Schenectady in 1931. He joined IBM as an engineer in 1932. It was here he was involved in the project that created the IBM 604 Electronic Calculator, a programmable calculating punch operating at 35 to 50 kHz. He also developed a primary pluggable unit component that would later contribute to many other electronic models. During the development of the IBM 7030 Stretch, it was Ralph who foresaw a design flaw in the system design as newer transistors had been invented that would push the number of computations far beyond the current benchmark.