"THE FIRST TREATISE ON HOW TO BUILD AN ELECTRONIC DIGITAL COMPUTER": HIGH-SPEED COMPUTING DEVICES, 1950 FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY WHOSE WORK IS SUMMARIZED HEREIN, AUTHOR OF THE FOREWORD
(ENGINEERING RESEARCH ASSOCIATES) TOMPKINS, C.B., Supervisor. High-Speed Computing Devices. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition of "the first treatise on how to build an electronic digital computer," a veritable "cookbook" for designing both analog and digital computing machines, presentation copy inscribed by H.T. Engstrom, Vice-President of Engineering Research Associates and author of the foreword, on the front free endpaper: "To Dr H.H. Campaigne with sincere regards H.T. Engstrom." Both Engstrom and Campaigne played pivotal roles in advancing signals intelligence during the Second World War, and worked together at OP-20-G and the NSA.
"The first treatise on how to build an electronic digital computer. It provided a 'cookbook' describing the available ingredients and how they worked for both digital and analog computers. Because it also explained the principles involved and gave examples, it was extremely useful… There were chapters on different types of computing machines, including desk calculators, punched-card systems, analog computing systems, and large-scale electronic digital computers. The bibliographies ending each chapter were the most complete available for the American books, reports, and journal articles published through 1949" (Hook & Norman). Charles Brown Tompkins, credited on the title page as the "supervisor," wrote most of the text.
Dr. Howard T. Engstrom (1902-62) was co-creator of the UNIVAC at Remington Rand, where he served as vice-president before joining the NSA in 1956 as associate director of the R&D team; he later served as deputy director. Engstrom first crossed paths with the data processing pioneer Dr. Howard Herbert Campaigne (1910-88) during the Second World War, at OP-20-G, the US Navy's signals intelligence and cryptanalysis group. Engstrom headed the research section and recruited Campaigne, who had recently earned his PhD in mathematics and trained in codes and ciphers under cryptanalyst Agnes Meyer Driscoll. In a later account of his career, Campaigne recalled: "Howard Engstrom was there and he had been asked by [Joseph] Wenger to form a research group. And I was, on paper, qualified for that. For a while they put me on communications. I was running messages around. I used to have to go to Wenger and [John R.] Redman frequently for releases of the messages we did. For a month or two I did some of that. As Engstrom's group got going, we began to spend more time on [redacted] which looked like it would be used by a lot of people and was very important. We also started looking at the Enigma, which was already very important because the German submarines were using the Naval Enigma. At that time, we were not able to read any of it. But we were making some analyses of the cipher traffic and trying to do things." Campaigne also served a short tour at Bletchley Park. After the war, Engstrom and Campaigne overlapped professionally again at the NSA, where Campaigne worked for many years in a variety of development activities. In 1946 Campaigne and James Pendergast co-authored a classified paper which convinced the Navy to seriously advance their computer technology with specific application to cryptologic problems. He also influenced IBM in choosing binary code for their computers. At the time of this book's publication, Engstrom was vice-president of ERA; Remington Rand acquired ERA two years later. Hook & Norman, Origins of Cyberspace 584. Tomash & Williams E14. Oral History Interview with Howard Campaigne, NSA-OH-14-83, 29 June 1983, Annapolis, MD, conducted by Robert D. Farley of the NSA. Four pages of previous owner's notes and calculations laid in.
Cloth with light shelf-wear, interior clean, near-fine; dust jacket with shallow chipping to corners, a few small snags on flap folds, extremely good.