Skip Top nav bar link group topnav end piece go to business section go to education section go to history section go to gallery section go to news section go to organizations section go to research section go to search engine go to site index topnav end piece
NASA Meatball NASA Dryden Facility banner
NACA High Speed Flight Station Computer Room NACA High Speed Flight Station "Computer Room"

Photo Number: E49-54
Photo Date: 1949

Formats: 539x480 JPEG Image (97 KBytes)
1150x1024 JPEG Image (420 KBytes)
3000x2670 JPEG Image (3,154 KBytes)


Early "computers" at work, summer 1949. In the terminology of that period, computers were employees--typically female--who performed the arduous task of transribing raw data from roles of celluloid film and strips of oscillograph paper and then, using slide rules and electric calculators, reducing it to standard engineering units. Note mechanical calculator with Friden cover at left. The users named them "Galloping Gerties" because of their movement when in use. They used pads under them to cushion the motion.

Seen here, left side, front to back, Mary (Tut) Hedgepeth, John Mayer and Emily Stephens. Right side, front to back, Lilly Ann Bajus, Roxanah Yancey, Gertrude (Trudy) Valentine (behind Roxanah), and Ilene Alexander.

Keywords: Dryden Flight Research Center Facilities; 1949; "computers"; employees; office; Friden; celluloid film

Last Modified: June 19, 2002
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement