Making Electrons Count (part 1 of 11)

101 Note [NARRATOR:] Before our story begins, let us look briefly at its setting. From Boston, we see across the Charles River in Cambridge the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. M. I. T. is best known for the scientists and engineers who have studied there. But much of M. I. T. is laboratories and research projects, which provide the stimulating practical experience so necessary for faculty and students.
102 On the edge of the campus is the Digital Computer Laboratory, home of Project Whirlwind.
103 This project started in 1947 when Jay W. Forrester and his associates began the design of an ultra-high-speed digital electronic computer, which they christened Whirlwind I. Whirlwind first operated in 1950. This laboratory's primary concern
104 has been the development of
105 Note reliable and efficient computer components and systems. The [garble] high speed and
106 versatility of the computer have been
107 Note steadily improved with the incorporation of new storage devices, maintenance techniques, and auxiliary equipment.
108 By 1950 Whirlwind could perform twenty-five thousand multiplications per second. In addition to its extensive use in research connected with our defense program, about half of Whirlwind's time has been dedicated to the solution
109 Note of scientific and engineering problems
110 Note of all kinds.

Credits and Notice:

The MIT Museum has kindly granted permission for me to reproduce these extracts from the 1953 film on MIT Project Whirlwind,"Making Electrons Count." The permission is governed by an agreement between Daniel P. B. Smith and the MIT Museum, and covers publication at this Web site only. Individuals may view this material at this Web site, Any other use requires permission from the MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307.

The original film credits contain no date or copyright notice and reads, in full:

The Digital Computer Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Presents "Making Electrons Count: Solving a Problem on M.I.T.'s Electronic Digital Computer 'Whirlwind I.' Sponsored by: Office of Naval Research. Physicist played by Dean N. Arden. Script by Edwin S. Kopley. Photographed and Directed by Lloyd G. Sanford.

--Daniel P. B. Smith,