Hopper as the “mother” of the compiler,
Donald Knuth says that Alick Glennie of
Manchester, U.K., should share credit
for this achievement. 21
Calculating punch M9. In the 1950s,
Zuse manufactured a series of more
than 20 calculating punches for Remington Rand in Zürich. I rediscovered
in 2011 one of the M9s (see Figure 16),
which is today at the Museum für Kom-munikation in Berne, Switzerland.
Böhm’s compiler. Pioneer Corrado
Böhm of Italy published his doctoral
thesis at ETH Zürich in 1954, writing
a compiler in its own language. 21 He
had been, 1949–1950, a member of
Eduard Stiefel’s staff at the Institute
for Applied Mathematics in Zürich.
Along with engineer Harry Laett he
tested the legendary relay calculator
Zuse Z4 in 1949 prior to its installation in Zürich. 5 The “meta-circular
compiler” mentioned as part of the
Corrado Böhm biography at http://
Biography.html is the first known example of such a compiler.
Transistorized computer Mailüfterl.
One of the earliest European transistorized computers was built by pioneer
Heinz Zemanek of Austria in 1958.
Called Mailüfterl, or “weak spring
wind” (after the large MIT computer
Whirlwind), 40 it is today on display at
the Technisches Museum in Vienna.
Transistorized computer Cora.
Researchers at the Ecole polytechnique
fédérale Lausanne (EPFL) in 2011 publicly credited Hungarian engineer Peter Tóth with designing the first known
Swiss transistorized computer. The
only preserved Cora (see Figure 17) is
today on display at the EPFL. 5, 6
Ultimate mechanical pocket calcu-lators/smallest mechanical parallel
calculator. From 1949 to 1971 engineer
Curt Herzstark of Austria working in
Liechtenstein produced two magnificent pocket calculating machines both
called “Curta” (see Figure 18). Approximately 130,000 were manufactured
and sold worldwide during that time.
In November 2015 I found at Schreib-
maschinenmuseum Beck, Pfäffikon,
Switzerland, original engineering
drawings and patent documents detail-
ing an unknown multiple Curta (see
Figure 19), 18, 19 generally believed to be
the world’s smallest mechanical par-
allel calculator. Two, four, or five con-
ventional Curtas are combined, with
one single crank needed to operate the
combined machines. For more, see the
newsletter (Spring 2016) of the Charles
Babbage Institute (http://www.cbi.
the journal Resurrection (Autumn 2016)
of the Computer Conservation Society
Building an Electronic
After World War II many universities in
Europe and elsewhere sought to build
Figure 15. Swiss jet fighter P- 16 at airport in Flug- und Fahrzeugwerke AG, Altenrhein,
Switzerland, on Lake Constance near the German border; flutter calculations were aided
by the Zuse Z4 for this supersonic plane in the 1950s. Courtesy of Staatsarchiv, St. Gallen,
Figure 16. Zuse’s program-controlled
parallel decimal electromechanical
“calculating punch” M9 manufactured
for Remington Rand, Zürich; combined
with punched-card machines, the M9 was
used for multiple applications (such as for
accountancy and statistics). Courtesy of Max
Forrer, Oberhelfenschwil, Switzerland.
Figure 17. Swiss transistorized computer Cora developed and manufactured by Contraves
AG, Zürich, in 1963 originally for military purposes as a fire-control calculator. Courtesy of
Musée Bolo, Ecole polytechnique fédérale Lausanne, Switzerland.