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Foregrounding the Background: Business, Economics, Labor, and Government Policy as Shaping Forces in Early Digital Computing History

  • William AsprayEmail author
  • Christopher Loughnane
Chapter
Part of the History of Computing book series (HC)

Abstract

This paper places the early history of digital computing in the United States, during the period from 1945 to 1960, in the larger historical context of American business, labor, and policy. It considers issues concerning the business sectors that chose to enter into early digital computing, the robustness of the general economy and the importance of defense as an economic driver, the scientific race with the Russians, and gendered issues of technical labor – and how each of these helped to shape the emerging mainframe computer industry.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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