Technology transfer, Modernization, and the Welfare State

Regnecentralen and the Making of Governmental Policy on Computer Technology in Denmark in the 1960s
  • Per Vingaard Klüver
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 174)


This paper will address the mechanisms of computer technology transfer and the perceived role of computers in the modernization project of the Danish society, by analysing the early computer projects in Denmark. Especially it focuses on the similarities between the perception of computer technology and the visions of the welfare state as a modern, science bases and rational society.

Key words

Computers welfare state Denmark 


  1. 1.
    This article was originally written as a paper for the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology in San Jose, CA. 2001. A more detailed narrative can be found in Per V. Küver: From Research Institute to Computer Company. Regnecentralen 1946–1964. IEEE Annals for the History of Computing._Vol. 21, no. 2 s. 31–43. In the present article though, theoretical and more general considerations, which had been omitted in the abovementioned article, will be highlighted.Google Scholar
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    The most comprehensive account on the use of automatic data processing in Denmark can be found in Lars Heide, Hulkort og EDB i Danmark 1911–1970. Aarhus 1996. On the use in tax administration see pp. 86–96, 229–233. On local government DP-institutions see A. Laursen, ed. Historien om en central. Aalborg 1991 pp. 13–33.Google Scholar
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    The so-called Grosch’ law — the bigger the computer the cheaper the costs for each operation. H. Grosch, “The Digital Computer as a Research Tool,” in Journal of the Optical Society of America vol. 43, nr 4 pp. 306–310, 1953, p. 310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    This problem was addressed frequently in the following years. For instance the Board of DCs comment to the audit report 1963/1964, Budgetdepartementet — Erik Ib Schmidts embedsarkiv Box 11, 21.5.65Google Scholar
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    For details, references to archives etc. see P. Klüver op. cit 1999 pp. See also L. Heide op.cit. pp289–291.Google Scholar
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    RC had actually had contacts with IBM on the possible involvement in producing GIER. But rumours that IBM had offered a large computer for free to DTH further nourished that suspicion.. In 1964 IBM actually donated a 7090 to DTH, creating the North Europe University Computing Centre. Letters from N.I. Bech to B.S. Petersen 20 Jan. 1960 and 9. March 1960, B.S. Petersens Archive. Letter from J.N. Gosselin, IBM, Paris 28.2.1962 to RC’s Board, Melbye Archive. B. Rosengreen, ed., NEUCC 1965–1975, Lyngby 1975Google Scholar
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    P. Naur, Datamaskinerne og samfundet, Copenhagen 1967.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Per Vingaard Klüver
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for HistoryAarhus UniversityAarhus

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