[SIGCIS-Members] Living Pioneers

Lean, Tom Thomas.Lean at bl.uk
Fri Nov 10 08:10:31 PST 2017

That's very sad. Geoff was my very first interviewee for An Oral History of British Science and a thoroughly interesting chap to talk to. His understated reflections on how little fuss there was when they got the Baby working "we congratulated each other and we went to lunch together, which we quite often did anyway" and the anticipated limited prospects of computing in the 1940s have stuck with me: "We thought there would be scope for another, one or perhaps two big computers in the UK and three or four in Europe and probably half a dozen in the US because they always have big ideas in the US, and the… that was the eventual scope of our invention, we thought." - https://www.bl.uk/voices-of-science/interviewees/geoff-tootill/audio/geoff-tootill-early-expectations-for-computers

Full interview (18 hours) plus transcript is at http://sounds.bl.uk/Oral-history/Science/021M-C1379X0002XX-0001V0 if anyone is interested further...


Dr Thomas Lean
An Oral History of the Electricity Supply Industry / An Oral History of British Science
National Life Stories
The British Library
From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Brian L. Stuart [blstuart at bellsouth.net]
Sent: 10 November 2017 15:52
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Living Pioneers

I was suprised to learn of the recent passing of Geoff
Tootill who worked on the Manchester Baby.  I had
guessed that at age 101, Harry Husky was the last
living alum of the first generation projects when he
passed away earlier this year.  This raises the question
of whether Tootill was the last one.  To put a finer point
on the question, is anyone who was involved with the
original designs of the ENIAC, the Baby, the EDSAC,
the Pilot ACE, the Z1, or the Harvard Mark I still with

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