Computation (Jul, 1953)

Why don’t people put math poetry in ads anymore? Also, wasn’t Zero invented in India?


The Arab
who first wrote zero

the mathematic clue

nothing at all is a hero

never got his due

he sought

To share
the eternal naught.

— from “Stars and Atoms HAVE NO SIZE” -by A. M. Sullivan
(by permission)

Maxson offers top-caliber engineers exceptional opportunities

MAXSON ENGINEERING specializes in the development and manufacture of computers for precise determination of complex problems. Our 18 years experience in navigation, ordnance, and electronics is implemented by 600 engineering personnel, 2500 other employees, and 400,000 feet of laboratory and plant space.

This adaptable organization is available to augment your facilities; for details, see the new Maxson Facilities Report.

The W. L. MAXSON CORPORATION Unimax Switch Division •
Langevin Manufacturing Corporation
460 West 34th Street New York 1, New York
Plants at Long Island City, N.J. and Old Forge, Pennsylvania

  1. Daniel Rutter says: May 25, 20104:14 am

    “MAXSON ENGINEERING specializes in the development and manufacture of computers for precise determination of complex problems…”

    …many of which were intimately involved with getting this handy-dandy keg of high explosive here into the vicinity of that Russian vehicle over there. They were involved with the production of the AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-ground missile, for instance, and I think other subcontracting for Lockheed Martin and other big names in the killin’-people business.

    I don’t know whether they were already doing this sort of stuff in 1953, though. If they were actually on the cutting edge of computation at that time, though, then I can only presume that wheelbarrows of government cash were at least catching their eye.

  2. Jari says: May 25, 201010:45 am

    Yep, they made for example Corvus missiles guidance system, radar mapping, gyroscopes, analog computers etc. at that time. But not Strato-Plates or Sky-Plates.

  3. George says: May 25, 20105:28 pm

    There once was a student at Trinity,
    Who computed the square of infinity,
    But it gave him the fidgets,
    To count up the digits,
    So he dropped math and took up divinity.

  4. Toronto says: May 25, 20107:10 pm

    I thought the Zero was invented in Japan (he said, ducking.)

    BTW, in 1953 those weren’t necessarily DIGITAL computers. Lots of analog stuff in aerospace into the 1960s.

  5. EMF says: May 27, 20108:25 am

    The Babylonians had a place holder for zero as far back as 1700 BC.
    The use of Zero similar to how we use it now goes back to the Hindus in the late 9th century.
    Other uses and histories I know naught!

  6. K!P says: May 31, 20105:42 am

    recardless of who “invented” teh zero, there must have been some first time for an arab :). (also maybe it originated at more places?)

  7. JMyint says: May 31, 201011:39 am

    There is a reason our system is called the Hindu-Arabic number system. Aryabhata, an Indian astronomer, is credited with the invention of the zero. At least in the number system we use. The Mayans also independently discover the zero.

  8. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: August 6, 20105:03 pm

    Computer used to be a job category about a decade before this ad. They employed lots and lots of women to do the work of making ballistics tables and working out the answers for engineers. “Electronic Brains” put a lot of clerical people out of work.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.