The RCA Selectron -- The people of the National Defense Research Committee
The National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) was founded in 1940 -- before the United States entered second World War -- to utilize the talents of America's engineers and scientists to help win the war in Europe. (This organization should not be confused with the British National Research Defense Corporation (NRDC) founded in the UK in May 1949 to assume British research resposibilities.) There were eventually 19 divisions with responsibilities ranging from the development of camouflage to submarines. Begun with the aid of the Rockefeller Foundation's Warren Weaver in 1942, one of the early projects of Division 7 (Fire Control) was to aid in the development of directors for aiming anti-aircraft guns. Directors were complex mechanical "computers" to allow artillery to predict where the target aircraft will be when the projectile arrives. A commonly known device of that era was the secret Norden Bombsight.
Jan Rajchman at RCA proposed the development of the Computron as a major component of an all electronic computer to perform the geometry calculations.
Warren Weaver, Director, Division 7, NDRC
George E. Beggs, Jr., NDRC
Ivan A. Getting, Member, Division 7, NDRC
Harold L. Hazen, Chief, Division 7, NDRC
Edward J. Poitras, Scientific Office, Division 7, NDRC
A. L. Ruiz, Member, Division 7, NDRC
Dr. Irvin Stewart, Executive Secretary, NDRC
Duncan J. Stewart, Chief, Division 7.1, NDRC
George R. Stibitz, Technical Aide, Division 7, NDRC
L. M. McKenzie, Technical Aide, Division 7, NDRC
Frances L. Cathcart, Chief, Project Control, NDRC