NACA High Speed Flight Station “Computer” Room

(1949) Early "computers" at work, summer 1949. In the terminology of that period, computers were employees–typically female–who performed the arduous task of transcribing raw data from roles of celluloid film and strips of oscillograph paper and then, using slide rules and electric calculators, reducing it to standard engineering units. Note mechanical calculator with Friden cover at left. The users named them Galloping Gerties because of their movement when in use. They used pads under them to cushion the motion.

Seen here, left side, front to back, Mary (Tut) Hedgepeth, John Mayer and Emily Stephens. Right side, front to back, Lilly Ann Bajus, Roxanah Yancey, Gertrude (Trudy) Valentine (behind Roxanah), and Ilene Alexander.…

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