Control Data Corporation

Alternative names
Dates:
Active 1982
Active 1994

History notes:

In January 1980, William C. Norris began planning for Control Data Corporation (CDC) executives to write histories of the major business segments of the company. After compiling a list of potential contributors, selected current and former CDC executives were requested to write narratives, with as much supporting documentation as possible, on specific business areas or topics in mid-1980. By late 1981, all the narratives had been completed.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Executive History Project records (1980). 1957-1981. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437121

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Executive History Project records (1980)., 1957-1981, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The Control Data Photographic Society (a.k.a. Photo Club) was established in the late 1960s as an employee group at the Arden Hills office. Originally established as the CDC Camera Club, employees involved in the Photo Club participated in monthly contests and various outings around the metro area, including Como Park, the Arboretum and both downtowns, honing their photographic skills. The club had a dark room on site and displayed their work in a case in the company cafeteria. The Photo Club was affiliated with the Lexington Avenue Club. A monthly newsletter, FOCUS, was published by the group, outlining activities and outings. Membership began to wain in the 1990s, and the group officially disbanded at the end of 1995, upon the loss of their dark room space.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Control Data Photographic Society 1969-1995. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437256

The Control Data Historical Archives was established in 1980 to collect and preserve records documenting the history of Control Data. The Historical Archives served as the institutional memory for CDC and was separate from the Corporate Record Center, which held inactive corporate records. Materials collected in the Historical Archives included planning reports, meeting minutes, advertisements, executive's papers, news releases, product data sheets and photographs. Over the years, many histories of CDC, based on the holdings of the Historical Archives, were published by both those inside and outside of the company. The Historical Archives, along with the Corporate Business and Technical Libraries, was closed as of 31 May 1989.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Historical Archives and company history. 1957-2000. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437125

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Historical Archives and company history., 1957-2000, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

Control Data’s early basic and applied research and development activities were conducted within a select number of divisions: Computer Division, Corporate Development, Cedar Engineering, Peripheral Division, Research Division, and System Sciences Division. By the late 1960s, the company had grown and acquired more subsidiaries and the engineering functions of the company were divided among more groups and divisions, and the structure of the company became more hierarchical and bureaucratic.

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Engineering, Research and Development., 1957-1986, (bulk 1960s-1970s), (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The Control Data Corporation opened for business on the second floor of the McGill Building at 501 Park Ave., Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1957. The business expanded rapidly, and eventually the company had administrative and manufacturing facilities worldwide.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Facilities. 1959-1986. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437331

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Facilities., 1959-1986, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

Control Data Corporation (CDC) published hardware and software manuals to assist those who had purchased CDC equipment to run and maintain it.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Product manuals. circa 1957-1991. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437312

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Product manuals., circa 1957-1991, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

CO-OP was a user's organization for owners of Control Data Corporation's 1604 Computer. CO-OP held annual conferences and produced a newsletter for its members: CO-OP News.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. CO-OP records. 1959-1968. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437345

The Control Data Corporation acquired its first company, Cedar Engineering, in 1958. As part of its pursuit of new technologies and responsibility to satisfy business needs, the company continued to make acquisitions, create subsidiaries, and participate in joint ventures throughout its history.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Acquisitions, subsidiaries, and joint ventures. 1951-1991. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437241

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Acquisitions, subsidiaries, and joint ventures., 1951-1991, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

CO-OP was a user’s organization for owners of Control Data Corporation’s 1604 Computer. CO-OP held annual conferences and produced a newsletter for its members: CO-OP News .

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. CO-OP records., 1959-1968, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

Control Data's early basic and applied research and development activities were conducted within a select number of divisions: Computer Division, Corporate Development, Cedar Engineering, Peripheral Division, Research Division, and System Sciences Division. By the late 1960s, the company had grown and acquired more subsidiaries and the engineering functions of the company were divided among more groups and divisions, and the structure of the company became more hierarchical and bureaucratic.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Engineering, Research and Development. 1957-1986. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437096

The Control Data Corporation was incorporated in Minnesota on 8 July 1957 to produce high-speed, scientific computers. The company was headed by William C. Norris, who had been central to the success of Engineering Research Associates, Inc., a St. Paul electronics firm that was responsible for producing Minnesota’s first digital computer. Control Data grew to become one of the top ten computer manufacturers in the world; it produced among the fastest computers of their day, including the CDC 6600, designed by Seymour Cray and generally considered the first supercomputer. The company became known for its agressive acquisition of other firms, culminating in the purchase of Commercial Credit Corporation in 1967. The company continued its growth until the 1980s when a number of factors began deteriorate Control Data’s position in the industry. In 1986, William Norris resigned as CEO. By 1992 the company had split into two firms: Ceridian Corporation and Control Data Systems, Inc.

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records, 1946-1991, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The Control Data Corporation was formed in Minnesota in 1957 to produce high-speed, scientific computers. The company was headed by William C. Norris, who had been central to the success of Engineering Research Associates, Inc., a St. Paul electronics firm that was responsible for producing Minnesota's first digital computer. Control Data grew to become one of the top ten computer manufacturers in the world; it produced among the fastest computers of their day, aided by the talents of Seymour Cray. The company became known for its aggressive acquisition of other firms, culminating in the purchase of Commercial Credit Corporation in 1967. The company continued its growth until the 1980s when a number of factors began deteriorate Control Data's position in the industry. In 1986, Norris resigned as CEO. By 1992 the company had split into two firms: Ceridian Corporation and Control Data Systems, Inc.

From the description of Control Data Corporation Records, 1957-1991. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62731715

The Control Data Corporation, like other computer companies, prepared printed material -- product literature -- to advertise and explicate their products to potential customers. Product literature was created for an audience of government agencies, corporations, and later, individuals.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Product literature 1955-1989. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437308

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Product literature, 1955-1989, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The CDC PLATO (Programmed Logic for Augomatic Teaching Operations) system was a computer-based educational system designed for individualized and distributive education in an interactive environment. PLATO was under development beginning in 1960 by a staff of educators and scientists at the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory (CERL) of the University of Illinois. The Control Data Corporation (CDC) PLATO system was a production version of the research system developed at CERL and by the late 1970s was considered the most advanced computerized system developed for educational purposes. PLATO ran on a CDC CYBER 173 Computer. It was a time-sharing system, with the mainframe located in Minneapolis and, in 1978, about 1500 PLATO terminals located in the United States, Canada, Belgium, and France.External clients included special training contracts with the United States Army, the United States Navy, and other non-military organizations. Other courseware was developed for classes in Creative Learning Centers and Control Data Institutes. PLATO was also developed for use by disabled individuals in their home (HOMEWORK), and in the Minnesota state correctional facilities.Information from CBI 80, Series 4 (Computer-Based Education), H. D. Clover, PLATO (Box 1).

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Computer-based education. 1964-1987. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437248

The Control Data Corporation's (CDC) legal needs were handled by legal experts both inside and outside the company. These experts provided assistance in many aspects of the company's operations, including litigation, patent work, computer sale agreements and leases, real estate leases, stock offerings, contracts, and acquisitions.Control Data's involvement in litigation began early in the company's history. In 1958, Sperry Rand sued CDC for patent infringement and illegal use of trade secrets based on its belief that several of its former employees (who had left Sperry Rand for CDC) had used research and patents developed at Sperry Rand. CDC eventually won the case. In 1964, Honeywell brought suit against the Control Data Corporation for patent infringement. The case was settled by 1967.

From the description of Control Data Corporation records. Legal records. 1952-1983. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 613437283

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Audio, video, and film., 1964-1987, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The CDC PLATO (Programmed Logic for Augomatic Teaching Operations) system was a computer-based educational system designed for individualized and distributive education in an interactive environment. PLATO was under development beginning in 1960 by a staff of educators and scientists at the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory (CERL) of the University of Illinois. The Control Data Corporation (CDC) PLATO system was a production version of the research system developed at CERL and by the late 1970s was considered the most advanced computerized system developed for educational purposes. PLATO ran on a CDC CYBER 173 Computer. It was a time-sharing system, with the mainframe located in Minneapolis and, in 1978, about 1500 PLATO terminals located in the United States, Canada, Belgium, and France.

External clients included special training contracts with the United States Army, the United States Navy, and other non-military organizations. Other courseware was developed for classes in Creative Learning Centers and Control Data Institutes. PLATO was also developed for use by disabled individuals in their home (HOMEWORK), and in the Minnesota state correctional facilities.

Information from CBI 80, Series 4 (Computer-Based Education), H. D. Clover, PLATO (Box 1).

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Computer-based education., 1964-1987, 1975-1982, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The Control Data Corporation's (CDC) legal needs were handled by legal experts both inside and outside the company. These experts provided assistance in many aspects of the company's operations, including litigation, patent work, computer sale agreements and leases, real estate leases, stock offerings, contracts, and acquisitions.

Control Data's involvement in litigation began early in the company's history. In 1958, Sperry Rand sued CDC for patent infringement and illegal use of trade secrets based on its belief that several of its former employees (who had left Sperry Rand for CDC) had used research and patents developed at Sperry Rand. CDC eventually won the case. In 1964, Honeywell brought suit against the Control Data Corporation for patent infringement. The case was settled by 1967.

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Legal records., 1952-1983, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

The Control Data Photographic Society (a.k.a. Photo Club) was established in the late 1960s as an employee group at the Arden Hills office. Originally established as the CDC Camera Club, employees involved in the Photo Club participated in monthly contests and various outings around the metro area, including Como Park, the Arboretum and both downtowns, honing their photographic skills. The club had a dark room on site and displayed their work in a case in the company cafeteria. The Photo Club was affiliated with the Lexington Avenue Club.

A monthly newsletter, FOCUS, was published by the group, outlining activities and outings. Membership began to wain in the 1990s, and the group officially disbanded at the end of 1995, upon the loss of their dark room space.

From the guide to the Control Data Corporation records. Control Data Photographic Society, 1969-1995, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi])

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Subjects:

  • Computer industry--Employees
  • Patent suits--United States
  • Consolidation and merger of corporations
  • Computers--United States--Patents
  • Computer industry--Planning
  • Electronic digital computers--Design and construction
  • Computer industry--Marketing
  • Computers--Marketing
  • PLATO (Electronic computer system)
  • Electronic apparatus and appliances--Catalogs
  • Computer users--Societies, etc
  • Computer software--Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • Patent suits
  • Advertising--Computers
  • Consolidation and merger of corporations--United States
  • Computers--United States--History
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Photography
  • Business planning
  • Computer industry--Research
  • Corporate planning
  • Computer industry--Personnel management
  • Corporate image
  • Computer industry--Advertising
  • Research and development
  • Computers--History
  • Corporations--Archives
  • Commercial buildings
  • Computer software--Marketing
  • Computers--Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • Computer managed instruction
  • Computer industry--United States--History
  • Computer industry--Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • Computers--Patents

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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)