UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vannevar Bush's intriguing Memex idea

The other Memex: The tangled career of Vannevar Bush's Information Machine, The Rapid Selector
Colin Burke *
Department of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Campus, Baltimore, MD 21228-5398

*Correspondence to Colin Burke, Department of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Campus, Baltimore, MD 21228-5398

information science history

Abstract

Vannevar Bush had much less to do with modern information science and technology than has been thought. The histories of the two machines that were the closest Bush came to turning his famed Memex ideas into hardware, the Comparator and the Rapid Selector, dictate a reevaluation of Bush's direct influence. His 1930s attempts to build a device for America's codebreakers and to create a machine for the library of the future were less than successful. The story of the difficulties of the decades-long projects help to place Bush and Memex in an historical context. © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Received: 20 December 1991; Revised: 6 May 1992; Accepted: 23 June 1992

RR

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