Ernest Galen Andrews

Ernest Galen Andrews
Topeka, KS, USA
Associated organizations
Bell Labs, Sanders Associates
Fields of study
Radar, Computing


Ernest Galen Andrews was born in Topeka, Kansas, on January 10, 1898. Following service aboard the USS Kansas during World War I, Andrews attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he received a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1922. In that same year, he accepted a position with the installation department of the Western Electric Company in Kansas City, whence he was transferred to Atlanta and then to New York City.

In 1925, Andrews joined Bell Laboratories upon its formation out of the engineering department of Western Electric. Here he worked for many years on installation and maintenance requirements in the switching development organization. In 1941, with the onset of World War II, he was made responsible for the design of radar trainers and the preparation of radar instruction manuals. (Bell Laboratories had begun work on the development and production of radar in 1937, at the invitation of the U.s. Navy.)

Andrews's involvement with computing machinery began in 1943 and continued through the development and construction of five successive models of early large-scale electromechanical computers. After the war, he worked on the development of automatic message accounting systems for dial central offices, but the focus of Andrews's activities was on the planning and programming of military systems, first as a member of the military communications department and finally with a study group in the military systems engineering department.

Following his retirement from Bell Laboratories in June 1959, Andrews joined Sanders Associates, Incorporated, in Nashua, New Hampshire, where he became manager of preliminary design.

E. G. Andrews held several patents and was the author of a number of articles on early Bell Laboratories computing machinery. He was a member of IEEE and the American Ordnance Association. In 1946 he helped organize the Association for Computing Machinery and served on its first council.