First-Hand:Tom Cartin


I graduated in 1950 at the height of the Korean war. I was in the Army Reserve so I went to work in the research and development laboratory at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. I hoped that I could make a deal to stay there if I got reactivated. Things cooled down so I went to work for the Glen T. Martin Company.

I joined a new group there working on a new thing called a digital computer. The design was based on flip-flop tube circuits. With brilliant foresight, I didn't see much future in that field so I switched to the electrical design section. It's amazing to realize how simple decisions, easily made at the time, profoundly affect one's life.