One of the significant moments in my career was the day John Mauchly, co-inventor
of the Univac computer, came to visit me at Merck, Sharp and Dohme, in
1953. We first met a few days earlier, at the Welch Library Conference
on information retrieval, at Johns Hopkins University.
Mortimer Taube spoke at the evening session of the Conference. He described his manual "Uniterm" system. I had not heard of it before, and found some of his statements ill founded: I said so when it was time for audience participation. Emcee, Ralph Shaw of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Library took me to task, saying that I did not show proper respect for Taube's insights as a logician. Dr. Mauchly responded in defense of what I had said and thereby became "my hero."
Returning to Philadelphia by train, Dr. Mauchly chose to sit with me, to hear more about the Merck, Sharp and Dohme retrieval system to which I referred when I answered Taube. He knew Calvin Mooers, so understood the random, superimposed coding system I had described. He was interested in how we sorted our coded cards via the IBM 101 Electronic Statistical Machine, which had recently come on the market. At the end of the conversation, Dr. Mauchly said he would visit my library [not far from where he lived] so he could experience its operation.
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Biographical Information on Claire Schultz
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