Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

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Today: September 23, 2014
NORC as completed at the Watson Laboratory in 1954. Byron L. Havens, the chief engineer, is in the foreground

December 2, 1954

US Navy Dedicates NORC Machine

The US Navy dedicates its Naval Ordnance Research Calculator (NORC) at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia. John von Neumann was the keynote speaker. The machine was built at the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory under the direction of Wallace Eckert.

This computer was in demand by many organizations, including two different Navy facilities and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Physicist Edward Teller had been trying to receive NORC arguing that the LLNL's nuclear calculations were more important than Dahlgren's ballistic calculations. The Navy won and NORC was delivered to Dahlgren, following the Mark II (1948) and the Mark III (1951).