IBM 1401 for Gates Rubber Co. 1962
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Computer Performs Like Magic 

Electronic Machine Aids Efficiency,
Saves Time While Feeding on Figures 

As Gates grows, so grows the vol­
ume of information that requires 
quick processing. Along with the 
growth of volume in paperwork, there 
is an increasing complexity in the 
management of business. More and 
more decisions must be made, and 
information to make them must be 
readily available. 

Electronic data processing machines 
have the job of helping to make need­
ed information quickly and accurately 
available. To the untrained observer 

demonstrated by Jim Smith, machine ac­
counting supervisor, who holds roll of tape 
containing the equivalent of 200,000 IBM 
cards. This is approximately the same amount 
of information as stored in boxes next to him. 


it would seem some sort of magic is 
being performed when the sleek, mod­
ern data processing machines are in 

At Gates, the magic of the machines 
is created by the Data Processing and 
Machine Accounting departments as 
they closely cooperate to plan and 
process information. Through the 
miracle of electronics, work that 
would take months or even years to 
assimilate. and compute can now be 
done in a matter of minutes or hours. 

The two departments form a service 
center for preparing information and 
processing data which affects almost 
every employee and customer of the 
Company. In addition to special proj­
ects, these departments use data proc­
essing equipment to perform five basic 
and important functions at Gates: 

1. Preparation of a payroll for 
nearly 7,000 employees. 

2. Billing of most customer ac­

3. Accounting for all finished goods 
and raw materials inventory. 

4. Analysis of sales by product, 
salesman and customer. 

5. Costing of production and profit 
center management. 

For each of these highly complex 
and vital jobs, the use of data process­
ing equipment is basically the same. 
When a project is first started, the 
Data Processing department is con­
sulted to determine the extent of the 
job, as well as the limitation of the 

Because the machines can neither 

IBM 1401 is brains of electronic data process­
ing at Gates. Machine Accounting Technician, 
Ed Gunnels, flips a switch preparatory to op­
erating the unit. Note complicated wiring. 

think, nor act for themselves, planning 
a program for electronic data process­
ing is extremely detailed. Men in the 
Data Processing department, called 
"programmers," must anticipate and 
prepare for every possible situation 
the machines might encounter while 
solving a problem, or the desired re­
sult cannot be obtained. 

Data Processing, thus, performs the 
function of original programmers 
while Machine Accounting works as 
operational programmers. 

Start With Flow Charts 

After careful evaluation, if Data 
Processing can possibly be of some 
help, programmers get busy prepar­
ing "flow charts," which are step- by­
step instructions to the machines. The 
instructions vary according to the job. 

When a flow chart is completed, it 
is reviewed and translated into "sym­
bolic language charts" for use in Ma­
chine Accounting. The symbolic lan­
guage charts are given to key punch 
operators who convert the written in­
formation on the charts into a form 
usable by the data processing ma­
chines. The most common form is the 
rectangular holes punched in pre­
planned locations into the familiar 
IBM card. 


IBM CUSTOMER ENGINEER, R. E. (Bob) Stephens, top left, examines 
wired area of the IBM 1401 in periodic maintenance check. The 1401 is 
really a group of machines, including the 1403 Printer, top center, where 

When program cards have been 
punched, they are taken into the ma­
chine room for "assembling" - the 
process of running cards through a 
machine to verify results as anticipat­
ed by the programmers. After a pro­
gram deck of cards has been as­
sembled, it is then "de-bugged"-er­
rors removed and changes made-and 
it is ready for use. Generally, the pro­
gram deck is used in conjunction with 
another deck, or set of cards contain­
ing variable information. The two 
decks provide the fundamental as­
sumptions and the new facts to be 
solved by the machines. 

After the cards have been prepared, 
one of two major data processing sys­
tems is selected for use in solving the 
problem: The RAMAC or the IBM 

The RAMAC was the first major 
piece of electronic data processing 
equipment acquired by the Company. 
It has been working at Gates about 
five years. Capable of storing up to 
five million digits of information, this 
machine is used primarily to keep an 
up-to-the-minute record of finished 
goods inventory and to price items 
shipped to customers. 

If, for example, a customer shipping 
order is passed through RAMAC, 
which stands for Random Access 
Method of Accounting Control, the 
price of each item shipped is located 
and multiplied by the number of units 

OCTOBER, 1962 

Machine Accounting Technician, Don Harman, adjusts the paper; and 
the 1402 Reader-Punch, top right, where Machine Accounting Su­
pervisor, Jim Smith, prepares the machine for a tabulation operation. 

shipped. Meanwhile, cards used for 
invoicing the customer are made, and 
the units shipped. At the same time 
the cards used for invoicing the cus­
tomer are made, the units shipped are 
subtracted from the inventory, thus 
updating and providing an instan­
taneous record of current stock. 

age in which information is represent­
ed by a series of positive or negative 
charges on tiny magnetic "donuts." 

The 1401 in reality is several ma­
chines ... the 1401 Processor; the 
1402 Reader-Punch; the 1403 Printer; 
the 729 II Tape Drives and other ma­
chine components. 

The 1402 Reader-Punch has a rated 
capacity of reading up to 800 cards 
per minute, depending upon other 
operations being performed by the 
machine at the same time. If desired, 
the 1402 can punch cards at the rate 
of 250 per minute, or it can read and 
punch simultaneously. A key punch 

(Please turn the page) 

1401- The Brain Center 

The RAMAC and the 1401 are the 
operational centers of the Gates data 
processing activity. The 1401 Proces­
sor is the "brains" that operates its 
component machines. It is capable of 
storing up to 4,000 characters or digits 
of information in its core "memory." 
A core is a form of high-speed stor- 

BATTERY OF KEY PUNCH OPERATORS is kept busy making cards for use in electronic data 
processing equipment. Supervisor Gerry Yelverton, standing, checks the progress of an operator. 
Key punch operators are used primarily to prepare programs or special card decks used with 
the IBM 1401 and the RAMAC. Accurate key punching is vital to all data processing. 


It Feeds on Detailed Figures 

(Continued from page 9) 

operator, working at top speed, can 
punch an average of 500 cards per 
hour, depending on the information 
being processed. 

The 1403 Printer is one of the out­
put units of the 1401 group of ma­
chines. It can print 600 lines, contain­
ing 132 characters, per minute. An 
average typist can print about 360 
characters, or about four lines per 
minute. The 1403 uses a chain of 
printing characters which revolves 
horizontally; each character is print­
ed as it is positioned opposite a mag­
netically actuated hammer that 
presses the paper against the chain. 

As the cards pass through the Read­
er-punch, various combinations of 
figures flicker for an instant, then are 
gone as other combinations replace 
them on a control panel in the 1401 
processing unit. Inside, through a 
maze of transistors, circuits and wires, 
the units are performing arithmetic 
functions so quickly that the rapidity 
of its calculations is measured in hun­
dredths or thousandths of a second. 

Answers on Printer 

As the problem is solved, the an­
swers are printed by the 1403 Printer, 
or stored on tapes or punched into 
cards. Or, all three functions might 
occur simultaneously. This makes the 
1401 a group of highly efficient and 
versatile machines. 

There are four basic methods of 

storing information for electronic data 

1. Punched cards or tapes; 2. Mag­
netic discs and drums; 3. Magnetic 
tapes; 4. Cores. 

Gates applies each of these methods 
in storing and processing information. 

1. Punched cards or tapes - nearly 
everyone has seen, or is familiar with 
a punched IBM card. Punched tapes 
greatly resemble tapes seen on stock 

2. Magnetic discs and drums are 
used in equipment such as the 
RAMAC. Stacked on a spindle in ver­
tical fashion like so many 24-inch 
platters in a juke box, the 50 discs of 
the RAMAC spin at 1,200 revolutions 
per minute. A two-pronged access 
arm, reaching in from the side reads 
off the messages while the discs are 

3. Magnetic tapes are used in con­
junction with the 1401, as are cards 
and cores. The tapes, used to record a 
great variety of information, such as 
daily payroll transactions for weekly 
tabulation, are plastic with a metallic 
oxide coating, much like the tapes used 
in home recorders. A reel containing 
2,400 feet of tape can store the equiv­
alent of 200,000 IBM cards. A single 
inch of tape will store 556 characters. 
Tape, when processed with the 1401, 
can be read at the rate of 41,000 char­
acters per second. 

PROGRAMMERS in Data Processing depart­
ment look over a flow chart used in preparing 
a job for electronic data processing equip­
ment. Seated from left are: Larry Stone, Dick 
Shively and Harry Roe; standing, from left, 
Harold Shriner, chief auditor, Fred Meier and 
Paul Ballast. Their work is extremely detailed. 

4. Core storage is useful because it 
is "addressable," that is, all informa­
tion stored in a panel of tiny electri­
cally charged "donuts," or cores, can 
be readily located whenever needed. 
The system is limited by the storage 
space available in a core panel area. 
For example, the core panel, or mem­
ory, of the Gates 1401, has a maxi­
mum capacity for storing 4,000 units 
of information, and each unit can be 
specifically located. 

Taped data, on the other hand, can 
be located in sequence only. That is, 
it is necessary to run a whole tape to 
get to information stored in the mid­
dle of the reel. However, the amount 
of data that can be stored on a tape is 
not limited. Thus, the 1401, by using 

INSPECTING RAMAC wiring panel during periodic maintenance check 
is IBM Customer Engineer Cal Bauder, below left. At right George 
Wright, machine accounting technician, gives RAMAC Operator 

Loretta Steerman, an IBM card for special processing. RAMAC was first 
of major electronic data processing machines put to work at Gates, 
and has been used regularly since its installation about five years ago. 

and Gary Lee, sons of Verna Eubank, Fan Belts. CENTER - Peggy, 
Ralph and Robert, children of Ralph Wiley, Industrial Relations; Kelly 
Warner and Troy Allen, sons of AI Haggerty, Belt Skiving; Laura Lee, 
daughter of Henry Sims, Specifications. BOTTOM - John Lloyd, son 
of Sandra Kistler, Timekeeping; Chris and Jess identical twin sons 
of Marjorie Gieck, Timekeeping; Robert Allen, son of Blanche Tempel, 
Chicago; Lynette, daughter of Shirley Doane, Industrial Relations; 
Debra, daughter of Fred Zimmerman, Belt office; Donnie Haynes, son 
of Carolee Hester, Belt Flipping. A nice group of fine looking children. 

Gates Kiddies Corner 

BEAMING FACES of the children of Gates employees pictured above 
include, from left; TOP - Ricky Dean, Terry Allen and Larry Eugene, 
sons of Dorothy Newman, Fan Belts, and Albert Newman, Trucking; 
Randy Miles, Bradley, Christopher Lynn, Mark Eugene, Barry Lee and 
Lonnie James, sons of Thomas Thompson, Stockroom; Michael Eugene 

cards, tapes and cores as methods of 
storing information, forms an almost 
unlimited storehouse of fact with com­
plete accessibility. 

Benefits derived from the use of the 
1401 are numerous. Because of the 
speed and accuracy of the machines, 
the most important people in the 
world-Gates customers-receive bet­
ter, faster, more accurate service. 
There is closer control of the inven­
tory. Decisions can now be made on 
the basis of current information in­
stead of historical records. 

The ever-increasing amount of pa­
perwork involved in sales and cost 
analysis are now controlled and the 
results are tabulated in much shorter 
time. Dull, routine, clerical functions 
can now be performed automatically. 

OCTOBER, 1962 

Trained, experienced people need not 
spend their time and talents on rou­
tine matters; they are now free to di­
rect their energies to more important 
problems requiring analytical ability 
and good judgment. 

Cannot Replace People 

Contrary to popular beliefs, the 
1401, or other data processing equip­
ment, cannot replace people. It can­
not think, nor act for itself. It can 
simply do as it is told. The results pre­
pared by the 1401 and other data 
processing equipment, are only as ac­
curate as the original data given to 
it by these people. 

People are required to prepare in­
formation for data processing. They 
are needed to operate the equipment, 

to insure proper running, and to 
handle and act on the information 
after it has been processed. In a data 
processing operation, people are in­
dispensible. The work they perform 
must be accurate. That is why the 
Data Processing and Machine Ac­
counting departments are vital to 
maintaining Gates' competitive posi­

It has been historically demon­
strated that new machines not only 
raise the standards of living, but actu­
ally increase the total employment. 
The 1401 and the people of the Data 
Processing and Machine Accounting 
departments are destined to do their 
part in bringing even more progress 
to Gates and its employees. 

[ 11 ] 


Published by Gates Rubber Co. Denver 17, Colo., for Gates employees, their families and friends.

World's largest Maker of V-Belts 

Manufacturer of Belts, Hose, Tires, 
and Molded Rubber Goods. 


Editor .. Arnold Senne
Associate Editor .. Al Shepherd 
Assistant .. Jean McCormick 


OCTOBER, 1962 

Gates Employees Care and Share.... 3 

Employees Can Influence Relations 4 

Watch Out for Fire Hazards  .. 5 

Many Work at Plant Protection 6 

Computer Performs Like Magic 8 
Kiddies Corner 11 
Two Get Gold Awards 14 
Much to Learn in Bowling 16 
Employee News 17 
For the Ladies.... . 30 
Laugh Roundup __ 31 

Send communications to Progress News, 
999 So. Broadway, Denver 17, Colo. 
Phone: 744-4018 

Member, International Council of 
Industrial Editors. 

About the Cover 

Keeping score by innings has always been a good way to know what's going on in the game and to lay plans for the next play ahead. Same way in business, where keeping tab of everything, especially those items  which show up as expense, has long been a worthwhile practice. 

In recent years, however, with increasing competition, the need for faster and faster processing of data has become a reality. One tool placed at the company's disposal has been the new IBM 1401 data processing machine, described on page 8, shown on the cover with Shirley Moody, Machine Accounting, changing a reel of tape on the machine. 






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