The marvelousness in Mauchly’s papers

I am still processing John Mauchly’s amazing papers (see previous posts on this collection) and keep discovering items that make me love Mr. Mauchly just a bit more.  As I sift through the many boxes of material that document his work with early computers, I am always most drawn to the material that documents Mr. Mauchly as a human being.

Today, I would like to share one of my favorite things I have ever found in an archival collection.  For those who have not read other posts on Mauchly, these are a few things that he loved:

  • data
  • lists
  • comments about and interpretation of data and lists

(please note that I have provided this information as Mr. Mauchly would have).  His love of data and lists was not limited to his professional life, and throughout his collection one finds many, many delights, including this one about possible names for his new baby girl who was born on April 30, 1951.  No other comments are needed–but please, do read all the way to the bottom of his note!


Fact:  This baby was eventually named Kathy (according to information I found online, she was Kathleen (after her mom) rather than Katherine on the list)!

4 thoughts on “The marvelousness in Mauchly’s papers

  1. Holly, I too, am getting a kick out of your posts. I had never heard that Isabella Beatrice had been ruled out so long ago. I have heard that when there was a contest to name me,baby Mauchly 8-10-1958 that Isabella Beatrice won second place. Third place was Crystal Chandelier. Luckily , someone had the good sense to choose Eva Marie over all other names.

  2. Thank you, Holly! I am 8 lb. Baby Mauchly of April 30, 1950. This bit of family history comes as a complete surprise. My father loved to talk about ideas, and what could be. I guess this falls in a different category: water under the bridge. Yet he quietly saved it, hoping that some future reader would smile with him. Thank you for keeping his smile alive.

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