Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

“Nostalgia Ain’t What It used to Be”

Spiritual Homes  Double-click to enlarge #top

Never seen before picture of our first manufacturing plant, Wangara Road, Cheltenham circa 1972 - all by its lonesome and across the road from a filled-in rubbish tip and a cemetery (both useful for re-locating employees who step out of  line)

No idea what the red-roofed building opposite was - possibly a caretaker’s cottage when the tip was operational.



YEAHH! Footy’s back!

DAILY LIFE - Watching

Held over from March, some WIP pages included. Some blasts from the past of what our black-and-white or later colour AWA TV screens brought us in the 60’s and 70s.

(CDA Engineers at Eton Square respond to an emergency call from a 160A customer - Senior Engineer gets the cute ‘jamas, junior at least the first CDA ID card … hmmm Robin? Robert? Ralph? Surely not Ron forgetting he’s 001?!?)

Bring ‘em back, I say!

Recent minor updates : March, 2017

20 March, 2017

PLATO  I was going to leave this as W.I.P. pending few other investigations, but they can wait as they require a trip to the State Library (primarily Don Bitzer’s visits for ACS Conferences in 1976 and again in 1982 or 1984). Obviously FEEDBACK on the local scene would help).

Early Days   After downloading the hardcopy book produced by the Charles Babbage Institute in 2012 covering an extensive series of interviews conducted by Tom Misa in 2009 with Robert M Price, CEO of CDC after the retirement of William C Norris, there have been a number of pages added (with great contributions from John O’Neil and Ron Bird) on the very earliest days of both CDC and just how the Corporation and the local agency E. L. Heymanson developed a relationship in 1960-61.  The additions also include excerpts of an oral interview (1982) with Frank Mullaney, closely associated with the Heymanson agency deal, but more specifically with Bill Norris in the new CDC after they and others broke away from Sperry Rand in 1957. Also a listing of CDC international subsidiaries to 1980 supplied by Ron.

Downloads : Tom Misa Interviews This link is to the Charles Babbage Institute Newsletter, Volume 36, No. 1 (Spring, 2014), where Tom reports on his visit to Australia (pp 10-11) 3.6mB

Really New Really Old Stuff

Death of a Pioneer : Dr John Mauchly and ENIAC

Relics of Charles Babbage in New Zealand

Courtesy of the Charles Babbage Institute, a couple of images of Control Data Corporation’s first office in 1957.

And also the first announcement that I’ve sighted on the likelihood of the C.S.I.R.O. acquiring a Commonwealth Computing Network (June, 1962)


TAB : The Last Dollar Note

The First 3600

160A at Caulfield Tech

Control Data Rules! OK?


“Don Bitzer, a project director for the PLATO project in automatic teaching aids tests equipment he used in first demonstrating of the system this weekend at Allerton House. The student indicates his response to a learning situation by punching buttons on the keyboard which is connected to Illiac by a long distance telephone wire”.

10 March, 1961

Daily Life at CDA

February, 2017

Now shifted to UPDATES page, the key project remains as

An Incomplete History of CDA Manufacturing : 1970-75

For which I still have hopes (along with running a four-minute mile - backwards and on one leg) of receiving some FEEDBACK other than from Ron Bird and John O’Neil.


Anyone ever seen these before???  A Control Data Australia matchbook bobbed up on eBay in early March, seller in North Caulfield, but it seems like it didn’t attract a bid at ten bucks plus postage.

Never seen the like before … I think this logo disappeared circa 1974 and was replaced by the              “tombstone”.

Very Polically Incorrect these days as encouraging smoking, but just about every pub or club worth its name had them in the 1970s … seem to remember bringing a couple of dozen back for a friend’s wife after a stint working in New Zealand.

Also the logo on this tiepin bring backs some memories, but I couldn’t find any other instances of the (“hammer and sickle?) logo being used. I have a gut-feeling there may be one in Alison Bryant’s collection.