Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

1960 : the Strutwear Building

Never before Mentioned In Despatches, but the Charles Babbage Institute entry for Control Data Corporation has this as the Strutwear Building, 1015 South 4th Street. Minneapolis, and the site of the design and development team for the 6600 system headed by Seymour Cray for about a year prior to a move to Chippewa Falls in 1961 (according to the WikiPedia entry for the town, it was Seymour Cray’s birthplace.

The address on the CBI site is actually incorrect, it should be South 6th street - the building remains virtually unchanged and remains known the Strutwear Knitting Company Building (right).

Constructed in 1923, it is just under a kilometre south of the original office site at 501 Park Avenue and remains a building of significant historical interest, principally through a long-running and sometime violent industrial action in 1935.

. It was included on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States of America in 2016

History and images


The 1935 Strutwear Strike (1)

The 1935 Strutwear Strike (2)

The image top left appears in the genral archives of the CBI collection, but there is nothing in the Control Data Corporation collection of photograps.

It was briefly referenced in a Minneapolis Tribune article on 12 November, 1961 …

“A few blocks away in the former Strutwear building, a special Control Data team of engineers ia at work designing what could be the biggest computer ever made anywhere …”

What do we want? A 6600!

When do want it? NOW!

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the reason for the move to Chippewa Falls was motivated by Seymour Cray’s concerns that there were too many demands placed on the 6600 design team by visitors while it was based in the central part of Minneapolis.

And we can now reveal graphic photographic evidence to support his claim!

(John O’Neil recalls visiting Chippewa Falls in the early 1960s and that it was a rare privilege to be invited to inspect the facility)

A Kidnap Plot Thwarted!

Minneapolis’ finest guard the Strutwear Building after rumours circulate that accomplices hired by I.B.M. plan to kidnap the 6600 design team and rebadge their work as a 360!