Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

The William C. Norris Scrapbooks (V2 Pages 301-331)


November, 1967

Control Data and the North Side (Minneapolis Tribune Editorial on CDC plans to open a plant in the racially disturbed Plymouth Avenue district)


November, 1967

Control Data and the North Side (Minneapolis Tribune article), Industry Moves To The Ghetto (Minneapolis star)


December, 1967

Prospectus for $58 million Fund Raising Issue : $50 Debenture plus 373,334 common stock shares


December, 1967

Control Data Corp. To Rent Computer to Standard and Poor (for market analysis)


December, 1967

Wall street : The Sweetest Stocks of ‘67 (Newsweek)


January, 1968

Control Data To Buy Unit from SCM Corp. For Undisclosed Sum; “You Can Unhang The Crepe Now” (Chairman William C. Norris can say “I told you so” on CDC recovery


February, 1968

Control Data Plans Acquisition of Firm; Control Data Plans to Acquire Computer Firm (both on SCM Corp)


February, 1968

St. Paul’s Millionaires (including Norris (surprise!); Cheaper to Buy ‘Em (FORBES article on acquisition of SCM suggesting the the acquisition may have been primarily to recruit “a considerable number of qualified computer personnel”


February, 1968

U.S. Awards Control Data $1 Million to Train Jobless’ City-based Firms Among Leading Gainers, Losers


February, 1968

Control Data’s Newest Cliffhanger (Fortune Magazine on CDC plans for the commercial market)  (312 is another digiGraphics image of Norris -not clear whether it was part of the FORTUNE article or just out of sequence


February, 1968

The New Attack on Killer Diseases (FORTUNE Magazine, incomplete, out of sequence and relevance unknown)


February, 1968

Continuation of Fortune article (sequence appears confused)



Air, land or water. C.E. Helps keep it clean (C.E. = Combustion Engineering, relevance unknown)


February, 1968

Conclusion of FORTUNE article (310-14, 316)


May, 1968

Control Data Plans To Acquire a Company (Pacific Technical Analysis (Honolulu, also plans to acquire Electronic associates Inc. Dropped); Market Place : Another Look at Control Data (NY Times)


May, 1968

Duplicates 319


May, 1968

Control Data Plants starts Work (Omaha)


June, 1968

Control Data Plans $550 million Deal (acquisition of Commercial Credit Inc. and 200 subsidiaries, subject to approval by stockholders of both companies)


June, 1968

Continuation of Minneapolis Tribune artice on Commercial Credit acquisition;


July, 1968

Loew’s Concedes Commercial Credit Bid Failed. Merger of Finance Company with Control Data Waits Both Firm’s Holder Votes  (rival bid for Commercial Credit by Loew’s Theatres Inc); Control Data Land Deal Hit (attack on plans to build a 6.8 acre plant and and training institute)


July, 1968

Businessmen In The News (FORTUNE Magazine, including Norris)


July, 1968

Loew’s Drops suit to Block CDC Merger


July, 1968

Control Data To acquire Data Firm (American Business Systems, Philedelphia, manufacturer of continous forms and punched cards


July, 1968

Renewal : Article on CDC plans for North Side plant and $53 million renewal of slum area (Minneapolis Tribune) Plant listed as 90,000 square feet, 275-300 workes and plans for training institute


July, 1968

Continuation of 329 with aerial image of proposed plant site


July, 1968

Another Chapter From Horatio Alger (brief history of CDC, no idea who Horatio was!)


December, 1968

Control Data sues IBM for Damages in Anti-Trust Case. Court Is Asked To Consider Dissolving IBM to Insure Computer Rivalry.  Fight Pledged by Defendant.


And with that frustrating teaser we endeth the Norris Scrapbooks … or at least what remains with CBI.

Whether Norris or possibly an unknown assistant continued collating material is unknown, but given the gap of some five months between the last two articles, the answer is almost certainly NO : The Commercial Credit deal would have been finalised and widely publicized during that period, but there is no mention of it in the archive.

It may be coincidental (perhaps it was simply a case of the book being full), but the regular entries more or less end with plans for construction of the North Side plant (which encompassed a Child Development Centre), an event that it believed the altruistic Norris believed the crowning achievement in his corporate career. The final entry in the scrapbook also contains the photo (right), un-captioned, but almost certainly the ground breaking ceremony at North Side.

The “frustrating teaser” is, of course, the announcement of the Anti-Trust suit against IBM. Of which we heard little in Australia, and with virtually all of the CDC documentation on the claim passed to IBM (and instantlry shredded to circumvent the U.S. Government’s attempt to break up the company), we are unlikely to ever know much of the details.

John O’Neil recalls that when he visited the U.S. prior  to the case going to courst, CDC people were told to leave offices and desks unlocked as a team of IBM lawyers preparing a defence were given more or less open access when they regularly arrived after hours to collect counter evidence.   

Long-time IBM Chairman Thomas J Watson junior later suggested that IBM’s massive settlement with CDC (believed in total around $100 million in cash and assets) as “a brilliant tactical stroke” which eventually saw the U.S. Government drop its much more potentially crippling Anti-Trust Suit (just after the election of Ronald Reagan).