Bob Arthur ‘s research for the Diary Project has touched on many topics, including those on transportation, entertainment, treatment for gout in the 1870s, and the cost of owning one cow to use for a family’s daily milk supply.
Surprisingly William Steinway’s family did own one cow for a period of time. Arthur located a book in the Library of Congress documenting the experiences of families owning one cow in the 1880s. Arthur’s research gave him the opportunity to learn about New York City during this exciting period in history.
Arthur spent his early life in western Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Slippery Rock State Teachers’ College with a major in mathematics. While teaching high school mathematics, he earned his master’s degree in the same field from the University of Pittsburgh. He then joined IBM to begin work in the embryonic computer industry. While with IBM he managed the design and implementation of computer systems for various federal agencies. These included a sonar system for the US Navy, a satellite control system for the intelligence agencies, and the en-route air traffic control system for the Federal Aviation Agency. In addition, during his time with IBM, he served as consultant for various system design efforts including one for the Canadian Mounted Police. Arthur currently volunteers as a docent at the Library of Congress. He lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife, Lee. They have three children and four grandchildren.