Analog Computing Component - S Cam

Analog Computing Component - S Cam

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This flat aluminum cam is in the shape of a highly irregular heptagon, An S-shaped space about 1 cm. wide is cut out of it, as well as two holes with threads (as on a screw assembly) and three without threads. The holes without threads are labeled ¼, 3/16, and 7/16 – these numbers represent the diameters of the holes in inches. Another mark reads: item 16.
Ford Instrument Company designed and produced cams like this one to be part of mechanisms that carried out calculations (analog computing devices). According the accession file, this cam was “Probably from the MK 32 Gun Director.” This gun director was in use during World War II, hence the rough date assigned to the object.
A.B. Clymer, "The Mechanical Analog Computers of Hannibal Ford and William Newell," Annals of the History of Computing, 15, #2, 1993, 19-34.
Accession file.
Currently not on view
Object Name
analog computing component
date made
ca 1940
Ford Instrument Company
place made
United States: New York, Queens, Long Island City
Physical Description
aluminum (overall material)
overall:.3 cm x 11.6 cm x 6 cm; 1/8 in x 4 9/16 in x 2 3/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Ford Instrument Company, Division of Sperry Rand Corporation
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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