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This was almost exactly one hundred years after Babbage began designing his Analytical Engine.In the same paper Bush wrote that four billion punched cards were being used annually in electric tabulating machines.
The Bush microfilm selector was never used operationally, except that it seems to have been used for cryptanalysis: It was, after all, designed to be effective at identifying (selecting) every occurrence of a specified code" ( accessed ). This book included three lectures delivered at the University of Illinois the previous year, one of which described the Rapid Selector which had been built under Shaw's supervision, asserting that it did operate.
Until December 2013 I was never able to find any truly detailed information on the version of the Rapid Selector built after World War II. Ridenour, librarian, inventor and publisher Ralph R. This work I came across several years after publishing . 60-61 of the Rapid Selector prototype which was in operation at this time.
In a paper called "Instrumental Analysis" publshed in 42 (1936) pp.
649-69, he suggested how an electromechanical machine might be built to accomplish Charles Babbage’s goals for the Analytical Engine.
"I shall not give a detailed description because I thought not suitable to apply this system to the composition of concordances; I will only say that, besides not allowing automatic printing of the concordances, such as can be done with the system hereunder, the rapid selector necessitates on the one hand that all the cards, to be made from the sorted microfilm, be of photosensitive paper, and on the other hand all the different words and forms of each word be previously coded, for the entire text must be translated into numerical symbols by hand" (Busa, published by Engineering Research Associates.
This 29-page report with 11 illustrations provided all the detail that one might desire concerning the design and characteristics of the machine, without providing information concerning its efficiency or utility.
In general, the machine developed meets the goals set up in that document.
"In brief, the system provides for microfilm storage of abstracts and corresponding code areas by which each abstract may be associated with six different fields of interest.
Bush, himself, never seems to have developed a working version of the machine, though his group worked on a prototype. Shaw's device incorporated technology developed by Emanuel Goldberg in 1928-1931, and by Bush starting in 1938.
Shaw's Rapid Selector was an attempt to realize goals described in Bush's 1945 publication, Shaw's machine "was based on the earlier prototype developed from 1938 to 1940 by a team at MIT under Bush's direction.