Helmut Schreyer

Born July 4, 1912; died December 12, 1984, Sao Paulo, Brazil; German engineer who helped Konrad Zuse and experimented with using vacuum tube circuits to perform arithmetic pre-World War II.

Schreyer assisted in the design and construction of Konrad Zuse's pioneering mechanical and electromechanical computers, which were built in Germany during the late 1930s and 1940s, but remained virtually unknown elsewhere until much later. Zuse credits Schreyer with the idea of replacing electromechanical relays with vacuum and neon tubes.

Schreyer began the design of such an electronic computer in 1937. A model was almost completed during World War II, but the work was abandoned and the model was lost.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Biographical

Bülow, Ralf, "Three Inventors-Scenes from Early German Computing History," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 12, No. 2, 1990, pp. 109-126.

Ceruzzi, Paul E., "The Early Computers of Konrad Zuse, 1935 to 1945," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 3, No. 3, 1981, pp. 241-262.

Significant Publications

Schreyer, H., "Technical Computing Machines," reprinted in Randell, Brian, Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1982, pp. 171-174.

Schreyer, H., "An Experimental Model of an Electronic Computer," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 12, No. 3, 1990, pp. 189-189.

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