IBM Pioneers to Be Inducted Into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Disk Drive Inventors William Goddard and John Lynott to Be Honored for Contributions to Information Technology

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WASHINGTON, DC & ARMONK, NY - 08 Feb 2007: The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation today announced it will induct two IBM (NYSE: IBM) inventors who developed the first commercial hard-disk drive system, which revolutionized the computer industry more than a half century ago.

This distinction marks another milestone in IBM's rich heritage of innovation. The company now boasts 10 members in the prestigious Inventors Hall of Fame, more than any other private organization.

William Goddard and John Lynott were key members of the San Jose, Calif.-based engineering team, led by Reynold Johnson with the help of Louis Stevens, that developed the 350 Disk Storage Unit, a major component of the 305 RAMAC Computer. As the leader of the development team, Johnson was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1986, one of eight IBMers to be so honored.

Before the RAMAC was introduced in 1956, traditional serial or batch processing of data was a serious bottleneck because the computer had to wait until all the data was accumulated and sorted. By providing direct access to vast amounts of data, the disk drive was a radical departure that permitted dramatically faster data processing. Five decades later, the disk drive is still a central component for most computing systems -- ranging from mobile devices and digital audio/video equipment to laptops, supercomputers and Internet systems. While individual disk drive elements have been continually refined and improved over the years, the basic design pioneered by Goddard and Lynott remains intact today.

"IBM was working on the RAMAC in San Jose before the first semiconductor company set up shop in what we now call Silicon Valley," said Mark Dean, IBM Fellow, vice president, Almaden Research Center and a member of the Inventors Hall of Fame since 1997. "In designing the RAMAC, Goddard, Lynott and their colleagues worked with clients to help them meet their business needs. Today, our researchers are following in their footsteps -- exploring open and collaborative innovation to solve increasingly complex business and societal challenges."

Typical of the early days of the industry, neither Goddard nor Lynott had computing experience prior to joining IBM. Goddard was a former science teacher who briefly worked in aerospace. Lynott had been a mechanic in the Navy and later a mechanical engineer. Goddard and Lynott died in 1997 and 1994, respectively. In May, they will be inducted posthumously into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which is located in Akron, Ohio.

Other IBM National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees include:

National Inventors Hall of Fame

The not-for-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame is the premier organization in America dedicated to honoring and fostering creativity and invention. Each year a new class of inventors is inducted into the Hall of Fame in recognition of their patented inventions that make human, social and economic progress possible. Founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Association, the Hall's permanent home is Akron, Ohio, where the inventors in the Hall are honored and from where it administers its national programs, including Camp Invention®, Club Invention®, Invent Now®, and the Collegiate Inventors Competition®.

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