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Helmut Hoelzer papers

 Collection
Identifier: CBI 33

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains photocopies of correspondence, publications, Hoelzer's Ph.D. dissertation, and drawings, all which were given to James Tomayko in preparation for an oral history and a publication. The materials detail Hoelzer's conception of a fully electronic analog computer, which was developed in Peenemunde, Germany, during World War II. Tomayko later published an article on Hoelzer's work on the development of an analog computer in the Annals of the History of Computing. The collection also includes a copy of Hoelzer's dissertation, Application of Electrical Networks to the Solution of Differential Equations and to the Stabilization of Control Systems,as well as the section that was eliminated from the final version because of references to weapons development.

Dissertation and publications are written in German. Portions of the published articles have been translated from German to English by Hoelzer.

Dates

  • 1946-1983

Creator

Language of Materials

German, with some materials translated into English

Access to materials:

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Copyright:

CBI holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Biographical Note

Helmut Hoelzer was born in Bad Liebenstein, Germany, on February 27, 1912. He received his BS (1935), MS in electronics (1939), and Ph.D. in mathematics and natural sciences (1946) from the Institute of Technology in Darmstadt, Germany. From 1939-1960, Hoelzer worked with Wernher von Braun on rocket development in Germany (1939-1945) and later in the United States at Fort Bliss, Texas (1946-1950). Hoelzer was appointed director of the Computation Laboratory for the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency in 1950.

In 1960, he became director of the Computation Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The laboratory managed the use of high-speed electronic computers, automation devices, and mathematical techniques for all phases of launch and space vehicle payload research, development, fabrication, and testing. Hoelzer's contributions include original proposals for missile control, remote control and guidance systems, and an all-electronic analog computer.

Hoelzer was recognized for his contributions to electronic computer developments and guided missile and launch vehicle technology with the U.S. Army's Exceptional Civilian Service Decoration in April 1959 and the NASA Medal for Exceptional Service in 1969. After retiring from civil service in 1973, Hoelzer worked on the Skylab project in Europe until 1976. He returned to the United States and served as a computer consultant for T.V.A. before becoming the Executive Vice President of International Aerospace Technologies, Inc. in Huntsville, AL.

Extent

1 box (0.2 cubic feet)

Abstract

Collection contains photocopies of correspondence, publications, Hoelzer's Ph.D. dissertation (in German), and drawings, all which were given to James Tomayko in preparation for an oral history and a publication. The material details Hoelzer's conception of a fully electronic analog computer which was developed in Peenemunde, Germany, during World War II. Portions of the published articles have been translated from German to English by Hoelzer.

Acquisition:

The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Helmut Hoelzer in 1985.
Title
Helmut Hoelzer Papers, 1946-1983. Finding Aid.
Author
Prepared by Kevin D. Corbitt, April 1991.
Date
March 2004
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Contact:

612-624-5050