Teaching the Mechanical Principles of a 1950s Navy Computer

15 Mar

How do you shoot a remote and fast moving ship back in the time 'computers' existed out of gear assemblies, rotary disks, sprockets, chains, cams, differentials, and a very good knowledge of algebra and trigonometry?

If a how-to explanation of the analog computer does not interest your geeky mind, then consider: how do you explain complex mathematically-driven machinery using simple infographic animation and narration, back in 1953 (and so, no After Effects, you know...)?

In short, the 50's era training film series explains how a mechanical computer was used to aim guns on a ship. Compared to today's digital computers, it almost looks like Rube Goldberg's abacus, but in it's day it was a game changer that proved devestating. Watch the series of (school television like) videos below.

Via boing boing and Engadget.

See also Walt Disney Mars and Beyond movie and Powers of 10 movie.