Digitronics Corporation

Digitronics Corporation, Albertson, Long Island, was formed in 1957 when Underwood Corporation closed its Elecom computer division. Albert A. Auerbach, former engineer with Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and Electronic Computer Corporation (ELECOM), became the company's first President. Robert Findley Shaw and Eugene Leonard were vice presidents. Shaw was also part of Eckert and Mauchly's ENIAC development team, and was later consultant for Underwood's Elecom 125 computer system. Digitronics developed and built magnetic tape and paper tape readers, tape to tape converters, data communication equipment, printer systems and special purpose computers.

When Auerbach left the company in 1962 Eugene Leonard became Digitronics new President. In 1964 Consolidated Electronics Industries Corp., alias Conelco, Inc. alias North American Philips Corp., acquired an interest in Digitronics. For a brief time, Arthur Erickson, Philips NV Executive, was the company's President. Erickson was replaced in 1965 by Richard W. Sonnenfeldt, former General Manager with Foxboro Company's Computer Systems Division. In 1966 Eugene Leonard left the company and co-founded Systems Resources Corporation where he would develop digital character generators for displaying letters on a television screen.

In 1968 computer pioneer Evelyn Berezin quit Teleregister to join Digitronics as manager of logic design. Before, Berezin had designed the Elecom 200 at Electronic Computer Corporation (later purchased by Underwood) and also a prototype office computer for Underwood. At Digitronics she was working on the idea of a word processor for everyday documents. Berezin left the company in 1969 to found the Redactron Corporation where she would develop the Data Secretary word processing system.

North American Philips sold its majority interest in Digitronics in 1972. In that year Digitronics merged with Iomec Inc. and became the latter’s division. Subsequently, Data 100 Corp. acquired Iomec in 1975 and the next year Data 100 sold the Digitronics division to Comtec Information Systems, Inc., Rhode Island.

Digitronics Corporation
certificate for less than 100 shares of ten cents, issued 6 Apr 1967
printed by Hasbrouck, Thistle & Co, New York

  • 1959 Digitronics builds a special-purpose computer utilizing transistor circuits for managing paramutual betting at a New York race track.
  • 1959 The company introduces the Dycor D101 Converter, a magnetic to paper tape converter. The D101, designed for stock brokers, takes the magnetic tape output of a computer which has recorded stock market transactions for the day, and translates it into teletype paper tape code. The punched paper is then fed into teletype transmitters which control printers at the various branch offices. The system is plugboard programmable and allows the operator to insert format control characters such as figures, letter shift, carriage return, line feed, etc.

Digitronics Corporation 
100 shares of ten cents, 19 Oct 1966 
printed by Hasbrouck, Thistle & Co, New York 
Earlier in 1966, Digitronics and North American Philips announced an agreement 
for Digitronics to distribute Philips data communication equipment in the USA. 

  • 1960 Digitronics launches the Dial-O-verter paper tape communications terminal which transmits data over telephone lines at high speed, complete with verifications. The Wall Street Journal will install a Dial-o-Verter system in 1963  for transmitting news copy simultaneously to seven printing plants.
  • 1960 The Digitronics Converter Data Processor is a system designed for data conversion from magnetic tape to paper tape or vice versa, or from one magnetic tape to  another. The system works with a core matrix memory of 1,024 chars. Editing and formatting features are plugboard programmable. The system relieves a computer from the communication with any medium slower than magnetic tape.
  • 1964 The business introduces the portable Data-Verter System, which allows a person to send information to a computer through regular telephone lines. The Data-Verter combines a recorder and transmitter, the size of a portable typewriter.
  • 1966 The "System 600" Dial-O-Verter is an automatic switching system for dispatching data or message traffic between a central and remote locations over the phone network. Features include multi-addressing, polling and error handling. A calling sequence is based upon the information on the input tape. The system can handle up to  64 remote terminals and consists of a  601 Central Control Station with pre-wired program logic with memory for storing data, message information and telephone numbers. Other components in the system are : 602 Tape Terminal, 603 Operator's Console, 604 Printer Terminal and 605 Paper Tape Terminals for the remote locations. 
  • 1960s Digitronics is the exclusive manufacturer of the Addressograph-Multigraph File Processor System
  • 1968 Evelyn Berezin's work at Digitronics results in one of the first high-speed digital communications terminals.

Digitronics Corporation 
certificate for less than 100 shares of ten cents, issued 11 Apr 1968 
printed by American Bank Note Company 
signed by Richard Wolfgang Sonnenfeldt as President 

  • 1973 Iomec's Digitronics Division introduces the Porta-Verter, a data entry terminal. It can either be used as a stand-alone calculating machine, or data can be entered through a numeric keyboard onto a cassette tape subsystem for later processing at a central host computer. Editing functions allow the user to change incorrect records on the tape. The system allows attaching a telephone hand-set into the back of the unit and send data to the host computer over telephone lines.

  • 1980 The Digitronics Division of Comtec Information Systems introduces the Series 400 Alpha-verter, an Intel microprocessor based remote batch data entry terminal. The system is equipped with  a keyboard, a built-in dot-matrix printer, a two-line liquid-crystal display, and prompting software.

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