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Who Was Vannevar Bush?

Vannevar Bush helped develop microfilm.
Dr. Vannevar Bush was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1890.
Vannevar Bush developed a computing device based on inventor Charles Babbage's Difference Engine.
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Dr. Vannevar Bush (March 11 1890 — June 30 1974) was an American engineer, scientist, politician, and visionary of the 20th century. Throughout his lifetime, he made vital contributions to academia, industry, and the highest levels of government.

Vannevar Bush played a critical role in helping the United States transition from wartime research during WWII to research with applications in the civilian domain. His students and those he influenced, including Claude Shannon, Douglas Englebart, and many others, went on to contribute great things to science and the world, such as information theory and hypertext. Vannevar Bush received 18 honorary degrees from American universities; special recognition or awards from 3 American presidents; served as chairman or director on the boards of numerous private and governmental science and technology-related organizations; and helped found the National Science Foundation.

Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1890, Vannevar Bush graduated from Tufts College in 1913 with a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering. Shortly thereafter, he began teaching mathematics and electrical engineering at Tufts College. Between 1916 and 1917 he received degrees in engineering from both Harvard and MIT. Between 1913 and 1917, he was with the General Electric testing department and as an inspector for the U.S. Navy; and during WWI he worked on submarine detection.

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In 1919, Vannevar Bush joined the electrical engineering department at MIT. In 1923, he was made Professor of Electric Power Transmission. Throughout the late 20s and early 30s, Bush and his students developed the differential analyser, a mechanical device that used a variety of complex gears and other analog tools to solve differential equations with as many as 18 variables. This was inspired by Charles Babbage's difference engine, and was an obvious precursor to the modern-day digital computer.

By 1932, Vannevar Bush was appointed Vice President of MIT and Dean of the School of Engineering. Throughout the 1930s, he focused on the information-storage capacity of microfilm, and in 1938, developed and patented a device called the rapid selector, another precursor to computers and the Internet. This device quickly shuffled between microfilm cartridges, displaying their contents on a screen. He referred to this as a "device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility." This device became commonly known as a Memex.

Vannevar Bush was elected President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., in 1938, one of the greatest scientific establishments in the world at the time. He influenced President Roosevelt to focus more attention on science, forging a relationship between science and the government that persists to this day. In 1940 he was appointed Chairman of the President's National Defense Research Committee, which oversaw the Manhattan Project and many other important research projects during WWII. As WWII ended, Vannevar Bush proposed the creation of a fundamental alliance between the government, business, and academia, eventually resulting in the creation of the National Science Foundation.

Vannevar Bush is credited by many as the best engineer of the 20th century, and the greatest champion of science since Einstein.

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anon973483
Post 16

Raytheon is a weapons manufacturer for the U.S.A. and Saudi Arabia. Raytheon was founded by Vannevar Bush. Raytheon is a name that means "a law unto oneself". Vannevar Bush was doing clandestine nuclear energy work in New Mexico and Nevada and his work and the reports of his work were kept classified from the Presidents of the United States from Truman to Clinton. The Georges may have been allowed to peek but never ask. Vannevar Bush had one secret project that was leaked. It was building a nuclear fueled planetary rocket. It was probably meant to be an intergalactic rocket to travel in and visit his hive mother.

anon972963
Post 14

Of course Vannevar is related to George H. W. Bush. Just look at their heads. They both have that tilted slope ,which is probably unworldly. If a person could go back in time and abort the whole alien Bush tribe, what a wonderful world it would be. They are all rogue aliens. But then that may be what a nation founded on slavery needs.

anon962105
Post 13

Over the last few years the relationship of Prescott Bush, Vannevar Bush and John Carry has all but been wiped from the internet. Ever since the election race with George W. Bush.

anon189829
Post 10

Well, he certainly appears to be related through the Carlyle Group!

hawaiikai
Post 9

Vannevar Bush is *not* related to GHW Bush. Here is a quote from GHW: "In the 1945 report that led to the founding of the National Science Foundation, Vannevar Bush - no relation - wrote..."

These remarks were made at the Presentation Ceremony for the National Medals of Science Technology on November 13, 1990.

anon134576
Post 8

Vannevar was the great uncle of George H W Bush.

anon114979
Post 7

i was trying to find out where phoebe davis came from. was she related to david davis? who is related to the bush dynasty. it's popular in the bush family to use genealogical surnames as middle names, like richard davis bush. so where is hathaway from? a belgian aristocracy?

anon110811
Post 6

perhaps to prescott bush or later?

anon101835
Post 5

"Not directly related" isn't surprising. It doesn't mean that there isn't any relationship that's worth noting (oh, within three or four generations). It's of clear interest considering Gore's claim to have "invented the internet" is a heck of a lot less valid than VB's via the Memex, which, while different in tech basis, is a very close description of the internet's actual functioning.

anon30077
Post 4

Vannevar Bush was opposed to 'operation paperclip.'

anon6638
Post 2

Yeah, I'm searching for the same information. Any help would be appreciated.

Moderator's reply: After completing some brief research, it does not appear that George H.W., or George W. for that matter, are directly related to Vannevar Bush.

anon5481
Post 1

Was Mr. Bush any relation to the present Bush family that presently inhabits the White House? Any relation to either George H.W. Bush or President George W. Bush? Or any member of their families for that matter? Thank you.

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