|Erwin Tomash (1921-2012)|
Erwin was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on November 17, 1921, to immigrant Jewish parents roughly a year after they moved the family from Moldavia, where his father had been a dried goods shop merchant in the town of Mogil’ov-Podol’skij (near the border of Romania and the Soviet Union). The family came to the United States to escape the changing environment in Moldavia after the Russian Revolution. Without capital for a shop, Erwin’s father struggled to sell dry goods door-to-door in the Twin Cities before he was able to open a small corner grocery store after about a half decade. Erwin grew up in a family with four older siblings and modest means during the Great Depression. On multiple occasions the family had to shut down their store and relocate to a new location, each time living on the shop’s premises. By his teens, his siblings had all left home to either work or start families. In his youth, Erwin attended public school as well as Hebrew school, and also worked in the family store. In high school he worked at other grocery stores as well. He remembered his upbringing as very disciplined, without much time for fun and games (stamp collecting, taken from letters that came to the store, was one of his few hobbies). Despite hardships, he recalled a happy youth and adolescence, and being blessed with a very close-knit and loving family environment.
Erwin attended Mechanical Arts High School in St. Paul, where he credits a course in ninth grade algebra as his first introduction to the idea he might want to study technical subjects, and possibly engineering. His other interests included history and politics, but his father pushed him toward learning a technical trade and he soon began to take courses in electricity at the neighboring vocational school. Upon graduating from high school in 1939, Erwin took advantage of a National Youth Administration employment initiative, and he enrolled at the University of Minnesota to major in electrical engineering. With the NYA program, he worked in the University of Minnesota-wide Audiovisual Services that aided instructors showing slides or offering sound presentations. On weekends he worked at grocery stores, and later, as a sales clerk at a butcher shop. He was a commuter student, living at home throughout college, and would take streetcars and buses—or often to save money, “thumbed a ride”—to and from campus.
Erwin remembered the electrical engineering curriculum at the University of Minnesota consisting of two options—power and communications. He engaged in coursework in both areas—taking classes in power transmission and radio communications, as well as in mathematics and chemistry. Over time he found communications more interesting and he followed that track. Class-size was small and he typically would have twenty or so classmates. He graduated in electrical engineering with roughly 30 seniors in the spring of 1943.
After Fort Monmouth, Erwin entered a six-month radar school (a joint Army and Navy program), split between instruction at Harvard University and MIT, where he studied circuit design, analysis of circuits, and pulse techniques. He excelled at this high-level training and scored near the top of his class of roughly 400—performing better than many who had attended elite private colleges and universities. This instilled a great deal of confidence that Erwin carried with him through his military service and into his post-war career. Erwin’s training in Massachusetts was followed by field radar school at Camp Patrick near Palm Beach, Florida, and additional training at other facilities. In June 1944 Erwin was deployed overseas.
Erwin served with great distinction in the U.S. Army during World War II and its early aftermath. He began in a Signal Corps Maintenance Unit where he set up and serviced radar systems. Later he organized and managed a supply depot near Marseille, France, which supplied critical electronic components to battlefront locales. For the latter, Erwin was awarded a Bronze Star.
After returning from the war, Erwin began graduate school at the University of Minnesota but was disappointed that the technical currency of the instruction did not match his military training in Massachusetts and his wartime work, and he left for an opportunity to join the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in late 1947. At his arrival, the laboratory was in the process of moving from the Washington, D.C., Gun Factory to White Oak, Maryland. There, Erwin indirectly worked for the head of the Acoustics Division, John Vincent Atanasoff, who had led the effort to build the Atanasoff-Berry Computer prior to entering wartime service. In 1948, disillusioned with military bureaucracy with regard to job/salary classifications and the mundane nature of his work assignments, Erwin interviewed with John Price, a classmate of his mentor at White Oak, who worked at the Engineering Research Associates (ERA) liaison office in Arlington, Virginia. Erwin was soon hired by ERA’s Arlington office as a junior electronics engineer.
ERA had been launched in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1946 by a group of scientists and engineers (led by Howard Engstrom and future Control Data Corporation leader William Norris) who had worked on code-breaking for the U.S. Navy during the war, along with ERA’s primary financier, investment banker John Parker. This core group had extensive wartime experience with computing devices. In addition to other Navy contracts, ERA designed and built one of the first stored program digital computers in the U.S., the ATLAS, later commercialized as the ERA 1101. All this (including that the headquarters of ERA was his hometown) was not known to Erwin at the time he joined the young firm, as he did not yet have the security clearance to be informed of much of ERA’s organization and activities.
Erwin’s first assignment for ERA was in the computational technology field—helping conduct survey research for research director C. B. Tompkins. This was the basis for the seminal computing book, High Speed Computing Devices (McGraw Hill, 1950). In less than a year Erwin was granted his security clearance, after which he began to have frequent meetings with top research personnel at the newly formed National Security Agency, where he would consult to help make problems they had “computable.” He also enrolled at the University of Maryland, receiving his Master’s in Electrical Engineering in June 1950.
Key figures at ERA’s headquarters, including chief engineer John Coombs, Arnold Cohen, and William Norris, encouraged Erwin to move to ERA’s St. Paul facility. Anxious to transition beyond just producing research and consulting reports, and instead to engage in engineering design and development work, Erwin (and Adelle) moved back to St. Paul in 1950. His first task was to work on the Atlas II digital computer project (which was later commercialized as the ERA 1103/UNIVAC 1103). Erwin served as an engineer on this project headed by Jack Hill and Frank Mullaney. Many on the Atlas II development team, including Seymour Cray, would go on to become central figures at Control Data Corporation, a Minneapolis computer firm formed by engineers and managers leaving Sperry-Univac in 1957 (ERA was acquired by Remington Rand in 1952 and Remington Rand merged with Sperry Corporation in 1955 to form Sperry Rand—whose computer division was Sperry-Univac).
While the Atlas II project was a technical success, the Navy was displeased with the lack of documentation, leading William Norris to ask Erwin to take over and straighten out ERA’s Technical Publications Department. Erwin liked projects such as this that involved solving problems by drawing on a mixture of administrative, managerial, organizational, and technical skills—all of which he possessed in abundance and would serve him well later as a corporate leader. Erwin viewed Remington Rand’s 1952 acquisition of ERA with reservations, as did many of the engineers and managers of ERA. Remington Rand (and Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation which it had acquired in 1950) focused on commercial machines, while ERA had specialized in research and development and customized systems for the military and intelligence communities. When Remington Rand executives visited shortly after the acquisition of ERA, they could not even inspect Atlas II operations due to lack of clearances. Only with reluctance was the UNIVAC 1103 authorized as a product due to the perceived overlap it might have with the UNIVAC I. The changing environment, and Erwin and Adelle’s frustration with harsh Minneapolis winters and weather-related illnesses of their two young daughters, led Erwin to seek out possibilities in Southern California. In 1953 the Tomash family moved to Los Angeles, and Erwin successfully ran Remington Rand Electronic Computer Department sales office at 2601 Wilshire Boulevard for the next three years. Soon after arriving, he sold 1103 model computers to Convair, Boeing, Lockheed, and White Sands.
The 1955 merger with Sperry brought organizational upheaval to the combined firm. Shortly after the merger, William Norris was put in charge of the new Sperry-Univac (combined ERA and Eckert-Mauchly) computer division. At Norris’s request, Erwin moved to the New York office and Norris proposed he become the sales manager for Sperry-Univac. Tomash was closely aligned with Norris, who was caught in a power struggle and, despite his title, had limited authority and was contested at every turn by the old line Remington Rand management. Ultimately this was the seed for Norris later deciding to leave to lead Control Data. The situation also led Erwin to leave Sperry Rand.
The rest of the Tomash family had stayed in Los Angeles during Erwin’s year in New York. On a flight back to Los Angeles a chance encounter with a Telemeter Magnetics executive, George Brown, led Erwin to examine (in January 1956) and soon sign on as vice president of marketing with Telemeter Magnetics, a young Los Angeles firm that had launched pay televisions—coin set-top boxes using coaxial cable for transmitting signals—and was transitioning to focus on the computer memory business.
In 1953 International Telemeter (the company’s original name) was launched, and it soon had wired the city of Palm Springs, California as a test-bed, and in many respects created a form of the first cable TV and pay-per-view systems. Having hired a first rate technical staff, International Telemeter sought contracts to boost technical capabilities that aided the set-tops, and also to expand into other revenue generating areas. They bid on computer projects for Livermore’s LARC and a National Bureau of Standards’ computer. The memory business quickly became the firm’s focus, and in 1955, the company was renamed Telemeter Magnetics.
Six months after Erwin joined the firm, infighting between the firm’s top leaders, Louis Novins and William Squires, led Novins to ask Erwin to sign on as the new president of Telemeter Magnetics, which by that time concentrated on producing and selling “boxes of memory” and memory cores. The first major order came from GE on the famed Electronic Recording Machine Accounting (ERMA) project—where Telemeter Magnetics won a subcontract to supply hybrid vacuum tube and transistorized memory systems. Following this, Telemeter Magnetics, which was 80 percent owned by Paramount, produced wholly transistorized devices. Most customers were original equipment manufacturers, including Sperry-Univac, Burroughs, and Collins Radio. Erwin asked Paramount to inject $1 million for expansion and received just $200,000, teaching him to grow cautiously and carefully manage cash flow. In late 1960 the pioneering magnetic tape firm Ampex acquired Telemeter Magnetics and as the integration unfolded in 1961, Erwin, currently a vice president, was offered the role of heading Ampex’s marketing operation, a job at the headquarters in Redwood City, California. Erwin saw Ampex was having some severe difficulties with their technology and operations, and did not want move his family to Redwood City. Further, he wanted to free himself from the vulnerabilities of being a salaried manager. He decided he wanted to launch a new company, or acquire a struggling company to turn around. He soon quit Ampex.
In 1961 Willis Drake, Erwin’s old friend from ERA, communicated the challenges of a company he was at—Telex—and specifically, a problematic disk file project they had going in St. Paul. Telex was a hearing aid and phonograph company that had recently started a Data Systems Division. This division consisted of the roughly 25 staff members in St. Paul working on the disk file project for General Electric, a project that had been struggling for more than a year and had failed to deliver. Most of the St. Paul team had come from ERA/Remington Rand/Sperry-Univac. The division also consisted of ten or so employees in Detroit working on a low-end printer project. Erwin was interested in partnering to acquire the division if it could be completely independent from Telex. Lehman Brothers had initially agreed to invest $3 million to help make this happen, but this fell through and Erwin and minority investors put in approximately $250,000, while Bank of America, Continental Capital, and Greater Washington Industrial Investments each put in roughly equal amounts to get to $1.5 million. This bought approximately a 25 percent stake, while Telex shareholders received 75 percent out of the spin-off. With this, in early 1962, Data Products Corporation was born as a public company with Erwin as Chief Executive Officer. Shortly after founding the firm, Erwin changed the name to one word—Dataproducts. Other key figures at the start of Dataproducts Corporation included William Mozena (finance), Russ Dubois (marketing), Howard Rose (manufacturing), Graham Tyson (operations), Ray Stuart-Williams, Cliff Helms, and Irv Wieselman.
Erwin set up the headquarters of Dataproducts in a modest facility in Culver City, California. Around the same time as this deal, Erwin partnered with Walter Bauer and several others who were leaving Ramo-Wooldridge, a division of TRW, to start a computer services company but were having trouble raising capital. Bauer’s enterprise became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dataproducts: Informatics General Corporation. Bauer served as president of Informatics General (commonly referred to as just Informatics), with co-founders Werner Frank, Richard Hill, and Frank Wagner as part of the leadership team. Erwin’s insight in recognizing the importance of the young computer services field, and suggesting and executing this partnership, proved highly lucrative for Dataproducts over the next half dozen years.
With Erwin as CEO, Dataproducts soon turned around the challenging disk file project for General Electric, and supplied similar disk file products to RCA, Ferranti, and ICT/ICL, as well as to several Japanese firms. The disk file operation remained in St. Paul for a half decade before being moved out to Southern California with the rest of Dataproducts. The revenue from the disk file business in the first few years facilitated both the expansion of the printer business as well as investment in Informatics.
Over time, Informatics General developed an impressive client base that included government departments and agencies, government contractors, many major corporations, and other organizations in the U.S. and overseas. Besides providing programming services and systems integration to clients, Informatics soon added a software products business. In 1964 Informatics acquired the Advanced Information Systems Division of Hughes Dynamics (part of Howard Hughes’ Hughes Aircraft). Hughes Dynamics AIS file management package evolved through several iterations into the Informatics MARK IV file management system. MARK IV, which was the first software product to achieve $10 million, $50 million, and $100 million in revenue, helped give birth to and define the dynamic and fast growing software products industry. Between 1966 and 1970 Erwin orchestrated Dataproducts divestiture in Informatics, resulting in roughly a $20 million dollar return on a small initial investment (less than $500,000) as Informatics went public in the late 1960s.
Dataproducts printer business took longer to get off the ground. Erwin believed the Detroit group lacked competency and were not making progress on a low cost ($5,000) printer, despite having effectively secured some orders. Erwin shut down the Detroit operation and restarted with more experienced engineers out in California. He felt the basic idea for the hammer actuator printer was solid, just that the execution had been poor at the Detroit facility. He put Clifford Helms in charge of the printer development group in California, which resulted in producing a much better design. Erwin recalled that it took roughly 18 months before they had the electronics in good order and the styling set for the printer, but then it was a “work of beauty.” The early target market was limited primarily to the mainframe giants. The chief competitor was an established firm called Analex (headquartered in Boston), which had what little business there was in the young field of high-speed printers in the early 1960s when Dataproducts began. By mid-decade Dataproducts had a superior printer on the market and soon sold to Scientific Data Systems and to Digital Equipment Corporation; the latter became the firm’s largest customer for printers. Unlike Analex’s printers, Dataproducts printers only required monthly maintenance. Dataproducts aggressively and effectively marketed to Honeywell, Burroughs, Sperry-Univac, RCA, General Electric and others, and their printer business began to prosper. Dataproducts sold printers for roughly $15,000, significantly less than Analex had before the arrival of Dataproducts. Analex was forced to drastically slash their prices to retain business, which sent it into bankruptcy before it was acquired by Mohawk.
In addition to Dataproducts highly successful printer business, it added new product lines. This included getting into the core memory business in 1966, which Erwin had had extensive experience with from his Telemeter Magnetics and Ampex days. Dataproducts’ core memory business was set up in Dublin, Ireland, to take advantage of European markets, cheaper labor, and government grants. Ultimately Dataproducts secured roughly one-third of the available core memory market throughout Europe. Dataproducts continued international expansion, opening up a core memory plant in Hong Kong as well as taking over one in the United States from Fairchild. By the early 1970s, Dataproducts, a dominant player in printers and substantial participant in the domestic and international core memory market, had moved to a much larger facility in Woodland Hills, California.
In the mid-1970s Dataproducts began to phase out of the core memory business (a surprisingly resilient business that, as Erwin joked, had been in its last five years from its beginnings), but it remained a leading player of computer printers for more than a decade, through a number of successive technologies, until it was acquired by Hitachi Kiki Co., Ltd. in 1990. The Dataproducts brand continued to be used by Hitachi until 2000.
In 1971, after navigating Dataproducts successfully through many technical and managerial challenges, Erwin resigned as CEO, and Graham Tyson stepped in to lead Dataproducts. Erwin continued to stay active with the leadership of Dataproducts for another decade and a half, but by the mid-1970s he pulled back from the extremely long work days dedicated to Dataproducts to also enjoy other pursuits—most notably creating an infrastructure for computer history.
Erwin not only achieved tremendous success in many roles (as engineer, sales manager, marketing manager, entrepreneur, and chief executive officer) and technologies (mainframe computers, core memory, computer services, software products, and printers) in the computer industry, he also interacted and developed life-long friendships with many other computer and software pioneers. In the mid-1970s he reflected on the industry to which he had contributed and witnessed so much. He had seen computers grow from being primarily tools for Big Science to data processing systems used throughout society for an ever greater scale and scope of applications. With his interest in history that dated back to childhood, he became increasingly interested in the history of computing technology and the IT industry. Up to that time few practitioners and virtually no scholars had engaged in researching and writing this history. Further, very few public source materials existed on the topic to conduct research.
Erwin considered the possibility of formally studying the history of technology and engaging in writing historical studies, as well as other ways he might have an impact on the history of computing. He spoke with a number of the leading figures in the history of science and technology, including the Smithsonian’s Robert Multhauf, as well as leaders in the archives community. He joined and attended annual meetings of the Society for the History of Technology and the History of Science Society. With these encounters with scholars, curators, and archivists he was advised that establishing an academic research center and archives would likely have the greatest impact. This was the genesis of Erwin and Adelle’s founding the International Charles Babbage Society in Palo Alto in 1978. In working with a number of computing pioneers, Erwin and Adelle planned for two organizations to evolve from this “Society” in the near future. The first, an advisory and fundraising group, which became the Charles Babbage Foundation, the second, a computer history research center and archives to be housed at a selected university, the Charles Babbage Institute.
Erwin headed the board of directors of the Charles Babbage Foundation, and Adelle served as the secretary and treasurer of the Foundation in its early years. Erwin’s contacts and respect in industry and academe resulted in several dozen leaders from the computer and software industries, and some of the top computer scientists in the world, serving as Charles Babbage Foundation Trustees, with a fraction of these individuals also serving as members of the decision-making CBF board.
From the beginning Erwin and Adelle also established a fellowship for doctoral students conducting dissertation research on the history of computing. A CBI/Tomash Fellowship has been given to a leading graduate student studying computer history each year for more than three decades, and Erwin and Adelle have endowed the fellowship as a permanent program of CBI. This highly competitive Tomash Fellowship program has supported the work of many of the leading scholars in the history of computing. Revised dissertations of Tomash Fellows are among the most renowned books in the history of computing, including: Paul Ceruzzi’s Reckoners: The Prehistory of the Digital Computer, From Relays to the Stored Program Concept, 1934-1945 (Greenwood, 1983), William Aspray’s John Von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing (MIT Press, 1990), Frederik Nebeker’s Calculating the Weather: Meteorology in the 20th Century (Academic Press, 1995), Janet Abbate’s Inventing the Internet (MIT Press, 1999), Leslie Berlin’s The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley (Oxford University Press, 2006), Christophe Lécuyer’s Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970 (MIT Press, 2007), Atsushi Akera’s Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers, and Computers During the Rise of US Cold War Research (MIT Press, 2008), Nathan Ensmenger’s The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise (MIT Press, 2010), Eden Medina’s Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile (MIT Press, 2011), and Anthony Gandy’s The Early Computer Industry: Limitations of Scale and Scope (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Lécuyer’s, Akera’s, and Medina’s books have recently won major awards. And recent Tomash Fellows are adding to this impressive list with new path breaking books with each passing year. Other Tomash Fellows have published seminal articles from their dissertation research.
Erwin, working with Arthur Norberg, also established oral history as a foundational and continuing program at CBI. This, too, is a three-decade old and continuing activity of the Institute. CBI now holds more than 400 research-grade oral histories of computer and software pioneers from industry and academe. Most of these oral histories were conducted by CBI historians as part of sponsored research projects. Erwin also conducted a handful of CBI oral histories with his computer industry peers, including the leader of the British computer giant ICT/ICL, Sir Arthur Humphreys.
From the beginning, Erwin envisioned an institute active in research on computer history, as well as archival practices. Since its founding, CBI historians have led major research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Endowment for the Humanities, International Business Machines, and other funders. Research projects have been conducted on such important topics as the origins of academic computer centers, the computer industry, software history, the history of IBM Rochester, the history of NSF FastLane, and the history of computer security. Major research projects by CBI archivists on the CBI archives and archival methodology have been funded by the Society of American Archivists and the National Historical Publication and Records Commission. These include projects on collecting archives of high technology companies, and documentation strategies and practices.
Central to Erwin’s original goals was that CBI would become a major computer and software history archives repository for historians, computer scientists, social scientists, students, and others interested in conducting research on computer and software history. Over the years CBI’s talented archivists have built a highly diverse and expertly selected set of materials. CBI’s more than 200 collections include major corporate collections (Burroughs Corporate Records, Control Data Corporation Records), trade organization records (ADAPSO, IBM SHARE), professional organization records (DPMA, ACM), and the papers of prominent computer scientists/computer professionals and industry pioneers (Edmund Berkeley, Margaret Fox, Carl Machover, Alan Perlis, and Willis Ware). In 2000 CBI moved to its state-of-the-art facilities in Andersen Library, where scholars come from around the world to use CBI resources.
Erwin’s interest in computing and computational history also led to his developing a passion for book collecting beginning in the late 1970s. Having contributed to the research of one classic book, High Speed Computing Devices, he began to visit Los Angeles book dealers to inquire about other works on computing and computation. He soon met a rare book dealer, Jonathan Hill, who lent him a copy of a book (to let him decide if he wanted to buy it) in which John Napier described his calculating “bones.” Erwin was struck by the kindness, generosity, and trusting nature of this dealer—and quickly found this was common in the rare book world. Erwin soon decided to purchase the book, which was valued at $3,000 at the time. Over the next three decades he expanded his collection to include more than 2,600 books on pre-computer computation and mathematics, as well as a supporting collection of roughly 2,000 books on computers and software. The latter he donated in 2009 to the Charles Babbage Institute. The earliest book in the Tomash collection dates back to the twelfth century, with more than a dozen from the fifteenth century, and hundreds from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Among the many treasures are Albert of Saxony’s Explicit tractatus proportionum (1476), Galileo Galilei’s Difesa di Galileo Galilei (1607), and Johannes Kepler’s Nova stereometria (1615). Erwin partnered with computer historian Michael Williams in developing an annotated, illustrated catalog of this unparalleled collection of early works on computation and mathematics. A digital version of this masterful reference work is available on the CBI website at http://www.cbi.umn.edu/hostedpublications/Tomash/index.htm.
In the early-to-mid 1980s Erwin’s passion for books also led him to launch Tomash Publishers, a partnership with MIT Press that led to the Tomash/CBI reprint series. Early classic, difficult to obtain works (books, manuals, and proceedings) in computer history, mostly from the 1940s and 1950s, were reprinted as attractive hardbound volumes with introductions written by leading computer historians such as William Aspray, Martin Campbell-Kelly, Peggy Kidwell, and Michael Williams. Among the sixteen titles in this series are Wallace J. Eckert’s Punched Card Methods for Scientific Computation (1940, republished in 1984), The Harvard Computational Laboratory’s Proceedings of a Symposium on Large-Scale Digital Calculating Machinery (1947, republished in 1985), and The Moore School Lectures (1946, republished in 1985). This influential project Erwin envisioned, managed, and subsidized brought well-selected classics to the hands of a quickly emerging field of computer historians and countless other interested individuals.
The unparalleled CBI archives, the past and present research of CBI staff and Tomash Fellows, and the Tomash/CBI Reprint Series are among the legacies Erwin and Adelle left to computer history. For Erwin’s great insight to see the possibilities for computer history when few did, and his dedication, generosity, and vision to create and support a permanent infrastructure for our field to prosper, our memories of Erwin will always be deeply treasured and our gratitude beyond measure.
Erwin is survived by his wife, Adelle, two daughters, Barbara Tomash and Judith Diffenbaugh, three grandsons, and five great grandchildren.
Jeffrey R. Yost
Walter Bauer Oral History. Conducted by Arthur L. Norberg, Woodland Hills, CA, May 16, 1983. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
Werner Frank Oral History. Conducted by Jeffrey R. Yost, Mountain View, CA, February 14, 2006. Computer History Museum.
Adelle Tomash Oral History. Conducted by Arthur L. Norberg, Los Angeles, CA, December 7, 2000. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
Tomash, Erwin, and Arnold A. Cohen. “The Birth of an ERA: Engineering Research Associates, Inc., 1946-1955.” Annals of the History of Computing 1:2 (Oct. 1979): 83-97.
Erwin Tomash Oral History. Conducted by William Aspray, Los Angeles, CA, June 19, 1993. IEEE History Center.
Erwin Tomash Oral History. Conducted by Robina Mapstone, Woodland Hills, CA, March 14 and April 5 1973. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
Erwin Tomash Oral History. Conducted by Arthur L. Norberg, Los Angeles, CA, May 15, 1983. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
Williams, Michael R. “Building a World-Class Book Collection: The Tomash Library.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 23:4 (Oct.-Dec. 2001): 39-43.