Numerical Control Book

A book about the history of the automation of the machine tool industry and the part General Electric played has just been published.

A book about the history of the automation of the machine tool industry and the part General Electric played has just been published. The History of Numerical Control was requested—and will be archived in—the Smithsonian, who is collecting memorabilia on the early history of the machine tool industry. The 360-page book—written by retired General Electric staffer Richard A. Thomas—follows the progress of applying computer-like controls to metal cutting machines from the early tracer controls of the 1940s to direct computer controlled machines of the 80's and beyond. It also features chapters on the Numerical Control Society, the trade association of the era; the development of the APT (Automatically Programmed Tools) computer program, vignettes of the Early Pioneers, photos of early applications, and a final chapter on "where are they now?”, a review of the decline of the machine tool industry in the United States.