Links to history

August 16, 2012: Did you know that BCL had a website? I didn’t.

The Wayback Machine is an initiative of the Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.

These URLs are contributed by Stan Phillips.

I looked for a CSL website by substituting CSL for BCL in the URLs above, but I had no luck.

August 16, 2012: 28 Years of Biomedical Computing at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, compiled by Charles Molnar and Lewis Thomas is a 12 page unpublished internal document that covers the period from 1964 to 1992.

August 11, 2012: Washington University Computer Laboratories: A summary of accomplishments of the Washington University Computer Laboratories from 1967 to 1983, prepared by Jerry Cox and Don Hirsh in 1985 is a 198 page report.

Sections 1 through 4 (pp 1-21) provide an overall summary of the labs’ activities.

Section 5 (pp 22-44) provides a detailed descriptions of several of the major research projects, Developing Computing Resources, Visualizing Physiological Processes, Visualizing Chemical Processes, and Development of Research and Clinical Tools.

Sections 8 and 9 (pp 49-198) is an extensive bibliography of publications originating from the labs prepared by Russ Hermes and Polly Raith.

This report can be accessed at the Digital Commons, Bernard Becker Medical Library,

August 8, 2012: Want to see what BCL offered students in 1970? See pictures of Bill (two Bills), Helen (MIR, unnamed), Jerry, Maxine, and several unnamed people. How many can you identify?

July 28, 2012: Three videos, each about 20 minutes, tell the story of the PC, the Programmed Console and RTP, radiation treatment planning at Washington University in 1972. The original.mp4 file is the 1972 version. Audio commentary in 2008 replaces the sound in the comments.mp4 version. Various out takes and demos are gathered in the demos.mp4 video that was also constructed in 2008.

You will learn and remember about the PC, the “original” PC, not the one that IBM later created, and you will see a lot of folks that you probably remember.

I had a lot of fun viewing these videos, Bob Greenfield!

Original video
Commentary video
Demos, 1972

March 4, 2012: For a very sweet remembrance of BCL see the 1998 posting by Arun Kumar at

February 19, 2012: To uncover more information about the LINC exhibit, Maury Pepper recently ran a Google search “LINC” and found the following links:

With respect to the Jerome R Cox, “A History of Small Computers in Medicine: How the LINC and its cousins continue to influence medical computing, November 2, 2011” link, in October 2011, via the Postal Service, I received notice of Dr Cox’s talk. It was a presentation that I was unable to attend and I expect that many of you would like to have attended, but also were not able to do so. Additional enthusiasm on your part may encourage wider dissemination of this presentation, if it is not already planned. If you did not receive the paper mailing, you can find it at In addition, a 35 minute video of this presentation is now (as of February 2012) on YouTube,

Regretfully the audio level on this video is low. I had to increase all my volume controls to the maximum. Be sure to lower your volume controls before you view another video!

Although the static camera stayed with Dr Cox, the Power Point slides from the talk are available here (2.9MB) or you can download/view the PDF version (1.9MB).

While you are at YouTube, also see the 5 minute video, “2011 Alumni Achievement Awards: Jerome Cox, Jr., 2011 Dean’s Award” at:

Revised 24 August 2012

3 thoughts on “Links to history

    • At J. Walter Woodbury’s site there’s a link to an article about the history of the LINC. It was written by Samuel A. Rosenfeld (of NIH) in 1983 on the occasion of the LINC’s 20th anniversary.

      And another by Joe November that was published in 2004. It emphasizes the importance to biological research.

  1. Those seeking the gory details of BCL-CSL history should visit the Becker Library site. Here’s a list of the documents I found:

    Becker Medical Library
    Digital Commons Search at:
    Publications by or about BCL and CSL:
    BCL Progress Reports No. 1 through No. 24 [Nos. 25-29 pending]
    Washington University Magazine, Winter 1966
    Washington University Magazine, Summer 1969
    Washington University Magazine, Summer 1970
    Washington University Magazine, Winter 1970
    Outlook Magazine, Winter 1970
    Washington University Magazine, Fall 1972
    Washington University Magazine, Fall 1973
    Washington University Magazine, Summer 1974
    Washington University Magazine, Winter 1974
    Outlook Magazine, Summer 1975
    Outlook Magazine, June 1978
    Outlook Magazine, Spring 1982
    Washington University Computer Laboratories: A summary of accomplishments of the Washington University Computer Laboratories from 1967 to 1983
    Washington University Magazine and Alumni News, Spring 2000

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