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This article is about the Burrough Corporation. Other famous people with the surname of Burroughs include:

The Burroughs Corporation began in 1886 as the American Arithmometer Company in St. Louis selling an adding machine invented by William Seward Burroughs.

The company moved to Detroit in 1904 and changed its name to the Burroughs Adding Machine Company, in honor of Burroughs, who died in 1898. Burroughs grew into the biggest adding machine company in America, although by the 1950s it was selling more than the basic adding machines, including typewriters and computers.

In 1953 the Burroughs Adding Machine Company was renamed the Burroughs Corporation and began moving into computer products, initially for banking institutions.

The Burroughs Corporation developed at least two highly innovative architectures:

  • The "Burroughs large systems" machines starting with the B5000 in 1961 were stack machines designed to be programmed in an extended Algol 60. Their operating systems, called MCP (Master Control Program - the name later borrowed by the screenwriters for Tron), were programmed in ESPOL (Executive Systems Programming Oriented Language, a minor extension of Algol) almost a decade before Unix, and the command interface developed into a compiled structured language with procedures called WFL (Work Flow Language).
  • Burroughs produced a series of minicomputers starting with the B1700 that were designed to be microprogrammed, with each process potentially getting its own virtual machine designed to be the best match to the programming language chosen for the application being run.

Burroughs Corporation was always a distant second to IBM commercially if not technologically.

Burroughs was one of the eight major computer companies (with IBM - the largest, Honeywell, Scientific Data Systems, Control Data Corporation, General Electric, RCA and Univac) through most of the 1960s. In September 1986, Burroughs Corporation merged with Sperry Corporation to form Unisys Corporation.

Last updated: 01-28-2005 06:20:29
Last updated: 02-11-2005 17:47:38