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"I shall not give a detailed description because I thought not suitable to apply this system to the composition of concordances; I will only say that, besides not allowing automatic printing of the concordances, such as can be done with the system hereunder, the rapid selector necessitates on the one hand that all the cards, to be made from the sorted microfilm, be of photosensitive paper, and on the other hand all the different words and forms of each word be previously coded, for the entire text must be translated into numerical symbols by hand" (Busa, published by Engineering Research Associates.
In July 2014 three-dimensional computer graphic images visualizing the Bush differential analyzer were available from the MIT website at this link.
By 1936 Bush was working on the Rapid Arithmetical Machine Project.
This was almost exactly one hundred years after Babbage began designing his Analytical Engine.
In the same paper Bush wrote that four billion punched cards were being used annually in electric tabulating machines.
In (1991) James Nyce and Paul Kahn published a version of "As We May Think" that shows the differences between the two different versions of Bush's essay published in 1945. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Engineering Research Associates of St.
Nyce and Kahn also developed a brief animated film showing how the Memex might have operated. Paul, Minnesota, using funds provided by the Office of Technical Services of the Department of Commerce, began the development of the Rapid Selector machine for the electronic searching of information recorded in reels of microfilm.
From the Foreword I quote: "The incentive for this development arose form a basic need for a more efficient mechanism for organization and dissemination of scientific information.
The facilities of the Department of Agriculture Library and the specialized experience of its Librarian and staff fitted the requirement for a testing agency equipped to handle varied categories of technical data in large volumes.
The project's objective was to develop, within two years, a prototype machine capable of selecting microfilmed business records from microfilm rapidly: A microfilm rapid selector.
Bush's selector was indeed rapid because it took advantage of two new developments: Improved photoelectric cell technology; and the stroboscopic lamp pioneered by his colleague Harold E. By creating a bright flash of light lasting only one-millionth of a second, the stroboscopic lamp made it possible to copy a selected microfilm image "on the fly," without stopping the film (and the search) to make a copy.