Do Not Spindle, Fold or Mutilate

By Tom Bingham

November 2016

Having served just under 38 years with Boeing, I will tell of my oldest experience as an engineering aide during my junior year (1974) at the University of Washington. I was invited to join what was then called the "summer hire" program.

I worked on the 727 program helping with fuselage design. These were the infancy days of finite element analysis in which we used a Boeing-written FORTRAN program called SAMACS (not sure about the acronym anymore) to design the structure. The program was run on a Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6600 mainframe computer in Renton, Wash. It resided in what was then called the 10-85 building, which sadly no longer exists, having later been damaged in an earthquake.

In those days, all data was entered through a keypunch machine, which allowed one line of data on a single punched card with dimensions of 7 3/8 inches by 3 1/4 inches. You can imagine the boxes upon boxes of cards that defined the airplane structure. If any data entry problems were found, the offending card had to be duplicated on a new card up to the error, corrected in the location of the error and finally the balance of the card duplicated to the new one. That was one form of copy/paste during that era.

The summer of 1974 ended, but not the relationships I made. My lead engineer was named Jack McGuire, who later became a Boeing vice president. I got to work under him again while serving in what was then called Boeing Materials Technology. However, the largest part of my career was shared between Quality Assurance and the Boeing Mathematics group.

Boeing has been a wonderful company, and it still serves me well in retirement, providing me income as I volunteer tutoring mathematics and science in India to the lowest caste, which has little hope without assistance. I will always be proud of investing my working career for a company that has provided so much for so many.