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Desk Set EMERAC arrives
by Critical Commons Manager `

The gender dynamics of first generation corporate computing is in evidence in this clip from the IBM sponsored Desk Set from 1957. Katherine Hepburn's character, Bunny Watson (transparently named after IBM founder and CEO Thomas J. Watson), plays the head of the research department in a large, unnamed corporation where two computer systems are being installed to manage the accounting and research efforts of the company. This scene reflects the anxieties of workers who feared being "replaced" by machines - exacerbated when the computer installed in the accounting office "mistakenly" sends pink slips to all employees.

This Commentary is related to the following Clips:
Desk Set digital humanities preview by Walter Lang (1957) A prescient vision of the digital humanities from 1957 - the complete text of Hamlet distilled via code to a stack of punch cards
Desk Set EMERAC arrives by Walter Lang (1957) The EMERAC computer arrives on the scene of Desk Set, prompting anxieties about imminent layoffs among the research staff.