Helmut Hoelzer Papers, 1946-1983. Finding Aid.
Helmut Hoelzer papers
Hoelzer, Helmut, 1912-
1 box (0.2
Language: German, with some materials
translated into English
Collection contains photocopies of
correspondence, publications, Hoelzer's Ph.D. dissertation (in German), and
drawings, all which were given to James Tomayko in preparation for an oral
history and a publication. The material details Hoelzer's conception of a fully
electronic analog computer which was developed in Peenemunde, Germany, during
World War II. Portions of the published articles have been translated from
German to English by Hoelzer.
University of Minnesota Libraries.
Charles Babbage Institute.
Access and Use
The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Helmut
Hoelzer in 1985.
Access to the collection is unrestricted.
CBI holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for
items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers
may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright
law (Title 17, U.S. Code).
Helmut Hoelzer Papers (CBI 33), Charles Babbage Institute, University
of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Helmut Hoelzer was born in Bad Liebenstein, Germany, on February 27,
1912. He received his BS (1935), MS in electronics (1939), and Ph.D. in
mathematics and natural sciences (1946) from the Institute of Technology in
Darmstadt, Germany. From 1939-1960, Hoelzer worked with Wernher von Braun on
rocket development in Germany (1939-1945) and later in the United States at
Fort Bliss, Texas (1946-1950). Hoelzer was appointed director of the
Computation Laboratory for the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency in 1950.
In 1960, he became director of the Computation Laboratory at NASA's
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The laboratory managed the
use of high-speed electronic computers, automation devices, and mathematical
techniques for all phases of launch and space vehicle payload research,
development, fabrication, and testing. Hoelzer's contributions include original
proposals for missile control, remote control and guidance systems, and an
all-electronic analog computer.
Hoelzer was recognized for his contributions to electronic computer
developments and guided missile and launch vehicle technology with the U.S.
Army's Exceptional Civilian Service Decoration in April 1959 and the NASA Medal
for Exceptional Service in 1969. After retiring from civil service in 1973,
Hoelzer worked on the Skylab project in Europe until 1976. He returned to the
United States and served as a computer consultant for T.V.A. before becoming
the Executive Vice President of International Aerospace Technologies, Inc. in
Collection Scope and Content Note
The collection contains photocopies of correspondence, publications,
Hoelzer's Ph.D. dissertation, and drawings, all which were given to James
Tomayko in preparation for an oral history and a publication. The materials
detail Hoelzer's conception of a fully electronic analog computer, which was
developed in Peenemunde, Germany, during World War II. Tomayko later published
an article on Hoelzer's work on the development of an analog computer in the
Annals of the History of Computing. The collection also includes a copy of
Hoelzer's dissertation, Application of Electrical
Networks to the Solution of Differential Equations and to the Stabilization of
Control Systems, as well as the section that was eliminated from the
final version because of references to weapons development.
Dissertation and publications are written in German. Portions of the
published articles have been translated from German to English by Hoelzer.
- This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog
of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about
related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these
- Hoelzer, Helmut, 1912-
- Electronic analog computers.
- Flight control.
- Guided missiles--Control
Box and Folder List
Tomayko letter and exhibits 1-4, 1946-1983. Box 1, Folder 1
Note Hoelzer wrote a letter with seven exhibits in response to
questions that Dr. James Tomayko had regarding Hoelzer's development of an
analog computer in Germany in 1941.
Exhibits 5-7, 1950-1975. Box 1, Folder 2
Biographical material on Hoelzer, 1972-1983. Box 1, Folder 2
Note Consists of a NASA press release about Hoelzer in 1972 with an
additional sheet on which Hoelzer included as an update on activities until