Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

First Digital Image Ever Created Was Of A Hot Chick, Of Course

from The Atlantic

The Never-Before-Told Story of the World’s First Computer Art (It’s a Sexy Dame)

In the late 1950s, an anonymous IBM employee made a lady from the pages of Esquire come to life on the screen of a $238 million military computer.

sage_pinup.jpg

During a time when computing power was so scarce that it required a government-defense budget to finance it, a young man used a $238 million military computer, the largest such machine ever built, to render an image of a curvy woman on a glowing cathode ray tube screen. The year was 1956, and the creation was a landmark moment in computer graphics and cultural history that has gone unnoticed until now.

Using equipment designed to guard against the apocalypse, a pin-up girl had been drawn.

She was quite probably the first human likeness to ever appear on a computer screen.

She glowed.

sage_petty.jpg

[T]he pin-up program likely dates from 1956 to 1958. The upper end of the year range, 1958, can easily be established because multiple eyewitnesses claim that the diagnostic was present when the first non-test SAGE site went live in New Jersey in early 1958. The lower end of the range, 1956, comes from a compelling piece of cultural evidence.

In 1955, famed pin-up artist George Petty resumed a relationship with Esquire magazine just before his retirement. He illustrated two calendars for the publication, one for 1955 and one for 1956. Each month’s page came accompanied by a lushly illustrated and extremely scantily clad Petty pin-up.

Petty had a way of painting a woman by which she almost appeared nude if not for a sheer, skin-hugging fabric that obscured almost nothing. Such is the case in the December 1956 calendar pin-up, which leaves little besides the woman’s mysteriously absent nipples to the imagination.

[ click to read complete article at The Atlantic ]

Posted on January 31, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »