Sperry Corporation (1910−1986) was a significant American equipment and electronics company whose existence spanned a lot more than seven decades of the 20th century. Through some mergers it exists today as part of Unisys, although some other of its former divisions became part of Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, and Northrop Grumman.
The company is most beneficial referred to as the developer of the artificial horizon and a multitude of other gyroscope-based aviation instruments like autopilots, bombsights, analog ballistics computers and gyro gunsights. In the post-WWII era they branched out into electronics, both aviation related, and later, computers.
The business was founded in 1910 by Elmer Ambrose Sperry, as the Sperry Gyroscope Company, to manufacture navigation equipment, chiefly his own inventions-the marine gyrostabilizer and the gyrocompass, at 40 Flatbush Avenue Extension in Downtown Brooklyn. During World War I the business diversified into aircraft pieces including bomb sights and fire control systems. Within their early decades, Sperry Gyroscope and related companies were concentrated on Long Island, NY, especially in Nassau County. Through the years, it diversified to other locations.
In 1918, Lawrence Sperry split from his father to compete over aero-instruments with the Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company, like the new automated pilot. Following the death of Lawrence on December 13, 1923, both businesses were brought together in 1924. Then in 1929 it had been acquired by UNITED STATES Aviation. The business again became independent in 1933 as the Sperry Corporation. The brand new corporation was a holding company for several smaller entities including the original Sperry Gyroscope, Ford Instrument Company, Intercontinental Aviation, Inc., and others. The business made advanced aircraft navigation equipment for the marketplace, like the Sperry Gyroscope and the Sperry Radio Direction Finder.
Sperry supported the task of several Stanford University inventors, led by Russell and Sigurd Varian, who had invented the klystron, and incorporated this technology and related inventions to their products.
The business prospered during World War II as military demand skyrocketed, ranking 19th in our midst corporations in the worthiness of wartime production contracts. It specialized in high technology devices such as for example analog computer-controlled bomb sights, airborne radar systems, and automated take-off and landing systems. Sperry also was the creator of the Ball Turret Gun mounted beneath the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, as commemorated by the film Memphis Belle and the poem The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner. Postwar, the business expanded its interests in electronics and computing, making the business’s first digital computer, SPEEDAC, in 1953.
During the 1950s, a huge part of Sperry Gyroscope moved to Phoenix, Arizona and soon became the Sperry Flight Systems Company. This is to preserve elements of this defense company in case of a nuclear war. The Gyroscope division remained headquartered in New York-in its massive Lake Success, Long Island, plant (which also served as the non permanent US headquarters from 1946 to 1952)-into the 1980s.