Charles Eames Graphic Time Line on the History of Mathematicians -- Prepared For IBM
A remarkable mathematical time line, designed for IBM by the Office of Charles Eames. As noted in the introduction:
This is a chronological view of mathematics as seen through the biographies of some great mathematicians . . . Pictures and words that surround the biographies give clues to the kinds of attitudes and events that influenced the development of mathematics and mathematicians.
Eames first major project of note for IBM was Mathematica: A World of Numbers... and Beyond (1961), which was sponsored by IBM, and is the only Eames exhibitions still extant. The Mathematica exhibition is still considered a model for science popularization exhibitions.
In 1966, five years after the opening of the Mathematica Exhibit, IBM published a 2-by-12-foot timeline poster, titled Men of Modern Mathematics. It was based on the items displayed on the exhibit's History Wall . . . The graphic featured biographical and historical vignettes, along with numerous pictures showing progress in various areas of science, including architecture. This poster is described in detail in "Eames Design" by John and Marilyn Neuhart and Ray Eames (page 311):
Produced for the IBM Corporation, the . . . timeline is a slightly modified, printed version of the History Wall from the Mathematica exhibition. It is printed on one wide 48- by- 73.5-inch perforated sheet, which was meant to be separated horizontally into two, attached together, and made into a wall chart 2 feet wide by 12 feet 2.875 inches long. Twenty color runs were required to print the chart.
The title graphic on the chart describes the printed timeline (in keeping with the original History Wall) as a 'chronological view of mathematics as seen through the biographies of some great mathematicians.' Its subject is the development of mathematics in the Western world from 1100 to 1950. The biographies, separated into life and work sections and include portraits and text, were adapted from the original History Wall. Illustrations and text blocks describing significant historical and cultural events surround the biographical panels, and illustrations with captions outlining major historical milestones are positioned on the lower section of the chart as a general reference.
As in the exhibition's History Wall, the biographies and mathematical notes were researched and written by Raymond Redheffer of the Department of Mathematics at UCLA. IBM has distributed the chart to schools since 1966.
An exceptional artifact from the days of one of the most successful Corporate Design Programs in history: when IBM decided they needed to update their look, they turned the work over to Paul Rand, Charles Eames, George Nelson, Edgar Kaufmann and Eliot Noyes. They did a good job.
In 2012, IBM Corporation released a free iPad application, Minds of Modern Mathematics, based on the poster but updated to the present, including expanded coverage of women mathematicians. The app was developed by IBM with the assistance of the Eames Office.
Charles Ormond Eames, Jr. (1907–1978) and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" Kaiser Eames (1912–1988) were an American married team of industrial designers who made significant historical contributions to the development of modern architecture and furniture through the work of The Eames Office. Among their most well-known designs is the Eames Lounge Chair.
They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art, and film. Charles was the mouthpiece and public face of the Eames Office but Ray and Charles worked together as creative partners and employed a diverse creative staff.
From 1943 to 1988, the Eames Office operated from a former automotive garage locatged at 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, Los Angeles, California.
The Eames' were bolstered by the royalties from Herman Miller for their early furniture designs. Through the years, they employed notable designers, including Henry Beer and Richard Foy, now co-chairmen of CommArts, Inc.; Don Albinson; Deborah Sussman; Annette Del Zoppo; Peter Jon Pearce; Harry Bertoia; and Gregory Ain, who was Chief Engineer for the Eameses during World War II.
The Eameses also conceived and designed a number of exhibitions. The first of these, Mathematica: A World of Numbers... and Beyond (1961), was sponsored by IBM, and is the only one of their exhibitions still extant. The Mathematica exhibition is still considered a model for science popularization exhibitions. It was followed by A Computer Perspective: Background to the Computer Age (1971) and The World of Franklin and Jefferson (1975–1977), among others.