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The Never-Before-Told Story of the World's First Computer Art (It's a Sexy Dame) - Benj Edwards - The Atlantic

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Viewing this ancient digital artwork today, one naturally wonders who created it. "I remember at the time that everybody knew it was done by an IBM programmer," recalls Tipton. Robert Martina, a veteran of early SAGE installations in the 1950s, agrees with Tipton. "IBM guys were supposed to be so straight. They weren't," he adds with a laugh. But no one seems to recall who exactly at IBM created it.

Going by accounts from Tipton and others, the 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.

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