The Williams tube won the race for a practical random-access memory
The term "Williams Tube" was coined by the Americans and has been used universally since (up to 1998) to refer to the family of storage devices based on the Williams-Kilburn patents. It was never called the Williams Tube in the early papers by Williams and Kilburn.
Only the provisional patent of December 1946 was taken out in Freddie Williams' name alone; all the other patents had both names on. Tom Kilburn was able to work full time on the development that took place throughout 1947, whereas Freddie Williams, as head of a Department, had many other duties. Also it was Tom Kilburn who by March, having got the original experiment transported to Manchester and back into working order, observed that there were better methods than the "anticipation" method.
Tom Kilburn contributed most of the work and much of the new ideas in 1947, and produced the key document at the end of 1947 that was influential in other groups adopting the Williams-Kilburn CRT Store (most notably IBM).
Related Items in the Collection:
Click on the Images