I am working on (the book proposal for) Teaching Machines, and I plan to include a chapter on Norman A. Crowder, inventor of the TextTutor and AutoTutor.

Image credits: ad in Popular Science, 1961

Much of my research on other twentieth century inventors of teaching machines involves my visiting university archives to see their papers. (I visited The Ohio State University over Spring Break to look at Sidney Pressey’s for example, and I’ve scheduled trips to Harvard and Stanford to see B. F. Skinner’s and Patrick Suppes’s respectively.)

But I’m struggling to find if and where Crowder’s papers exist. (That is, his letters and so on.) He had stints at several universities, including Illinois Technical College. He worked for a while in business at for the military.

Image credits: Paleofuture, writing about the souvenir guide from the 1964 World's Fair

Does anyone have any leads? If so, drop me an email.

Audrey Watters


Teaching Machines: The History of Personalized Learning

Audrey Watters, (MIT Press 2021)

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