John Joseph Lynott
Born August 25, 1921 - April 20, 1994
Direct Access Magnetic Disc Storage Device
Patent #: 3,503,060
John Lynott and William Goddard, together with Louis Stevens and a team of engineers, invented a unique magnetic disk storage device at the IBM Lab in San Jose in the 1950s. The magnetic disk drive replaced data stored on punch cards and magnetic tape with almost instant, direct access storage and retrieval.Invention Impact
The magnetic disk drive consisted
of a stack of closely spaced, magnetically-coated disks mounted on a
rotating shaft, with read-write heads which did not physically touch the
storage surface. Lynott and Goddard key contribution was the air-bearing
head, which “floated” very close to the rotating disks without actually
touching, greatly increased the speed of access.
Born in Johnson City, New York, Lynott attended Syracuse University. He earned 25 patents for his work in mass-data storage during his 27-year career at IBM.