Monroe Calculators in 'Hidden Figures': A Legacy of Precision and Triumph

Monroe Calculators in 'Hidden Figures': A Legacy of Precision and Triumph


Exploring the Role of Monroe Calculators in 'Hidden Figures' and NASA's Space Race

As an employee at Monroe Systems for Business, watching " Hidden Figures" was an experience that resonated with me on multiple levels. The film, which beautifully narrates the story of three African-American women mathematicians at NASA, holds a special significance not only becasue of its historical importance, but because it portrays our Monroe Calculators.

Hidden Figures Movie Poster
Hidden Figures Movie Poster on

The portrayal of these calculators in the film is not just a detail; it's a testament to the real-life impact our products had during a pivotal era in space exploration. Katherine Johnson, one of the brilliant minds at NASA and a central figure in the movie, actually used a Monroe Calculator for her groundbreaking work. This fact, which I learned after reading this blog post written by Joe Amoriello, adds a layer of personal connection and pride as I watched her character meticulously perform calculations that would be crucial for the success of Project Mercury.

Katherine Johnson
The Real Katherine Johnson

The blog post, " NASA Space Travel and the Monroe Calculator" offers an in-depth look at how integral these calculators were in the early days of space travel. It describes the immense pressure and precision required in Johnson's calculations, where even the slightest error could have catastrophic consequences. This historical context made the scenes in "Hidden Figures" where Johnson and her colleagues use Monroe Calculators all the more poignant and meaningful.

Watching "Hidden Figures," I felt a surge of pride seeing our Calculators on the big screen, knowing that they were not just props, but representations of the real tools used by these brilliant mathematicians. The film does an excellent job of blending historical accuracy with its narrative, and for someone from Monroe Systems for Business, it highlights the significance of our products in a monumental period of history.

Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan
Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan

The movie is more than just entertainment; it's a reminder of the barriers these women broke through in a time of racial and gender discrimination. It's also a celebration of how technology, like the Monroe Calculator, played a crucial role in their success. The film, coupled with the insights from our company's blog, paints a complete picture of the era, the challenges, and the triumphs.

Monroe Calculating Machine 1940s
Monroe Calculating Machine, 1940s Used in Movie

"Hidden Figures" is a film that not only tells an important story but also showcases a part of our company's history. It's a powerful reminder of the impact that Monroe Calculators have and the legacy they continue to carry. For anyone interested in learning more about the specific role these calculators played in NASA's missions, I highly recommend reading the insightful blog post by my colleague on the Monroe Systems website and, of course, watching this great film!


Nov 16, 2023 Brandon Leip

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