“Cray at Chippewa Falls” Photo Book by Lee Friedlander

This photo book is legendary amongst admirers of Cray Research and supercomputing manufacturing at Chippewa Falls. Containing black and white photos of Cray systems being assembled along side scenic views of the town of Chippewa falls. Only rarely available on Ebay along with other company memorabilia.

Front page inscription reads

“To celebrate and commemorate the 15th anniversary of the founding of Cray Research Inc., I commissioned a work of art by renowned photographer Lee Friedlander.
During 1986, Mr Friedlander visited our locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota and created a personal vision of Cray Research through his photography. The photographs have been reproduced as a book that will be presented to you on our companies 15th anniversary, April 6, 1987.
Mr Friedlander was born on July 14th 1934 in Aberdeen, Washington, and currently resides in New York City, New York. He has received numerous fellowships and awards such as the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has mounted solo exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Photographers Gallery, London, Gallery Zabriskie, Paris, Watari Gallery Tokyo. His work is represented in the permanent collections of many museums worldwide. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has made significant commitment to collecting Friedlander works. In addition to 7 portfolios, Mr Friedlander has created 7 books of the photographs. His eighth book is CRAY AT CHIPPEWA FALLS. Signed by John Rollwagen”

Book Size is 12*12 inches ( 30 * 30 CM ) and 90 or so pages.

Cray at Chippewa Falls Book

A couple of sample pictures are included here Copyright remains with Lee Freidlander.

Working on/in and Cray-2
Module inspection


A Preview set of two prints is known to exist

Also known to exist is a two plate preview in a binder with these photos..


Working on a Cray-1
River scene


References to the the book in Cray internal literature.

Searching in the archives found these mentions
The employee gift given in January of 1987 anticipated Cray Research’s 15th anniversary
and was a sample of the Lee Friedlander book Cray at Chippewa Falls
from NEWSLETTER-Gigaflop_Gazette-Volume_6_Number_13-December_27_1991
The company’s fifteenth anniversary was noted by a gift to employees of a beautifully bound photographic
book of Cray at Chippewa Falls by the noted photographer Lee Friedlander. Some employees
in Chippewa Falls did not feel the photos flattered the company and the community and gave them away
or sold them. Time has proven their worth and today they are considered collectors items.
Begin forwarded message:
From: James
Subject: Re: CMoA Tour Guide
Date: 7 October 2021 at 14:49:50 BST
To: Clive 


Hey Clive,
Brilliant tour. Thanks for organising it.
God I nearly choked when I saw the XD-1 … I spent way too much time installing those in India!
Something that I remembered, but the conversation moved on before I could speak. The reason
Lee Friedlander came to Chippewa and photographed the place was because he was a friend of
John Rollwagen’s wife and she asked him to come to Chippewa and photograph the place with the
intention of putting the pictures in a book to give to the employees as a gift to commemorate Cray’s
15th anniversary. Lee Friedlander was a quite well known and highly regarded photographer in
those days and they thought the book would be something special. Unfortunately, as Sonja pointed
out, his art was not that well appreciated by the locals!
Please pass this on to the museum and in the meantime I will continue the search for more lost
Cray memorabilia. I’m certain I have one of those small X-MP models somewhere!!!!
Thanks again.

Also this from “Cray Chips” CRAY_CHIPS-1987-11-12  which is a republished snip from Computer User Magazine along side and cartoon from New Yorker that speaks about the book




Typically these books sell for between $300 to $450 on Ebay.


This article from “Modern Photography” Magazine


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