Female computers at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory copy pressure readings from rows of manometers below the 18- by 18-inch Supersonic Wind Tunnel. The computers obtained test data from the manometers and other instruments, made the initial computations, and plotted the information graphically. Based on these computations, the researchers planned their next test or summarized their findings in a report.
Manometers were mercury-filled glass tubes that were used to indicate different pressure levels from inside the test facility or from the test article. Manometers look and function very similarly to thermometers. Dozens of pressure sensing instruments were installed for each test. Each was connected to a manometer tube located inside the control room. The mercury inside the manometer rose and fell with the pressure levels. The dark mercury can be seen in this photograph at different levels within the tubes. Since this activity was dynamic, it was necessary to note the levels at given points during the test. This was done using both computer notations and photography.