I worked at Signetics as an engineer from about 1967 to 1979. One of my tasks in the Signetics MOS marketing group was to create data sheets for new products.
I wrote the 25120 WOM data sheet, copyrighted in 1972, as a lark to see what a Signetics WOM specification might look like. I used a humorous EIMAC specification as a basis. If you look on the last footnote on the 25120 data sheet, I had included, “Due credit to EIMAC for inspiration.”.
I had always admired an EIMAC high powered vacuum tube spoof data sheet put out by Eitel-McCullough,Inc. I saw it when I was a teen Ham Operator and must have memorized it. That was in the late 1940’s. You need the data sheet to see the relevance. It was labeled the Umac 606 and featured a photo of a vacuum tube which sports a plumber’s helper as an anode/plate. The specifications were precious and I adopted them rather freely for the 25120. A sister spoof product, the Wemac 1Z2Z featured a melted down power tube and similar specifications.
I used every semiconductor business inside-witticism I knew plus whatever the MOS Department employees could add. And I used most every funny idea I could lift from the EIMAC data sheet. There isn’t a word on the data sheet that doesn’t have a hidden meaning. I included Department Head Jim Kane’s and Production Head Tom Arrieta’s names in the notes to help make them famous (also IC gurus Yagura, Kashkooli and Converse). My booth mate was Bill Sanderson, he helped with ideas and as a critic. Probably there are a lot of Engineer Jerry Lawson’s contributions too as he was a real comedian with lots of semiconductor experience. He could have invented the WOM concept. He did invent the “SCROM”. I doubt if any one else knows what that is. I’ll add later. (Jerry passed in April, 2011.)
Although the original idea of a WOM is sometimes credited to the appearance of the 1972 data sheet, I don’t know if the term “Write-Only-Memory” or WOM necessarily originated with us, but we gave it a number and a life. We passed the Write-Only-Memory data sheet around the office and to our salesmen and found it had possibilities. At a minimum it was an ice breaker. The spoof data sheet was included in the Signetics data book intentionally.
Our PR guy, Roy Twitty, caught the fever and prepared a hilarious press release to hit April 1, 1973. That spoof conferred the title of Dr. on me, everything else is surely accurate. The only copy I have looks like a draft because of a number of typos that proof reading would have caught.