The Mathematical Tables Project
Before the advent of computers, people created mathematical tables to compute complex calculations and formulas. The WPA's groundbreaking Mathematical Tables Project, which began in 1938 in New York City, employed hundreds of workers to mass-calculate the tables. Twenty-eight volumes of mathematical information were published, including navigation tables used by the Navy in World War II. The work was so valuable that the program was absorbed into the National Bureau of Standards in 1948.