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Computer History Timeline I

CA. 500 - 1979


ca. 500 In Egypt the bead-and-wire abacus was invented to add and subtract numbers.
1502 Peter Henlein, a craftsman from Nuremberg Germany, creates the first watch.
1617 John Napier introduced a system called "Napier’s Bones," made from horn, bone or ivory the device allowed the capability of multiplying by adding numbers and dividing by subtracting.
1622 The circular slide rule is invented by William Oughtred.
1623 The first known workable mechanical calculating machine is invented by Germany’s Wilhelm Schickard.
1642 France’s Blaise Pascal invents a machine, called the Pascaline, that can add, subtract, and carry between digits.
1674 Germany’s Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz creates a machine that can add, subtract, multiply and divide automatically.
1774 The first telegraph is built.
1780 American Benjamin Franklin discovers electricity.
1804 France’s Joseph-Marie Jacquard completes his fully automated loom that is programmed by punched cards.
1820 Thomas de Colmar creates the first reliable, useful and commercially successful calculating machine.
1831 Joseph Henry of Princeton invents the first working telegraph.
1838 Samuel Morse invents a code (later called Morse code) that used different numbers to represent the letters of the English alphabet and the then digits.
1851 Western Union was founded.
1866 The first successful Trans-Atlantic cable is laid from Ireland to Newfoundland.
1868 Christopher Sholes invents the typewriter in the United States utilizing the QWERTY keyboard.
1875 Tanaka Seizo-sho is established in Japan and later merges with another company called shibaura Seisaku-sho to form Tokyo Shibarura Denki. Later this company’s name is shortened to the company that we know today, Toshiba.
1876 American Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
1877 The microphone is invented in the United States by Emile Berliner.
1880 ASME is founded.
1883 American Thomas Edison discovers the Edison effect, in which a electric current flows through a vacuum.
1885 American Telegraph and Telephone company (AT&T) is incorporated.
1888 William S. Burroughs patents a printing adding machine.
1896 Herman Hollerith starts the Tabulating Machine Company, the company later becomes the well-known computer company IBM (International Business machines).
1901 The first radio message is sent across the Atlantic Ocean in Morse code.
1903 American Nikola Tesla a student of Thomas Edison, patents the electrical logic circuits which later to become a crucial addition to subtraction and multiplication machines.
1911 Company now known as IBM on is incorporated June 15, 1911 in the state of New York  as the Computing - Tabulating  - Recording Company (C-T-R), a consolidation of  the Computing Scale Company, and The International Time Recording Company.
1920 Czech playwright Karel Capek coins the term "robot"
1920 First radio broadcasting begins in United States, Pittsburgh, PA.
1921 The first Radio Shack store is open.
1924 The Tabulating Machine Company is renamed to IBM.
1927 The first publicly demonstrated TV is demonstrated at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
1928 September 25, 1928, The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation begins, the company will later be known as Motorola.
1930 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation Auto radios begin to be sold as an accessory for the automobile. Paul Galvin coins the name Motorola for the company's new products, linking the ideas of motion and radio.
1930 Citizen is founded.
1933 Canon is established.
1934 The US Communication Act goes into place.
1936 Dvorak keyboard developed.
1938 Germany’s Konrad Zuse creates the Z1, one of the first binary digital computers and a machine that could be controlled through a punch tape.
1938 Orson Welles and Houseman broadcast H.G. Welles War of the Worlds on the airways October 30th as a Halloween spoof.  
1939 George Stibitz completes the Complex Number Calculator capable of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing complex numbers. This device provides a foundation for digital computers.
1939 The first Radio Shack catalog is published.
1939 Iowa State College’s John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry create a prototype of the binary-based ABC (Atanasoft-Berry Computer). This device is often considered the first automatic digital computer.
1939 Hewlett Packard is found by William Hewlett and David Packard.
1940 The first handheld two-way radio called the "Handy Talkie" is created by Motorola for the U.S. Army Signal Control.
1941 German Konrad Zuse finishes the Z3, a fully operational calculating machine.
1942 Blaise Pascal's creates the Pascaline calculating machine.
1943 ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first general-purpose electronic digital calculator begins to be constructed. This computer by most is considered to be the first electronic computer.
1943 Dan Noble with Motorola designs a "Walkie Talkie" the first portable FM two-way radio that a backpack version that weighed 35 pounds.
1944 The relay-based Harvard-IBM MARK I a large programmable-controlled calculating machine provides vital calculations for the U.S. Navy. Grace Hopper becomes its programmer.
1945 The term ‘bug’ as computer bug was termed by Grace Hopper when programming the MARK II.
1946 F.C. Williams applies for a patent on his cathode-ray tube (CRT) storing device, an original form of random-access memory (RAM).
1946 ENIAC computer completed.
1947 John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley invents the first transistor
1947 F.C. Williams memory system is now in working order.
1947 ISO is founded.
1948 IBM builds the SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator). The computer contains 12,000 tubes.
1948 Andreew Donald Booth creates magnetic drum memory, which is two inches long and two inches wide and capable of holding 10 bits per inch.
1948 The 604 multiplying punch, based upon the vacuum tube technology, is produced by IBM.
1948 The television begins to divert radio audiences.
1949 Claude Shannon builds the first machine that plays chess at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1949 The Harvard-MARK III, the first of the MARK machines to use an internally stored program and indirect addressing, goes into operations again under the direction of Howard Aiken.
1949 The small-scale electronic machine (SSEM) is fully operational at Manchester University.
1950 The first electronic computer is created in Japan by Hideo Yamachito.
1950 The enhanced Z4 is installed by Konrad Suse
1950 The NICAD battery begins its commercial use.
1951 The first business computer, the Lyons Electronic Office (LEO) is completed by T. Raymond Thompson, John Simmons and their team at Lyons Co.
1951 The first commercial computer, the "First Ferranti MARK I" is now functional at Manchester University.
1951 The first ISO is published with the title, "Standard reference temperature for industrial length measurement".
1951 UNIVAC I was introduced.
1952 Fairly reliable working magnetic drum memories for use in computers begin to be sold by Andrew Donald Booth and his father.
1952 IBM introduces the first IBM 701.
1952 The Moore school completes a finished version of the EDVAC, with a clock speed of one megahertz.
1953 A magnetic memory smaller and faster than existing vacuum tube memories is built at MIT.
1953 The IBM 701 becomes available to the scientific community. A total of 19 are produced and sold.
1954 IBM produces and markets the IBM 650. More than 1,800 of these computers are sold in an eight-year span
1954 The first version of FORTRAN (formula translator) is published by IBM.
1955 Dartmouth College’s John McCarthy coins the term "artificial intelligence."
1955 IBM introduces the first IBM 702.
1955 Bell Labs introduces its first transistor computer. Transistors are faster, smaller and create less heat than traditional vacuum tubs, making these computers more reliable and efficient.
1955 The ENIAC is turned off for the last time. It’s estimated to have done more arithmetic than the entire human race had done prior to 1945.
1956 IBM’s 3005 RAMAC is the first computer to be shipped with a hard disk drive.
1957 Digital Equipment Corporation is founded by Kenneth Olsen. The company will later become a major network computer manufacture.
1957 Russia launches the first artificial satellite, named sputnik.
1957 Casio is established.
1958 The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics is renamed to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
1958 The programming language FORTRAN II is created. Later FORTRAN III is created but never released to the public.
1958 President Eisenhower’s Christmas address is the first voice transmission from a satellite.
1959 The Harvard-MARK I is turned off for the last time.
1959 Motorola produces the two-way, fully transistorized mobile radio.
1960 IBM’s 1400 series machines, aimed at the business market begin to be distributed.
1960 The Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) programming language is invented.
1960 Psychologist Frank Rosenblatt creates the Mark I Perception, which has an "eye" that can learn to identify its ABCs.
1960 IFIP is founded.
1961 Hewlett-Packard stock is accepted by the New York Stock Exchange for national and international trading.
1961 General Motors puts the first industrial robot – the 4,000 pound Unimate – to work in a New Jersey factory.
1961 The programming language FORTRAN IV is created.
1962 The NASA rocket, the Mariner II, is equipped with a Motorola transmitter on it strip to Venus.
1963 Doug Engelbart invents and patents the first computer mouse.
1963 IEEE is founded.
1963 The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is developed to standardize data exchange among computers.
1964 Dartmouth University’s John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz develop Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Language (BASIC).
1964 The first computerized encyclopedia is invented at the Systems Development Corporation.
1965 Ted Nelson coins the term "hypertext," which refers to text that is not necessarily linear.
1965 Engineers at TRW Corporation develop a Generalized Information Retrieval Language and System which later develops to the Pick Database Management System used today on Unix and Windows systems.
1965 Texas Instruments develops the transistor-transistor logic (TTL).
1966 MIT’s Joseph Weizenbaum writes a program called ELIZA, that makes the computer act as a psychotherapist.
1966 Stephen Gray establishes the first personal computer club, the Amateur Computer Society
1967 IBM creates the first floppy disk.
1967 The LOGO programming language is developed and is later known as "turtle graphics," a simplified interface useful for teaching children computers.
1968 Intel Corporation is founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore.
1968 Seiko markets a miniature printer for use with calculators.
1968 Sony invents trinitron.
1969 Control Data Corporation led by Seymour Cray, release the CDC 7600, considered by most to be the first supercomputer.
1969 AT&T Bell Laboratories develop Unix.
1969 The first RFC is created on April 7, 1969.
1969 Gary Starkweather, while working with Xerox invents the laser printer.
1969 The U.S. Department of Defense sets up the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET ) this network was the first building blocks to what the internet is today.
1969 CompuServe, the first commercial online service, is established.
1969 AMD is founded.
1970 Intel announces the 1103, a new memory chip containing more than 1,000 bits of information. This chip is classified as random-access memory (RAM).
1970 The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) is established to perform basic computing and electronic research.
1970 The forth programming language is created by Charles H. Moore.
1970 The first ATM is demonstrated and used in Georgia.
1970 U.S. Department of Defense develops ada a computer programming language capable of designing missile guidance systems.
1970 Intel introduces the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004.
1970 The Sealed Lead Acid battery begins being used for commercial use.
1971 The first 8" floppy diskette drive was introduced
1971 FTP is first purposed.
1971 Niklaus Wirth invents the Pascal programming language.
1971 Intel develops the the first processor, the 4004
1972 Atari releases Pong, the first commercial video game.
1972 The programming language FORTRAN 66 is created.
1972 Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs invents the C programming language.
1972 The compact disc is invented in the United States.
1973 Robert Metcalfe creates the Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
1973 Interactive laser discs make their debut.
1973 The ICCP is founded.
1974 Intel’s improved microprocessor chip, the 8080 becomes a standard in the microcomputing industry.
1974 The first Toshiba floppy disk drive is introduced.
1974 The IBM MVS operating system is introduced.
1975 MITS ships one of the first PCs, the Altair 8800 with one kilobyte (KB) of memory. The computer is ordered as a mail-order kit for $397.00
1975 Paul Allen and Bill Gates write the first computer language program for personal computers, which is a form of BASIC designed for the Altair. Gates later drops out of Harvard and founds Microsoft with Allen.
1975 The Byte Shop, one of the first computer stores, open in California.
1975 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs found Apple Computer.
1976 The first 5.25-inch floppy disk is invented.
1976 Microsoft introduces an improved version of BASIC.
1976 The first convention of computer hobbyist clubs is held in New Jersey.
1976 The Intel 8086 is introduced.
1976 Xerox develops the widely used networking protocol Ethernet.
1977 Ward Christansen develops a popular modem transfer modem called Xmodem.
1977 Apple Computer Inc., Radio Shack and Commodore all introduce mass-market computers.
1977 ARCNET the first commercially network is developed 
1977 Apple Computer’s Apple II, the first personal computer with color graphics is demonstrated.
1977 Commodore announces that the PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) will be a self-contained unit, with a CPU, RAM, ROM, keyboard, monitor and tape recorder all for $495.00
1977 Microsoft sells the license for BASIC to Radio Shack and Apple and introduces the program in Japan.
1978 Epson introduces the TX-80, which becomes the first successful dot matrix printer for personal computers.
1978 OSI is developed by ISO.
1978 Microsoft introduces a new version of COBOL.
1978 The 5.25-inch floppy disk becomes an industry standard.
1978 Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss have the first major microcomputer bulletin board up and running in Chicago.
1979 Software Arts Incorporated VisiCalc becomes the first electronic spreadsheet and business program for PCs.
1979 Epson releases the MX-80 which soon becomes an industry standard for dot matrix printers.
1979 Texas Instruments enters the computer market with the TI 99/4 personal computer that sells for $1,500.
1979 Hayes markets its first modem which becomes the industry standard for modems.
1979 Atari introduces a coin-operated version of Asteroids.
1979 More then half a million computers are in use in the United States.
1979 3COM is founded.
1979 The programming language DoD-1 is officially changed to Ada.
1979 The Motorola 6800 is released and is later chosen as the processor for the Apple Macintosh.
1979 The Intel 8088 is released.
1979 Phoenix is founded.
1979 VMS is introduced.
1979 Usenet is first started
1979 Bit 3 is established.
1979 Novell Data System is established as a operating system manufacturer. Later in 1983 the company becomes the Novell company.

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