For the first time, a similar device was invented by the American researcher Douglas Engelbart in 1964, and it was given to patent the device only after 6 years - in 1970. Looking at the photo of the very first computer mouse, modern PC users would hardly recognize the manipulator in it. The design of the progenitor of computer rodents was two perpendicular wheels embedded in a wooden case that had just one button. Each of the wheels moved the cursor in its direction vertically or horizontally, and when combining movement, the cursor moved at any angles. Such an “innovative” gadget cost as much as $ 400 - a lot of money at the time.

first computer mouse

Who created the computer mouse in the modern sense

Engelbart developed the ideas of one of the members of his team - Bill English.In the wheel model invented by him in 1972, the wheels were replaced with a bearing mounted on a metal hanger, which made the manipulator much less massive and easier to control. The number of buttons has also increased - instead of one, there are three. The development of English has become part of the computers manufactured by Xerox, since after leaving the Engelbart team, Bill went to work in this company. When looking at the ball-driven manipulators of Inglish, one can be sure that he, and not Engelbart, was the one who created the first computer mice in their modern sense.

Bill English

Who popularized the computer mouse

The first devices, produced in the 70s - early 80s of the XX century, did not differ in reliability and cost a decent amount of money at that time, so a very small number of computer owners used them. But that all changed thanks to Steve Jobs, who led the development of Macintosh computers at the time. The model created by its employees had a molded case and a clear attachment of all the elements, which made it possible to move from manual assembly to conveyor production of such devices and significantly reduce their cost.Also, the place of bearings in the manipulator was taken by one large ball, which made the use of the device even more convenient. Instead of unreliable electrical contacts, the developers of the Jobs team began using optoelectronic transducers, which made it possible to increase the durability of a computer mouse. This manipulator began to be supplied in a Macintosh kit and, thanks to the incredible popularity of the apple computer, such devices became widely known and became an indispensable component of any PC.

This year marks 50 years since the invention of the first manipulator. During this time, the device has changed a lot and, looking at the photos of modern models, the designs by Engelbart, Inglish and the Steve Jobs team may seem awkward and inconvenient, but we should not forget that it is thanks to these people and their inventions that we can fully use the PC in our time .

Steve Jobs

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