Year Keyword Event  and Description
1000 it ma Computer K The Indian mathematician Sridhara recognizes the importance of the zero. 
1041 it o Print C Movable type for printing will be used in the next 8 years by the Chinese printer Pi Sheng, who will use hundreds of clay blocks bearing Chinese ideograms. 
1202 it ma Computer K Liber Abaci by Italian traveler-mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci (Leonardo da Pisa) introduces Europe to Arabic numerals from North Africa and the zero from India, making calculation much easier than with Roman numerals.  
1250 it ma Computer K The Crusaders have introduced Arabic numerals and the Arabic decimal system, both of Indian origin, to Europe (see 1202). 
1642 it ma oa K French mathematical prodigy Blaise Pascal, 19, invents a machine that adds and subtracts using wheels numbered from 0 to 9 with an ingenious ratchet mechanism to carry the 1 of a number greater than 9. Pascal has made the machine to help his father compute taxes at Rouen (see 1692). 
1692 it ma oa K A calculating machine invented by German philosopher-mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, 45, multiplies by repeated addition and divides as well as doing the adding and subtracting performed by the 1642 Blaise Pascal machine. Leibniz employs a stepped drum to mechanize the calculation of trigonometric and astronomical tables (see Babbage, 1833). 
1801 it c Silk K The automatic Jacquard loom developed by French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard, 49, employs punched cards to guide the movements of a loom that weaves figured silk fabrics and will later be used for making figured worsteds. It encounters initial resistance from weavers fearful of being displaced but will gain acceptance within the decade. France will have 11,000 Jacquard looms in operation by 1812. 
1831 it t Telegraph C Telegraphy is pioneered by Joseph Henry who sees that an electromagnet can be used to send messages over great distances by wiring the magnet to a switch, turning it on and off to attract and release a piece of iron, and thus producing a pattern of clicks. Henry exhibits his 14-inch-long device at Albany, N.Y., transmitting signals over more than a mile of wire, but does not patent the device or put it to any practical use (see Morse, 1832). 
1832 it t Telegraph C New York University art professor Samuel F. B. Morse begins development of an electric telegraph that will speed communication (1827, 1837; Henry, 1831). 
1833 it c Computer K English mathematician Charles Babbage, 41, proposes an “analytical engine,” a large-scale digital calculator that will go far beyond a “difference engine” he proposed in 1822. Babbage will obtain some government financial support to develop his calculator but will finance the work largely with his own fortune. 
1837 it t Telegraph C Samuel F. B. Morse gives a public demonstration of his magnetic telegraph and is granted a U.S. patent September 23
1839 it t Telegraph O Telegraph pioneer Samuel F. B. Morse makes the first Daguerrotype portraits to be produced in America. He returns from a visit to Paris with the process he has learned from Daguerre and teams up with English-American physician-scientist John William Draper, 28, who will make important contributions to photography, photochemistry, radiant energy, and the electric telegraph (see 1837; telegraph line, 1843). 
1842 it c Computer K The British government rejects the calculating machine on which Charles Babbage has been working since 1833 after it has advanced £17,000 to help Babbage develop the machine (he has spent some £20,000 of his own capital). Prime Minister Robert Peel has joked, “How about setting the machine to calculate the time at which it will be of use?” but an Italian engineer publishes an account of Babbage’s “difference engine” in French and it is read by Augusta Ada Lovelace, 27, the only legitimate daughter of the late Lord Byron, who sees possibilities in Babbage’s calculator, translates the account into English, has it published over her initials A. A. L. in Taylor’s Scientific Memoirs, and shows the translation to Babbage. He asks why she did not write an original paper and Lady Lovelace responds with an extension of the Italian’s paper that is three times longer, corrects some serious errors in Babbage’s own work, and compares his machine with the Jacquard loom of 1801 which is also programmed with punched cards. “It weaves algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves,” she writes, but Babbage and Lady Lovelace will lose heavily with an “infallible” betting system for horse races that employs the “difference engine” (see Burroughs, 1888). 
1843 it o OfficeAutomation C The typewriter patented by Worcester, Mass., inventor Charles Thurber, 40, is a hand-printing “chirographer” with a cylinder that moves horizontally and contains a device for letter spacing (see Sholes, 1867). 
1843 it t Telegraph C Congress appropriates $30,000 to enable Samuel F. B. Morse to build an experimental telegraph line between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore (see 1837). He obtains help from Ithaca, N.Y., miller Ezra Cornell, 36, and Rochester, N.Y., banker-businessman Hiram Sibley, 36, and proceeds to construct the world’s first long-distance telegraph line (see 1844). 
1845 it t Telegraph C The telegraphic Morse code developed by Andrew Vail in 1837 will soon come into universal use as Charles Wheatstone and W. F. Cooke in England have a falling out as to who shall receive chief credit for the improved single-key telegraph to which they are granted patent rights (see 1837, 1844; Electric Telegraph Co., 1846; Western Union, 1856). 
1855 it t Telegraph C Congress authorizes a telegraph line to link the Mississippi River with the Pacific Coast and commissions James Eddy
1856 it t Western Union C Western Union is chartered as an amalgamation of small U.S. telegraph companies by Ezra Cornell and Hiram Sibley who financed Samuel F. B. Morse in 1844. Sibley organized the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Co. in 1851, and he becomes president of the new Western Union whose facilities will be greatly expanded (see 1859). 
1857 it t Telegraph T Congress passes an Overland California Mail bill; John Butterfield of American Express organizes an Overland Mail Co. (see 1850). He wins the government contract to carry mail from St. Louis to San Francisco via Little Rock, El Paso, Tucson, Yuma, and Los Angeles using the route pioneered in large part by Philip Cooke’s Mormon Battalion in 1847 (see 1858). 
1861 it t Western Union C A Western Union telegraph line opens between New York and San Francisco, one of whose hills will hereafter be called Telegraph Hill. The wire has been strung across the continent despite opposition from hostile tribes and Confederate sympathizers who have tried to prevent it, and it brings an end to the money-losing Pony Express started last year by William Hepburn Russell (see Holladay, 1862). 
1866 it e Siemens U Telegraph pioneer Werner von Siemens develops the first practical dynamo-electrical machine (see 1847). It permits production of electricity in great quantity.  
1866 it t Western Union C Western Union Telegraph absorbs two smaller telegraph companies to gain control of 75,000 miles of wire and become the first great U.S. industrial monopoly. 
1868 it o OfficeAutomation C A patent for a typewriter is issued to Christopher Sholes, Carlos G. Glidden, and Samuel W. Soule (see Sholes, 1867).
1868 it t Westinghouse T The Westinghouse air brake devised by U.S. inventor George Westinghouse, 22, will permit development of modern rail travel, although Cornelius Vanderbilt has dismissed it as a “fool idea.”  Westinghouse invented a device 3 years ago for rerailing derailed cars, he will make his air brake automatic in 1872, and it will permit an engineer to set the brakes simultaneously throughout a whole train by means of a steam-driven air pump (see Union Switch and Signal, 1882). 
1869 it t Telegraph C Cyrus Field completes a cable connection between France and Duxbury, Mass. His 1858 cable ceased to operate after a few weeks but his new one embodies technical improvements that will make it a great success (see wireless, 1901; telephone, 1927). 
1872 it t AT&T C Western Electric is founded April 2 to sell telegraph equipment and pursue experiments on an electric telephone.
1874 it o Remington C The Remington typewriter introduced by F. Remington & Sons Fire Arms Co. begins a revolution in written communication. Philo Remington, 68, has headed his late father’s company since 1868 (see 1845), he has acquired sole rights to the Sholes typewriter of 1868 for $12,000, but the $125 price of the Remington typewriter is more than a month’s rent for many substantial business firms and Remington produces only eight machines (see 1876). 
1875 it t Telephone C Alexander Graham Bell, 28, pioneers the electric telephone that will revolutionize communication. The Scottish-American inventor came to the United States in 1871 as a teacher of speech to the deaf and conceived the idea of “electric speech” last year while visiting his parents at Brantford, Ontario. While trying to perfect a method for carrying more than two messages simultaneously over a single telegraph line, Bell hears the sound of a plucked spring along 60 feet of wire June 2 in the attic electrical workshop of Charles Williams at 109 Court Street, Boston. The spring has been plucked by Bell’s young assistant Thomas A. Watson who is trying to reactivate a harmonic telegraph transmitter, one of several whose reeds or springs are each tuned to a different signal frequency; a contact screw has been screwed down so far that a circuit has been left unbroken that should have been broken only intermittently and a current is being transmitted that corresponds to a reed in Bell’s room. When he hears the sound of the plucked spring he recognizes its significance and realizes that the speaking telephone can be achieved by means of a simple mechanism (see 1876). 
1876 it o OfficeAutomation C Stenotypy begins to facilitate courtroom reporting and make records of legal proceedings more accurate. New York inventor John Colinergos Zachos patents a “typewriter and phonotypic notation” device with type fixed on 18 shuttle bars, two or more of which may be placed in position simultaneously, the device has a plunger common to all the bars for making impressions, and it permits printing a legible text at a high reporting speed. 
1876 it t OfficeAutomation C Western Union retains Thomas A. Edison to improve on Bell’s telephone. He builds a laboratory at Menlo Park, N.J., with $40,000 earned from a patented stock ticker, opens the world’s first research laboratory, and finds that carbon black makes a perfect transmitter. Edison develops a carbon transmitter that will make the telephone commercially practicable and his invention of carbonization will soon find other applications (see mimeograph, 1875; Swan, 1878; Cabot, 1887). 
1876 it t Telephone C Bell demonstrates his telephone at the U.S. Centennial Exposition; the Brazilian emperor Dom Pedro II jumps out of his seat June 25 saying, “I hear, I hear!”  
1876 it t Telephone C “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you,” says Alexander Graham Bell March 10 in the first complete sentence to be transmitted by voice over wire. Bell has improved the telephone he invented in 1875, has been granted a patent on his 29th birthday March 3, and uses the instrument at 5 Exeter Place, Boston, to speak with his assistant Thomas A. Watson. Elisha Gray of the 4-year-old Western Electric Co. will challenge the patent, the courts will uphold Bell’s claim, and Western Electric will manufacture the Bell telephone (see 1882). 
1876 it t Western Union C Western Union president William Orton turns down an offer to acquire the Bell telephone for $100,000, calling it a toy, a “scientific curiosity” that permits users to speak or listen but not both at once. 
1877 it av Edison C A hand-cranked “phonograph or speaking machine” demonstrated by Thomas Edison November 29 records sounds on grooved metal cylinders wrapped in tinfoil. Edison has followed up on his telephone research, shouts the verses to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” into his machine, is astonished when it plays his voice back, applies for a patent in December, and is soon attracting paid audiences at “exhibitions” of the machine (see 1887). 
1877 it t Telephone C The first telephone switchboard is installed May 17 in the Boston office of Edwin T. Holmes, proprietor of Holmes Burglar Alarm Service. Bell loans Holmes 12 telephones and the switchboard at 342 Washington Street is used for telephone service by day and a burglar alarm at night. 
1878 it t AT&T C The Bell Co. buys Emile Berliner’s loose-contact telephone transmitter. Berliner patents the use of an induction coil in a transmitter (see 1877; gramophone 
1879 it c NCR K National Cash Register (NCR) has its beginnings in a register patented November 4 by Dayton, Ohio, saloon-keeper James J. “Jake” Ritty whose health has been undermined by his bartenders’ pilfering. Ritty took a sea voyage to Europe to recover and was inspired by a recording device on the steamship marking the revolutions of the vessel’s propeller and giving its officers a complete and accurate daily record of the ship’s speed. “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier” in its first version merely registers the amount of each cash transaction on a dial, but a second model elevates a small plate to display the amounts so both clerk and customer can see it. The inventor and his brother will develop an improved model that records each day’s transactions on a paper roll that can be checked by a store owner against the amount of cash in the cashbox, but manufacturing the register will prove too big a job and Ritty will sell his business and patent rights for $1,001 (see Patterson, 1884). 
1880 it r Radio  C The first wireless telephone message is transmitted June 3 by Alexander Graham Bell on the photophone he has invented (see Hertz, 1887; Marconi, 1895). 
1881 it t Western Union C Western Union Telegraph is created by a consolidation of Western Union Co. with two smaller telegraph companies to form a giant monopoly (see 1866). Financier Jay Gould and railroad magnate William H. Vanderbilt have effected the consolidation (see Postal Telegraph, 1836). 
1882 it t AT&T C Western Electric wins a contract February 6 to produce telephones for the Bell Co., which will acquire the firm (see 1872; 1876). 
1884 it o OfficeAutomation C The Linotype typesetting machine patented by German-American mechanic Ottmar Mergenthaler, 30, will revolutionize newspaper composing rooms. The Linotype has a keyboard much like that of a typewriter (see Sholes, 1868). Depressing a key on the keyboard releases a matrix from a magazine, and this small rod with the die of a character on its vertical edge falls into a line-composing box where little wedges automatically adjust the spaces between the words. When a line of matrices has been set, it is carried off to be cast in metal slugs made to the width of a newspaper column, the metal slugs are assembled in a form, compositors add hand-set headlines and line illustrations, and the form is ready for the press or for casting into a stereotype plate (see 1725; halftones, 1886; New York Tribune, 1886). 
1884 it c NCR E National Cash Register Co. is founded at Dayton, Ohio, by local coal merchant John Henry Patterson, 40, who has bought a controlling interest in a company that has bought the Ritter cash register of 1879 and improved it by adding a cash drawer and a bell that rings every time the drawer is opened. Patterson is ridiculed for investing $6,500 in a company that makes anything so useless, he offers the seller $2,000 to let him out of the deal, is refused, changes the firm name, and goes to work improving the cash register. Patterson will innovate the idea of exclusive sales territories, pay large commissions to salesmen, organize a force of well-trained service men to maintain the machines he sells, and make NCR prosper (see 1912; Watson, 1903). 
1886 it o Print O A process for halftone engraving developed by U.S. inventor Frederick Eugene Ives, 30, uses small raised dots of varying sizes. Ives pioneered color photography 5 years ago by making the first trichromatic halftone process printing plates. He will also invent a process for gravure printing that will employ minute pits etched into a metal plate, and although rotogravure will replace his photogravure, the Ives halftone process will endure in photoengraving (see 1880; Tribune, 1897). 
1886 it tv Television C German inventor Paul O. Gottlieb Nipkov, 26, pioneers television with his rotating scanning device (see Baird, 1926). 
1886 it t Western Union C Postal Telegraph breaks Western Union’s telegraph monopoly. Commercial Cable’s J. W. Mackay starts the company that will be headed by his son Clarence Hungerford Mackay beginning in 1902 (see 1881; 1883; 1928). 
1887 it av Edison M Thomas Edison invents the first motor-driven phonograph and opens a new laboratory at West Orange, N.J., that is 10 times the size of his Menlo Park laboratory of 1876. Edison’s new phonograph plays cylindrical wax records (see 1877). 
1887 it r Radio  C Heinrich Hertz’s electric waves will be the basis of radio communications (see Marconi, 1895). 
1887 it t Edison M The gramophone patented by Emile Berliner of 1877 loose-contact telephone transmitter fame improves on Edison’s phonograph by substituting a disk and a horizontally moving needle for Edison’s cylinder and vertically moving needle. The groove in Berliner’s disk propels the arm of his gramophone automatically, eliminating the need for the separate drive mechanism that Edison’s machine requires, but the pivoted tone arm of the gramophone has a fixed head and a tracking error that causes distortion in the music amplified through the large horn attached to its tone arm (see 1900; Victrola, 1906). 
1887 it c OfficeAutomation K The Comptometer introduced by the new Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Co. of Chicago is the first multiple-column calculating machine to be operated entirely by keys and be absolutely accurate at all times. Local inventor Dorr Eugene Felt, 25, has gone into partnership with Robert Tarrant to produce the machine (see Burroughs, 1888). 
1887 it c OfficeAutomation K The machine à calculer invented by French engineering student Leon Bolle, 18, is the first machine to automate multiplication using a direct method. Bolle’s machine has a multi-tongued plate that constitutes a multiplication table and represents a marked advance over calculators that employ multiple additions for multiplication (see 1642; 1692; 1833; 1842). 
1888 it o OfficeAutomation C The first typewriter stencil is introduced at London by immigrant Hungarian inventor David Gestetner who 7 years ago introduced the first wax stencil duplicating machine to be marketed commercially. Chicago’s A. B. Dick Co. will introduce its first typewriter stencil in 1890 (see 1875). 
1890 it o Computer K U.S. engineer Herman Hollerith, 30, pioneers punch-card processing by adapting techniques employed in the Jacquard loom of 1801 and the player piano of 1876 to devise a system for punching holes in sheets of paper to record U.S. census statistics. Tabulating Machine Co. will acquire patents to the Hollerith system (see Babbage, Lovelace, 1842; Watson, 1912). 
1892 it o OfficeAutomation C The Addressograph invented by Sioux City, Iowa, engineer Joseph Smith Duncan prints mailing addresses automatically. Duncan will obtain a patent for his “addressing machine” in 1896, his first model employs a revolving hexagonal block of wood to which he has glued rubber type torn from rubber stamps, a new name and address advances to the printing point each time the block is turned, and the process of turning the block re-inks the type.  
1895 it o OfficeAutomation C Underwood Typewriter Co. is founded by New York ribbon and carbon merchant John Thomas Underwood, 38, to develop and market a machine patented 2 years ago by Brooklyn inventors Franz X. and Herman L. Wagner, whose typewriter enables the typist to see what is being typed. 
1895 it r Radio  C Guglielmo Marconi, 21, pioneers wireless telegraphy. The Italian inventor has studied the Hertz discovery of 1887, set up a laboratory at his family’s country house outside Bologna, and in September transmits a mes-sage to his brother who is out of sight beyond a hill. Marconi’s mother is British, and he will apply in June of next year for a British patent on his wireless (see 1896). 
1896 it r Radio  C Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Co., Ltd., establishes the world’s first permanent wireless installation in November at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England. Guglielmo Marconi’s British relatives have set up the firm (see 1895; 1901; Braun, 1897). 
1897 it tv Television C A cathode-ray tube (Braun tube) invented at Strassburg (Strasbourg) by German physicist Karl Ferdinand Braun, 47, pioneers development of television and other electronic communications. Braun has improved the Marconi wireless by increasing the energy of sending stations and arranging antennas to control the direction of effective radiation (see 1895; 1907).  
1898 it av Edison C The Telegraphone patented by Danish electrical engineer Valdemar Paulsen, 29, is the world’s first magnetic wire recording device (see 1929). 
1901 it r Radio  C Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic wireless message December 12 in Newfoundland (see 1896). An English telegrapher at Poldhu, Cornwall, has tapped out the letter “S,” and Marconi picks it up with a kite antenna. He will build a station at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, next year, and he will send the first readable message across the Atlantic to begin regular transatlantic wireless service (see 1903). 
1901 it o OfficeAutomation C The American Multigraph Co. is founded at Cleveland to produce the newly patented Multigraph, the first machine designed to print from a typed or handwritten image. 
1903 it r Radio C Guglielmo Marconi sends a wireless greeting January 19 from President Roosevelt to Britain’s Edward VII (see 1901).
1903 it c NCR E National Cash Register’s J. H. Patterson gives his executive Thomas John Watson, 29, a budget of $1 million to start a company that will pose as a rival to NCR but will actually take control of the U.S. used cash-register business (see 1884). Watson’s Cash Register and Second Hand Exchange opens on New York’s 14th Street, undersells competitors, and drives them out of business or forces them to sell out. Watson will set up similar operations in Philadelphia and Chicago (see THINK, 1908). 
1905 it o OfficeAutomation C Royal Typewriter Co. is founded by New York financier Thomas Fortune Ryan who puts up $220,000 to back inventors Edward B. Hess and Lewis C. Meyers (see Southern Railway, 1894). The Royal typewriter has innovations that include a friction-free ball-bearing one-track rail to support the weight of the carriage as it moves back and forth, a new paper feed, a shield to keep erasure crumbs from falling into the nest of type bars, a lighter and faster type bar action, and complete visibility of words as they are typed. 
1905 it o OfficeAutomation C L. C. Smith & Brothers sells its first typewriter to the New York Tribune for the paper’s newsroom. The Syracuse, N.Y., firm will for years be the largest producer of typewriters. 
1907 it r Radio Y Radio pioneer Lee De Forest invents electrical high-frequency “radio” surgery (see 1906). 
1907 it r Radio C Wireless telegraphy service begins October 18 between the United States and Ireland (see Marconi, 1901; United Fruit, 1910; Sarnoff, 1912). 
1908 it c IBM E Thomas J. Watson makes an easel presentation to National Cash Register salesmen and writes the word “THINK” at the head of every sheet of paper (see 1903). NCR president J. H. Patterson sees the presentation and orders that “THINK” signs be made up for every NCR office (see 1910). 
1908 it av CBS M Columbia Phonograph Co. introduces the first two-sided disks. 
1910 it c NCR E National Cash Register has sales of $100,000 (see THINK, 1908). The registers have been improved by the addition of a small electric motor, invented by Dayton, Ohio, electrical engineer Charles Franklin Kettering, 34, that eliminates manual operation (see 1912; self-starter, 1911). 
1910 it c Unisys T Sperry Gyroscope Co. is established at Brooklyn, N.Y., by Elmer A. Sperry to manufacture a gyroscopic compass and other instruments invented by Sperry to stabilize ships in rough waters (see 1879; patent, 1913). 
1910 it t AT&T C American Telephone and Telegraph chief Theodore N. Vail has himself elected president of Western Union and abolishes the 40¢ to 50¢ charge for placing telegraph messages by telephone. Vail has acquired a controlling interest in Western Union from the Jay Gould estate for $30 million in AT&T stock, and while the courts will force AT&T to sell its Western Union stock in 1914, free placement of telegraph messages by telephone will continue even after Vail resigns (see 1913). 
1912 it c NCR E Some 30 National Cash Register officers including J. H. Patterson and Thomas J. Watson are indicted for criminal conspiracy in restraint of trade (see 1910). Patterson fires Watson, who will become general manager of the Computer-Tabulating-Recording Co. (C-T-R), a holding company with a subsidiary that employs Herman Hollerith and has acquired the Hollerith punched card patents of 1890 (see IBM, 1924). 
1912 it t AT&T C AT&T’s Western Union buys U.S. rights to a multiplex device that permits up to four messages to be sent at once over the same circuit. The multiplex takes advantage of the difference between the speed of mechanical impulses and the speed of electrical impulses. 
1912 it r AT&T C Bell Laboratories physicist H. D. Arnold produces the first effective high-vacuum tube for amplifying electric currents (see Edison, 1883; Langmuir; transistor, 1948). 
1913 it g AT&T C AT&T president Vail has his vice president N. C. Kingsbury meet with Attorney General George Wickersham, the company divests itself of its Western Union holdings to avoid antitrust action, losing $7.5 million by the divestiture; it halts plans to take over some midwestern telephone companies but retains its valuable Western Electric acquisition (see 1910; dial telephone, 1919). 
1916 it e Co. Y GE’s William D. Coolidge revolutionizes X-ray technology. He patents a hot-cathode X-ray that will replace the cold aluminum-cathode tube and be the prototype of all future tubes (see 1895). 
1917 it r Radio C A superheterodyne circuit developed by U.S. Army Signal Corps major Edwin Howard Armstrong, 26, will become the basic design for all amplitude modulation (AM) radios. It greatly increases the selectivity and sensitivity of radio receivers over a wide band of frequencies (see 1906; FM, 1933). 
1917 it r Radio C David Sarnoff urges marketing of a simple “radio music box.” The American Marconi Co. says his plan will make the radio “a ‘household utility’ in the same sense as the piano or phonograph” (see 1912; 1920). 
1919 it g GE C U.S. Navy officials advise General Electric president Owen D. Young, 45, that GE’s high-frequency Alexanderson alternator is vital to long-distance wireless communications and must remain in U.S. hands. British Marconi has offered $5 million for rights to the alternator but the Navy urges GE to start its own radio company. 
1919 it r RCA C Radio Corp. of America (RCA) is founded by Owen D. Young who loans Ernst Alexanderson to RCA which will employ him as chief engineer for 5 years (see 1906). RCA will acquire the Victor Co. and become a radio-phonograph colossus but anti-trust court actions will separate RCA from GE (see Victrola, 1906; NBC, 1926). 
1920 it r Radio C The world’s first radio broadcasting station goes on the air November 2 to give results of the Harding-Cox election. Westinghouse engineer Frank Conrad, 46, has set up KDKA at East Pittsburgh but only about 5,000 Americans have radio receivers, mostly “cats-whisker” crystal sets (see radio advertising, 1922). 
1920 it r RCA C David Sarnoff proposes a plan for making $75 radio music boxes; at least a million could be sold in 3 years, he predicts (see 1917; NBC, 1926). 
1920 it t ITT C International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) is founded by Puerto Rican sugar broker Sosthenes Behn, 38, and his brother Hernand to run telephone and telegraph operations in Cuba and Puerto Rico (see Tropical Radio Telegraph, 1910). Born in the Virgin Islands of Danish-French parents, the Behn brothers have acquired a small San Juan telephone business to satisfy a bad debt (see 1925). 
1922 it r BBC C The BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) is founded under the leadership of English engineer John Charles Reith, 33, a six-foot-six misanthrope who will run BBC for the next 16 years and make it one of Britain’s most revered institutions, supported by the public with license fees. 
1922 it av AT&T M A Western Electric Company research team led by J. P. (Joseph Pease) Maxfield, 34, invents a phonograph record graver that permits recording in acoustically correct studios rather than by singing or playing directly into horns. It chisels vibrations into wax at the rate of 30 to 5,500 wiggles per second (see Victrola, 1906). Electric impulses derived from sound waves as in the telephone vibrate the graver with augmented power to improve the fidelity of phonograph records (see vinylite records, 1946, 1948). 
1923 it c Unisys T Elmer Sperry invents a device for detecting and measuring defects in railroad rails. He will perfect the device in 1928 and the first Sperry detector cars will go into service in November of that year. 
1923 it r Zenith C Zenith Radio is founded by Chicago auto-finance entrepreneur Eugene F. McDonald, Jr., 33, who obtains exclusive rights to market products of the Chicago Radio Laboratory founded by former U.S. Navy radio electricians Karl E. Hassel, 27, and R. H. G. Matthews. They constructed a longwave radio receiver for the Chicago Tribune in 1919 and have developed the trademark Z-Nith from the call letters of their amateur radio station 9ZN. The Tribune was able to pick up news dispatches from the Versailles peace conference and thus gain a 12- to 24-hour lead over papers using the jammed Atlantic Cable, Major Edwin H. Armstrong has licensed Chicago Radio to produce sets using his patents, McDonald has raised $330,000 to start Zenith, and he also starts the National Association of Broadcasters with himself as president (see Armstrong, 1917; FM, 1940). 
1924 it c IBM E International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is organized at New York by former National Cash Register executive Thomas J. Watson who has changed the name of C-T-R to IBM (see 1912; Mark I computer, 1944). 
1924 it r CBS Q Columbia Pictures is founded by Harry Cohn, 33, who 6 years ago joined Universal Pictures as secretary to Carl Laemmle, learned the rudiments of picture making, and 2 years later formed CBS Sales Co., which he has reorganized. 
1925 it g AT&T C American Telephone and Telegraph’s Western Electric Co. splits off its international holdings in anticipation of antitrust action. ITT’s Sosthenes Behn and his brother Hernand get backing from the J. P. Morgan banking house to buy International Western Electric for $30 million and become owners of a network of overseas manufacturing companies that will compete with Siemens, the Swedish firm Ericson, but not with AT&T, which will use ITT as its export agents under a mutual agreement not to compete with ITT abroad while ITT refrains from competing with AT&T in the United States (see 1920; Geneen, 1959). 
1925 it t AT&T C AT&T establishes Bell Laboratories to consolidate research and development for the Bell System’s telephone companies (see transistor, 1948). 
1926 it tv Television C Scottish inventor John L. Baird, 28, gives the first successful demonstration of television, but his mechanical system is based on the van Nipkov rotating disk of 1886 and has serious limitations (see 1927). 
1926 it r RCA C The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is founded November 11 by David Sarnoff whose nine-station network soon has 31 affiliates (see 1922; 1927). 
1927 it tv Television C Development of television is thwarted by the fact that it takes a frequency band of 4 million cycles, versus only 400 for an ordinary radio band, to transmit the 250,000 elements needed for a clear picture. 
1927 it tv Television C Television gets its first U.S. demonstration April 7 in the auditorium of New York’s Bell Telephone Laboratories by AT&T president Walter S. Gifford who lets a large group of viewers see Commerce Secretary Herbert C. Hoover in his office at Washington while hearing his voice over telephone wires BBC, 1936
1927 it tv Television C Utah engineer Philo Taylor Farnsworth, 21, invents a television image dissector tube. He has been inspired by accounts of work done in the Soviet Union by Boris Bosing to transmit moving pictures by electricity (see Baird, 1926). 
1927 it r RCA C David Sarnoff’s year-old National Broadcasting Co. has so many radio stations that it splits up into a Blue Network and a Red Network (see American Broadcasting, 1943; CBS, 1928). 
1928 it tc Co. C The world’s first combined radio, cable, and telegraph service company is created by a merger of Clarence Mackay’s Commercial Cable-Postal Telegraph with International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT). Mackay, whose father broke Western Union’s telegraph monopoly in 1886, inherited the J. W. Mackay communications empire in 1902, completed a transpacific cable in 1903, established wire communications with southern Europe via the Azores in 1907, put a cable into service between New York and Cuba in 1907 and from Miami to Cuba in 1920, and in 1923 completed a wire link to northern Europe via Ireland. 
1928 it tv GE C General Electric station WGY, Schenectady, N.Y., broadcasts the first regularly scheduled television programs beginning May 11 (see 1927; BBC, 1936). 
1928 it tv CBS C Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) is founded by Congress Cigar Co. advertising manager William S. Paley, 27, who has been receiving $50,000 per year from his father’s firm and last year committed the company to an advertising contract of $50 per week with Philadelphia’s 225-watt radio station WCAU while his father was away on vacation. Young Paley was criticized for making the contract but has seen sales of La Palina cigars soar in response to radio advertising; he sells some of his stock in Congress Cigar to raise upwards of $275,000, buys into financially ailing United Independent Broadcasters (which controls Columbia Phonograph), is elected president of the 22-station network September 26, and keeps CBS solvent by selling a 49 percent interest to Adolph Zukor’s Paramount-Publix motion picture firm (broadcasting 16 hours per day over long-line telephone wires costs $1 million per year). He will move CBS to New York next year and make it a rival to David Sarnoff’s NBC (see ABC, 1943). 
1929 it r Motorola C The Motorola auto radio invented by University of Illinois engineering school graduate Paul Vincent Galvin, 34, is the first commercially successful radio for automobiles. Galvin started a business in a Chicago garage last year with $565 in capital, he will develop it into Motorola Co., but while his first radio plays in a moving car it is twice the size of a tackle box, its bulky speaker is stuffed under the floorboards, and its audio qualities leave much to be desired. 
1929 it av AT&T M The Orthophonic phonograph developed by Western Electric Company engineer H. C. Harrison is an improved electric gramophone that will replace wind-up mechanical record players. 
1930 it c Computer K A “differential analyzer” devised by Vannevar Bush and some colleagues is the first analog computer (see Babbage, 1833, 1842; Bush, 1922; Mark I, 1944). 
1933 it r Radio C Frequency modulation (FM) provides static-free radio reception. Edwin H. Armstrong of 1917 superheterodyne circuit fame proved in 1915 that radio waves and static have the same electrical characteristics. Having insisted that any attempt to eliminate static without some radically new principle would be fruitless, and that hundreds of patents for static eliminating devices are worthless, he perfects FM (see Zenith, 1940). 
1933 it o IBM C IBM enters the typewriter business by acquiring a firm that has been trying for 10 years to perfect an electric office typewriter 1924; IBM Selectric, 1961). 
1937 it o Xerox C Xerography, pioneered by New York pre-law student Chester Floyd Carlson, 31, is a dry-copying process that will revolutionize duplication of papers in offices, schools, and libraries. Photostats are costly, carbon copies often blurred, and few can be made at one time, but Carlson has observed the demand for multiple copies of patent specifications and other documents while working in the patent department of a New York electronics firm, and he sees possibilities in a process based on principles of photoconductivity and electrostatics. Taking a sulfur-coated zinc plate, he gives it an electrostatic charge by rubbing it with a handkerchief in the dark, places over it a transparent celluloid ruler, and then exposes the zinc plate to light for a few seconds, neutralizing the charge except where the markings of the ruler have blocked the light. Dusting lycopodium powder over the plate and blowing away the excess, Carlson is left with a perfect image of the ruler (see 1938). 
1937 it r RCA M The National Broadcasting Co. starts the NBC Symphony with Arturo Toscanini as conductor. Now 70, Toscanini has been replaced as conductor of the New York Philharmonic after 8 years but will conduct the NBC Symphony until his retirement in 1954. 
1938 it o Xerox C The first true Xerox image appears October 22 at Astoria, Queens. The electrophotographic image is im-printed on wax paper which has been pressed against an electrostatically charged 2- by 3-inch sulfur-coated zinc plate that has been dusted with lycopodium powder. Chester Carlson, who has been helped by a German refugee physicist, attends New York Law School night classes, will be admitted to the bar in 1940, and will receive his first patent that year for the process he will call “xerography,” using the Greek word xeros for dry, but he will fail in his initial attempts to get financial backing (see 1937; 1946). 
1938 it tv Radio C John L. Baird gives the first demonstration of high-definition color television February 4 at London’s Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road. He transmits color films and shows them on a 9- by 12-foot screen via a 120-line-per-inch system (see 1926). Within 2 weeks he transmits live action in color from the Baird Studios at Crystal Palace, but his refusal to consider electronic transmission in place of mechanical transmission blocks commercial development (see Goldmark, 1940). 
1939 it c Hewlett-Packard K Hewlett-Packard is founded by California engineers William Redington Hewlett, 26, and David Packard, 27, whose firm will become the leading U.S. producer of electronic instruments. 
1939 it tv RCA C NBC televises opening ceremonies of the New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows April 30. One thousand viewers see the telecast, which is picked up by from 100 to 200 experimental receivers set up in the metropolitan area (see 1945; BBC, 1936). 
1939 it r Radio C FM radio receivers go on sale for the first time (see Armstrong, 1933; Zenith, 1940). 
1940 it av Television C Hungarian-American engineer Peter Carl Goldmark, 34, of CBS pioneers color television, but his system requires special receivers. It will give way in the 1950s to an RCA system whose signals will be compatible with conventional black and white TV signals (see 1939; long-playing records, 1948). 
1944 it c OfficeAutomation K The first automatic, general-purpose digital com-puter is completed at Harvard University, where it has been built under
1946 it c OfficeAutomation K ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer) is the world’s first automatic electronic digital computer and
1946 it o Xerox C Xerography wins support from the Rochester, N.Y., firm Haloid Co. whose research director John H. Dessauer has seen
1948 it m AT&T S The transistor announced by Bell Telephone Laboratories will permit miniaturization of electronic devices such as
1949 it av CBS M CBS introduces improved long-playing vinyl plastic phonograph records (see RCA, 1946; Goldmark, 1948). RCA
1950 it av Sony C The first Japanese tape recorder, produced by Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Sony), weighs nearly 40 pounds, uses tape made
1950 it o Xerox C Haloid Co. of Rochester, N.Y. produces the first Xerox copying machine (see Carlson, 1938; Haloid, 1946; model 914,
1950 it tv Television C U.S. television set sales begin a rapid rise (see 1948). By June more than 100 TV stations operate in 38 states, and while
1951 it c Unisys K Remington Rand introduces the Univac computer on a commercial basis for use by business firms and scientists. The
1951 it tv CBS C CBS broadcasts color television programs on a commercial basis beginning June 25, but conventional sets cannot pick
1951 it m AT&T C Bell Telephone gives transistors their first commercial application October 10, using them in a trunk dialing apparatus
1952 it av Television C U.S. inventors John Multin and Wayne Johnson demonstrate the first videotape November 11 at Beverly Hills, Calif.
1953 it c IBM K The IBM 701 is the first IBM computer (see ENIAC, 1946; Univac, 1951). The scientific electronic computer competes
1954 it c Unisys K Electronic computers are applied for the first time to business uses (see Univac, 1950; IBM, 1955). 
1954 it m  TI K The first practical silicon transistors, introduced by Texas Instruments, are much cheaper than germanium transistors and
1954 it o Wang K Wang Laboratories is founded at Lowell, Mass., by Chinese-American computer engineer An Wang, 34, to make small
1954 it tv RCA C RCA introduces the first U.S. color television sets but color reception is unreliable at best. No other company will enter
1956 it g IBM E IBM signs a consent decree agreeing to sell its tabulating and computer machines as well as leasing them, thus ending a
1956 it av Co. C The first successful videotape recorder (VTR) is demonstrated in February in an Ampex Corp. laboratory at Redwood
1957 it c OfficeAutomation K Some 1,000 electronic computers are shipped to U.S. and foreign customers, up from 20 in 1954 (see 1960). 
1957 it c CDC K Control Data Corp. is organized to produce computers designed by Minneapolis engineer-mathematician Seymour R.
1959 it m TI  K The microchip invented by Texas Instruments engineer Jack Kilby and Fairchild Semiconductor engineer Robert Noyce.
1959 it pc RCA K The RCA 501 computer introduced by Radio Corp. of America is the world’s first fully transistorized computer (see
1959 it tc ITT E International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) names former Raytheon executive vice president Harold Sydney Geneen,
1960 it o Xerox C The Xerox 914 copier begins a revolution in paperwork reproduction (see 1950). The first production line Xerox copier
1961 it o IBM C The IBM Selectric typewriter designed by Eliot Fette Noyes, 51, is introduced by International Business Machines (see
1962 it tc Satellite C Telstar I is launched the night of July 10. The new satellite is used to transmit the first live transatlantic telecasts between
1962 it tc Satellite C Congress creates COMSAT (Communications Satellite Corp.) to handle space communications on a profit-making basis
1963 it tv Zenith C Zenith Radio and Sylvania begin producing their own color picture tubes for television sets after having bought the tubes
1965 it tc Satellite C “Early Bird” is put into orbit by the 3-year-old Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) and relays telephone
1965 it av Sony C Sony introduces Betamax, a small home “videocorder”; by the late 1970s Japanese companies will own the VCR
1976 it o OfficeAutomation C Fax (facsimile transmission) machines gain ground as second-generation technology cuts transmission time from 6
1976 it o Wang C Word processors made by Wang Laboratories begin to revolutionize offices with work stations that share central
1976 it pc Apple K Apple Computer is founded in a California garage to produce personal computers. Founders Stephen G. Wozniak, 26,
1977 it pc Apple K The Apple II personal computer introduced by Stephen Wozniak and Steven Jobs requires that users employ their TV
1977 it m Motorola K U.S. semiconductor makers Motorola, Advanced Micro Devices, Fairchild, Intel, and National Semiconductor form the WEMA
1979 it av Sony C The Walkman cassette player introduced by Sony Corp. is a $200 pocket stereo with two pairs of earphones, making it
1981 it pc IBM K IBM introduces its first personal computer August 12 and soon has 75 percent of the market. Its PC uses a Microsoft
1982 it o Computer C “Electronic mail” via fax machines gains popularity as third-generation Japanese technology cuts transmission time to 20
1982 it g AT&T C American Telephone & Telegraph agrees January 8 to be broken up in settlement of an anti-trust suit filed in 1974.
1984 it g AT&T C American Telephone & Telegraph Co. divests itself January 1 of its 22 Bell operating companies pursuant to a federal
1984 it m AT&T K Bell Laboratories announces December 20 that it has perfected a one-megabit random access memory chip able to store
1985 it tv GE C General Electric acquires RCA and its National Broadcasting Co. for $6.3 billion in December. 
1986 it tv CBS C Columbia Broadcasting (CBS) is acquired in a leveraged buyout by investor Laurence A. Tisch and CBS founder
1986 it vg Co. L Nintendo video games debut in America and wow the youngsters with sophisticated graphics