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This Week in Tech History: Birth of a Tech Giant

The first US weather satellite is launched, a technology giant is born and Google launches a new e-mail service… It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1797 – Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patented an early form of washing machine for clothes, called the “box mangler.” It had a heavy frame containing a large box filled with rocks, on a series of wooden rollers. Two people were required, to move the box back and forth in order to clean the clothes.

1951 – Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC I to the United States Census Bureau. UNIVAC I – or Universal Automatic Computer – was the first general-purpose electronic digital computer design for business.

1960 – The first U.S. weather satellite was launched. “TIROS I” was put into orbit. The TIROS-1 satellite transmitted the first television picture from space and meteorologists saw the first pictures of a midlatitude cyclone over the northeastern United States.

1976 – Apple Computer was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne — in a garage in Cupertino, CA. Just two weeks later, Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800. That stake today, would be worth 75.5 Billion dollars.

And this week in 2004 – Google announced a new service to the public. A project that up until then was known by the code name, Caribou. The project’s real name was Gmail, and was originally thought to be an April Fool’s joke. However it was very real and quickly became one of the most popular e-mail services around.

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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