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This Week in Tech History: First Automatic Parking Garage

The first theater to use electric lights opens, the first automatic parking garage opens, and the mother of all demos is given … It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1882 – The Bijou Theatre opened in Boston, MA and became the first theatre to be lighted by electricity, which Thomas Edison himself installed and supervised.

1951 – The first push button-controlled garage opened in Washington, DC. A single attendant, without entering a car, could automatically park or return an auto to or from the ‘Park-O-Mat’ in less than a minute.

1958 – Phone calls without the need for an operator are inaugurated in the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

1960 – Sperry Rand Corporation of St. Paul, MN unveiled a new computer, known as Univac 1107. The electronic wizard employed what was known as thin-film memory. This massive computer tipped the scales at about 5,200 pounds.

1967 – The French prototype Concorde number 1 was rolled out in Toulouse, France. The joint British-French venture and the world’s first supersonic airliner, took two more years of testing and fine-tuning the powerful engines before it made its maiden flight.

And this week in 1968 – Douglas Engelbart gave what became known as “The Mother of All Demos”, publicly debuting the computer mouse, hypertext, and the bit-mapped graphical user interface.

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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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