1876 – Alexander Graham Bell of Salem, MA ‘rang’ up a patent for his invention, the telephone. It was an invention, incidentally, that almost bankrupted his company in the beginning.
1877 – Emile Berliner, the man behind so many inventions, came up with a thing called the microphone. Good thing, too, because the Bell System — run by Alexander Graham Bell, of course — was in desperate need of something to save it from financial ruin and to help the progress of the telephone.
1979 – Philips demonstrated the compact disc publicly for the first time.
And this week in 1981 – The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, was launched by Sinclair Research and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world.