Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,

Print

Posted in:

This Week in Tech History: Launch of the Personal Computer

The phonograph is born, a new way to wash clothes is patented, and the personal computer makes its debut… It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1876 – Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph machine. He described it as a method of preparing autographic stencils for printing Many of us remember mimeograph copies from school. Those nice-smelling papers with the purple ink on them.

Ol’ Thomas was a busy man… a year later in 1877 – Edison finished figuring out his first phonograph. He handed the model of his invention to John Kreusi with instructions on how to build it. Kreusi bet the inventor $2 and said that there was no way that the machine would ever work. Less than 30 hours later, they had a machine that worked on the first try.

1910 – Alva Fisher of Chicago, IL received a patent for an invention that moms, grandmas and single guys certainly came to appreciate: the electric washing machine. Previous to Fisher’s invention, washing machines were cranked by hand, or you used a washboard.

And this week in 1981 – IBM introduced the personal computer with their 5150 model. The IBM PC ran on the Intel 8088 microprocessor at 4.77 mHz. It had 16 kilobytes of memory, no built-in clock or video capability — it was available however, with an optional color monitor. Prices started at around $1,500. The IBM PC was a smashing success and IBM quickly became the #1 microcomputer company, dropping Apple to #2.

Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,

Written by Chris Graveline

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.

1809 posts