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This Week in Tech History: Mannequin in Space

On this edition of "This Week in Tech History", Chris tells us of the time Russia sent a mannequin into space. He also reminds us of the firs Internet domain name.

This week in 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell sent the first clear telephone message — into a nearby room — to his assistant, Thomas Watson. “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you,” were the first words spoken into the invention that Bell had created.

In 1891 – Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Topeka, Kansas, patented the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.

1961 – Sputnik 9 successfully launched, carrying a mannequin named Ivan Ivanovich – along with a dog, various reptiles, and eighty mice and guinea pigs – demonstrating that the Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.

And this week in 1985 – The first Internet domain name,, was registered for free. By 1995, domain names were no longer free to register and the company Network Solutions managed the registration process. Domain registration prices were $100 for two years of registration per domain name. By 2014, most .com domain name registration prices had dropped to about $10-$15 per year.

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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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