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This Week in Tech History: The CD Debuts

The telephone is patented, the Soviets prep for human spaceflight and a new storage technology makes its debut… It all happened This Week in Tech History.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell ‘rang’ up a patent for his invention, the telephone. It was an invention, incidentally, that almost bankrupted his company in the beginning. Just a few days later, Bell sent the first clear telephone message — into a nearby room — to his assistant, Mr. Watson. “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you,” were the first words spoken into the invention that Bell had created.



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 dog and a human dummy – named Ivan Ivanovitch – along with some mice and a guinea pig. The launch demonstrated that the Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.

1979 – Philips demonstrated the compact disc publicly for the first time. At the time of the technology’s introduction to the market in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard disk drive, which would typically only hold about 10 megabytes.

And this week in 1989 – Sir Tim Berners-Lee submitted his proposal to CERN for an information management system which would be developed into the world wide web.

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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.

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