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This Week in Tech History: Twitter is Launched

The first elevator to move people is installed, an early space station meets a fiery end, and a popular social media site is founded… It all happened This Week in Tech History.


This week in 1857 – Elisha Otis installed an elevator at 488 Broadway in New York City. Elevators had been in operation before this, including those made by Otis, but they primarily moved freight. This was the first elevator used to move people.

1954 – Radio Corporation of America (RCA) began commercial production of TV sets that were equipped to receive programs in living color. To buy one of those huge sets, television buyers spent $1,000 — and more.


1981 – RCA put its SelectaVision laser disc players on the market. Soon, the product was called “the Edsel of the entertainment field.” The units cost $500 and the videodisks about $15 each. The combination failed to catch the consumer’s fancy.


1990 – Microsoft Windows 3.0 was released. This version offered dramatic performance increases for Windows applications, plus advanced ease of use and aesthetic appeal.



2001 – Russia’s orbiting Mir space station ended its 15-year earth orbit with a fiery plunge into the South Pacific.

And this week in 2006 – The social media site Twitter was founded. Now, after only 15 years, the popular social media platform has around 340 million users, with over 500 million tweets per day.

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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