Computer History

Although the first computers were invented in 1937, the history of computers begins much earlier.

Like many inventions, computers did not just appear overnight. There were some precursors before the first computer. The original definition of "computer" was a person who was good at math. Man has long tried to find tools to help with calculations: the first abacus was invented in China around 500BC. Mechanical clocks were invented in Europe during the 14th century. The slide rule was invented in 1622. Music boxes were invented in the 18th century. The Jacquard loom was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1804. It used punched cards to create patterns.

Please study the material at each of the links below.

  1. History of Computers
  2. Video 1: The precursors to today's computersVideo 1: The precursors to today's computers
  3. Video 2: The computers that would help usher in a new era of computation - electronic computingVideo 2: The computers that would help usher in a new era of computation - electronic computing
  4. Video: Computers that changed the worldVideo: Computers that changed the world: This video takes a quick look at the history of computers.
    It looks at the ones that had the greatest impact not just on the industry,
    but on how we live.
  5. The computer revolution: How it's changed our world over 60 years
  6. VideoVideo
  7. History of Computers Timeline
  8. Women in ComputersWomen in Computers: A poster series
  9. Famous People in Computing: Click the pictures for bios and interviews.
  10. Animated history of computersAnimated history of computers: Starts with precursors to computers through Smart Phones
  11. History of Computers Video: Up to 1970'sHistory of Computers Video: Up to 1970's
  12. History of Computers Video: from 1980History of Computers Video: from 1980
  13. Discussion Questions

Active Learning

Who is your favorite computer person?

Like us on Facebook:


OER: Open Educational Resource
Creative Commons License Author: Janet E. Joy; Publisher: Zebra0.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
Last modified: May 05 2017 19:08:40.