Timeline of Computer History

Elektro and Sparko at the 1939 World’s Fair

Elektro at the World's Fair

Built by Westinghouse, the relay-based Elektro robot responds to the rhythm of voice commands and delivers wisecracks pre-recorded on 78 rpm records. It appeared at the World's Fair, and it could move its head and arms…and even "smoked" cigarettes.


Hewlett and Packard in their garage workshop

Hewlett-Packard is founded

David Packard and Bill Hewlett found their company in a Palo Alto, California garage. Their first product, the HP 200A Audio Oscillator, rapidly became a popular piece of test equipment for engineers. Walt Disney Pictures ordered eight of the 200B model to test recording equipment and speaker systems for the 12 specially equipped theatres that showed the movie “Fantasia” in 1940.


HP-35 handheld calculator

Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP-35

IBM and Lenovo logos

Lenovo acquires IBM's PC business

AT&T modem circa 1958

Birth of the Modem

Participants in COBOL's 25th Anniversary Celebration at The Computer Museum on May 16, 1985, surround the COBOL Tombstone, a gift in 1960 from Howard Bromberg (far right) to the COBOL Committee.”

COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language)

Franklin Ace 100 microcomputer

Franklin releases Apple II “clones”