Douglas Engelbart “Computer mouse inventor” and Ralph H. Baer “Joystick and Video Games inventor”

Inventor of Mouse and joystick for television games
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Basic InformationDouglas EngelbartRalph H. Baer
Date of Birth30th January 19258th March 1922
Place of BirthPortland, Oregon, U.S.Pirmasens, Palatinate, Germany
Date of Death2nd July 20136th December 2014
Place of DeathAtherton, California, U.S.Manchester, New Hemisphire, U.S.
SchoolFranklin High School in 1942.N / A
High School / CollegeOregon State University (BS 1948)National Radio Institute as a radio service technician in 1940
UniversityThe University of California, Berkeley (MS 1953, Ph.D. 1955)American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1949
OccupationMouse inventorInventor, video game designer, engineer
Career1950 – 20081966–2014
Famous forComputer mouse, Hypertext, Groupware, Interactive computingJoystick and video game
TitleThe inventor of Mouse for ComputerThe inventor of the video games and joystick
Other worksSRI International, Tymshare, McDonnell Douglas, Bootstrap Institute/Alliance, The Doug Engelbart InstituteBaer’s lab and invented components are preserved in the west wing of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., along with his video game test units, production models, notes, and schematics. There are also exhibits at the Japan National Science Museum, the Heinz Nixdorf Museum, the American Computer Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and elsewhere
AwardsNational Medal of Technology (2000), Lemelson-MIT Prize, ACM Turing Award (1997), BCS Lovelace Medal (2001), Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility, Computer History Museum, Fellow Award (2005) NAE Member (1996)G-Phoria Legend Award (2005), Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center (2006), IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award (2008), Game Developers Conference Developers Choice “Pioneer” award (2007), IEEE Edison Medal (2014), Pioneer Award by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (2015)

Douglas Engelbart:

Douglas Engelbart was born on 30th January 1925 in Portland, Oregon, U.S. He was an American engineer and inventor and the internet innovator. He is known to be the founding of the field of Human-Computer interaction, mainly he was the creation of the computer mouse and the development of the hypertext, network computers, and ancestors to the graphic user interfaces[1].

Douglas Engelbart in October 1968, preparing for the “mother of all demos.” NMAH
Douglas Engelbart in October 1968, preparing for the “mother of all demos.” NMAH


One of my number one curio in the historical center is the main PC mouse, which is right now in plain view in the Silicon Valley segment of Places of Invention. The model was concocted by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English in 1964 at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and is borrowed to the gallery from SRI International. The SRI group was a long way comparatively radical; other than the mouse, Engelbart and his partners created a significant number of the principal highlights of present-day processing – including a graphical UI (GUI), hypertext joins, and community-oriented, continuous altering of shared records, many years before their commercialization and far-reaching use. On 9th December 1968, fifty years back this week Engelbart appeared these developments in what has thusly been hailed as “the mother, all things considered.[2]”

The Epiphany:

Douglas Carl Engelbart (1925-2013) grew up during the Great Depression on a ranch close to Portland, Oregon. He was examining electrical design at Oregon State University in 1944 when he joined the US Navy during the stature of World War II. As a radar professional, Engelbart picked up his first introduction to perusing and controlling images on a screen. After the war, Engelbart finished his electrical science qualification at Oregon State in 1948, at that point, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked at NACA’s Ames Research Laboratory (NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, was the forerunner to NASA). In 1951, Engelbart got connected with his first spouse Ballard, and at age 25, started to rethink his life’s motivation. In the same way as other researchers and architects who had encountered World War II, Engelbart chose to divert his after-war endeavors toward serene finishes, to “expand my commitment to humankind.” Engelbart in the long run perceived that the electronic PC created during the battle to ascertain big guns shooting tables and nuclear bomb yields could be re-purposed as an apparatus for taking care of the numerous troublesome issues of the after-war world. In a meeting with Wired magazine, he reviewed his 1951 revelation: [2]

“All of a sudden – wham! – I got an image of myself sitting at a big CRT [cathode ray tube] screen with all kinds of symbols on it, new and different ones, manipulated by a computer that could be operated through various input devices. All the material on the screen could be controlled with great flexibility. Other people had their display units tied to the same computer complex, and you could connect them. Everybody could share knowledge. The vision unfolded rapidly, in about a half-hour, and suddenly the potential of interactive, collaborative computing became totally clear.” [2]

Douglas Engelbart using the NLS’s 5-button chord keyset, a standard QWERTY keyboard, and 3-button mouse, around 1968. NMAH, gift of SRI International
Photographic print, Engelbart at the Herman Miller Supplied Keyboard Using Five-Finger Keyset and Three-Button Mouse. Photographed at Stanford Research Institute ca 1968.

Doctorate in the Electrical Designing circuits:

Engelbart quit his NACA work and selected a Ph.D. program in electrical designing at UC Berkeley, bearing in mind the end goal of seeking after his vision of intelligent processing. Be that as it may, during a time of room-sized centralized computers, punched cards, and group preparing, his thoughts were not generally welcomed. In 1955, Engelbart finished his degree on an alternate examination theme (“bi-stable vaporous plasma computerized gadgets”) at that point grieved as a meeting associate educator at Berkeley. In October 1957, Engelbart left the scholarly world and took occupation at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), an agreement R&D firm close to the college grounds in Menlo Park, in the core of what is currently Silicon Valley. At SRI, Engelbart started to build up his vision of human-PC collaboration. [2]

The Framework: Augmenting the Human Intellect:

During the last part of the 1950s and mid-1960s, the couple of PCs that existed had generally been utilized for numerical counts, for example, mathematically understanding complex differential conditions. Nonetheless, in place of estimation, Engelbart proposed utilizing PCs for the expansion of the human mind. Engelbart realized that information laborers, for example, legal counselors, scholastics, and architects spent quite a bit of their workdays performing routine assignments, looking into realities, checking bibliographic references, and plotting charts. Engelbart accepted that PCs could help disentangle these low-level errands so clients could invest more energy doing elevated level reasoning. Also, he accepted that a collection of connected PCs could encourage cooperation among groups of information laborers, prompting better work items. In what he called a “bootstrapping” approach, Engelbart contended that clients would pick up in ability and modernity as they adjusted to new forefront figuring advancements; the outcome would be the iterative “co-development” of the two clients and PCs. In 1962, Engelbart distributed these thoughts in an original paper named “Increasing Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.” [2]

A prototype of the first computer mouse, on display in Places of Invention. The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart and built by Bill English in 1964 at the S
A prototype of the first computer mouse, on display in Places of Invention. The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart and built by Bill English in 1964 at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI)

Engelbart at that point looked for the exploration subsidizing important to manufacture and test his thoughts. In 1963, Engelbart won an award from the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). J. C. R. Licklider, an MIT-prepared therapist, was the top of ARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO); like Engelbart, Licklider was keen on investigating “man-PC beneficial interaction.” With awards from ARPA, NASA, and the US Air Force, Engelbart set up the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at SRI and started to fabricate what he called his oNLine System or NLS [2]

The Online System (NLS):

Through the NLS stage, Engelbart and his partners created a significant number of the procedures of current, intuitive registering. Instead of nonconcurrent, bunch handling, the NLS permitted clients to control on-screen information straightforwardly and see the outcomes quickly progressively. Instead of punched cards, the NLS included a radar-like screen with a graphical UI (GUI), in which clients-controlled content, images, and video in a progression of covering “windows.” For instance, clients could embed, erase, and move text inside a record. Through “hypertext” joins, clients could likewise bounce immediately between two related reports. The NLS likewise upheld cooperation; when numerous NLS frameworks were connected, clients could work at the same time on a similar archive. [2]

Engelbart and his ARC group likewise tried different things with various info gadgets. For instance, they built up the “harmony keyset,” an effective five-button that supplemented the standard QWERTY console. The ARC group additionally planned and tried diverse choice devices to control the on-screen images and text, including a light pen, a joystick, and a roller-ball constrained by the client’s knee. Be that as it may, the most instinctive choice device was the handheld “mouse” – a straightforward wooden box with two opposite metal wheels, a determination button, and a wire association with the processor. At the point when a client rolled the mouse over the work area, the cursor reproduced its movement on the screen. As indicated by Engelbart, nobody could recall precisely who initially authored the expression: “It just resembled a mouse with a tail . . . [and] the name ‘mouse’ just took.” [2]

Douglas Engelbart (front left) and his SRI colleagues collaborate with their linked NLS systems, around 1969. Bill English is at far right. NMAH, gift of SRI International
Photographic print, Engelbart, and Others Using On-Line System (NLS) Terminals. Photographed at Stanford Research Institute ca 1969. Digital reference file provided by SRI International. 2015.3073.08.

The Demo: 9th December 1968:

By 1968, Engelbart and his SRI partners had assembled a ground-breaking set of apparatuses to expand the human keenness and the time had come to show it off. “We faced a monstrous challenge,” reviewed Engelbart, and in March “applied for a unique meeting at the ACM/IEEE-Computer Society Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco in December 1968.” [8] The two expert social orders—the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ software engineering area—conceded Engelbart an hour and a half entire meeting to be held in the 2,000-seat Brooks Hall. The demo “was a bet,” Engelbart reviewed, since, supposing that it slumped, he may imperil future exploration subsidizing. However, Engelbart accepted that if we “could just actually demonstrate the NLS, instead of trying to talk about it, people would start to understand us.” [2]

The ARC team, founded by Bill English, spent months assembling a custom structure so that Engelbart could stand on the stage in San Francisco and prove the capabilities of the NLS which was located away 30 miles at SRI’s offices in Menlo Park. They placed 2 cameras in front of them and making the videos, taking pictures and hands as they operated the keyboard, mouse, and major chord keyset. At long last, the group fixed up a handcrafted 2,400 baud modems to communicate orders from Engelbart’s reassure in San Francisco back to Menlo Park over a rented phone line. English utilized a 4-channel video regulator to coordinate what was extended on the assembly room’s 20-foot screen; he could likewise part the screen and show, for instance, Engelbart’s face close by his NLS screen. Through and through, 17 ARC colleagues added to the demo December 9 showed up. Engelbart made that big appearance in San Francisco and sat behind his reassure; he later conceded that he was “anxious as hellfire.” [2]

The stage lights were splendid so he was unable to see the crowd or how they may respond to the introduction. Engelbart started with a provocative inquiry: “If in your office, you, as a scholarly specialist, were provided with a PC show sponsored up by a PC that was alive for you the entire day, and was in a split second receptive to each activity you have—how much worth might you be able to get from that?” He at that point put the NLS through some serious hardship. He opened another record and composed “word” on the screen. “If I commit a few errors, I can back up a smidgen,” Engelbart commented as he exhibited the erase work. At that point, he indicated how he could reorder squares of text or intuitive things to re-request them. [2]

At that point, Engelbart flaunted the framework’s graphical UI. He pulled up a guide of his course home from work, with arranged stops at the market, drug store, and library. “Library. What am I expected to do there?” he inquired. A tick on the word Library a hypertext connects pulled up another rundown. “Goodness, I see. Past due books.” He got back to the guide and tapped on the “Drugstore” interface; it prompted another rundown with things like headache medicine and Chapstick. At that point, utilizing video chat, Engelbart and Don Andrews portrayed the tasks of the harmony keyset and the mouse. English then conferenced in Bill Paxton from Menlo Park to show how two NLS clients could cooperatively alter a similar record. At last, in a touch of tempting portending, Engelbart depicted how SRI was ready in 1969 to turn into the second hub of another interchanges network called the ARPAnet, the forerunner to the web. [2]

The ARC team rehearses for the demo at SRI headquarters in Menlo Park, 1968. Stewart Brand is at the camera. Photo by SRI International, via the Doug Engelbart Institute
The ARC team rehearses for the demo at SRI headquarters in Menlo Park, 1968. Stewart Brand is at the camera. Photo by SRI International, via the Doug Engelbart Institute

The NLS (and the demo’s intricate specialized creation) had worked impeccably; Engelbart’s bet had paid off. At the point when the stage lights went down, a calmed Engelbart stood up from his comfort and saw that the crowd of individual PC researchers was “standing, cheering like there’s no tomorrow.” [2]


We presently live submerged in the intelligent world that Engelbart designed, so to 21st-century eyes, his 1968 demo may appear to be unremarkable, even crude. In any case, at the time it was progressive and a long way relatively revolutionary. In an hour and a half, Engelbart and his group had appeared the mouse and displayed intuitive ongoing registering; the graphical UI; hypertext connecting; cut-duplicate glue altering; cooperative archive sharing by different clients; and present-day remotely coordinating. Engelbart had built up his thoughts in an examination setting; it would be fifteen years before the Apple Macintosh (1984) marketed the mouse and GUI, and almost forty years before Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides (2006) promoted wiki-style report sharing. In his 1994 book Insanely Great, writer Steven Levy depicted Engelbart’s impact on present-day figuring and hailed his 1968 masterpiece as “the mother, all things considered.” [2]

Douglas Engelbart passed on in 2013, yet he lived long enough to see his effect on contemporary figuring. At long last, Engelbart accomplished the objective he set for himself after his 1951 revelation; he had augmented his commitment to humanity. [2]

1968 “Mother of All Demos” by SRI’s Doug Engelbart and Team

Ralph H. Baer:

Ralph Henry Baer was born on 8th March 1922 in Pirmasens, Palatinate, Germany. He was a German Jewish American inventor, game developer, and engineer.

Baer’s family fled Germany not long before World War II and Baer served the American war exertion, increasing enthusiasm for hardware presently. Confronting abuse for being Jewish, he and his family fled to the United States in 1938, where he later turned into a naturalized resident.  Seeking after enthusiasm for hardware, Baer tried out a radio expert course at the National Radio Institute. Following graduation from the serious course in 1940, he got a new line of work running a few radio assistances stores in New York City, where he applied his training to overhaul a wide range of home and auto radios.[3]

Ralph Baer in Normandy in 1945, posing with a display of the weapons collection that he curated for training troops in the handling of foreign arms. Courtesy of Ralph Baer
Ralph Baer in Normandy in 1945, posing with a display of the weapons collection that he curated for training troops in the handling of foreign arms. Courtesy of Ralph Baer

Joining the Army:

In the year of 1943, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the military intelligence stationed overseas in France when World War II had been started. After World War II, Baer played an important role in the development of the electronic system for military applications. He worked at the Sanders till the retirement in the year of 1987. While he was working at Sanders, Baer in the meantime started to explore the possibilities to play video games on the TV screen. As the TV prices decrease, he saw a market opportunity for the applications outside of the standard television program viewing. In the year 1966, Baer wrote a proposal to his supervisors who were working at Sanders which allow him to carry on his project with the pursuing concept. He was given $2,500 and the hour of two different architects, Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch. Together, they built up the main business gaming unit, the “Earthy colored Box Console.” Later renamed the Magnavox Odyssey, the reassure was delivered to general society in 1972. [3]

Baer proceeded to create and patent a few other equipment models, consoles and customer game units, including the electronic example coordinating game Simon. Simon and its continuation, Super Simon, remained monstrously mainstream in the U.S. through the last part of the 1990s. Through these creations, Baer shaped an establishment for virtual innovation utilized by the military and like businesses right up ’til today. His commitments to development changed the home diversion experience yet besides Sanders’ way for intuitive innovations for military applications. [3]

The Brown Box, with two play controllers and cards indicating switch positions for various games. Copyright 2006 Smithsonian Institution
The Brown Box, with two play controllers and cards indicating switch positions for various games

Retirement from the Army:

Even after retirement, Baer kept on advancing and imagine. In a 2013 NPR talk with, Baer contrasted his need with make to that of a painter, depicting it as a craving he was unable to control and ought not to stop, as he generally observed difficulties to be comprehended. He worked in his cellar lab, loaded up with toys and developments to rouse him, until his passing in December 2014. He has 150 licenses to his name. Baer lived in Manchester, New York, with his significant other, Dena, whom he wedded in 1952. Together they had three kids and four grandkids. [3]


Starting with the Brown Box Console’s origination, Ralph Baer went through almost 50 years framing the establishment of innovation that would prompt significant military innovation headways, both in the U.S. also, the world. Through his work for BAE Systems’ inheritance business Sanders, Baer was instrumental in the improvement of the computer game industry, just as information representation and intelligent advances that have still significant military applications today. Those incorporate computer-generated experience conditions; which BAE Systems influences for vivid boat configuration devices among different applications. [3]

Ralph Baer in his New Hampshire home in 2003, with a display of the many electronic toys and games that he invented. Copyright 2003 Smithsonian Institution
Ralph Baer in his New Hampshire home in 2003, with a display of the many electronic toys and games that he invented.

Outside of the guard business, the tradition of his work has invigorated the public and worldwide economy. Since the innovation of the Magnavox Odyssey, the computer game industry has developed essentially, producing more than $15.4 billion in deals in 2013 as per a yearly report by the Entertainment Software Association. By certain appraisals, absolute overall deals (counting reassures; equipment and programming; and on the web, portable and PC games) surpassed $90 billion out of 2013. [3]

In 2006, President George W. Hedge granted Baer the National Medal of Technology for “his pivotal and spearheading creation, improvement and commercialization of intelligent computer games, which brought forth related utilizations, applications, and uber enterprises in both the amusement and instruction domains.” He was later drafted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2010. When of his passing in 2014, Baer had more than 150 U.S. licenses to his name. [3]

A chuckling Ralph Baer easily wins a game of tennis against the author on the Brown Box
A chuckling Ralph Baer easily wins a game of tennis against the author on the Brown Box


  1. G-Phoria Legend Award in the year of 2005 for his legendary video game work.
  2. Honorary Doctor of the Law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center in the year of 2006.
  3. IEEE Masaru Consumer Electronics Award in the year of 2008 for the outstanding contribution to the consumer’s electronics technology.
  4. Game Developers Conference Developers Choice “Pioneer” Award in the year 2007 for outstanding game development.
  5. IEEE Edison Medal in the year 2014 for the career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering, or the electrical arts.
  6. Pioneer award by the academy of the interactive arts and sciences in the year of 2015 for the posthumously to recognize his commitments to the headway of the amusement programming industry.
  7. Baer’s lab and designed parts are safeguarded in the west wing of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., alongside his computer game test units, creation models, notes, and schematics.
  8. There are likewise displays at the Japan National Science Museum, the Heinz Nixdorf Museum, the American Computer Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image and somewhere else
Magnavox Odyssey. Copyright 2006 Smithsonian Institution; photo by Richard Strauss
Magnavox Odyssey. Copyright 2006 Smithsonian Institution; photo by Richard StraussMagnavox Odyssey
Ralph H. Baer demonstriert interaktives Fernsehen Full Version (1969)


1.            wikipedia. 22nd October 2020; Available from: wikipedia .

2.   22nd October 2020; Available from: invention-si-edu

3.            simulationinformation. 22nd October 2020; Available from: simulationinformation 

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