3 Tech Trends Created in President Kennedy’s Era

Today marks the 50 year Anniversary since President Kennedy’s Assassination. I wasn’t around 50 years ago so it has been very interesting for me watching documentaries and features on him over the past week as people memorialize him and the change that happened in the U.S. as a result of his death. One of the things that I was struck by as a techfan was how little technology was available in 1963. I watched an interview with Walter Cronkite where he wanted to go on live TV to talk about what had just happened when the President was shot, but they had never done live TV before and it took them a while to warm up all the cameras. My how things have changed! I also realize that we are less than a week from Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and I can’t help but feel thankful for all of the technology we do have available to us these days. Here’s a list of 3 tech things that were created in 1963 that you still find useful today!

THE SMILEY FACEThe smiley face was invented to help bored office workers. Harvey Bell has hired by a Mutual Life Insurance Company to help make their unhappy employees a bit happier. In the beginning stages, it was just a smile, but they realized it could be turned upside down to make a frown so they added in some dots for the eyes. The early days of the emoticon!

Something we use everyday, the computer mouse, was invented by Doug Engelbart in his research lab at SRI International (then Stanford Research Institute), for which the patent was issued in 1970. The basic idea came when he was attending a comference and needed an easy way to move around the pointer on the screen. And hence, the mouse was born. While it has progressed into a track pad for some, computer mice are still used very widely around the world!

The word “hypertext” was also born in 1963 – the world to describe a common text based system for linking computer information that led to the internet. This term was first coined by Ted Nelson in 1963.

And one last thing to be grateful for that was invented in 1963, Instant Coffee! 🙂


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