The mouse may seem like a relatively new gadget, but get this: It’s about to turn 50.
The first model was invented in the early 1960s by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English at Stanford University. Made of wood and featuring a bright red push button, the contraption was more matchbox than computer device. Still, the “mouse” (so named because the cord looked like a tail) took off, and before long sleeker versions popped up in R&D labs and in stores as the PC—and computing itself—became more mainstream.
Whereas today’s mice are sleek and curved, early models were blocky and bulky, much like other hardware at the time. Many companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Logitech, produced innovative models in the 1980s and ‘90s that resembled space-age toys or garage-door openers. Some models succeeded, many didn’t. And the types of mice varied by technology as much as color: mechanical mice, gyroscopic mice, 3D mice, optical mice, tactile mice, and most recently, wireless mice and touch mice.
Here are a few pictures of early Microsoft mice…
- Hardware Team