On This Day in 1890 - Vannevar Bush Born
Written by Historian   
Sunday, 11 March 2012
Vannevar Bush, who is remembered for his work on analog computers and for introducing a concept that we now consider the hyperlink, was born on March 11, 1890 in Everett, Massachusetts, USA.

Like many computer pioneers Vannevar Bush was motivated to build a computer because he needed to solve equations. However, he was already an inventor who had a finely honed instinct for mechanical devices.

While an undergraduate he designed an amazing device that measured ground levels. You rolled it over the terrain and it drew a graph of the change in height. The device was purely mechanical but it included an integrator - the basic component needed to build an analog computer.

 

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Vannevar Bush

March 11, 1890 - June 28, 1974

 

Starting in 1927, Bush constructed a Differential Analyser, an analog computer that could solve differential equations This was a significant development in the progress towards an analog computer - even though Bush himself disclaimed any credit for the invention of the digital computer.

Bush is also remembered for his proposed Memex machine, a machine that stored and retrieved information using microfilm and used what we would now call a hypertext link to form information trails. So he can be credited with having invented the hyperlink back in 1945.

For more of the story of Vannevar Bush turn to the article about him in our History section.

 

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