Fun Facts About Technology History

Where would we be without our computers and smartphones? If it wasn’t for many innovations before these, we never would have gotten to the mobile paradise we live in today. Let’s take a look at some fun facts about technology history that will put a smile on your face and make you go “Hmmmm……”.


  • The word “technology” is a combination of a Greek word for “art, craft” (techne) and the word for “Word, speech” (logos).
  • The first known calculator, the Abacus, was invented in Babylonia in 2400 BC.
  • The 10th Scandinavian King Harald I is what the Bluetooth is named after. The king was known for eating lots of blueberries and subsequently sporting blue teeth, therefore given the nickname “Bluetooth”. His runic initials can be seen in the Bluetooth logo.
  • Hewlett Packard was started in a garage in Palo Alto, California in 1939. Google, Apple and Microsoft were all started in garages as well.
  • IBM created the first hard drive in 1956 called IBM Model 350 Disk File. The storage unit for the first-generation was enormous, and it had a cabinet the size of a cupboard for holding 50 24-inch disks that could hold 5MB of data.
  • The first computer mouse was invented in 1964 by Doug Engelbart and it was made out of wood with two metal wheels.
  • E-mail has been around longer than the World Wide Web. The first estimated system of this type was called MAILBOX, which was first used at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965.
  • In 1969, the computers that took Apollo 11 to the moon had less processing power than today’s cellphone, Nintendo Game Boy and a modern toaster with stop/start/defrost buttons.
  • One of the first companies to be involved in the revolution of the PC was Radio Shack in the 1970’s with its TRS-80.
  • The first public cell phone call was made by Martin Cooper on April 3, 1973.
  • Inside the Original Macintosh computer case are 47 signatures for each member of the Macintosh division of Apple in 1982.
  • Launched on April 11, 1984, the first cell phone sold in the US was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X and it weighed 2 pounds.
  • The first palmtop computer was released in 1989 and it was the Atari Portfolio. It appeared two years later in the movie, Terminator 2, and it was used by young John Connor to hack into an ATM and gain the key to the vault in the Cyberdyne lab.
  • Japan is known for its cleanliness. In the 1990’s, the Japanese company Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions put out an ATM machine that heats the bills to 200 degrees Celsius so that bacteria is killed. Then, it ironed and dispensed them.