World's first computer mouse

The World’s First Mouse

The World’s first mouse was invented and developed by a chap called Douglas Engelbart in the 1960s, helped by Bill English.  Mr Engelbart was a researcher at Stanford University at the time, and the mouse was later patented in 1970.  Initially, it wasn’t called a mouse.  Its original name was the X-Y Position Indicator for Display Systems.  This was a bit of a mouthful, and Mr Engelbart thought his invention looks a bit like a rodent, and so the mouse name stuck.

It was first used with an Xerox Alto computer system in 1973 but wasn’t very successful.  This may have been because it was made of wood, large and square.  But it was very beautiful.  Imagine using this mouse…do you think it would be easy to use?  Or do you think it would be quite awkward?

The mouse was first commercially used in 1983 with the Apple Lisa computer.  They were made of plastic and smaller, but still not quite the beautiful ergonomic mice we use today.  But they had a huge impact on computer use because it meant users didn’t have to remember lots of commands – such as DOS cd to change directory.  Now users can just click a folder.

The computer mouse has also spawned other peripherals for the modern computer.  The touchpad on laptops, drawing pads, touchscreens on mobile phones and tablet PCs.  And so, the computer mouse in one of its various forms is used on just about every electronic device you can think of nowadays.

But, we think our own Monty Mouse is the most beautiful.


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