Who Invented the Mouse a/k/a the X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System?

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It is often amazing how little we know of the history of everyday devices.

Who invented the telephone?  We all know the answer.

What about the mouse that sitting next to your hand right now?

The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart.  J. Freeman, The Tyranny of E-Mail:  The Four-Thousand Year Journey to Your Inbox (Scribner 2009), 2, 6;  see generally, M. Berman, et al., eds., “Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial” (ABA 2011), 752-60.

It wasn’t always called a “mouse.”  It had much greater ambitions.

“The mouse was originally referred to as an ‘X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System’….”  See Computer Hope, “When and who invented the first computer mouse?”

Why is it called a mouse?

“With the cord coming out of the back of the mouse Douglas said the device reminded him of the rodent mouse and the name stuck.”  Id.

Engelbart collaborated with Bill English. Id.

Computers designed to work with a mouse hit the market in 1973 and went mainstream in 1983.  M. Bellis, “Who Invented the Computer Mouse?” (ThoughtCo Aug. 6, 2018).

 

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