Tech Pioneers You've Probably Never Heard Of

Source: Flickr/Christopher Elliott


Computing as we know it today is like many other major inventions in history in that it happened in fits and starts. But in many cases, there was no one pivotal moment that shaped history, no image for people to hold onto, such as when the Wright Brothers soared into the sky in the first successful airplane, or Neil Armstrong took a few steps on the moon. That isn't to say that the invention of the PC or the CD ROM or the World Wide Web weren't just as groundbreaking (if not more so), but it does mean that for many people, there are very few names to attach to these developments. Here we take a look at some of the lesser-known pioneers of computing and the stories behind the technology we use today.

If you're a history buff, you might also like The Pioneers of Computer Programming and The Pioneers of the World Wide Web.

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Table of Contents

David Bunnell
Written by John F. McMullen
John F. McMullen lives with his wife, Barbara, in Jefferson Valley, New York, in a converted barn full of pets (dog, cats, and turtles) and books. He has been involved in technology for more than 40 years and has written more than 1,500 articles, columns and reviews about it for major publications. He is a professor at Purchase College and has previously taught at Monroe College, Marist College and the New School for Social Research. He is also a member of the American Academy of Poets, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freelancer's Union, the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and the World Futurist Society.

His current non-technical writing includes a novel, "The Inwood Book" and "New & Collected Poems by johnmac the bard." Both are available on