by CIO Staff

This Date in IT History: VisiCalc Founder Born

Jul 15, 20021 min
Enterprise Applications

1829 William Austin Burt of Mount Vernon, Mich., received the first typewriter patented in the United States on July 23. (It predated the qwerty keyboard by 29 years.)

1937 Italian Nobel laureate Guglielmo Marconi, known for his experiments in radio transmissions, died July 20 in Rome at 63.

1947 The early Army computer ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer) was rebooted on July 29 after receiving a memory upgrade that took about seven months to complete.

1951 Dan Bricklin was born on July 16 in Philadelphia. He went on to invent the VisiCalc spreadsheet for the Apple II while a student at Harvard Business School in 1979.

1962 A programming error (the omission of a hyphen in one line of code) caused the Mariner I spacecraft to fly erratically and prompted NASA to destroy it five minutes after its launch on July 22.

1992 Ken Olsen, founder and president of Digital Equipment Corp., resigns July 16 from the company he founded in 1957 in Maynard, Mass.

Sources:, Jones Digital Century’s online encyclopedia,, Federal Trade Commission, NASA,, The Journal of the American Ordnance Association, Bebop BYTES Back (An Unconventional Guide to Computers)