Computers & Mobile Science Technology
Maker Birthdays:  Douglas Engelbart

Chances are you have Douglas C. Engelbart to thank for what you’re holding in your hand right now.

I’m talking about your computer mouse, of course.

Dr. Engelbart was born on this date in 1925. In 1967, while working at the prestigious Stanford Research Institute, he applied for a patent on an “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System,” which issued in 1970, although, per his Wikipedia article, he never actually received any royalties on it. He has been widely honored for his contributions to human-computer interface development.

Dr. Engelbart has four children and nine grandchildren, and today he’s 85. Congratulations and happy birthday, sir!


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan