The Wood Mouse: An Ingenious Invention that Launched a Billion Clicks

In the mid-20th century, computers were still very primitive compared to today’s.

The idea of a computer mouse didn’t exist until 1964, when Doug Engelbart invented the first-ever computer mouse.

Interestingly, this revolutionary device was made entirely of wood.

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What Did the First Computer Mouse Look Like?

The first computer mouse was a small wooden box with two wheels, or “rollers,” on the bottom.

These rollers were connected to a circuit board inside the mouse, which tracked their movement and translated it into action on the computer screen.

On top of the box was a button that could be pressed to trigger an action on the computer.

The controller was connected to a switch inside the mouse, which sent a signal to the computer telling it what to do.

Why Was the First Mouse Made of Wood?


You might be wondering why the first computer mouse was made of wood, of all things.

The answer is simple: Engelbart was an engineer, not a carpenter, and he used what he had on hand.

At the time, Engelbart was working at the Stanford Research Institute, and his resources were limited.

How Did the First Mouse Change Computing?

The invention of the computer mouse was a game-changer for computing.

Before the mouse, computer interaction required typing commands on a keyboard, which was time-consuming and difficult for many people.

Users could point and click with the mouse, making computers much more accessible to the general public.

Over time, the design of the mouse has evolved to become more ergonomic, wireless, and sensitive to movement.
But the basic concept of the mouse has remained the same: a device that allows users to interact with their computer more intuitively and naturally.

The first computer mouse may have been made of wood, but it paved the way for a revolution in computing that continues to this day.

Today, we take for granted the ease and simplicity of using a mouse to interact with our computers.

Still, remembering that it all started with a simple wooden box with two rollers and a button on top is worth remembering.

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