The following is a chronological listing of significant events in the development of the field of Information Technology between 1900 and 1939. For other time periods see:
- Chronology of Events - Pre-1700
- Chronology of Events - 1700s
- Chronology of Events - 1800s
- Chronology of Events - 1940s
- Chronology of Events - 1950s
- Chronology of Events - 1960s
- Chronology of Events - 1970s
- Chronology of Events - 1980s
- Chronology of Events - 1990s
- Chronology of Events - 2000s
- Chronology of Events - 2010s
1900 — Nikola Tesla develops frequency hopping.
1902 — In Japan, Yazu Ryoichi builds the first mechanical calculator called the automatic abacus.
1902 — Rechnitzer develops the first machine with automatic multiplication and division.
1906 — Lee deForest invents the vacuum tube.
1906 — Russian Boris Rosing invents the first working television.
July 1, 1909 — Congress passes a major revision to existing copyright law. Under the 1909 Copyright Act, the initial term of copyright protection in published form is measured from the date of publication of the work. The initial term is 28 years, with a 28 year renewal term. Copyright registration is required.
1909 — Marconi opens a regular radio-telegraph transatlantic service.
June 15, 1911 — IBM is formed.
1912 — The first International Radiotelegraph Convention is signed.
December 19, 1913 — In settlement of the first antitrust suit filed against AT&T by the U.S. government, the parties enter into what is known as the "Kingsbury Commitment." AT&T agrees to divest its holdings in Western Union, stop acquiring other telephone companies, permit other telephone companies to interconnect, and become a regulated monopoly.
1913 — Wiliam Coolidge, General Electric invents the X-ray tube.
1914 — The Federal Trade Commission is created.
1914 — Edward Kleinschmidt invents the teletype.
1914 — ASCAP is founded.
1914 — The Calculating-Tabulating-Recording Company (later renamed IBM) is founded by Herman Hollerith.
July 13, 1914 — President Woodrow Wilson proclaims U.S. adherence to the Buenos Aires Copyright Convention of 1910, which establishes copyright protection between the U.S. and certain Latin American countries.
January 25, 1915 — Alexander Graham Bell makes the first North American transcontinental telephone call.
July 31, 1918 — A proclamation by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson grants control of telephone and telegraph systems in the United States to the U.S. Post Office. This decision is reversed on July 30, 1919.
1919 — W. H. Eccles and F. W. Jordan invent the flip-flop vacuum tube.
1920 — Czech novelist Karel Capek publishes the play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots") in Prague. It premiered in 1921. It is the first publication in which the term "robot" appears. It explores the issue of whether worker-machines will replace humans.
1920 — The first radio broadcasts begin in the United States.
February 24, 1924 — IBM is formed by the merger of several other companies, including the company owned by Herman Hollerith.
1924 — The International Radiotelegraph Conference implements the Table of Frequency Allocations.
1924 — Walther Bothe develops the logic gate.
1925 — Western Electric Research Laboratories become Bell Telephone Laboratories, the basic research facility for the Bell System.
|“||When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.||”|
1926 — Tne National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is founded as a subsidiary of RCA.
January 1927 — The first transatlantic radio-telephone service from the U.K. to the United States is established.
1930 — Kurt Godel publishes a paper on the use of a universal formal language.
1930 — H. J. Zeeman (Netherlands) discovers silicon semiconductor properties.
1932 — Jay B. Nash publishes in Spectatoritis:
|“||The machine frees. True. . . . Within our grasp is the leisure of the Greek citizen, made possible by our mechanical slaves, which far outnumber his twelve to fifteen per free man. These mechanical slaves jump to our aid. As we step into a room, at the touch of a button a dozen light our way. Another slave sits twenty-four hours a day at our thermostat, regulating the heat of our home. Another sits night and day at our automatic refrigerator. They start our car; run our motors; shine our shoes, and cut our hair. They practically eliminate time and space by their very fleetness.||”|
July 1, 1934 — The Communications Act of 1934 takes effect.
April 11, 1936 — Konrad Zuse applies for a patent on his electromagnetic, program-controlled calculator, called the Z1. It was the first freely programmable, binary-based calculating machine built, although it did not function reliably. The Z1 was destroyed in World War II.
November 30, 1936 — The first coaxial cable is completed between New York and Philadelphia.
1937 — Alan Turing develops the concept of a theoretical computing machine.
October 22, 1938 — Chester Carlson produces first electrophotographic image — a precursor to the xerography process.
October 30, 1938 — "War of the Worlds" is broadcast on the radio as part of Orson Welles' "The Mercury Theatre on the Air" series.
1939 — John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry develop the ABC (Atanasoft-Berry Computer) prototype.
1939 — Hewlett-Packard is Founded by David Packard and Bill Hewlett in a Palo Alto, California garage.
1939 — The first RCA television set is built.
1939 — The Z2 is built by Konrad Zuse.
1939 — The Enigma machine is broken by the Poles Marian Rejewski and Gordon Welchman, and Alan Turing's team at Bletchley Park in England.
October 1939 — George Stibitz develops the Complex Number Calculator (called "Model 1") — a foundation for future digital computers.
- ↑ Inez Hunt & Wanetta W. Draper, "Lightning in His Hand: The Life Story of Nikola Tesla" (1964).