Engelbart was born in Portland, Oregon on January 30, 1925, to Carl Louis Engelbart and Gladys Charlotte Amelia Munson Engelbart. His ancestors were of German, Swedish and Norwegian descent.
Midway through his college studies at Oregon State College at Corvallis, near the end of World War II, he was drafted into the United States Navy, serving two years as a radar technician in the Philippines. On a small island, in a tiny hut on stilts, he first read Vannevar Bush's article "As We May Think", which greatly inspired him. He returned to Oregon State College and completed his Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1948. While at Oregon State College, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity. He was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at the Ames Research Center, where he worked in wind tunnel maintenance. In his off hours he enjoyed hiking, camping, and folk dancing.
He enrolled in graduate school in electrical engineering at University of California, Berkeley, graduating with a Master of Science degree in 1953, and a Ph.D. in 1955. As a graduate student at Berkeley he assisted in the construction of the California Digital Computer project CALDIC. His graduate work led to several patents. After completing his PhD, Engelbart stayed on at Berkeley as an assistant professor to teach for a year, and left when it was clear he could not pursue his vision there. Engelbart then formed a startup company, Digital Techniques, to commercialize some of his doctorate research on storage devices, but after a year decided instead to pursue the research he had been dreaming of since 1951.
Engelbart took a position at SRI International (known then as Stanford Research Institute) in Menlo Park, California in 1957. He initially worked for Hewitt Crane on magnetic devices and miniaturization of electronics; Engelbart and Crane became close friends. At SRI, Engelbart gradually obtained over a dozen patents (some resulting from his graduate work), and by 1962 produced a report about his vision and proposed research agenda titled Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.
This led to funding from ARPA to launch his work. Engelbart recruited a research team in his new Augmentation Research Center (ARC, the lab he founded at SRI). Engelbart embedded a set of organizing principles in his lab, which he termed "bootstrapping strategy". He designed the strategy to accelerate the rate of innovation of his lab.
The ARC became the driving force behind the design and development of the oN-Line System (NLS). He and his team developed computer interface elements such as bitmapped screens, the mouse, hypertext, collaborative tools, and precursors to the graphical user interface. He conceived and developed many of his user interface ideas back in the mid-1960s, long before the personal computer revolution, at a time when most computers were inaccessible to individuals, who could only use computers through intermediaries (see batch processing), and when software tended to be written for vertical applications in proprietary systems.
Two Apple Macintosh Plus mice, 1986
Engelbart applied for a patent in 1967 and received it in 1970, for the wooden shell with two metal wheels (computer mouse – U.S. Patent 3,541,541), which he had developed with Bill English, his lead engineer, a few years earlier. In the patent application it is described as an "X-Y position indicator for a display system". Engelbart later revealed that it was nicknamed the "mouse" because the tail came out the end. His group also called the on-screen cursor a "bug", but this term was not widely adopted.
He never received any royalties for his mouse invention. During an interview, he said "SRI patented the mouse, but they really had no idea of its value. Some years later it was learned that they had licensed it to Apple Computer for something like $40,000." Engelbart showcased the chorded keyboard and many more of his and ARC's inventions in 1968 at The Mother of All Demos. "
SOME INTERESTING POSTS!!!!!
Thinking rationally and innovative bent helped him invent and build and empire on INSTANT NOODLES !!!
This enthusiastic sailor discovered penicillin by accident & was first non-medic to to receive honorary doctorate in Oxford's 800 year history!!!