What we experience today as the Digital Age came about by the work of many over many years, some of whom are briefly described here. Starting in the mid 1800's, Charles Babbage worked out all the basic principles of a modern computer and attempted to build one with only mechanical devices. George Boole developed a new branch of mathematics, symbolic logic, the foundation of electronic circuit theory. Nikola Tesla by the late 1800's had actually built the first logic circuits; By the 1910's Lee De Forest had built an improved vacuum tube (triode) critical to computer operation; Vannevar Bush (same family as the presidents) developed the first analog computer in the 1920's; Konrad Zuse built the first freely programmable computer in the 1930's; Norbert Weiner developed the mathematical basis for communication; Based on Babbage's designs, John von Neumann developed working digital computers, as did Grace Hopper and Howard Aiken in the 1940's; by the 1950's William Shockley built the first transistors, Eckert & Mauchly built the first business computers; 1962 saw the first computer game; in 1969 what became the Internet was started; 1970 saw the first integrated chip built by Jack Kilby; the mid-seventies saw the first consumer computers and consumer software and the founding of Apple and Microsoft; the 1980's saw the arrival personal computers and development of the Internet with worldwide business and social changes, which is still altering our culture today.
The New Intelligent Man's Guide to Science, I. Asimov,1965