Who invented the first computer, camera, and stereo/record player? When were they invented?

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Computers--If you mean a machine used to compute data, then the first one was probably the abacus, and I don't think we know who invented it. Archaeologists discovered a device called the Antikythera mechanism, which they think is an ancient computer. The first modern computer was developed in 1939 by Bulgarian American scientist John Atanasoff.

Record player--Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.

Camera--According to wikipedia, the first photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Niepce. However, during the Renaissance, artists like Leonardo da Vinci used a device called a camera obscura to project images onto paper. Many people are responsible for developing the camera as we know it today. See the history of the camera at wikipedia.


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frizzyperm | Student

The abacus is a counting machine and an aid to human calculation. In itself, it can't compute anything.

The first genuine computer was invented by Charles Babbage in Manchester, Great Britain. It was a mechanical device. He started his collosal 'Difference Engine' in 1822. It had 25,000 parts and weighed 15 tons! It was never finished he realised how to improve it before he finished. But it was later completed by enthusiasts and proved to work. Babbage's ideas started research that leads directly to the early modern computers. He is accepted as having invented the computer.


The invention of the first modern electronic computer is hugely contested and remains unclear because 'a computer' is defined in different ways and everyone wants the 'glory' of being the first. It was probably The Germans who got their first. However, there is a progression of machines. Here is a list of contenders.


Certainly the most exciting early computer and a contender for the claim of the world's first programmable digital computer was built in secret by the British in the WWII at Bletchley Park. Bletchley is where the Nazi's Enigma code was de-coded, using computers. The Bletchley computer made an unimaginable contribution to winning the war.

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