The Invention of First Computer – History Writing

Writing Help for Writing HistoryEverything You Need To Know About The Invention of First Computer

This post is part of a series of articles I have written on the subject, Writing History. This is a continuation of the writing history I started in my previous post. It is my intention that we have a grasp of where it all began (in relation to writing).


To see the bigger picture, its important to explore other inventions leading to the first computer. This takes us back to the era of pens.


The first fountain pen was invented in 1827. Pens fall into two categories Modern Pens and Historic Pens. 


Ballpoint Pens

Modern pens include ballpoint, rollerball, fountain and felt or ceramic tip pens. Ballpoint Pens replaced the fountain pens. To date, Ballpoint pens have become the most commonly used for everyday writing.


Different types of pens are grouped according to the writing tips they have.


(1) Rollerball Pen uses gel ink.

(2)  A Fountain Pen uses water-based liquid ink with a nib.

(3) Felt-tip Pen or a marker has a porous tip of fibrous material. Markers are also known as highlighters. 


Historic Pens are no longer commonly used. They are occasionally used by calligraphers including other artists. Below I have listed a few of the historic ones. 


A Dip Pen

A Dip Pen has no ink reservoir, so it must be repeatedly recharged with ink while being used.


Quill Pen

Quill Pen is made from a flight feather of a large bird. These were largely used in medieval times to write on parchment or paper.


Reed Pen

A Reed pen is made from a single piece of reed that is pointed into a square and split at the point. For more information click here.


Pens As A Status Symbol

Many people like to use expensive types and brands of pens and fountain pens as a status symbol. 


The Evolution – Computer History

The history of writing evolved over the years from one stage to another and the introduction of technology. I will hand pick just a few examples of the route taken to travel from the pen invention, the phonograph, the typewriter to the highway of computers. 


In a study, ‘Machines for Writing and Reading’ Lisa Gateman writes that a phonograph is one of the machines invented in 1887. A phonograph is a textual device for taking dictation. Later, it became known in its later forms as a gramophone. 


The invention of the typewriter and the personal computer with the keyboard input method offered another way to write. It’s reported that early European typewriters began appearing in the early 19th century. 


Freed and Ishida (1995) describe the computer invention as a huge milestone in technology which made it possible to include massive amounts of information on a tiny “chip.” 


Plamquist M. etal (1999) mentioned that computers help users to write more efficiently and effectively. In this era, writers take advantage of the most modern word processors to help them write better and faster.


A computer also provides detailed discussions of locating, evaluating, and organizing the information on the Internet. Both the world wide web and the computers help writers generate ideas; collect and evaluate information; draft, review, revise, and edit text.


The history of computers has presented a vast variety of computer technology, covering the most basic calculator to complex mega-machines that see today. 


A Massachusetts College Research Paper (2003) report on how computers began. Claude Shannon, a young engineer and mathematician, published a seminar paper in 1948 entitled “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” In this paper, he introduced his theory which later shaped the communication technologies that we use today. 


As a follow-up to Shannon’s theory, a paper presented at an International Symposium in 1998 entitled, ‘Wearable Computers’ reported that the first wearable computer, a cigarette pack sized analogue device, was jointly invented by the Shannons and Thorps in Las Vegas in 1961. 


Since then, a lot of developments have taken place in the History of Writing and the communications sector. I get so excited when trying to figure out what’s coming next. 



If you have any question related to my blog post, the Invention of the First Computer, please feel free to leave it below. I will be more than happy to respond.



8 Comments to “The Invention of First Computer – History Writing”

  1. Simon Crowe in Asia says:

    Thank you for yet another interesting article Femia!

    It’s amazing to think even in my own short lifetime (born in 1985), we’ve gone from typewriters to home computers with floppy discs and slow dial up internet connectison to laptops with USB drives and now to Smartphones with 24/7 internet broadband access.

    It has never been easier to communicate with so many people – both a blessing and a curse! It’s not been harder to disconnect too! 🙂

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Simon, thank you so much for your comment. You are absolutely right. The changes are non-stop. They are just spiralling at an unprecedented scale.

  2. Isam says:

    Dear Femia,
    Good page and website. Here is my contribution in the following points:
    1- Your website has very good and clear text colors in the foreground and background.
    2- The whole idea about the history of writing is nice. Would you please add the Printers history as a writers’ tool to another page.
    3- Also, add how a section on media growth in terms of the exploration of writing tools technologies.

    I think this will enrich the audience and result in more beautiful interaction between you and your audience.

    With my best regards,


    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Isam, thank you so much for your comment and brilliant suggestions including the advice on adding the printer’s history as a writers’ tool. I will look into these as soon as I can. Keep checking.

  3. roamy says:

    Hello Femia
    Thanks for sharing your well-written post.It`s interesting knowing that we use pens almost every day( at least I still do) but never take the time to think when pens were first discovered.
    Another thing I have never stopped to think about is how many different pens are out there so this is a real good, interesting and informative reading.
    Just like pens, I personally have never really thought how computers came to be, so this is a real welcome read.In the end, one this is clear, computers have made communication easier,now when looking for any info, all you have to do is turn on the computer and the info is available.
    Do you still use pens? I find it a shame that pens are quickly running out of fashion.

    1. Femia says:

      Wow I love your comment, everything you have said. I still use pens a lot especially for taking minutes. I also use them to write down my article notes. Computers are such a fantastic invention, however, they need some manual backing-up. So I keep notes manually, just in case I lose my files on the computer or I lose my memory sticks.

  4. Shanna says:

    A lot of people don’t realize what a miracle written communication actually is. We take for granted that we can put our thoughts down on paper and transmit them anywhere in the world. And it doesn’t even have to be paper anymore, but the digital space between two computers. Thanks for such a well researched article highlighting some of the important steps in writing history.

    By the way, I am one of those calligraphers who still uses a dip pen. I also own quill pens and reed pens, though I can never really get them to work. One of the reasons I stick to a dip pen, when there are easier options out there, is because I feel it connects me to history in a unique way.

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Shanna, thanks so much for your comment. I feel so humbled to hear your opinion about this subject ‘Writing History.’ Also, the fact that you are one of the calligraphers still using some of the pens I have listed, is just amazing.

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