Histories of the evolution of computing are numerous, but so far none have attempted to put computing in its larger cultural context. The Computer Museum of America in Roswell, Georgia, created a curvilinear wall, 85' x 15' for this timeline, to introduce the museum’s main theme, “Innovation Past Forward.”
Our goal was to place computing milestones into a fun, engaging, and educational form that would stimulate conversation and thought.
We researched, wrote, and designed a timeline that organizes 500 key milestones of computing history into major theme bands. Beginning in 10,000 BCE, major events in computing, are divided into categories: People, machines, organizations, and innovations. Each category is color coded, with a visual and a 100-word statement of importance. There is a separate theme band for mathematical and programming language development (the black band running through the center of the wall.) Above the main milestones run separate theme bands for transportation, iconic cultural events, fashion, games (conventional and digital), heroes and sheroes, both real and mythical. The finished wall incorporates more than 1000 visuals.
This timeline forms the backdrop for the museum's collection of microcomputer and supercomputer artifacts. It has become one of our most popular installations.