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What Was the First Computer Mouse Made of?

The first computer mouse was developed by Douglas Englebart in 1964. It was composed of a wooden shell and contained a circuit board. Two metal wheels protruded from the bottom of the mouse and produced the motion that triggered activity on the board. By 1972, the design had been upgraded, with plastic replacing the wooden shell and using a plastic ball in place of the two metal wheels. The latter design was known as a ball mouse and served as the basis for the mouse designs that were popularized during the 1990s.

More facts about the computer mouse:

  • The first optical computer mouse was produced in 1980 but was considered too expensive for mass production at the time. By 1998, innovations in microcontroller processing eliminated many of the cost obstacles and made it possible to produce a fully functional optical mouse that could be sold at a competitive price.

  • The first laser mouse was produced by Agilent Technologies in 2004. This particular optical mouse design uses a small laser instead of the light-emitting diode (LED) technology that is used in other models.

  • The first computer mouse was configured with a single button. Between 1964 and 2000, various mouse designs included two to five buttons. The three-button design is among the most popular in use, with the left button typically considered the primary control button for right-handed people.

Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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