Internet Pioneer

Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush was never directly involved with the creation or development of the Internet. He died before the creation of the World Wide Web. Yet many consider Bush to be the Godfather of our wired age often making reference to his 1945 essay, "As We May Think." In his article, Bush described a theoretical machine he called a "memex," which was to enhance human memory by allowing the user to store and retrieve documents linked by associations. This associative linking was very similar to what is known today as hypertext. Indeed, Ted Nelson who later did pioneering work with hypertext credited Bush as his main influence (Zachary, 399). Others, such as J.C.R. Licklider and Douglas Engelbart have also paid homage to Bush. Bush's innovative idea for automating human memory was obviously important in the development digital age, but even more important was his influence on the institution of science in America. His work to create a relationship between the government and the scientific establishment during WWII changed the way scientific research is carried on in the U.S. and fostered the environment in which the Internet was later created.

References on Vannevar Bush

Britannica Vannevar Bush
AtomicHeritage Foundation
As We May Think
Wikipedia Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush