When Jay Invented Computer Memory

One evening in the spring of 1949, Jay Forrester hit upon the idea of magnetic-core memory while leafing through a magazine.

For two nights, he later said, he walked the streets at night tossing the idea around in his head.

On June 13, 1949, he penned in his notebook the design of what would become the dominant form of RAM for the next twenty years.

 At that moment, he could have put his pen down, telephoned a top-notch IP law firm, arranged for a heady VC investment, and then resigned from MIT and Project Whirlwind.

He could have gone out on his own, hung a sign out that said Jay’s Magnet Shop, and made millions hand over fist until Intel came out with its first chip…two decades distant (1971).

He didn’t do anything of the sort. The kid from Nebraska stayed put. And MIT ended up with $25 million in royalties (in 1950’s dollars) from his invention.

 Why?

 


                   See for yourself. Return to 1949 with

                   The Untold Story of Everything Digital