If you have ever used a laptop and thought of its ingenuity, you have to thank British designer, author, and educator Bill Moggridge, who died this past Saturday (September 8th, 2012).
Moggridge, from London, came to the United States in 1965 for a short time and was hired as a hospital equipment designer for American Sterilizer Company in Erie, PA; however, he returned back to London to study typography and communications. In 1969, he founded Moggridge Associates, and designed a toaster for the UK division of Hoover.
In 1972, Moggridge started working on his first computer project, a mini computer for Computer Technology Ltd, but was later turned down. Although, when Moggridge returned back to the United States in 1979, and opened “ID Two” in California, the “GRiD Compass” was born. The “GRiD Compass” (shown below) was a box-shaped computer with a screen that opened up to expose a keyboard.
Bill Moggridge also was involved with the academic world. He was an Associate Professor at Stanford University from 1983-2010.
On September 8th of 2012, Bill Moggridge died after a long battle with cancer, and was 69 years of age at the time of his death. Many fans of Moggridge’s work have left their condolences via Twitter:
RIP Bill Moggridge, the inventor of the first laptop computer. (????)??
RIP Bill Moggridge, honestly I don’t know who you are before your death, but thanks for your great idea…
RIP Bill Moggridge, thank you for your invention of laptops…
Bill Moggridge, the man behind the FIRST laptop, passed away at the age of 69, Saturday following a battle with cancer. May he rest in peace