|Vannevar Bush is probably the most influential figure in the story of hypertext. He directly influenced Ted Nelson and Douglas C Engelbart with his work, and more specifically with his
his revolutionary article "As We May Think." It was his concept of the Memex that introduced for the first time, the notion of an easily configurable store of knowledge.|
|He did his masters thesis in 1913 which included the invention of the Profile Tracer, which was used in surveying work. In 1919 he went to MIT's Dept. of Electrical Engineering where he stayed for a period of twenty five years, including being appointed Vice President and Dean in 1932.
During this period, Bush worked on photocomposition and optical devices, as well as a device that would allow fast retrieval from a vast store of microfilm. So he was working on information retrieval systems before his famous article "As We May Think", was published in 1945, in the Atlantic Monthly.|
|In 1939 he was appointed President of the Carnegie Institute in Washington, DC. This was followed in the same year,
as Chair of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and by being appointed the director of the Office of Scientific
Research and Development by the President, giving him the responsibility for the six thousand scientists involved in the war effort.|
|Bush's most famous invention, the Memex, was not his only visionary device. In the same article ("As We May Think") he describes a device called the Cyclops Camera: |
"worn on forehead, it would photograph anything you see and want to record. Film would be developed by dry photography." (Sounds similar in priciple
to either the videocamera or the instamatic camera, both of which allow almost instant retrieval of their images). Another of his ideas that has come to fruition is the vocoder:
"a machine which could type when talked to."