The Bug

The Bug


Thomas Edison was an early adopter of the word "Bug". In an 1878 letter, he used the term to refer to a technological glitch.


share Share

Edison was focused on improving the telephone, a job he took on for Western Union, which was eager to rival Alexander Graham Bell’s new communications company. Edison wrote to William Orton, Western Union’s president, updating him on a conversation they’d had in person about a new telephone design:

“You were partly correct, I did find a ‘bug’ in my apparatus, but it was not in the telephone proper. It was of the genus ‘callbellum.’ The insect appears to find conditions for its existence in all call apparatus of telephones.”

This letter, at auction next week at Swann Galleries, is one of the earliest examples of this use of “bug,” to describe a problem with technology.


ARPANet

The Internet was originally called ARPANet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) designed by the US Department of Defense.

Read More
Australia or New Holland

Australia was originally called New Holland.

Read More
Tennis

Tennis was originally played with bare hands.

Read More
Mona Lisa

It took Leonardo Da Vinci 10 years to paint Mona Lisa.

Read More