Analog-to-digital timeline

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This page serves as a timeline to show when analog devices were first made with digital circuits and systems.

  • 1847 (?) : piano roll: a digital recording of which notes were played.
  • 1877: gramophone record: an analog recording that more-or-less replaces the digital piano roll.
  • 1920s, Bell Labs designed the first digital speaker. The product was abandoned before its release due to cost, size, unreliability, and overall impracticality. Even though many analog speakers have labels that say "digital", digital speakers today remain unavailable commercially.Digital speakers
  • 1940(?) bookkeeping using Charga-Plates to imprint account numbers, rather than writing them by hand.
  • January 31, 2005, Credit card: Fujitsu patents the Wireless Wallet, a cell phone that doubles as an electronic credit card for more secure transactions.[6]


  1. ^ Maurice d'Ocagne p.245 (1893)
  2. ^ Jean Marguin, p. 48 (1994) ; Quoting René Taton (1963)
  3. ^ C. G. Chase, page 204 (1980)


  • Marguin, Jean (1994). Histoire des instruments et machines à calculer, trois siècles de mécanique pensante 1642-1942 (in French). Hermann. ISBN 978-2-7056-6166-3. 
  • Taton, René (1963). Le calcul mécanique. Que sais-je ? n° 367 (in French). Presses universitaires de France. pp. 20–28. 
  • d'Ocagne, Maurice (1893). Annales du Conservatoire national des arts et métier, 2e série, tome 5, Le calcul simplifié (in French). Paris: Gauthiers-Villars et files, Imprimeurs-Libraires. 
  • Chase, George C (July 1980). History of Mechanical Computing Machinery. Volume 2, Number 3. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.