In July 1945, Atlantic Monthly published “As We May Think,” by army scientist Vannevar Bush, an essay that had an immense influence on the history of computing. Bush was concerned about the explosion of information without a means to quickly retrieve data.
The article described a device called a Memex, an intuitive, associative retrieval system designed to supplement memory. He envisioned a desk with screens that would allow users to view documents, add notes, and create associations through a body of work.
The Memex was a conceptual ancestor to electronically linked materials and, ultimately, the Internet. Bush’s ideas were expanded by Theodor Nelson who, in 1961, coined hypertext and hypermedia to describe the environment where text, images, and video could be digitally interconnected.