Trevor Flowers

Memex #001

My daughter and I built the first working Memex. The outside of the desk sized machine looks and acts like it was built in 1945, the year that Vannevar Bush wrote "As We May Think".

Life magazine Memex illustration

Sadly, Vannevar Bush's memex was far beyond what the analog technologies of 1945 could enable so it remained just a fantasy.

It seemed wrong that nobody built the Memex as envisioned in the article so we gathered all available documentation, spoke with experts, and then carefully fabricated Memex #001 to match Dr. Bush's specifications.

Memex front view

Here is a video demonstrating the Memex #001 in action.

Here are Sparks and I after completion of the work:

Trevor and Sparks

From the period wood to the click of the buttons, this machine feels like it was built 70 years ago.

Memex lever

Memex control panel underside

The internal camera captures documents and the two screens display the hypertext trails which made the memex famous. The buttons and lever on the custom built control panel provide the user experience that Dr. Bush would have had in 1945.