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Atari History :: Chapter 1 - The Birth of Atari

Atari Corporation began official operations on June 27th 1972.   Nolan Bushnell, it's founding father, was an entrepreneur; he saw that electronics could be made profitable by their application in the entertainment market.  Taking inspiration from other projects at the time, such as Spacewar running on a DEC PDP-1, he quit his job as an engineer at Ampex in 1971.  Originally, it was a consortium of three people who were to get the new company off the ground, Nolan, Ted Dabney and Larry Bryan (Larry later dropped out, and Ted left in 1973).  After first sighting the Magnavox Odyssey 100 at a public viewing in May,  Nolan was given the inspiration to apply his thinking and with less than $1000 he produced the first "PONG" arcade machine with his first employee, Al Alcorn (VP of Engineering), cleverly placing it in a local bar.

The very first Pong machine!

Legend has it, Bill Gattis the manager of "Andy Caps" bar in Sunnyvale, California, called Al Alcorn, to pick up his now "broken" machine less than 48 hours since it had been installed - apparently the crude coin collection tin was stuffed with overflowing quarters!   Above, the original PONG machine from Andy Caps Bar!  The video game revolution had begun...

Atari's first official premises is located at 2962 Scott Boulevard, Santa Clara, California. 

 1972 - the birth of Atari
 The world goes Pong crazy
 Launch of the VCS
 Atari grows up
 Just before the crash...
 1984 - The crash
 The new Atari Corporation
 Computer wars
 Playing the game
 Survival of the fittest
 Let's play games again
 1996 - Game over

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