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"
with his first employee, Al Alcorn (VP of Engineering), cleverly placing it in
a local bar.
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.