Manchester in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
The Father of Video Games #Baersquare
— Baer Square —
March 8th, 1922 - December 6th, 2014
Ralph Henry Baer was born March 8, 1922 in Pirmasens, Germany into a Jewish family. As a teenager, Ralph and his family fled to America to avoid the coming Holocaust. After pursuing interests in technology and engineering in New York, his studies were interrupted by service in the US Army during WWII.
Education & Relocation
After the war, he attended the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago and received one of the earliest television engineering degrees ever awarded. In 1952, Ralph married the love of his life, Dena Whinston and they moved to Manchester, NH to raise their family.
The Brown Box
While employed by New Hampshire's Sanders Associates, now BAE Systems, Ralph explored his notion of using televisions for interactive use. He committed those ideas to paper on Sept.1, 1966. These ideas would transform not just televisions, but the world, as his initial video game device -The Brown Box- would lead to the creation of the first interactive game system the Magnavox Odyssey.This device would
Ralph held more than 150 U.S. and foreign patents and had a profound influence on electronic games, simulators and more, including the co-creation of the game Simon. Ralph passed away in December, 2014, here in Manchester, at home in the city, state and country which meant so much to him. This plaza is a tribute to Ralph Baer and to the inventiveness of so many people who have called this city home. Special thanks to BAE Systems
Timeline of Baer's Life
1922 - Ralph Baer (Rudolph Heinrich Baer) was born to a Jewish couple living in Pirmasens, Germany.
1935 - Ralph was expelled from school under the Nuremberg Laws, which deprived Jews of political and social freedom, and began working in a small office where he learned shorthand, bookkeeping and typing.
1938 - The Baer family fled to New York City, escaping the "Night of Broken Glass" by only weeks. Ralf, 16 at the time, found work at his cousin's leather factory.
1940 - Ralph graduated from the National Institute of Service Tech Radio in Washington, DC.
1943 - During WW2, Ralph was assigned to serve with Military Intelligence in France where he became a known expert on military small arms.
1949 - Ralph received the first ever TV Engineering degree from the American Television
1952 - Ralph married Dena Whinston and found work at Transitron Inc., where he became the Chief Engineer and, later, the VP of Engineering.
1955 - Ralph moved to Manchester to raise their small family; two sons and a daughter. He then began working at Sanders Associates.
1967 - Ralph received funding to start a small R&D team, and created his first test device, TVG#1; users could play ping pong with a dot on the screen.
1968 - The Brown Box was invented by Baer and licensed it to Magnavox, who rebranded it as the first interactive game system, the Magnavox Odyssey, and released it to 1972.
1978 - Ralph Built SIMON, a hand-held, single chip microprocessor game licensed by Marvin Glass to Milton Bradley.
1979 - Ralph earns the Inventor of the Year from the NY Patent Law Association.
1981 - Baer completed his series of microprocessor controlled hand-held games including "MANIAC, Computer Perfection and AMAZATRON
1987 - Ralph retires from defense contracting to devote his time to R.H. Baer Consultants, partnering with Marvin Glass & associates to design electronic games and toys.
1994 - Sounds-by-Me, an interactive book that made use of a single -chip voice and playback device invented by Baer, was a popular release.
2000 - Ralph created a line of talking toys for Hasbro.
2004 - President
December 7, 2014 - Ralph passed away at the age of 92 in his Manchester home. By the time of his death, Baer held over 150 patents for electronic devices.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment • Science & Medicine.
Location. 42° 59.542′ N, 71° 28.143′ W. Marker is in Manchester, New Hampshire, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of Stark Street and Mungall Street, on the right when traveling west on Stark Street. Located at the south end of Arms Park a few hundred feet south of the Notre Dame Bridge on the eastern bank of the Merrimack River. The statue is located just west of Commercial Street in the Manchester Historic Association Millyard District. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manchester NH 03101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Mill Girl (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Notre Dame Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brigadier General John Stark (approx. 0.3 miles away); Manchester's First Green Roof (approx. 0.3 miles away); City Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Mary's Bank Credit Union / La Caisse Populaire Saint-MarieManchester NH World War II Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Manchester NH War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manchester.
More about this marker. The monument is a life-size bronze statue of Ralph Baer seated on a metal park bench, holding his famous "Brown Box". The informational marker is located adjacent to the statue.
Also see . . .
1. Smithsonian - Ralph Baer. (Submitted on June 19, 2019, by Douglas Finney of Concord, New Hampshire, USA.)
2. Ralph Baer Biography. (Submitted on June 19, 2019, by Douglas Finney of Concord, New Hampshire, USA.)
3. National Inventors Hall of Fame - Ralph Baer. (Submitted on June 19, 2019, by Douglas Finney of Concord, New Hampshire, USA.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 19, 2019, by Douglas Finney of Concord, New Hampshire, USA. This page has been viewed 272 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 19, 2019, by Douglas Finney of Concord, New Hampshire, USA. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.