Wisconsin Hacker History

Understanding and honoring our hacker past is as important as the present and future! Enjoy these tidbits as we expand and evolve our database:


The 414s (one member attending CYPHERCON 2016, visit the wisconsin hacker history booth)

The 414s were a group of friends and hackers who broke into dozens of high-profile computer systems, including ones at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Security Pacific Bank, in the early 1980s. More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_414s

Check out their Documentary: The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers at  http://www.cnn.com/videos/tech/2015/03/10/digital-shorts-original-teenage-hackers-orig.cnn


Ward Christensen (born October 23, 1945 in West Bend, Wisconsin) is the co-founder of the CBBS bulletin board, the first bulletin board system (BBS) ever brought online.



July – 2015 – Darkode – Glendale Wisconsin

“Of the roughly 800 criminal Internet forums worldwide, Darkode represented one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States and around the world and was the most sophisticated English-speaking forum for criminal computer hackers in the world,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton. “Through this operation, we have dismantled a cyber hornets’ nest of criminal hackers which was believed by many, including the hackers themselves, to be impenetrable.”

Daniel Placek: , aka Nocen / aka Loki / aka Juggernaut / aka M1rr0r, 27, of Glendale, Wisconsin, was charged by criminal information with conspiracy to commit computer fraud. He is accused of creating the Darkode forum, and selling malware on Darkode designed to surreptitiously intercept and collect e-mail addresses and passwords from network communications.


1931 – 1933:  Wisconsin:  First VHF Television signals

From 1931 to 1933, station W9XD in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, transmitted some of the first VHF television signals. The station’s 45-line, triply interlaced pictures used the U. A. Sanabria television technology.


1874 A.O. Smith – Innovative engineering

The A.O. Smith Corporation, under the direction of Lloyd R. Smith, constructed the worldÆs first fully automated assembly plant in Milwaukee. The operation was capable of producing 10,000 car frames per day and required only 181 men. The plant operated continuously for the next 37 years.

Ray Smith built an engineering organization unmatched at the time. Among the many technologies company engineers investigated was the process of fusing glass to steel. This led to new products including glass-lined beer kegs, large glass-lined brewery tanks…and, in 1936, the process for glass lining a residential water heater tank. Glass-lined water heaters quickly became the standard of the industry and remains so to this day. New businesses, including electric motors, fiberglass pipe, the innovative Harvestore® structure, and others all were established during this period.



1904 – Rockwell Automation – Innovative engineering

Rockwell Automation traces its history to 1903 and the formation of the Company Allen Bradley.  In 1904, 19-year-old Harry Bradley helped patent their first of many inventions: a carbon disk compression-type motor controller for industrial cranes.  It was demonstrated at the 1904 World’s Fair in 1904.



Milwaukee, WI 1868 – First Successful Typewriter – QWERTY

A Milwaukee newspaper editor and printer created the QWERTY keyboard.  It’s a fact that in 1868, a few folks from Milwaukee, Wisconsin created the first commercially successful typewriter! Nice, right?  Newspaper editor and printer, Christopher Latham Sholes, came up with the Q-W-E-R-T-Y keyboard layout.  If you look at the first six letters to the top left of your keyboard – even the one on your mobile phone – you’ll see we still use this layout today!


1882 – First Hydroelectric Plant in the United States was built at Fox River in Wisconsin.


1854 – The Republican Party was born in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin.

It was started as an attempt to replace the Whig party, which self-destructed after candidate Millard Fillmore completely discredited himself by making a bizarre screaming sound at the end of a campaign speech in 1852

Fun Capital Facts:  Wausau Wisconsin is the Ginseng Capital of the WORLD.

  1. Wisconsin is the “Dairy Capital” of the United States
  2. Belleville is the “UFO Capital” of Wisconsin.
  3. Bloomer is known as the “Jump Rope Capital” of the world
  4. Bonduel is the “Spelling Capital” of Wisconsin.
  5. Boscobel is the “Turkey Capital” of Wisconsin.
  6. Eagle River is known as the “Snowmobile Capital” of the world
  7. Eau Claire is known as the “KubbCapital of North America”
  8. Green Bay is known as the “Toilet Paper Capital” of the world.
  9. Green Bay is also home of the 13 time world champion Green Bay Packers
  10. Mercer is known as the “Loon Capital” of the world
  11. Monroe is known as the “Swiss Cheese Capital” of the world
  12. Mount Horeb is known as the “Troll Capital” of the world.
  13. Muscoda is the “Morel Mushroom Capital” of Wisconsin.
  14. Park Falls is known as the “Ruffed Grouse Capital” of the world.
  15. Potosi is the “Catfish Capital” of Wisconsin.
  16. Sheboygan is known as the “Bratwurst Capital” of the world.
  17. Somerset is known as the “Inner Tubing Capital” of the world
  18. Sturgeon Bay is known as the “Shipbuilding Capital” of the Great Lakes.
  19. Wausau is known as the “Ginseng Capital” of the world.

Wisconsin is known as the “Dairy Capital” of the United States

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