Douglas Engelbart, an American engineer and inventor, with help from Bill English, developed the first mouse. It was used to interface with a computer at the Stanford Research Institute during the 1960s.
Xerox further developed Engelbart's design in the 1970s, but it was not until Apple released the Macintosh computer in the 1980s that the mouse became widely used. Users found the mouse more intuitive than the previous standard interface, command-line text.
In the 1940s, two decades prior to Engelbart's invention, several British inventors developed large trackball pointing devices that used bowling balls. These devices were developed as part of military research and remained secret.