The home office of the “father of video games” is currently on display at the The National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. The museum rebuilt the workshop using the original furniture and parts.


Ralph Baer, often called the “father of video games,” was an inventor who held over 150 patents. He created what would eventually become the Magnavox Odyssey, the first video game console. This was back in the 1960’s. In 2006 he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for his pioneering work in the game industry. You can see him at work in this video from 1969.

Baer was born in 1922 in West Germany. After he was expelled from school and forced to attend a Jewish-only campus, his family decided to relocate. They managed to escape the Nazis in The Netherlands only months before the Kristallnacht Attacks on Jewish homes and stores. They then came to the United States. Baer graduated as a radio technician from the  National Radio Institute in 1940. He ran an electronics store for a couple of years before being drafted into the fighting—and later Intelligence—in WWII. In 1949 he graduated again, this time from American Institute of Television Engineering, holding one of the first degrees in Science in Television Engineering. He went on to work with NASA and on other big projects—including the first video game console.

Upon being awarded the National Medal of Technology, Baer said: “Thank you very much. I appreciate the honor, and I’m still cranking out stuff. Goodbye.”

Baer passed away at the age of 92 in January of last year.

This article was written by

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.