GRiD Compass laptop computer, 1982-1990

1982-1990 in Fremont
Bill Moggridge
GRiD Systems Corporation

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

GRiD Compass laptop computer, manufactured by the GRiD Systems Corporation, Fremont, California, United States,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

GRiD Compass laptop computer manufactured by the GRiD Systems Corporation, including Bubble memory unit , reference documents titled ‘Management Tools Reference’ , Lotus 123 spreadsheet software, user guide and associated cables, Fremont, c. 1982

GRiD Compass laptop computer, manufactured by the GRiD Systems Corporation, Fremont, c. 1982.

A sleek and expensive computer, the GRiD Compass laptop computer was designed by Bill Moggridge. The folding clamshell design was patented by GRiD Systems and later became popular in laptop design. When the GRiD Compass first went on sale in 1982 it cost a minimum of $8000. It was designed to be portable and rugged and, though initially marketed at executives who could afford its high price, it went on to be used by the military. Notably in 1985 a Grid Compass was used on the NASA space mission STS-51-G.


Computing & Data Processing
Object Number:
glass, magnesium alloy, metal, plastic
overall (closed): 50 mm x 295 mm x 380 mm, 5 kg
laptop computer
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment
  • computers
  • microcomputers
Donated by Paul Blitz
Permanent collection

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.