Wayne Carlson at Ohio State University compiled the history of computer graphics and animation from its humble beginnings in 1951. There's plenty to be learned here, so pull up a chair and a pot of coffee and go to.
Pictured here is a terrain board used in flight simulators of the 1950s and 1960s. A camera would be moved over a physical terrain model in response to a pilot yanking on a flight yoke. We've sure come a long way.