Technology from 1940-1980

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Jeep Invented

1940

The military needed a fast, tough vehicle. Karl Pabst invented the Jeep.

Synthetic Rubber

1940

Waldo Semon invented a much cheaper and easier to produce form of synthetic rubber.

Color TV Invented

08/23/1940

Peter Goldmark

Aerosol Spray Cans

1941

Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan invented the aerosol spray can to dispense bug repellent.

Slinky and Silly Putty

1943

Richard James and James Wright invented the Slinky and Silly Putty toys, respectively. Both were very successful.

SCUBA

1943

Jacques Cousteau invented the Scuba (then called the Aqua-Lung) in France in 1943.

Atomic Bomb

7/16/1945

The Manhattan Project tested its "Gadget" on July 16th, 1945.

Microwave

10/8/1945

Percy Spencer discovered the cooking properties of microwave radiation on accident. He filed for a patent on October 8, 1945.

Transistor

11/17/1947 - 12/23/1947

John Bardeen and Walter Brattain worked on developing and experimenting with the first transistors. The transistor would revolutionize electronics.

Velcro

1948

Electrical engineer George de Mestral invented Velcro in 1948 and patented it in 1955

Super Glue

1951

Super Glue was invented in 1942, but it was rediscovered and publicized in 1951 by Harry Coover and Fred Joyner

Video Recorder

1952

The first video tape recorder (VTR) was built in 1952 for use by the BBC.

Diet Soda

1952

The first diet soda was made by Kirsch Bottling, under the name of No-Cal. At the time it was intended for diabetics, not dieters

Mr. Potato Head

1952

George Lerner came up with the idea for a "funny face man" by sticking foods together.

Hydrogen Bomb

11/1/1952

Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam tested the first hydrogen bomb on November 1st, 1952. The hydrogen bomb is a much more powerful version of the atom.

The Pill

December 1954

The first test with oral contraceptives began in the December of 1954.

McDonald's

April 15 1955

After the starting of the original store in 1940, McDonald's was turned into a franchise in 1955.

Hard Drive

1956

IBM introduced HDDs in 1956 for one of their computers

Modem

1958

The computer modem was originally put into place to help the USA's air defense system.

Laser

1958

Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow patented the first laser while working at Bell Labs.

Pacemaker

1958

Earl Bakken developed an external pacemaker, first used on a patient of Doctor Walton Lillehi.

Integrated Circuit/Microchip

12 September 1958

The first successful demonstration of a working microchip took place in 1958, demonstrated by Jack Kilby

Cassette

1962

Philips, an electronics company, first invented the cassette tape in 1962 for audio storage

Spacewar!

1962

Spacewar! is considered one of if not the first computer games ever created. It's creators are Dan Edwards, Peter Samson, and Greatz.

Videodisc

1963

The video disk was invented in 1963. It looks like an over-sized CD and could hold high quality audio and video to show movies with

Valium

1963

Valium (Diazepam) was released by Hoffmann-La Rochte, a Swiss health care company. Valium has a wide range of uses

Acrylic paint

1964

Rowney started producing acrylic pain, a fast-drying water-based paint, in 1964.

Kevlar

1965

Kevlar, used in many defense items, was thought if in 1964 and created in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek. She was looking for a way to create better car tires at the time.

Contact Lenses

1965

Contact lenses had been around for a while, but soft lenses were first approved in 1965.

CD's

1965

Though produced in the 80's, the concepts and prototypes for the CD were created in 1965 by James Russell

Calculator

1967

The first handheld calculator was invented by Texas Instruments in 1967. It was called Cal Tech and printed its answers out on paper.

RAM

1968

Robert H. Dennard invented the first RAM (Random Access Memory) in 1968. This paved the way for better computers.

Bar-code Scanner

1969

The first barcode scanner was installed in 1969 at a Buick factory in Michigan. We use them whenever we shop nowadays.

ATM

1969

The first common Automated Teller Machine was market in 1969 by the Burroughs Corporation.

Floppy Disks

1971

Floppy Disks, very compact computer storage at the time, became available to the public in 1971.

Microprocessors

1971

The first microprocessors came in 1971, making leaps in computer technology.

VCR

1971

The first video cassette recorder (VCR) was released publicly in Japan in 1971.

LCD Displays

April 22 1971

Liquid Crystal Displays, often seen in digital clocks, first made major improvements towards usability when a patent was filed in 1971

Pong

1972

The first public video-game, Pong, was released by Atari in 1972.

Ethernet

1973

Ethernet, the first step the Internet, was invented by Xerox in 1973.

Liposuction

1974

Liposuction, the surgical removal of fat, was invented in 1974 by Giorgio Fischer.

Laser Printer

1975

The laser printer, perhaps the most used type of printer today, was created in 1975.

Ink-jet Printer

1976

The other common type of printer, the Ink Jet Printer, was released in 1976.

MRI

1977

Raymond V. Damadian invented Magnetic Resonance Imaging in 1977. It's now used commonly in medicine.

Walkman

1979

Sony started selling the Walkman, a personal music player, in 1979 in Japan.

Cell Phones

1979

NTT launched the first public cell phone network in Japan in 1979.

Period

Wartime

1940 - 1948

This first period was the time right when the second World War was happening. Sadly, like in all wars, some great inventions came out of it. Most did things that the military would use. Synthetic rubber for gear, the Jeep for transport of troops, Aerosol cans for spraying bug repellent, SCUBA for underwater missions, the Atomic Bomb for destruction, the transistor for radios, and Velcro for gear again. It's sad, but some great and important things that we couldn't live without come out of tragedy and the loss of life.

Age of Comforts

1951 - 1959

After the war, many people wanted to calm down. Most of these inventions, the Hydrogen Bomb excluded, helped improve family life. There were toys like Mr. Potato Head and the Barbie Doll. The Pill was created, which was a more radical idea at the time, but it caught on in the endn adn gave women more freedom. Diet soda and McDonald's are things created back then that are still around today. In fact, today could be considered more of a comfortable age than back in the 50's.

Age of Technology

1958 - 1979

This is the longest of the three periods. It is defiantly still going on today. People that have analyzed our rate of growth say that this period is not going to end any time soon. Many things similar to the inventions during the comfort period kept being invented, even more quickly that before, but they got overshadowed. You can see right at the end of the previous period things like the modem and pacemaker were invented. These signaled the start of the computer age. Most of the inventions during this time period were things to do with electronics. Once smaller parts started being made, these inventions became much more plausible. The calculator and word processor are examples of useful things, but many things like cassettes, CD's, videodiscs, and video games were created and marketed for our enjoyment. But it's more than that. The reason that this period is so large is that everything is intertwined. It would be extremely hard to distinguish separate periods for medical inventions, like the pacemaker and Valium, and personal use inventions on the same timeline, since they happen at the exact same time. Things used to be invented as they were needed, so things were similar, but now not many things are truly needed, so we just invent whatever we want.