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Timeline of United States inventions (1946–91) | Wikipedia audio article


A timeline of United States inventions (1946–1991)
encompasses the ingenuity and innovative advancements of the United States within a historical context,
dating from the era of the Cold War, which have been achieved by inventors who are either
native-born or naturalized citizens of the United States. Copyright protection secures
a person’s right to his or her first-to-invent claim of the original invention in question,
highlighted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution which
gives the following enumerated power to the United States Congress: In 1641, the first patent in North America
was issued to Samuel Winslow by the General Court of Massachusetts for a new method of
making salt. On April 10, 1790, President George Washington signed the Patent Act of
1790 (1 Stat. 109) into law which proclaimed that patents were to be authorized for “any
useful art, manufacture, engine, machine, or device, or any improvement therein not
before known or used.” On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins of Pittsford, Vermont became the first
person in the United States to file and to be granted a patent for an improved method
of “Making Pot and Pearl Ashes.” The Patent Act of 1836 (Ch. 357, 5 Stat. 117) further
clarified United States patent law to the extent of establishing a patent office where
patent applications are filed, processed, and granted, contingent upon the language
and scope of the claimant’s invention, for a patent term of 14 years with an extension
of up to an additional 7 years. However, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 (URAA)
changed the patent term in the United States to a total of 20 years, effective for patent
applications filed on or after June 8, 1995, thus bringing United States patent law further
into conformity with international patent law. The modern-day provisions of the law
applied to inventions are laid out in Title 35 of the United States Code (Ch. 950, sec.
1, 66 Stat. 792). From 1836 to 2011, the United States Patent
and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a total of 7,861,317 patents relating to several
well-known inventions appearing throughout the timeline below. Some examples of patented
inventions between the years 1946 and 1991 include William Shockley’s transistor (1947),
John Blankenbaker’s personal computer (1971), Vinton Cerf’s and Robert Kahn’s Internet protocol/TCP
(1973), and Martin Cooper’s mobile phone (1973).==Cold War (1946–1991)=====Post-war and the late 1940s (1946–1949)
===1946 Space observatory A space observatory is any instrument, such
as a telescope, in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies,
and other outer space objects. In 1946, American theoretical astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer was
proposed the idea of a telescope in outer space, a decade before the Soviet Union launched
the first artificial satellite, Sputnik into orbit. However, German scientist Hermann Oberth
had first conceived the idea of a space based telescope. Spitzer’s proposal called for a
large telescope that would not be hindered by Earth’s atmosphere. After lobbying in the
1960s and 1970s for such a system to be built, Spitzer’s vision ultimately materialized into
the world’s first space-based optical telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched
on April 20, 1990 by the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31).1946 Blowout preventer (annular)
An annular blowout preventer is a large valve that uses a wedge to seal off a wellhead.
It has a donut-like rubber seal, known as an elastomeric packing unit, reinforced with
steel ribs. During drilling or well interventions, the valve may be closed if overpressure from
an underground zone causes formation fluids such as oil or natural gas to enter the wellbore
and threaten the rig. The annular blowout preventer was invented by Granville Sloan
Knox in 1946 who received a patent on September 9, 1952.1946 Tupperware Tupperware is airtight plastic containers
used for the preparation, storage, containment, and serving of perishable food in the kitchen
and home. Tupperware was invented in 1946 by American chemist Earl Silas Tupper who
devised a method of purifying black polyethylene slag, a waste product produced in oil refinement,
into a molded substance that was flexible, tough, non-porous, non-greasy and translucent.
Available in many colors, the plastic containers with “burp seal” did not become a commercial
success until Brownie Wise, a Florida housewife, began throwing Tupperware parties in 1951
in order to demonstrate the product and explain the features.1946 Spoonplug
A spoonplug is a form of fishing lure. The spoonplug was invented by Elwood L. “Buck”
Perry, then a physics and math teacher in Hickory, North Carolina. Elwood Perry combined
science with a logical approach to fishing to create a “total fishing system.” He is
credited as being the father of structure fishing and was later inducted into the National
Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.1946 Chipper teeth A chipper teeth is a variant of a saw chain
used on a chainsaw. Using a tooth that is curled over the top of the chain, there are
alternate teeth which point left and right. In 1946, American logger Joseph Buford Cox
of Portland, Oregon invented chipper teeth, which is still widely used today and represents
one of the biggest influences in the history of timber harvesting.1946 Filament tape
Filament tape or strapping tape is a pressure-sensitive tape used for several packaging functions
such as closing corrugated fiberboard boxes, reinforcing packages, bundling items, pallet
utilizing, etc. It consists of a pressure-sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material which
is usually a polypropylene or polyester film and fiberglass filaments embedded to add high
tensile strength. Filament tape was invented in 1946 by Cyrus Woodrow Bemmels. In 1949,
it was placed on the market and was an immediate success.1946 Credit card A credit card is part of a system of payments
named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. The issuer of the
card grants a line of credit to the consumer from which the user can borrow money for payment
to a merchant or as a cash advance to the user. In 1946, American banker John C. Biggins
of the Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn invented the first bank-issued credit card.1946
Diaper (waterproof) A diaper or nappy is an absorbent garment
for incontinent people. The dampless or waterproof diaper was invented in 1946 when Marion Donovan
used a shower curtain from her bathroom to create the “Boater”, the first re-usable and
leak-proof diaper that contained plastic-lined cloth. Donovan’s other innovation was replacing
safety pins with plastic snaps on the sides of diapers. First sold in 1949 at Saks Fifth
Avenue’s flagship store in New York City, patents were later issued in 1951 to Donovan
who later sold the rights to the waterproof diaper for $1 million.1947 Transistor In electronics, a transistor is a semiconductor
device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals. Because the controlled
output power can be much larger than the controlling input power, the transistor provides amplification
of a signal. The transistor is the fundamental building block of all modern electronic devices,
and is used in radio, telephone, computer, and other electronic systems. From November
17, 1947 to December 23, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at AT&T Bell Labs, underwent
experimentations and finally observed that when two gold point contacts were applied
to a crystal of germanium, a signal was produced whereby the output power was larger than the
input. The manager of the Bell Labs semiconductor research group, William Shockley, saw the
potential in this and worked over the next few months greatly expanding the knowledge
of semiconductors in order to construct the first point-contact transistor. Shockley is
considered by many to be the “father” of the transistor. Hence, in recognition of his work,
the transistor is widely, yet not universally acknowledged as the most important invention
of the entire 20th century since it forms today’s building blocks of processors found
and used in almost every modern computing and electronics device. In recognition of
their invention of the transistor, Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain were jointly awarded
the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.1947 Defibrillator Defibrillation is the definitive treatment
for the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.
Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected
heart. Dr. Claude Beck invented the defibrillator in 1947.1947 Supersonic aircraft In aerodynamics, the sound barrier usually
refers to the point at which an aircraft moves from transonic to supersonic speed. On October
14, 1947, just under a month after the United States Air Force had been created as a separate
service, tests culminated in the first manned supersonic flight where the sound barrier
was broken, piloted by Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1.1947 Acrylic paint
Acrylic paint is fast-drying paint containing pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion.
The first acrylic paint was invented by Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden in 1947 under the brand
Magna paint.1947 Magnetic particle clutch A magnetic particle clutch is a special type
of electromagnetic clutch which does not use friction plates. Instead, it uses a fine powder
of magnetically susceptible material (typically stainless steel) to mechanically link an otherwise
free wheeling disc attached to one shaft, to a rotor attached to the other shaft. The
magnetic particle clutch was invented in 1947 by Ukrainian-American Jacob Rabinow.1948 Windsurfing Windsurfing, or sailboarding, is a surface
water sport using a windsurf board, also commonly called a sailboard, usually two to five meters
long and powered by wind pushing a sail. In 1948, 20-year-old Newman Darby was the first
to conceive the idea of using a handheld sail and rig mounted on a universal joint so that
he could control his small catamaran—the first rudderless sailboard ever built that
allowed a person to steer by shifting his or her weight in order to tilt the sail fore
and aft. Darby did not file for a patent for his invention. However, he is widely recognized
as the inventor of the first sailboard.1948 Hair spray
Hair spray is a beauty aqueous solution that is used to keep hair stiff or in a certain
style. Weaker than hair gel, hair wax, or glue, it is sprayed to hold styles for a long
period. Using a pump or aerosol spray nozzle, it sprays evenly over the hair. Hair spray
was first invented and manufactured in 1948 by Chase Products Company, based in Broadview,
Illinois. 1948 Cat litter Cat litter is one of any of a number of materials
used in litter boxes to absorb moisture from cat feces and urine, which reduces foul odors
such as ammonia and renders them more tolerable within the home. The first commercially available
cat litter was Kitty Litter, available in 1948 and invented by Ed Lowe.1948 Halligan
bar A Halligan bar is a special forcible entry
tool commonly used by firefighters and law enforcement. It was designed by and named
after Hugh Halligan, a First Deputy Fire Chief in the New York City Fire Department, in 1948.
While the tool was developed by a Deputy Chief of the New York City Fire Department, the
department did not initially purchase it because of a perceived conflict of interest in buying
from a member of the department.1948 Hand dryer A hand dryer is an electric device found in
a public restroom and are used to dry hands. It may either operate with a button, or more
recently, automatically using an infrared sensor. The hand dryer was invented in 1948
by George Clemens.1948 Rogallo wing The Rogallo wing is a flexible type of airfoil
composed of two partial conic surfaces with both cones pointing forward. Neither a kite,
glider, or a type of aircraft, the Rogallo wing is most often seen in toy kites, but
has been used to construct spacecraft parachutes during preliminary testing for NASA’s Gemini
program in the early 1960s, dirigible parachutes, ultralight powered aircraft like the trike,
as well as hang gliders. Before the end of 1948, American aeronautical engineer Francis
Rogallo had succeeded in inventing the first fully successful flexible-wing kite that he
called the ‘Flexi-Kite’. A patent was applied for in 1948 and granted in 1951. His wife,
Gertrude Rogallo, also made a significant impact upon the invention, having sewed the
fabric into the required dimensions that used household items like kitchen curtains. Rogallo
believed that flexible wings provided more stability than fixed surfaces, leading to
an elimination of rigid spars during flight. Because of this, Rogallo’s concepts are seen
as classics examples of purity and efficiency in aviation.1948 Cable television
Cable television provides television to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to
televisions through fixed optical fibers or coaxial cables as opposed to the over-the-air
method used in traditional television broadcasting. First known as Community Antenna Television
or CATV, cable television was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania in 1948 by John
Walson and Margaret Walson.1948 Flying disc Flying discs are disc-shaped objects thrown
and caught for recreation, which are generally plastic and roughly 20 to 25 centimeters (8–10
inches) in diameter, with a lip. The shape of the disc, an airfoil in cross-section,
allows it to fly by generating lift as it moves through the air while rotating. First
known as the “Whirlo-Way”, the flying disc was invented in 1949 by Walter Frederick Morrison
who combined his fascination with invention and his interest in flight. Carved from a
solid block of a plastic compound known as “Tenite,” Morrison sold his flying disc invention
to WHAM–O, which introduced it in 1957 as the “Pluto Platter.” In 1958, WHAM–O modified
the “Pluto Platter” and rebranded it as a Frisbee flying disc to the world. It became
an instant sensation.1948 Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves
interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. In 1948,
ten years before William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two was developed, Thomas T. Goldsmith
Jr. and Estle R. Mann co-patented the “Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device,” making it the earliest
documented video game. Primitive by modern standards in video gaming, the amusement device,
however, required players to overlay pictures or illustrations of targets such as airplanes
in front of the screen, dovetailing the game’s action.1949 Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope
carbon-14 (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years. In 1949,
Willard F. Libby invented the procedure for carbon-14 dating.1949 Airsickness bag
An airsickness bag, also known as a barf bag, airsick bag, sick bag, or motion sickness
bag, is a small bag commonly provided to passengers on board airplanes and boats to collect and
contain vomit in the event of motion sickness. The airsickness bag was invented by Gilmore
Schjeldahl in 1949 for Northwest Orient Airlines.1949 Ice resurfacer An ice resurfacer is a truck-like vehicle
used to clean and smooth the surface of an ice rink. Frank J. Zamboni of Paramount, California
invented the first ice resurfacer, which he called a Zamboni, in 1949.1949 Atomic clock
An atomic clock uses an atomic resonance frequency standard as its timekeeping element. The first
atomic clock was an ammonia maser device built in 1949 at the United States National Bureau
of Standards.1949 Holter monitor A Holter monitor is a portable device for
continuously monitoring the electrical activity of the heart for 24 hours or more. Sticky
patches (electrodes) on the chest are connected to wires from the Holter monitor. The functions
of a Holter monitor captures and records information such as heart rates during day and night,
abnormal heart beats, and normal and abnormal heart rhythms. The Holter monitor was invented
by Norman Holter.1949 Crash test dummy A crash test dummy is a full-scale anthropomorphic
test device that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the
human body, and is usually instrumented to record data about the dynamic behavior of
the ATD in simulated vehicle impacts. Using human and animal cadaver research from earlier
studies, the first artificial crash test dummy was an anthropomorphic dummy named “Sierra
Sam”. It was invented in 1949 by Samuel W. Alderson at his Alderson Research Labs (ARL)
And Sierra Engineering Co. for the United States Air Force while conducting tests on
aircraft ejection seats, pilot restraint harnesses, and aviation helmets. Alderson’s early dummies
and those of his competitors were fairly primitive, with no pelvic structure and little spinal
articulation. With American automakers interested in durable crash test dummies that could be
tested and retested while yielding back a broad spectrum of data during simulated automobile
crashes, the first crash test dummy used for automative testing was again invented by Samuel
Alderson in 1968. It was called the V.I.P. (Very Important Person) and it was built with
dimensions of an average adult man coupled with a steel rib cage, articulated joints,
a flexible neck, and a lumbar spine.1949 Compiler A compiler is a computer program or set of
programs that transforms source code written in a computerized source language into another
computer language often having a binary form known as an object code. The most common reason
for wanting to transform source code is to create an executable program. The first compiler
written for the A-0 programming language is attributed to its inventor, Grace Hopper in
1949.1949 Aerosol paint Aerosol paint, also called spray paint, is
a type of paint that comes in a sealed pressurized container and is released in a fine spray
mist when depressing a valve button. A form of spray painting, aerosol paint leaves a
smooth, evenly coated surface, unlike many rolled or brushed paints. In 1949, Ed Seymour
of Sycamore, Illinois invented aerosol paint, which he based on the same principle as spray
deodorizers and insecticides. The conveyance featured a small can of paint packaged with
an aerosol propellant and fitted with a spray head.===1950s===
1950 Artificial snowmaking Snowmaking is the artificial production of
snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a “snow gun” or “snow cannon”, on
ski slopes. Snowmaking is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow. This allows
ski resorts to improve the reliability of their snow cover and to extend their ski seasons.
The costly production of snowmaking requires low temperatures. The threshold temperature
for snowmaking decreases as humidity decreases. Machine-made snow was first co-invented by
three engineers—Art Hunt, Dave Richey and Wayne Pierce of Milford, Connecticut on March
14, 1950. Their patented invention of the first “snow cannon” used a garden hose, a
10-horsepower compressor, and a spray-gun nozzle, which produced about 20 inches of
snow.1950 Leaf blower A leaf blower is a gardening tool that propels
air out of a nozzle to move yard debris such as leaves. Leaf blowers are usually powered
by two-stroke engine or an electric motor, but four-stroke engines were recently introduced
to partially address air pollution concerns. Leaf blowers are typically self-contained
handheld units, or backpack mounted units with a handheld wand. The leaf blower was
invented by Dom Quinto in 1950.1950 Hamming code In telecommunication, a Hamming code is a
linear error-correcting code. Hamming codes can detect up to two simultaneous bit errors,
and correct single-bit errors; thus, reliable communication is possible when the Hamming
distance between the transmitted and received bit patterns is less than or equal to one.
By contrast, the simple parity code cannot correct errors, and can only detect an odd
number of errors. Hamming codes are of fundamental importance in coding theory and remain of
practical use in modern computer design. Hamming codes were invented in 1950 by Richard Hamming
at Bell Labs.1950 Teleprompter A teleprompter is a display device that prompts
the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter
is similar to the practice of using cue cards. The screen is in front of and usually below
the lens of the camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the performer
using a sheet of clear glass or specially prepared beam splitter. The teleprompter was
invented in 1950 by Hubert Schlafly, who was working at 20th Century Fox film studios in
Los Angeles.1950 Sengstaken-Blakemore tube A Sengstaken-Blakemore tube is an oro or nasogastric
tube used occasionally in the management of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to bleeding
from esophageal varices which are distended veins in the esophageal wall, usually as a
result of cirrhosis. It consists of a gastric balloon, an esophageal balloon, and a gastric
suction port. The Sengstaken-Blakemore tube was invented by Dr. Robert W. Sengstaken and
Dr. Arthur H. Blakemore in 1950.1951 Stellarator A stellarator is a device used to confine
a hot plasma with magnetic fields in order to sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction.
It is the earliest controlled fusion device. In 1951, American astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer
recommended that the United States Atomic Energy Commission commence containing and
harnessing nuclear fusion of hydrogen at temperatures exceeding those at the Sun’s surface. To do
this, Spitzer invented a plasma confinement configuration device called the stellarator.1951
Cooler A cool box, cooler, portable ice chest, chilly
bin, or esky most commonly is an insulated box used to keep perishable food or beverages
cool. Ice cubes, which are very cold, are most commonly placed in it to make the things
inside stay cool. Ice packs are sometimes used, as they either contain the melting water
inside, or have a gel sealed inside that also stays cold longer than plain water. The cooler
was invented in 1951 by Richard C. Laramy of Joliet, Illinois. Laramy filed a patent
for the cooler on February 24, 1951 and was issued U.S. patent #2,663,157 on December
22, 1953.1951 Wetsuit A wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed
neoprene, which is worn by divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports,
providing thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. The insulation properties depend
on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability to conduct heat.
The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water. The wetsuit was
invented in 1951 by the University of California at Berkeley physicist named Hugh Bradner.1951
Correction fluid Correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid
applied to paper to mask errors in text. It was very important when material was typed
with a typewriter, but has become less so since the advent of the word processor. Correction
fluid was invented by Bette Nesmith Graham in 1951. Originally called by the brand name
“Mistake Out”, Graham began selling correction fluid in 1956.1951 Well counter A well counter is a device used for measuring
radioactivity in small samples. It usually employs a sodium iodide crystal detector.
It was invented in 1951 by American electrical engineer and biophysicist Hal Anger. Anger
filed U.S. patent #2,779,876 on March 3, 1953 for his “Radio-Activity Distribution Detector”
which was later issued on January 29, 1957.1952 Airbag An air bag is a safety feature designed to
protect automobile passengers in a head-on collision. Most cars today have driver’s side
airbags and many have one on the passenger side as well. Located in the steering wheel
assembly on the driver’s side and in the dashboard on the passenger side, the air bag device
responds within milliseconds of a crash. The original safety cushion was first created
by John W. Hetrick in 1952. After a car accident that his family was involved in, Hetrick drew
sketches of compressed air stored in a container. When a spring-loaded weight senses the car
decelerating at a rapid enough rate, it opens a valve that allows the pressure in the container
to fill a bag. With this knowledge, he developed his design until he was able to obtain a patent
on the device on August 5, 1952. Later in 1967, Dr. Allen S. Breed invented and developed
a key component for automotive use in 1967, the ball-in-tube inertial sensor for crash
detection. Breed Corporation then marketed this innovation to Chrysler.1952 Bread clip
A bread clip is a device used to hold plastic bags, such as the ones pre-sliced bread is
commonly packaged in, closed. They are also commonly called bread tags, bread tabs, bread
ties, bread crimps, or bread-bag clips. By sealing a bag more securely than tying or
folding over its open end, the clip or tie may preserve its contents longer. The bread
clip was invented in 1952 by Floyd Paxton of Yakima, Washington. Paxton never patented
the device.1952 Barcode A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation
of data, which shows certain data on certain products. Originally, barcodes represented
data in the widths (lines) and the spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to
as linear or one-dimensional barcodes or symbologies. They also come in patterns of squares, dots,
hexagons and other geometric patterns within images termed two-dimensional matrix codes
or symbologies. Norman Joseph Woodland is best known for inventing the barcode for which
he received a patent in October 1952.1952 Artificial heart
An artificial heart is implanted into the body to replace the biological heart. On July
3, 1952, 41-year-old Henry Opitek suffering from shortness of breath made medical history
at Harper University Hospital at Wayne State University in Michigan. The Dodrill-GMR heart,
considered to be the first operational mechanical heart, was invented by Dr. Forest Dewey Dodrill
and successfully inserted into Henry Opitek while performing open heart surgery. In 1981,
Dr. Robert Jarvik implanted the world’s first permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik 7,
into Dr. Barney Clark. The heart, powered by an external compressor, kept Clark alive
for 112 days. The Jarvik heart was not banned for permanent use. Since 1982, more than 350
people have received the Jarvik heart as a bridge to transplantation.1953 Heart-lung
machine Dr. John Heysham Gibbon performed the first
successful cardiopulmonary bypass surgery in which the blood was artificially circulated
and oxygenated by using his invention, a pump known as the heart-lung machine. This new
medical technology, which allowed the surgeon to operate on a dry and motionless heart by
maintaining the circulation of blood and the oxygen content of the body, greatly increased
surgical treatment options for heart defects and disease.1953 Voltmeter (digital) A voltmeter is an instrument used for measuring
electrical potential difference between two points in an electric circuit. Analog voltmeters
move a pointer across a scale in proportion to the voltage of the circuit; digital voltmeters
give a numerical display of voltage by use of an analog to digital converter. The digital
voltmeter was invented in 1953 by Andrew Kay, founder of Kaypro.1953 Marker pen A marker pen, marking pen, felt-tip pen, or
marker, is a pen which has its own colored ink-source, and usually a tip made of a porous
material, such as felt or nylon. Sidney Rosenthal, from Richmond Hill, New York, is credited
with inventing the marker in 1953.1953 WD-40 WD-40 is a widely available water-displacing
spray that is useful in both home and commercial fields; lubricating and loosening joints and
hinges, removing dirt and residue, and extricating stuck screws and bolts are common usages.
The product also may be useful in displacing moisture, as this is its original purpose
and design intent. WD-40 was invented in 1953 by Norm Larsen and two other employees at
the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, California.1953 Apgar scale The Apgar scale is used to determine the physical
status of an infant at birth. The Apgar scale is administered to a newborn at one minute
after birth and five minutes after birth. It scores the baby’s heart rate, respiration,
muscle tone, reflex response, and color. This test quickly alerts medical personnel that
the newborn needs assistance. This simple, easy-to-perform test was invented in 1953
by Dr. Virginia Apgar, a professor of anesthesia at the New York Columbia-Presbyterian Medical
Center.1953 Gilhoolie A gilhoolie is a kitchen appliance that opens
jars and bottles. It was invented by Dr. C. W. Fuller in 1953.1953 Wheel clamp A wheel clamp, also known as a Denver boot
or wheel boot, is a device that is designed to prevent vehicles from moving. In its most
common form, it consists of a clamp which surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent
removal of both itself and the wheel. Wheel clamps are used in order to enforce laws against
unauthorized or illegal parking, in lieu of towing the offending vehicle, and for security
purposes such as a deterrent against stolen vehicles by thieves. Originally known as the
auto immobilizer, the wheel clamp or Denver boot was invented in 1953 by Frank Marugg
of Denver Colorado. A patent was filed on May 7, 1955 and issued three years later on
July 28, 1958.1953 Wiffle ball Wiffleball is a variation of the sport of
baseball designed for indoor or outdoor play in confined areas. The game is played using
a perforated, light-weight, hollow, rubbery plastic ball and a long, hollow, plastic and
typically a yellow bat. The Wiffle ball was invented by David N. Mullany of Fairfield,
Connecticut in 1953 when he designed a ball that curved easily for his 12-year-old son.
It was named when his son and his friends would refer to a strikeout as a “whiff”.1953
MASER A maser is produces coherent electromagnetic
waves through amplification due to stimulated emission. Historically the term came from
the acronym “Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Charles H. Townes,
J. P. Gordon, and H. J. Zeiger built the first maser at Columbia University in 1953.1953
Carbonless copy paper Carbonless copy paper is an alternative to
carbon paper, used to make a copy of an original, handwritten document without the use of any
electronics. Carbonless copy paper was invented by chemists Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green,
working for the NCR Corporation, as a biodegradable, stain-free alternative to carbon paper.1953
Crossed-field amplifier A crossed-field amplifier (CFA) is a specialized
vacuum tube frequently used as a microwave amplifier in very-high-power transmitters.
A CFA has lower gain and bandwidth than other microwave amplifier tubes, but it is more
efficient and capable of much higher output power. William C. Brown is considered to have
invented the first crossed-field amplifier in 1953 which he called an Amplitron.1954
Zipper storage bag A zipper storage bag is a plastic bag with
a sealed or zipped opening that allows for transparent viewing of stored items inside
the bag. Better known under the brand name and genericized trademark Ziploc, zipper storage
bags are commonly used to hold perishable foods and snacks. Zipper storage bags were
patented by Robert W. Vergobbi on May 18, 1954. However, they would not be introduced
to consumers until 1968, when Dow Chemical introduced the Ziploc bags.1954 TV dinner
A TV dinner is a prepackaged, frozen or chilled meal generally in an individual package. It
requires little preparation, oven baked or microwaveable, and contains all the elements
for a single-serving meal in a tray with compartments for the food. Carl A. Swanson of C.A. Swanson
& Sons is generally credited for inventing the TV dinner. Retired Swanson executive Gerry
Thomas said he conceived the idea after the company found itself with a huge surplus of
frozen turkeys because of poor Thanksgiving sales.1954 Acoustic suspension loudspeaker The acoustic suspension woofer is a type of
loudspeaker that reduces bass distortion caused by non-linear, stiff mechanical suspensions
in conventional loudspeakers. The acoustic suspension loudspeaker was invented in 1954
by Edgar Villchur, and brought to commercial production by Villchur and Henry Kloss with
the founding of Acoustic Research in Cambridge Massachusetts.1954 Model rocketry A model rocket is a small rocket that is commonly
advertised as being able to be launched by anybody, to generally low altitudes, usually
to around 300–1500 feet, and recovered by a variety of means. Popular among children
and amateurs, model rocketry is considered a hobby. In 1954, licensed pyrotechnics expert
Orville Carlisle along with his brother Robert, designed the first model rocket and model
rocket motor.1954 Door (automatic sliding) Automatic sliding doors are open and closed
either by power, spring, or by a sensor. This eliminates the need for a person to open or
close a door by turning a doorknob or pressing up against a bar on the door itself. Automatic
sliding doors are commonly found at entrance and exits of supermarkets, department stores,
and airport terminals. In 1954, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt co-invented the automatic sliding
door.1954 Mogen clamp The Mogen clamp is a surgical tool used to
circumcise a human male’s penis. The device is designed to remove the foreskin, while
protecting the glans. The Mogen clamp was invented in 1954 by Rabbi Harry Bronstein,
a Brooklyn, New York mohel. For many years it was used only in Jewish ritual circumcision
in a ceremony called a bris. In more recent years though, American physicians are using
the clamp more frequently in medical settings for newborn circumcision.1954 Cardiopulmonary
resuscitation Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an important
life saving first aid skill, practiced throughout the world. It is the only known effective
method of keeping someone who has suffered cardiac arrest alive long enough for definitive
treatment to be delivered. In 1954, James Elam was the first to demonstrate experimentally
that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was a sound technique, and together with Dr. Peter
Safar he demonstrated its superiority to previous methods.1954 Active noise control Active noise control, also known as noise
cancellation, is a method for reducing unwanted sound through the addition of a second sound
specifically designed to cancel the first. Active noise cancelling headphones were invented
by Lawrence J. Fogel, an aerospace engineer working to improve communication in helicopter
cockpits, with a patent filed April 2, 1954. His research led to the first five patents
in noise cancellation for headphones between 1954-1961.1954 Synthetic diamond Synthetic diamonds are diamonds produced in
a technological process as opposed to natural diamonds, which are created in geological
processes. Synthetic diamonds are also widely known as HPHT diamonds or CVD diamonds, HPHT
and CVD being the production methods, high-pressure high-temperature synthesis and chemical vapor
deposition, respectively. Although the concept of producing high quality artificial diamonds
is an old one, the reproducible synthesis of diamonds is not. In 1954, Howard Tracy
Hall at the GE Research Laboratory invented a belt press in the shape of a doughnut, which
confined the sample chamber and two curved, tapered pistons to apply pressure on the chamber
in order to produce the first commercially successful and reproducible synthesis of a
diamond.1954 Radar gun A radar gun or speed gun is a small Doppler
radar used to detect the speed of objects. It relies on the Doppler Effect applied to
a radar beam to measure the speed of objects at which it is pointed. Radar guns may be
hand-held or vehicle-mounted. Bryce K. Brown invented the radar gun in March 1954.1955
Sling lift A sling lift is an assistive device that allows
patients in hospitals and nursing homes and those receiving home health care to be transferred
between a bed and a chair or other similar resting places, using hydraulic power. Sling
lifts are used for patients whose mobility is limited. The sling lift was patented on
April 12, 1955 by Ronald R. Stratton in what he called a “floor crane with adjustable legs”.1955
Crosby-Kugler capsule A Crosby-Kugler capsule is a device used for
obtaining biopsies of small bowel mucosa, necessary for the diagnosis of various small
bowel diseases. It was invented by Dr. William Holmes Crosby, Jr. in 1955.1955 Nuclear submarine
The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, revolutionized naval warfare. Conventional
submarines need two engines: a diesel engine to travel on the surface and an electric engine
to travel submerged, where oxygen for a diesel engine is not available. By relying on nuclear
capability, the USS Nautilus could travel uninterrupted for thousands of miles below
the surface with a single fuel charge. Beginning in 1951, Admiral Hyman Rickover can be credited
for the design of the world’s first nuclear submarine who led and oversaw a group of scientists
and engineers at the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission. After sea
trials were conducted and testing was completed, the USS Nautilus became fully operational
in January 1955.1955 Hard disk drive A hard disk drive, or hard drive, hard disk,
or fixed disk drive, is a non-volatile storage device which stores digitally encoded data
on rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces. The hard disk drive was invented
by Reynold Johnson and commercially introduced in 1956 with the IBM 305 RAMAC computer.1955
Harmonic drive A harmonic drive is a special type of mechanical
gear system that can improve certain characteristics compared to traditional gearing systems. The
harmonic drive was invented in 1955 by Walton Musser. U.S. patent #2,906,143 was filed on
March 21, 1955 and issued to Musser on September 29, 1959.1955 Vibrating sample magnetometer A vibrating sample magnetometer or VSM is
a scientific instrument that measures magnetic properties where the sample is then physically
vibrated sinusoidally, typically through the use of a piezoelectric material. It was invented
in 1955 by American physicist Simon Foner at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. Foner filed U.S. patent #2,946,948 on June 20, 1957. It was issued on July 26,
1960.1956 Lint roller A lint roller or lint remover is a roll of
one-sided adhesive paper on a cardboard or plastic barrel that is mounted on a central
spindle, with an attached handle. The device facilitates the removal of lint or other small
fibers from most materials such as clothing, upholstery and linen. The lint roller was
co-invented in 1956 by American electrical engineer Nicholas McKay and his wife Helen.1956
Kart racing Kart racing or karting is a variant of an
open-wheel motor sport with simple, small four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts,
or gearbox karts depending on the design. Karts vary widely in speed and some can reach
speeds exceeding 160 mph, while go-karts intended for the general public in amusement parks
may be limited to speeds of no more than 15 mph. In the summer of 1956, hot rod veteran
Art Ingels built the first go-kart out of old car frame tubing, welding beads, and a
lawnmower motor, not realizing that he had invented a new sport and form of auto racing.1956
Industrial robot An industrial robot is an automatically controlled,
re-programmable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. The first
to invent an industrial robot was George Devol and Joseph F. Engelberger.1956 Operating system
(batch processing) An operating system (OS) is software (programs
and data) that runs on computers and manages the computer hardware and provides common
services for efficient execution of various application software. For hardware functions
such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary
between application programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is
usually executed directly by the hardware, but will frequently call the OS or be interrupted
by it. Operating systems are found on almost any device that contains a computer—from
cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers. The GM-NAA
I/O, created by Owen Mock and Bob Patrick of General Motors Research Laboratories in
early 1956 (or late 1955) for their IBM 701 mainframe computer is generally considered
to be the first “batch processing” operating system and possibly the first “real” operating
system. Rudimentary forms of operating systems existed before batch processing, the Input/Output
Control System (IOCS) being one example. However, what specifically differentiated and made
the GM-NAA I/O as the first of its kind was that instead of having a human operator manually
load each program as what previous systems were only capable of doing, computerized software
as used on GM-NAA I/O, thereafter handled the scheduling, management, and multi-tasking
of all computer applications.1956 Fortran Fortran is a general-purpose, procedural,
and imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and
scientific computing. Fortran came to dominate this area of programming early on and has
been in continual use for over half a century in computationally intensive areas such as
numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD),
computational physics, and computational chemistry. It is one of the most popular languages in
the area of High-performance computing and programs to benchmark and rank the world’s
fastest supercomputers are written in Fortran. In 1956, John Backus and a team of researchers
at IBM invented the Fortran programming language for the IBM 704 mainframe computer.1956 Videotape Videotape is a means of recording images and
sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. The first practical professional videotape
machines were the Quadruplex videotape machines introduced by Ampex on April 14, 1956. Invented
by Charles Ginsburg and Ray Dolby, Quad employed a transverse four-head system on a two-inch
(5.08 cm) tape, and linear heads for the soundtrack.1956 Particle storage ring A storage ring is a type of circular particle
accelerator in which a continuous or pulsed particle beam may be kept circulating for
a long period of time, up to many hours. Gerard K. O’Neill invented the first particle storage
ring in 1956.1957 Skid-steer loader A skid loader or skid steer loader is a small
rigid frame, engine-powered machine with lift arms used to attach a wide variety of labor-saving
tools or attachments. Though sometimes they are equipped with tracks, skid-steer loaders
are typically four-wheel drive vehicles that can push material from one location to another,
carry material in its bucket, or load material into a truck or trailer. Brothers Louis and
Cyrill Keller co-invented the first skid-steer loader, which was based around a three-wheeled
loader they developed in 1957 for a turkey farmer near Rothsay, Minnesota. In September
1958, they were hired by the Melroe brothers at Melroe Manufacturing Company in Gwinner,
North Dakota, which was later to become Bobcat Company. Using the brothers’ design, Melroe
introduced the M60 Self-Propelled Loader and, in 1960, Louis added a rear drive axle, resulting
in the M400 model, the world’s first true skid-steer loader.1957 Laser A laser is a device that emits electromagnetic
radiation through a process called stimulated emission. Laser light is usually spatially
coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam,
or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. Lasers
are used to read compact discs and bar codes, guide missiles, remove ulcers, fabricate steel,
precisely measure the distance from Earth to the Moon, record ultradefined images of
brain tissue, entertain people in light shows and do thousands of other things. In 1957,
American physicist Gordon Gould first theorized the idea and use of laser technology. Despite
a 20-year battle with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Gould is now widely
associated as the original inventor of laser. In addition, Charles H. Townes and Arthur
L. Schawlow, scientists at Bell Laboratories, wrote a paper, Infrared and Optical Masers
in 1958 that was enormously influential on the theory of lasers. Ironically, Gould, Townes,
or Schawlow never built the first working laser. On July 7, 1960, American physicist
Theodore H. Maiman created and built the first laser. The core of his laser consisted of
a man-made ruby as the active medium, a material that had been judged unsuitable by other scientists
who rejected crystal cores in favor of various gases.1957 Confocal microscopy Confocal microscopy is an optical imaging
technique used to increase micrograph contrast and to reconstruct three-dimensional images
by using a spatial pinhole to eliminate out-of-focus light or flare in specimens that are thicker
than the focal plane. This technique has gained popularity in the scientific and industrial
communities. Typical applications include life sciences and semiconductor inspection.
The principle of confocal imaging was invented and patented by Marvin Minsky in 1957.1957
Sugar packet A sugar packet is a delivery method for one
‘serving’ of sugar. Sugar packets are commonly supplied in restaurants and coffee bars in
preference to sugar bowls or sugar dispensers for reasons of neatness, spill control, and
to some extent portion control. In 1957, the sugar packet that consisted of a granulated
low-calorie sugar substitute, was invented by Benjamin Eisenstadt, the founder of Cumberland
Packing or better known today as the Sweet ‘N Low company.1957 Air-bubble packing Better known by the brand name of Bubble Wrap,
air-bubble packing is a pliable transparent plastic material commonly used for the cushioning
of fragile, breakable items in order to absorb or minimize shock and vibration. Regularly
spaced, the protruding air-filled hemispheres are known as “bubbles” which are 1/4 inch
(6 millimeters) in diameter, to as large as an inch (26 millimeters) or more. Air-bubble
packing was co-invented by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957.1957 Borazon
Borazon, a boron nitride allotrope, is the fourth hardest substance, after aggregated
diamond nanorods, ultrahard fullerite, and diamond, and the third hardest artificial
material. Borazon is a crystal created by heating equal quantities of boron and nitrogen
at temperatures greater than 1800 °Celsius, 3300 °Fahrenheit at 7 gigapascal 1 millionpound-force
per square inch. Borazon was first invented in 1957 by Robert H. Wentorf, Jr., a physical
chemist working for the General Electric Company. In 1969, General Electric adopted the name
Borazon as its trademark for the crystal.1957 Gamma camera
A gamma camera is a device used to image gamma radiation emitting radioisotopes, a technique
known as scintigraphy. The applications of scintigraphy include early drug development
and nuclear medical imaging to view and analyse images of the human body of the distribution
of medically injected, inhaled, or ingested radionuclides emitting gamma rays. The gamma
camera was invented by Hal Anger in 1957.1957 Cryotron The cryotron is a switch that operates using
superconductivity. The cryotron works on the principle that magnetic fields destroy superconductivity.
The cryotron was invented by Dudley Allen Buck in 1957.1958 Doppler fetal monitor A heartbeat doppler, also called a doppler
fetal monitor or doppler fetal heartbeat monitor, is a handheld device which uses ultrasound
to identify fetal heartbeat as part of the prenatal health care measures. The doppler
fetal monitor was invented in 1958 by American obstetrician Dr. Edward H. Hon.1958 Cable
tie A cable tie, also known as a zip tie or tie-wrap,
is a type of fastener, especially for binding several electronic cables or wires together
and to organize cables and wires. They have also been commonly used as makeshift handcuffs,
particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Panama. The cable tie, originally
known as the Ty-Rap, was invented in 1958 by Maurus C. Logan, who worked for many years
at Thomas & Betts. Logan filed U.S. patent #3,022,557 on June 24, 1958 which was issued
to him on February 27, 1962.1958 Lisp programming language Lisp is a family of computer programming languages
with a long history and a distinctive, fully parenthesized syntax. Originally specified
in 1958, Lisp is the second-oldest high-level programming language in widespread use today
where Fortran is the oldest. It was invented by John McCarthy in 1958.1958 Carbon fiber Carbon fiber is a material consisting of extremely
thin fibers about 0.005–0.010 mm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. In 1958,
Dr. Roger Bacon invented the first high-performance carbon fibers at the Union Carbide Parma Technical
Center, located outside of Cleveland, Ohio.1958 Integrated circuit An integrated circuit is a miniaturized electronic
circuit that has been manufactured in the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor
material. Integrated circuits are used in almost all electronic equipment in use today
and have revolutionized the world of electronics. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors
into a small chip was an enormous improvement over the manual assembly of circuits using
discrete electronic components. On September 12, 1958, Jack Kilby developed a piece of
germanium with an oscilloscope attached. While pressing a switch, the oscilloscope showed
a continuous sine wave, proving that his integrated circuit worked. A patent for a “Solid Circuit
made of Germanium”, the first integrated circuit, was filed by its inventor, Jack Kilby on February
6, 1959.1959 Fusor The fusor is an apparatus invented by Philo
T. Farnsworth in 1959 to create nuclear fusion. Unlike most controlled fusion systems, which
slowly heat a magnetically confined plasma, the fusor injects “high temperature” ions
directly into a reaction chamber, thereby avoiding a considerable amount of complexity.
The approach is known as inertial electrostatic confinement.1959 Weather satellite A weather satellite is a type of satellite
that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. The first weather
satellite, Vanguard 2, was launched on February 17, 1959, although the first weather satellite
to be considered a success was TIROS-1, launched by NASA on April 1, 1960.1959 Spandex Spandex is a synthetic fiber known for its
exceptional elasticity that is typically worn as apparel for exercising and in gymnastics.
Spandex is stronger and more durable than rubber, its major non-synthetic competitor.
Spandex was invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers.===1960s===
1960 Child safety seat A child safety seat (sometimes referred to
as an infant safety seat, a child restraint system, a restraint car seat, or ambiguously
as car seats), are seats designed specifically to protect children from injury or death during
collisions. They are commonly used by children when riding in a vehicle. In 1960, Leonard
Rivkin of Denver, Colorado invented the first child safe car seat for use in vehicles equipped
with bucket seats. A patent was filed on March 5, 1962 and was issued on October 22, 1963.1960
Artificial turf Artificial turf, or synthetic turf, is a man-made
surface made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that
were originally or are normally played on grass. In 1960, David Chaney is the man long
credited with inventing the first generation of artificial grass turfs. Artificial turf
then had its commercial birth in 1965 when it was installed at the Reliant Astrodome,
a stadium in Houston, Texas.1960 Magnetic stripe card A magnetic stripe card is a type of card capable
of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a
band of magnetic material on the card. The magnetic stripe, sometimes called a magstripe,
is read by physical contact and swiping past a reading head. Magnetic stripe cards are
commonly used in credit cards, identity cards such as a driver’s license, and transportation
tickets. The magnetic stripe card was invented in 1960 by IBM engineer Forrest Parry, who
conceived the idea of incorporating a piece of magnetic tape in order to store secured
information and data to a plastic card base.1960 Global navigation satellite system A global navigation satellite system (GNSS)
provides autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. A GNSS allows small
electronic receivers to determine their location such as longitude, latitude, and altitude
to within a few meters using time signals transmitted along a line of sight by radio
from satellites in outer space. Receivers on the ground with a fixed position can also
be used to calculate the precise time as a reference for scientific experiments. The
first such system was Transit, developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics
Laboratory under the leadership of Richard Kershner. Development of the system for the
United States Navy began in 1958, and a prototype satellite,Transit 1A, was launched in September
1959. That satellite failed to reach orbit. A second satellite, Transit 1B, was successfully
launched April 13, 1960 by a Thor-Ablestar rocket. The last Transit satellite launch
was in August 1988.1960 Combined oral contraceptive pill
The combined oral contraceptive pill, or birth-control pill, or simply “the Pill”, is a combination
of an estrogen and a progestin taken orally to inhibit normal female fertility. On May
9, 1960, the FDA announced it would approve Enovid 10 mg for contraceptive use. By the
time Enovid 10 mg had been in general use for three years, at least a half a million
women had used it. Beginning his research and studies in the feasibility of women’s
fertility in 1950, Dr. Gregory Pincus invented the combined oral contraceptive pill in 1960.1960
Obsidian hydration dating Obsidian hydration dating is a geochemical
method of determining age in either absolute or relative terms of an artifact made of obsidian.
Obsidian hydration dating was introduced in 1960 by Irving Friedman and Robert Smith of
the United States Geological Survey.1960 Gas laser
A gas laser is a laser in which an electric current is discharged through a gas to produce
light. The first gas laser, the Helium-neon, was invented by William R. Bennett, Don Herriott,
and Ali Javan in 1960. The first continuous visible gas laser, operating at 632.8 nm in
the red, was invented by A. D. White and J. D. Rigden in 1962.1961 Spreadsheet (electronic) An electronic spreadsheet organizes data information
into computerized software defined columns and rows. Primarily used for business and
accounting purposes, the data can then be “added up” by a formula to give a total or
sum. The spreadsheet program summarizes information from many paper sources in one place and presents
the information in a format to help a decision maker see the financial “big picture” of a
company. Spreadsheets in paper format have been used by accountants for hundreds of years.
However, computerized, electronic spreadsheets are of much more recent origin. In 1961, Richard
Mattessich, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, pioneered the concept
of electronic spreadsheets for use in business accounting. In the autumn of 1978, Harvard
Business School student, Dan Bricklin, came up with the idea for an interactive visible
calculator. Bricklin and Bob Frankston then co-invented the software program VisiCalc,
the world’s first “killer application” and electronic spreadsheet for use on personal
computers.1961 Wearable computer Wearable computers are computers which can
be worn on the body. Wearable computers are especially useful for applications that require
computational support while the user’s hands, voice, eyes or attention are actively engaged
with the physical environment. The wearable computer was first conceived by American mathematician
Edward O. Thorp in 1955 and co-invented with American electronic engineer Claude Shannon.1961
Frozen carbonated beverage A frozen carbonated beverage is a mixture
of flavored sugar syrup, carbon dioxide, and water that is frozen by a custom machine creating
a drink consisting of a fine slush of suspended ice crystals, with very little liquid. In
1961, Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville, Kansas invented the first frozen carbonated drink
machine and is thus recognized as the inventor of the frozen carbonated beverage. In 1965,
7-Eleven licensed the machine, and began selling Knedlik’s invention by the brand name popularly
known as Slurpee.1961 Biofeedback Biofeedback is a form of alternative medicine
that involves measuring a subject’s quantifiable bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart
rate, skin temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension, conveying the information
to the patient in real-time. This raises the patient’s awareness and conscious control
of his or her unconscious physiological activities. Neal Miller is generally considered the father
of modern-day biofeedback. Miller theorized the basic principles of biofeedback by applying
his theory that classical and operant conditioning were both the result of a common learning
principle in 1961. Miller hypothesized that any measurable physiological behavior within
the human body would respond in some way to voluntary control.1962 Communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial
satellite stationed in space for the purposes of telecommunications. Modern communications
satellites use a variety of orbits. For fixed point-to-point services, communications satellites
provide a microwave radio relay technology complementary to that of submarine communication
cables. Invented in 1962 by the American aerospace engineer John Robinson Pierce, NASA launched
Telstar, the world’s first active communications satellite, and the first satellite designed
to transmit telephone and high-speed data communications. Its name is still used to
this day for a number of television broadcasting satellites.1962 Chimney starter A chimney starter, also called a charcoal
chimney, is a device that is used to start either lump charcoal or stacked charcoal briquettes
on a grate. Although the chimney starter is now sometimes considered a “traditional” method
of starting charcoal, a basic device used for barbecue grills was co-invented in 1962
by Hugh King, Lavaughn Johnson, and Garner Byars of Corinth, Mississippi and marketed
under the “Auto Fire” label. A patent for the chimney starter was filed by its inventors
on July 6, 1962 and issued in January 1965.1962 Light-emitting diode A light-emitting-diode (LED) is a semiconductor
diode that emits light when an electric current is applied in the forward direction of the
device, as in the simple LED circuit. The effect is a form of electroluminescence where
incoherent and narrow-spectrum light is emitted from the p-n junction in a solid state material.
The first practical visible-spectrum LED was invented in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr.1962
Electret microphone An electret microphone is a type of condenser
microphone, which eliminates the need for a power supply by using a permanently charged
material. Electret materials have been known since the 1920s, and were proposed as condenser
microphone elements several times, but were considered impractical until the foil electret
type was invented at Bell Laboratories in 1962 by Jim West, using a thin metallized
Teflon foil. This became the most common type, used in many applications from high-quality
recording and lavalier use to built-in microphones in small sound recording devices and telephones.1962
Jet injector A jet injector is a type of medical injecting
syringe that uses a high-pressure narrow jet of the injection liquid instead of a hypodermic
needle to penetrate the epidermis. The jet injector was invented by Aaron Ismach in 1962.1962
Laser diode A laser diode is a laser where the active
medium is a semiconductor similar to that found in a light-emitting diode. The most
common and practical type of laser diode is formed from a p-n junction and powered by
injected electric current. These devices are sometimes referred to as injection laser diodes
to distinguish them from optically pumped laser diodes, which are more easily manufactured
in the laboratory. The laser diode was invented in 1962 by Robert N. Hall.1962 Glucose meter A glucose meter is a medical device for determining
the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. The first glucose meter was invented
by Leland Clark and Ann Lyons at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital which was first known
as a glucose enzyme electrode. The sensor worked by measuring the amount of oxygen consumed
by the enzyme.1963 Kicktail Kicktails are the upwards bent tips of a skateboard
deck, today considered vital to a skateboard. The front kicktail is usually called the nose
while the back kicktail is referred to as the tail. The kicktail was invented in 1963
by Larry Stevenson. U.S. patent #3,565,454 was filed on June 12, 1969 and issued to Stevenson
on February 2, 1971.1963 Computer mouse In computing, a mouse is a pointing device
that functions by detecting two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface.
The mouse’s motion typically translates into the motion of a pointer on a display, which
allows for fine control of a Graphical User Interface. Douglas Engelbart invented the
computer mouse at the Augmentation Research Center, funded by the Department of Defense’s
Advanced Research Projects Agency (now DARPA) in 1963. The first mouse was carved from wood
and tracked motion via two wheels mounted on the bottom. Later on, a ball instead of
two wheels was employed. The concept was soon overtaken by a modern and more technologically
advanced optical mouse.1963 BASIC In computer programming, BASIC is a family
of high-level programming languages. The original BASIC was invented in 1963 by John George
Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to provide computer
access to non-science students. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing
custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to be
able to do. The language and its variants became widespread on microcomputers in the
late 1970s and 1980s.1963 Balloon catheter A balloon catheter is a type of “soft” catheter
with an inflatable “balloon” at its tip which is used during a catheterization procedure
to enlarge a narrow opening or passage within the body. The deflated balloon catheter is
positioned, then inflated to perform the necessary procedure, and deflated again in order to
be removed. A common use includes angioplasty. In 1963, Dr. Thomas Fogarty invented and patented
the balloon catheter.1963 Geosynchronous satellite A geosynchronous satellite is a satellite
whose orbital track on the Earth repeats regularly over points on the Earth over time. The world’s
first geosynchronous satellite, the Syncom II which was launched on a Delta rocket at
NASA in 1963, was invented by Harold Rosen.1964 Buffalo wings A Buffalo wing, hot wing or wing is a chicken
wing section (drumette or flat) that is traditionally fried unbreaded and then coated in sauce.
Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper
hot sauce and butter. They are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese
dressing. Buffalo wings get their name from where they were invented, at the Anchor Bar
in Buffalo, New York. In 1964, Teresa Bellissimo at the family-owned Anchor Bar, covered chicken
wings in her own special sauce and served them with a side of blue cheese and celery.
In 1980, Frank Bellissimo, the husband of Teresa, told The New Yorker that her buffalo
wings were invented out of necessity because the restaurant had gotten an overstock of
chicken wings instead of other chicken parts that the couple didn’t know what to do with.
On the other hand, Dominic Bellissimo, the son of Frank and Teresa, disputed this story.
Dominic claimed that the wings were an impromptu midnight snack that his mother created on
his request while drinking with friends. Whatever the story, all of the Bellissimos have since
died so there is no way to verify how buffalo wings were invented.1964 Plasma display
A plasma display panel is a flat panel display common to large TV displays. Many tiny cells
between two panels of glass hold an inert mixture of noble gases. The gas in the cells
is electrically turned into a plasma which then excites phosphors to emit light. The
monochrome plasma video display was co-invented in July 1964 at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign by Donald Bitzer, H. Gene Slottow, and graduate student Robert Willson
for the PLATO Computer System.1964 Moog synthesizer The Moog synthesizer is an analog synthesizer
without the use of a vacuum tube. A Moog synthesizer uses analog circuits and analog computer techniques
to generate sound electronically. In 1964, Dr. Robert Moog invented the Moog synthesizer
that has been used by recording artists such as Mick Jagger, The Beatles, The Monkees,
and Stevie Wonder.1964 8-track cartridge Stereo 8, commonly known as the eight-track
cartridge or eight-track, is a magnetic tape sound recording technology. In 1964, William
Lear invented the eight-track, which went on to become the most popular musical medium
from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s.1964 Permanent press A permanent press is a characteristic of fabric
that has been chemically processed to resist wrinkles and hold its shape. This treatment
has a lasting effect on the fabric, namely in shirts, trousers, and slacks. Permanent
press was invented in 1964 by Ruth Rogan Benerito, research leader of the Physical Chemistry
Research Group of the Cotton Chemical Reactions Laboratory.1964 Carbon dioxide laser The carbon dioxide laser was one of the earliest
gas lasers to be developed and is still one of the most useful. The carbon dioxide laser
was invented by C. Kumar N. Patel of Bell Labs in 1964.1964 Liquid crystal display (dynamic
scattering mode) A liquid crystal display (LCD) is an electronically
modulated optical device shaped into a thin, flat panel made up of any number of color
or monochrome pixels filled with liquid crystals and arrayed in front of a light source or
reflector. In 1964, George H. Heilmeier invented the dynamic scattering mode found in liquid
crystal displays, wherein an electrical charge is applied which rearranges the molecules
so that they scatter light.1964 SQUID Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices
are very sensitive magnetometers used to measure extremely small magnetic fields based on superconducting
loops containing Josephson junctions. The DC SQUID was invented in 1964 by Arnold Silver,
Robert Jaklevic, John Lambe, and James Mercereau of Ford Research Labs.1964 Argon laser The argon laser is one of a family of ion
lasers that use a noble gas as the active medium. The argon laser was invented by William
Bridges in 1964.1965 Adaptive equalizer (automatic) An automatic adaptive equalizer corrects distorted
signals, greatly improving data performance and speed. All computer modems use equalizers.
The automatic adaptive equalizer was invented in 1965 by Bell Laboratories electrical engineer
Robert Lucky.1965 Snowboarding Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending
a slope that is either partially or fully covered with snow on a snowboard attached
to a rider’s feet using a special boot set into a mounted binding. The development of
snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, surfing and skiing. The first snowboard, the
Snurfer, was invented by Sherman Poppen in 1965. Snowboarding became a Winter Olympic
Sport in 1998.1965 Kevlar Kevlar is the registered trademark for a light,
strong para-aramid synthetic fiber. Typically it is spun into ropes or fabric sheets that
can be used as such or as an ingredient in composite material components. Currently,
Kevlar has many applications, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor
because of its high strength-to-weight ratio. Invented at DuPont in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek,
Kevlar was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in
racing tires.1965 Hypertext Hypertext most often refers to text on a computer
that will lead the user to other, related information on demand. It is a relatively
recent innovation to user interfaces, which overcomes some of the limitations of written
text. Rather than remaining static like traditional text, hypertext makes possible a dynamic organization
of information through links and connections called hyperlinks. Ted Nelson coined the words
“hypertext” and “hypermedia” in 1965 and invented the Hypertext Editing System in 1968 at Brown
University.1965 Cordless telephone A cordless telephone is a telephone with a
wireless handset that communicates via radio waves with a base station connected to a fixed
telephone line, usually within a limited range of its base station. The base station is on
the subscriber premises, and attaches to the telephone network the same way a corded telephone
does. In 1965, an American woman named Teri Pall invented the cordless telephone. Due
to difficulties of marketing, Pall never patented her invention. George Sweigert of Euclid,
Ohio had more success, thus receiving a patent for the cordless telephone in 1969.1965 Space
pen The Space Pen, also known as the Zero Gravity
Pen, is a pen that uses pressurized ink cartridges and is claimed to write in zero gravity, upside
down, underwater, over wet and greasy paper, at any angle, and in extreme temperature ranges.
The ballpoint is made from tungsten carbide and is precisely fitted in order to avoid
leaks. A sliding float separates the ink from the pressurized gas. The thixotropic ink in
the hermetically sealed and pressurized reservoir is claimed to write for three times longer
than a standard ballpoint pen. In 1965, the space pen was invented and patented by Paul
C. Fisher. After two years of testing at NASA, the space pen was first used during the Apollo
7 mission in 1968.1965 Minicomputer A minicomputer is a class of multi-user computers
that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user
systems and the smallest single-user systems. Wesley A. Clark and Charles Molnar co-invented
the PDP-8 in 1965, the world’s first minicomputer, using integrated circuit technology. Because
of its relatively small size and its $18,000 price tag, Digital Equipment only sold several
hundred units.1965 Compact Disc The Compact Disc, or CD, is an optical disc
used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. In 1965, James
Russell acted upon his idea that the music industry needed a new medium whereby a gramophone
record and the needle on a phonograph would no longer come into contact with one another.
With an interest in lasers, Russell soon began his research in an optical system that would
replace a phonograph’s needle and replace it with a laser that would read codes in order
to record and playback sound. At 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, Russell in 1970 had successfully
invented and built the world’s first compact disc that contained digitized codes etched
onto the disc that could be read from a laser. After partnering with Digital Recording which
was later acquired by Optical Recording Corporation, Russell and the parent company that he worked
for, found it increasingly difficult to enforce and protect his patents from infringement
by competitors such as Sony, Philips, and Time Warner who all profited from Russell’s
invention. The belief that Dutch and Japanese scientists “invented” the compact disc is
a misconception in the sense that Philips and Sony used Russell’s underlying technology
in order to develop a disc more refined, practical, smaller and sophisticated. In 1982, Sony and
Philips had commercially introduced the compact disc, twelve years after Russell had already
created a working prototype in 1970. By 1986, Optical Recording decided to legally act by
suing Sony, Phillips, and Time Warner. Two years later, the company came to a licensing
settlement with Sony and soon thereafter, agreements with Phillips and others soon followed,
including a June 1992 court ruling that required Time Warner to pay Optical Recording $30 million
due to patent infringement.1965 Chemical laser A chemical laser is a laser that obtains its
energy from a chemical reaction. Chemical lasers can achieve continuous wave output
with power reaching to megawatt levels. They are used in industry for cutting and drilling,
and in military as directed-energy weapons. The first chemical laser was co-invented by
Jerome V. V. Kasper and George C. Pimentel in 1965.1966 Dynamic random access memory Dynamic random access memory is a type of
random access memory that stores each bit of data in a separate capacitor within an
integrated circuit. Since real capacitors leak charge, the information eventually fades
unless the capacitor charge is refreshed periodically. Because of this refresh requirement, it is
a dynamic memory as opposed to static random access memory and other static memory. In
1966 DRAM was invented by Robert Dennard at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.1966
Thermosonic bonding Thermosonic Bonding is the most widely used
wire bonding method to electrically connect silicon integrated circuits. It was introduced
by Alexander Coucoulas in 1966. Owing to the reliability of a thermosonic bond, it is extensively
used to connect the all important central processing unit (CPU) which are encapsulated
integrated circuits that serve as the mainstay and “brains” of the computer.1967 Backpack
(Internal frame) The internal frame backpack consists of strips
of either metal or plastic that mold to one’s back to provide a good fit, sometimes with
additional metal stays to reinforce the frame. Usually a complex series of straps works with
the frame to distribute the weight and hold it in place. The close fitting of the back
section to the wearer’s back allows the pack to be closely attached to the body, and gives
a predictable movement of the load. The internal frame backpack was invented in 1967 by Greg
Lowe, the founder of Lowepro.1967 Light beer Invented by Joseph L. Owades1967 Calculator
(hand-held) Invented by Jack Kilby in 1967, the hand-held
calculator is a device for performing mathematical calculations, distinguished from a computer
by having a limited problem solving ability and an interface optimized for interactive
calculation rather than programming. Calculators can be hardware or software, and mechanical
or electronic, and are often built into devices such as PDAs or mobile phones.1968 Racquetball Racquetball is a racquet sport played with
a hollow rubber ball in an indoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek is credited with inventing
the sport of racquetball in the Greenwich YMCA, though not with naming it. A professional
tennis player and handball player, Sobek sought a fast-paced sport that was easy to learn
and play. He designed the first strung paddle, devised a set of codified rules, and named
his game “paddle rackets.”1968 Virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which
allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment. Most current virtual reality
environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through
special or stereoscopic displays, but some simulations include additional sensory information,
such as sound through speakers or headphones. In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, with the help of
his student Bob Sproull, invented what is widely considered to be the first virtual
reality and augmented reality (AR) head mounted display (HMD) system. It was primitive both
in terms of user interface and realism, and the HMD to be worn by the user was so heavy
it had to be suspended from the ceiling, and the graphics comprising the virtual environment
were simple wireframe model rooms. In 1989, Jaron Lanier, the founder of VPL Research
popularized the concept of virtual reality with his “google n’ gloves” system.1968 Turtle
Excluder Device A turtle excluder device is a specialized
device that allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman’s net. They
are used to catch sea turtles when bottom trawling is used by the commercial shrimp
fishing industry. The first turtle excluder device was called the Georgia Jumper. It was
invented in 1968 by American fisherman Sinkey Boone.1968 Zipper (ride) Not to be confused with the 1893 invention
with the same name, the “Zipper” is an amusement-thrill ride popular at carnivals and amusement parks
in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It features strong vertical G-forces,
numerous spins, and a noted sense of unpredictability. The ride’s basic format is a long, rotating,
oval boom with a cable around its edge that pulls 12 cars around the ride. The Zipper
is designed to be transportable and assembled from site to site. The Zipper was invented
in 1968 by Joseph Brown of Chance Morgan. Since this time, more than 200 rides have
been built and distributed all over the world, making it one of the most mass-produced and
modern-day rides of all time.1969 Lunar Module The Lunar Module was the lander portion of
spacecraft built for the Apollo program by Grumman in order to achieve the transit from
cislunar orbit to the surface and back. The module was also known as the LM from the manufacturer
designation. NASA achieved the first test flight on January 22, 1968 using a Saturn
V rocket. Six successful missions carried twelve astronauts, the first being Neil Armstrong
and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969, to the moon surface and safely back home to earth. Tom
Kelly as a project engineer at Grumman, invented and successfully designed the Lunar Module.1969
Electromagnetic lock An electromagnetic lock is a simple locking
device that consists of an electromagnet and armature plate. By attaching the electromagnet
to the door frame and the armature plate to the door, a current passing through the electromagnet
attracts the armature plate holding the door shut. The first modern direct-pull electromagnetic
lock was designed by Sumner “Irving” Saphirstein in 1969.1969 Laser printer
A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that rapidly produces high quality
text and graphics on plain paper. The laser printer was invented at Xerox in 1969 by researcher
Gary Starkweather, who had an improved printer working by 1971 and incorporated into a fully
functional networked printer system by about a year later.1969 Bioactive glass
Bioactive glasses are a group of surface reactive glass-ceramics. The biocompatibility of these
glasses has led them to be investigated extensively for use as implant materials in the human
body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. Bioactive glass was invented in 1969
by Larry Hench and his colleagues at the University of Florida.1969 Wide-body aircraft A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with
two passenger aisles, also known as a twin-aisle aircraft. As the world’s first wide-body aircraft,
the Boeing 747, also referred to as a jumbo jet, revolutionized international travel around
the globe by making non-stop and long distance travel accessible for all. Joe Sutter, the
chief engineer of the jumbo jet program at The Boeing Company designed the world’s first
wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 747, with its first test flight on February 9, 1969.1969
Taser A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses
Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) technology to cause neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI)
and strong muscle contractions through the involuntary stimulation of both the sensory
nerves and the motor nerves. The Taser is not dependent on pain compliance, making it
highly effective on subjects with high pain tolerance. For this reason it is preferred
by law enforcement over traditional stun guns and other electronic control weapons. Jack
Cover, a NASA researcher, invented the Taser in 1969.1969 Charge coupled device A charge-coupled device (CCD) is a device
for the movement of electrical charge, usually from within the device to an area where the
charge can be manipulated. This is achieved by “shifting” the signals between stages within
the device one at a time. CCDs move charge between capacitive bins in the device, with
the shift allowing for the transfer of charge between bins. Often the device is integrated
with an image sensor, such as a photoelectric device to produce the charge that is being
read, thus making the CCD a major technology for digital imaging. First conceived in its
usefulness for computer memory, the charge coupled device was co-invented in 1969 by
American physicist George E. Smith and Canadian physicist Willard Boyle at AT&T Bell Laboratories.1969
Mousepad A mousepad is a hard surface, square-shaped
and rubberized mat for enhancing the usability of a computer mouse. Jack Kelley invented
the mousepad in 1969.1969 Chapman Stick A polyphonic member of the guitar family,
the Chapman Stick is an electric musical instrument used for music recordings to play various
parts such as bass, lead, chords, and textures. The Chapman Stick looks like a wide version
of the fretboard of an electric guitar, but having 8, 10 or 12 strings. The player will
use both hands to sound notes by striking the strings against the fingerboard just behind
the appropriate frets for the desired notes. The Chapman Stick was invented in 1969 by
American jazz musician Emmett Chapman.1969 Markup language A markup language is a modern system for annotating
a text in a way that is syntactically distinguishable from that text. The idea and terminology evolved
from the “marking up” of manuscripts. For example, the revision instructions by editors,
traditionally written with a blue pencil on authors’ manuscripts. A well-known example
of a markup language in widespread use today is HyperText Markup Language (HTML), one of
the key document formats of the World Wide Web. The origins of markup languages can be
traced to a formatting language called RUNOFF, developed in the 1960s by Jerome H. Saltzer
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. However, the very first markup language was
called the Generalized Markup Language (GML) co-invented by IBM engineers Charles Goldfarb,
Ed Mosher, and Ray Lorie.===1970s===
1970 Wireless local area network A wireless local area network is the linking
of two or more computers or devices using spread-spectrum or OFDM modulation technology
based to enable communication between devices in a limited area. In 1970, the University
of Hawaii, under the leadership of Norman Abramson, invented the world’s first computer
communication network using low-cost ham-like radios, named ALOHAnet. The bidirectional
star topology of the system included seven computers deployed over four islands to communicate
with the central computer on the Oahu Island without using phone lines.1970 Surf leash A surfboard leash or leg rope is the cord
that attaches a surfboard to the surfer. It prevents the surfboard from being swept away
by waves and prevents a runaway surfboard from hitting other surfers and swimmers. Modern
leashes comprise a urethane cord where one end has a band with a velcro strap attached
to the surfer’s trailing foot, and the opposite has a velcro strap attached to the tail end
of the surfboard. The surfboard leash was invented in 1970 by Santa Cruz, California
resident Pat O’Neill, son of wetsuit innovator Jack O’Neill, who fastened surgical tubing
to the nose of his surfboard with a suction cup looped to the end of his wrist in order
to leverage turns and cutbacks in the water. However, modifications in 1971 by O’Neill
made the surf leash attached to the ankle and to a surfboard’s tail, a practice still
in use today.1971 Uno (card game) Uno is a card game played with a specially
printed deck. Using colored playing cards, he game involves playing the legal card with
the highest point value. This is a simple way to minimize points held in the hand at
the end of the round, but fails to account for the utility of holding wilds and draw
fours near the end of the game. Uno was co-invented by father-son duo Merle and Ray Robbins in
1971 as a twist to the card game called Crazy Eights. The name of the game, “Uno”, Spanish
for one, was thought up by Merle’s son Ray.1971 Personal computer The personal computer (PC) is any computer
whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals, and which
is intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator.
The Kenbak-1 is officially credited by the Computer History Museum to be the world’s
first personal computer which was invented in 1971 by John Blankenbaker. With a price
tag of $750 and after selling only 40 machines, Kenbak Corporation closed its doors in 1973.1971
Fuzzball router Fuzzball routers were the first modern routers
on the Internet. They were DEC LSI-11 computers loaded with router software. First conceptualized
by its inventor, David L. Mills, fuzzball routers evolved as a virtual machine supporting
the DEC RT-11 operating system and early developmental versions of the TCP/IP protocol and applications
suite. Prototype versions of popular Internet tools, including Telnet, FTP, DNS, EGP and
SMTP were first implemented and tested on fuzzball routers.1971 Supercritical airfoil
A supercritical airfoil is an airfoil designed, primarily, to delay the onset of wave drag
on aircraft in the transonic speed range. Supercritical airfoils are characterized by
their flattened upper surface, highly cambered aft section, and greater leading edge radius
as compared to traditional airfoil shapes. The supercritical airfoil was invented and
designed by NASA aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb in the 1960s. Testing successfully
commenced on a United States Navy Vought F-8U fighter through wind tunnel results in 1971.1971
Microprocessor The microprocessor is a computer chip that
processes instructions and communicates with outside devices, controlling most of the operations
of a computer through the central processing unit on a single integrated circuit. The first
commercially available microprocessor was a silicon-based chip, the Intel 4004, co-invented
in 1971 by Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin, and Stanley Mazor for a calculator company named
Busicom, and produced by Intel.1971 Floppy disk
A floppy disk is a data storage medium that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible “floppy”
magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. In 1971 while
working at IBM, David L. Noble invented the 8-inch floppy disk. Floppy disks in 8-inch,
5¼-inch, and 3½-inch formats enjoyed many years as a popular and ubiquitous form of
data storage and exchange, from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s.1971 String trimmer
A string trimmer is a powered handheld device that uses a flexible monofilament line instead
of a blade for cutting grass and trimming other plants near objects. It consists of
a cutting head at the end of a long shaft with a handle or handles and sometimes a shoulder
strap. String trimmers powered by an internal combustion engine have the engine on the opposite
end of the shaft from the cutting head while electric string trimmers typically have an
electric motor in the cutting head. Used frequently in lawn and garden care, the string trimmer
is more popularly known by the brandnames Weedeater or Weedwhacker. The string trimmer
was invented in 1971 by George Ballas of Houston, Texas.1971 Memristor A memristor is a passive two-terminal electronic
device that is built to express only the property of memristance. However, in practice it may
be difficult to build a ‘pure memristor,’ since a real device may also have a small
amount of some other property, such as capacitance. In 1971, American engineer and computer scientist
Leon Chua first postulated the memristor that could be used to implement computer memory.
Almost four decades after Chua’s research, a team of engineers at Hewlett Packard under
the direction of R. Stanley Williams constructed a working memristor using a thin film of titanium
dioxide in April 2008.1971 E-mail Electronic mail, often shortened to e-mail,
is a method of creating, transmitting, or storing primarily text-based human communications
with digital communications systems. Ray Tomlinson as a programmer while working on the United
States Department of Defense’s ARPANET, invented and sent the first electronic mail on a time-sharing
computer in 1971. Previously, e-mail could only be sent to users on the same computer.
Tomlinson is regarded as having sent the first e-mail on a network and for making the “@” sign
the mainstream of e-mail communications.1972 C (programming language)
C is a general-purpose computer programming language originally invented in 1972 by Dennis
Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in order to implement the Unix operating system.
Although C was designed for writing architecturally independent system software, it is also widely
used for developing application software.1972 Video game console
A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or electronic device that produces
a video display signal which can be used with a display device such as a television to display
a video game. A joystick or control pad is often used to simulate and play the video
game. It was not until 1972 that Magnavox released the first home video game console,
the Magnavox Odyssey, invented by Ralph H. Baer.1972 Global Positioning System The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based
global navigation satellite system that provides reliable, three-dimensional positioning, navigation,
and timing services to worldwide users on a continuous basis in all weather, day and
night, anywhere on or near the Earth. 24 satellites orbit around the Earth twice a day, transmitting
signaled information to GPS receivers that take this information and use triangulation
to calculate the user’s exact location. Ultimately, the GPS is the descendant of the United States
Navy’s Timation satellite program and the United States Air Force’s 621-B satellite
program. The invention of GPS was a collaborative and team effort. The basic architecture of
GPS was devised in less than a month in 1972 by Colonel Bradford Parkinson, Mel Birnbaum,
Bob Rennard, and Jim Spilker. However, Richard Easton, a son of Roger Easton who was the
head of the U.S. Navy’s Timation program, claims that his father invented GPS and filed
U.S. patent #3,789,409 in 1974. Other names listed by Richard Easton are James Buisson,
Thomas McCaskill, Don Lynch, Charles Bartholomew, Randolph Zwirn and, “an important outsider,”
Robert Kern. Ivan Getting, while working at Raytheon, envisioned a satellite system similar
to MOSAIC, a railroad mobile ballistic missile guidance system, but working more like LORAN.
The GPS program was approved in December 1973, the first GPS satellite was launched in 1978,
and by August 1993, 24 GPS satellites were in orbit. Initial operational capability was
established in December of that same year while in February 1994, the Federal Aviation
Agency (FAA) declared GPS ready for use.1972 PET scanner A PET scanner is a commonly used medical device
which scans the whole human body for detecting diseases such cancer. The PET scanner was
invented in 1972 by Edward J. Hoffman and fellow scientist Michael Phelps.1972 Magnetic
resonance imaging Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or nuclear
magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), is primarily a medical imaging technique most commonly
used in radiology to visualize the structure and function of the body. Dr. Raymond Damadian,
an Armenian-American scientist, who while researching the analytical properties of magnetic
resonance, created the world’s first magnetic resonance imaging machine in 1972. Damadian
filed the first patent for an MRI machine, U.S. patent #3,789,832 on March 17, 1972,
which was later issued to him on February 5, 1974. Damadian along with Larry Minkoff
and Michael Goldsmith, subsequently went on to perform the first MRI body scan of a human
being on July 3, 1977. Reflecting the fundamental importance and applicability of MRI in medicine,
Paul Lauterbur of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Sir Peter Mansfield
of the University of Nottingham were awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
for their “discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging.”1973 Personal watercraft A personal watercraft (PWC) is a recreational
watercraft that the rider sits or stands on, rather than inside of, as in a boat. Models
have an inboard engine driving a pump jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create
thrust for propulsion and steering. Clayton Jacobson II is credited with inventing the
personal watercraft, including both the sit-down and stand-up models in 1973.1973 E-paper
Electronic paper, also called e-paper, is a display technology designed to mimic the
appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Electronic paper reflects light like ordinary paper and
is capable of holding text and images indefinitely without drawing electricity, while allowing
the image to be changed later. Applications of e-paper technology include e-book readers
capable of displaying digital versions of books, magazines and newspapers, electronic
pricing labels in retail shops, time tables at bus stations, and electronic billboards.
Electronic paper was invented in 1973 by Nick Sheridon at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center.
The first electronic paper, called Gyricon, consisted of polyethylene spheres between
75 and 106 micrometres across.1973 Recombinant DNA Recombinant DNA is a form of synthetic DNA
that is engineered through the combination or insertion of one or more DNA strands, thereby
combining DNA sequences that would not normally occur together. The Recombinant DNA technique
was engineered by Stanley Norman Cohen and Herbert Boyer in 1973. They published their
findings in a 1974 paper entitled “Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids
in vitro”, which described a technique to isolate and amplify genes or DNA segments
and insert them into another cell with precision, creating a transgenic bacterium.1973 Catalytic
converter (three-way) A catalytic converter provides an environment
for a chemical reaction wherein toxic combustion by-products are converted to less-toxic substances.
First used on cars in 1975 to lower emission standards, catalytic converters are also used
on generator sets, forklifts, mining equipment, trucks, buses, trains, and other engine-equipped
machines. The three-way catalytic converter was co-invented by John J. Mooney and Carl
D. Keith at the Engelhard Corporation in 1973.1973 Mobile phone A mobile phone, or cell phone, is a long-range,
electronic device used for mobile voice or data communication over a network of specialized
base stations known as cell sites. Early mobile FM radio telephones were in use for many years,
but since the number of radio frequencies were very limited in any area, the number
of phone calls were also very limited. To solve this problem, there could be many small
areas called cells which share the same frequencies. When users moved from one area to another
while calling, the call would have to be switched over automatically without losing the call.
In this system, a small number of radio frequencies could accommodate a huge number of calls.
The first mobile call was made from a car phone in St. Louis, Missouri on June 17, 1946,
but the system was impractical from what is considered a portable handset today. The equipment
weighed 80 lbs, and the AT&T service, basically a massive party line, cost $30 per month plus
30 to 40 cents per local call. The basic network and supporting infrastructure of hexagonal
cells used to support a mobile telephony system while remaining on the same channel were devised
by Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young at AT&T Bell Labs in 1947. Finally in 1973, Martin
Cooper invented the first handheld cellular/mobile phone. His first mobile phone call was made
to Joel S. Engel in April 1973.1973 Voicemail Voicemail is the managing of telephone messages
from a centralized data storing system. Voicemail is stored on hard disk drives, media generally
used by computers in order to store other forms of data. Messages are recorded in digitized
natural human voice similar to how music is stored on a compact disc. To retrieve and
to play back messages, a user calls the system from any phone, and his or her messages can
be retrieved immediately. The first voicemail system, known as the Speech Filing System
(SFS), was invented by Stephen J. Boies in 1973. What started as a research project at
the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, the first working prototype became available
to telephone users in 1975.1974 Heimlich maneuver Performing abdominal thrusts, better known
as the Heimlich Maneuver, involves a rescuer standing behind a patient and using their
hands to exert pressure on the bottom of the diaphragm. This compresses the lungs and exerts
pressure on any object lodged in the trachea, hopefully expelling it. This amounts to an
artificial cough. Henry Heimlich, as the inventor of his abdominal thrust technique, first published
his findings about the maneuver in a June 1974 informal article in Emergency Medicine
entitled, “Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary”. On June 19, 1974, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
reported that retired restaurant-owner Isaac Piha used the procedure to rescue choking
victim Irene Bogachus in Bellevue, Washington.1974 Post-it note The Post-it note is a piece of stationery
with a re-adherable strip of adhesive on the back, designed for temporarily attaching notes
to documents and to other surfaces such as walls, desks and table-tops, computer displays,
and so forth. Post-it notes were co-invented by 3M employees Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver
in 1974.1974 Scanning acoustic microscope A Scanning Acoustic Microscope (SAM) is a
device which uses focused sound to investigate, measure, or image an object. It is commonly
used in failure analysis and non-destructive evaluation. The first scanning acoustic microscope
was co-invented in 1974 by C. F. Lemons and R. A. Quate at the Microwave Laboratory of
Stanford University.1974 Quantum well laser A quantum well laser is a laser diode in which
the active region of the device is so narrow that quantum confinement occurs. The wavelength
of the light emitted by a quantum well laser is determined by the width of the active region
rather than just the bandgap of the material from which it is constructed. The quantum
well laser was invented by Charles H. Henry, a physicist at Bell Labs, in 1974 and was
granted a patent for it in 1976.1974 Universal Product Code The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode
symbology that scans 12-digits numbers along the bar in order to track trade items and
to encode information such as pricing to a product on a store’s shelf. The Universal
Product Code, invented by George Laurer at IBM, was used on a marked item scanned at
a retail checkout, Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio, at 8:01 a.m. on June 26, 1974.1975
Digital camera The digital camera is a camera that takes
video or still photographs, digitally by recording images via an electronic image sensor. Steven
Sasson as an engineer at Eastman Kodak invented and built the first digital camera using a
CCD image sensor in 1975.1975 Ethernet The ethernet is a family of frame-based computer
networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept
of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the Physical Layer
of the OSI networking model, through means of network access at the Media Access Control
(MAC)/Data Link Layer, and a common addressing format. Robert Metcalfe, while at Xerox invented
the ethernet in 1975.1975 Breakaway rim A breakaway rim is a basketball hoop that
can bend slightly when a player dunks a basketball, and then instantly snap back into its original
shape when the player releases it. It allows players to dunk the ball without shattering
the backboard, and it reduces the possibility of wrist injuries. According to the Lemelson
Center, an affiliation of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the breakaway
rim was invented by Arthur Ehrat. After six years, from July 1976 to December 1982, Ehrat
received a patent (U.S. Patent No. 4,365,802). His application was rejected twice, with patent
examiner Paul Shapiro noting that Frederick C. Tyner held a patent for a similar device
(U.S. Patent No. 4,111,420). However, a court appeal finally ruled in favor of Ehrat, as
he proved through notarized copies of canceled checks and a rough sketch of his invention,
that he was working on his breakaway basketball goal in 1975 before Frederick Tyner conceived
of his.1976 Gore-Tex Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric
and is made using an emulsion polymerization process with the fluorosurfactant perfluorooctanoic
acid. Gore-Tex was co-invented by Wilbert L. Gore, Rowena Taylor, and Gore’s son, Robert
W. Gore for use in space. Robert Gore was granted a patent on April 27, 1976, for a
porous form of polytetrafluoroethylene with a micro-structure characterized by nodes interconnected
by fibrils. Robert Gore, Rowena Taylor, and Samuel Allen were granted a patent on March
18, 1980 for a “waterproof laminate.”1977 Human-powered aircraft A human-powered aircraft (HPA) is an aircraft
powered by direct human energy and the force of gravity. The thrust provided by the human
may be the only source. However, a hang glider that is partially powered by pilot power is
a human-powered aircraft where the flight path can be enhanced more than if the hang
glider had not been assisted by human power. Invented by designer Paul MacCready and constructed
of mylar, polystyrene, and carbon-fiber rods, the Gossamer Condor was the world’s first
practical and successful human-powered aircraft, staying in the air for 7.5 uninterrupted minutes.
By 1979, a cyclist named Byron Allen used McCready’s successive model known as the Gossamer
Albatross, and won British industrialist Henry Kremer’s prize of $214,000 for crossing the
22-mile English Channel.1977 Chemical oxygen iodine laser A chemical oxygen iodine laser is an infrared
chemical laser. The chemical oxygen iodine laser was invented by the United States Air
Force’s Phillips Laboratory in 1977 for military purposes. Its properties make it useful for
industrial processing as well; the beam is focusable and can be transferred by an optical
fiber, as its wavelength is not absorbed much by fused silica but is very well absorbed
by metals, making it suitable for laser cutting and drilling. COIL is the main weapon laser
for the military airborne laser and advanced tactical laser programs.1978 Slide Away Bed A Slide Away Bed is a type of sofa bed that
slides to the wall to form a sofa. The mattress is hinged to form a seating surface and back
support. The bed frame support is a telescoping frame that allows the bed platform to recess
below the seating cushion. The primitive version of the slide away bed was co-invented by Manning
Lane, Warren J. Hauck and Roy O. Sweeney of Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S. patent #4,204,287 was
filed on September 5, 1978 and issued on May 27, 1980.1978 Popcorn bag A popcorn bag is a specially designed, microwaveable
bag that contains popcorn, along with oil, spices and seasoning. The bag is typically
partially folded when it is placed in a microwave oven, and inflates as a result of steam pressure
from the heated kernels. The earliest patent for the popcorn bag, U.S. patent #4,267,420
was filed on October 12, 1978 by William A. Brastad of Minneapolis and issued on May 12,
1981.1978 Bulletin board system A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is a computer
system running software that allows users to connect and log into the system using a
terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading
software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users,
either through electronic mail or in public message boards. Many BBSes also offer on-line
games, in which users can compete with each other, and BBSes with multiple phone lines
often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other. CBBS, the first
Bulletin Board System, was invented by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess in Chicago, becoming
fully operational on February 16, 1978.1979 Winglets Wingtip devices or winglets are usually intended
to improve the efficiency of fixed-wing aircraft. The concept of winglets originated in the
late 19th century, but the idea remained on the drawing board. Throughout the 1970s when
the price of aviation fuel started spiraling upward, NASA aeronautical engineer Richard
Whitcomb began investigating and studying the feasibility of winglets in order to improve
overall aerodynamics and reduce drag on aircraft. Whitcomb’s tests finally culminated with the
first successful test flight of his attached winglets on a KC-135 Stratotanker on July
24, 1979.1979 Polar fleece Polar fleece, or “fleece”, is a soft napped
insulating synthetic wool fabric made from polyethylene terephthalate or other synthetic
fibers. Found in jackets, hoodies, and casual wear, fleece has some of wool’s finest qualities
but weighs a fraction of the lightest available woolens. The first form of polar fleece was
invented in 1979 by Malden Mills, now Polartec LLC., which was a new, light, and strong pile
fabric meant to mimic and in some ways surpass wool.===1980s and the early 1990s (1980–1991)
===1981 Stealth-aircraft The
Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was the world’s first operational aircraft to be designed around
stealth technology. Its maiden flight took place in 1981, and the aircraft achieved initial
operating capability status in 1983.1981 Control-Alt-Delete Control-Alt-Delete, often abbreviated as Ctrl-Alt-Del,
is a computer keyboard command on PC compatible systems that can be used to reboot a computer,
and summon the task manager or operating system. It is invoked by pressing the Delete key while
holding the Control and Alt keys: Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Thus, it forces a soft reboot, brings up the
task manager (on Windows and BeOS) or a jump to ROM monitor. Control-Alt-Delete was invented
in 1981 by David Bradley while working at IBM.1981 Total internal reflection fluorescence
microscope A total internal reflection fluorescence microscope
is a type of microscope with which a thin region of a specimen, usually less than 200
nm, can be observed. It can also be used to observe the fluorescence of a single molecule,
making it an important tool of biophysics and quantitative biology. Daniel Axelrod invented
the first total internal reflection fluorescence microscope in 1981.1981 Space shuttle The Space Shuttle, part of the Space Transportation
System (STS), is a spacecraft operated by NASA for orbital human spaceflight missions.
It carries payloads to low Earth orbit, provides crew rotation for the International Space
Station (ISS), and performs servicing missions. The orbiter can also recover satellites and
other payloads from orbit and return them to Earth. In 1981, NASA successfully launched
its reusable spacecraft called the Space Shuttle. George Mueller, an American from St. Louis,
Missouri is widely credited for jump starting, designing, and overseeing the Space Shuttle
program after the demise of the Apollo program in 1972.1981 Paintball
Paintball is a game in which players eliminate opponents by hitting them with pellets containing
paint usually shot from a carbon dioxide or compressed-gas, HPA or N20, in a powered paintball
gun. The idea of the game was first conceived and co-invented in 1976 by Hayes Noel, Bob
Gurnsey, and Charles Gaines. However, the game of paintball was not first played until
June 27, 1981.1981 Graphic User Interface Short for Graphic User Interface, the GUI
uses windows, icons, and menus to carry out commands such as opening files, deleting files,
moving files, etc. and although many GUI Operating Systems are operated by using a mouse, the
keyboard can also be used by using keyboard shortcuts or arrow keys. The GUI was co-invented
at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay and Douglas Engelbart in 1981.1983 Internet Not to be confused with a separate application
known as the World wide web which was invented much later in the early 1990s (see article
on the English inventor Tim Berners-Lee), the Internet is the global system of overall
interconnected computer networks that use the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP)
to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions
of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global
scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies.
The concept of packet switching of a network was first explored by Paul Baran in the early
1960s, and the mathematical formulations behind packet switching were later devised by Leonard
Kleinrock. On October 29, 1969, the world’s first electronic computer network, the ARPANET,
was established between nodes at Leonard Kleinrock’s lab at UCLA and Douglas Engelbart’s lab at
the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International). Another milestone occurred in 1973 when Bob
Kahn and Vinton Cerf co-invented Internet Protocol and Transmission Control Protocol
while working on ARPANET at the United States Department of Defense. The first TCP/IP-wide
area network was operational on January 1, 1983, when the United States’ National Science
Foundation (NSF) constructed the university network backbone that would later become the
NSFNet. This date is held as the “birth” of the Internet.1983 Blind signature In cryptography, a blind signature, as invented
by David Chaum in 1983, is a form of digital signature in which the content of a message
is disguised before it is signed. The resulting blind signature can be publicly verified against
the original, unblinded message in the manner of a regular digital signature. Blind signatures
are typically employed in privacy-related protocols where the signer and message author
are different parties. Examples include cryptographic election systems and digital cash schemes.1983
Laser turntable A laser turntable is a phonograph that plays
gramophone records using a laser beam as the pickup instead of a conventional diamond-tipped
stylus. This playback system has the unique advantage of avoiding physical contact with
the record during playback; instead, a focused beam of light traces the signal undulations
in the vinyl, with zero friction, mass and record wear. The laser turntable was first
conceived by Robert S. Reis, while working as a consultant of analog signal processing
for the United States Air Force and the United States Department of Defense.1984 LCD projector An LCD projector is a type of video projector
for displaying video, images or computer data on a screen or other flat surface. It is a
modern equivalent of the slide projector or overhead projector. To display images, LCD
(liquid-crystal display) projectors typically send light from a metal-halide lamp through
a prism or series of dichroic filters that separates light to three polysilicon panels
– one each for the red, green and blue components of the video signal. The LCD projector was
invented in 1984 by Gene Dolgoff.1984 Pointing stick The pointing stick is an isometric joystick
operated by applied force and is used as a pointing device on laptop computers. It takes
the form of a rubber cap located on top of the keyboard embedded between the ‘G’, ‘H’
and ‘B’ keys. The pointing stick was invented by American computer scientist Ted Selker
in 1984.1984 Polymerase chain reaction The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique
widely used in molecular biology. It derives its name from one of its key components, a
DNA polymerase used to amplify a piece of DNA by in vitro enzymatic DNA replication.
As PCR progresses, the DNA generated is used as a template for replication. The polymerase
chain reaction was invented in 1984 by Kary Mullis.1986 Atomic force microscope An atomic force microscope is a type of microscope
that is used for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. The information is
gathered by “feeling” the surface with a mechanical probe. Piezoelectric elements that facilitate
tiny but accurate and precise movements on (electronic) command enable the very precise
scanning. The atomic force microscope was co-invented in 1986 by Christoph Gerber, Gerd
Binning, and Calvin Quate. On April 20, 1987, Gerber, Binning, and Quate filed U.S. patent
#4,762,996 for the device which was later issued to them on August 9, 1988.1986 Stereolithography Stereolithography is a common rapid manufacturing
and rapid prototyping technology for producing parts with high accuracy and good surface
finish by utilizing a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer “resin” and a UV laser to build
parts a layer at a time. Stereolithography was invented by Chuck Hull in 1986.1987 Digital
Micromirror Device The Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) is a
silicon chip of up to 2 million hinged microscopic aluminum mirrors all under digital control
that tilt thousands of times per second in order to create an image by directing digital
pulses through a projection lens and onto a television or movie theatre screen. The
Digital Micromirror Device was invented by Dr. Larry Hornbeck while working at Texas
Instruments, also holding several patents relating to DMD technology.1987 Perl Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted,
dynamic programming language. It was originally invented by Larry Wall, a linguist working
as a systems administrator for NASA, in 1987, as a general purpose Unix scripting language
to make report processing easier. Perl is also used for text processing, system administration,
web application development, bioinformatics, network programming, applications that require
database access, graphics programming etc.1988 Luggage (tilt-and-roll) Tilt-and-roll luggage or wheeled luggage,
is a variant of luggage for travelers which typically contains two-fixed wheels on one
end and a telescoping handle on the opposite end for vertical movement. Tilt-and-roll luggage
is pulled and thus eliminates a traveler from directly carrying his or her luggage. In 1988,
Northwest Airlines pilot Robert Plath invented tilt-and-roll luggage as travelers beforehand
had to carry suitcases in their hands, toss garment bags over their shoulders, or strap
luggage on top of metal carts.1988 Fused deposition modeling
Fused deposition modeling, which is often referred to by its initials FDM, is a type
of additive fabrication or technology commonly used within engineering design. FDM works
on an “additive” principle by laying down material in layers. Fusion deposition modeling
was invented by S. Scott Crump in 1988.1988 Tcl
Tcl, known as “Tool Command Language”, is a scripting language most commonly used for
rapid prototyping, scripted applications, GUIs and testing. Tcl is used extensively
on embedded systems platforms, both in its full form and in several other small-footprinted
versions. Tcl is also used for CGI scripting. Tcl was invented in the spring of 1988 by
John Ousterhout while working at the University of California, Berkeley.1988 Ballistic electron
emission microscopy Ballistic electron emission microscopy or
BEEM is a technique for studying ballistic electron transport through variety of materials
and material interfaces. BEEM is a three terminal scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique
that was co-invented in 1988 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California by L. Douglas
Bell and William Kaiser.1988 Electron beam ion trap The electron beam ion trap is used in physics
to denote an electromagnetic bottle that produces and confines highly charged ions. The electron
beam ion trap was co-invented by M. Levine and R. Marrs in 1988.1988 Nicotine patch A nicotine patch is a transdermal patch that
releases nicotine into the body through the skin. It is usually used as a method to quit
smoking. The nicotine patch was invented in 1988 by Murray Jarvik, Jed Rose and Daniel
Rose.1988 Firewall A firewall is an integrated collection of
security measures designed to prevent unauthorized electronic access to a networked computer
system. At AT&T Bell Labs, William Cheswick and Steven M. Bellovin were continuing their
research in packet filtering and co-invented a working model for their own company based
upon their original first generation architecture of a firewall.1988 Resin identification code The SPI resin identification coding system
is a set of symbols placed on plastics to identify the polymer type. The resin identification
code was developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988.1989 ZIP file format The ZIP file format is a data compression
and file archiver. A ZIP file contains one or more files that have been compressed to
reduce file size, or stored as-is. The zip file format was originally invented in 1989
by Phil Katz for PKZIP, and evolved from the previous ARC compression format by Thom Henderson.1989
Selective laser sintering Selective laser sintering is an additive rapid
manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser to fuse small particles of plastic,
metal, ceramic, or glass powders into a mass representing a desired 3-dimensional object.
The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from
a 3-D digital description of the part on the surface of a powder bed. Selective laser sintering
was invented and patented by Dr. Carl Deckard at the University of Texas at Austin in 1989.1990
Self-wringing mop The self-wringing mop is a type of mop designed
to be wrung out without getting a user’s hands wet. The first self-wringing mop was invented
in 1990 by Joy Mangano. The mop head was created from 300 feet of cotton and was developed
so that it was possible to be wrung out by turning a plastic handle above the mop head
itself. It became widely used in America by the mid 1990s.1990 Sulfur lamp The sulfur lamp is a highly efficient full-spectrumelectrodeless
lighting system whose light is generated by sulfur plasma that has been excited by microwave
radiation. The sulfur lamp consists of a golf ball-sized (30 mm) fused-quartz bulb containing
several milligrams of sulfur powder and argon gas at the end of a thin glass spindle. The
bulb is enclosed in a microwave-resonant wire-mesh cage. The technology was conceived by engineer
Michael Ury, physicist Charles Wood and their colleagues in 1990. With support from the
United States Department of Energy, it was further developed in 1994 by Fusion Lighting
of Rockville, Maryland, a spinoff of the Fusion UV division of Fusion Systems Corporation.1991
Ant robotics Ant robotics is a special case of swarm robotics.
Swarm robots are simple and cheap robots with limited sensing and computational capabilities.
This makes it feasible to deploy teams of swarm robots and take advantage of the resulting
fault tolerance and parallelism. In 1991, American electrical engineer James McLurkin
was the first to conceptualize the idea of “robot ants” while working at the MIT Computer
Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The robots consisted of sensors, infrared emitters, and communication systems capable
of detecting objects in their path. McLurkin’s invention was through studying the behavior
of real ants in ant colonies and keeping ant farms as a basis for his programming. Through
this examination, he could better understand how insects structured their workloads in
order to produce a viable and working prototype of robotic ants.==See also====Footnotes====Further reading==
Deitch, Joanne Weisman, “A Nation of Inventors”, Carlisle, Massachusetts : Discovery Enterprises
Limited, 2001 Haven, Kendall, “100 Greatest Science Inventions
of All Time”, Westport, Connecticut : Libraries Unlimited, 2006
Hopping-Egan, Lorraine, “Inventors and Inventions”, New York City, New York : Scholastic, Incorporated,
1997 Ngeow, Evelyn, “Inventors and Inventions”,
New York City, New York : Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2008
Philbin, Tom, “The 100 Greatest Inventions of All Time”, New York City, New York : Kensington
Publishing Corporation, 2003==External links==
American Inventors Google: U.S. Patents Search
PBS: They Made America MIT: Invention Dimension
NASA: Scientific and Technical Information: NASA Spinoff
National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation The Great Idea Finder
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Stephen Childs

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