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Inventions (1 - 2024)


1565 - The pencil is invented (Conrad Gesner, Switzerland)

"In 1565 the German-Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner first described a writing instrument in which graphite, then thought to be a type of lead, was inserted into a wooden holder."

www.britannica.com -

1591 - The flush toilet is invented (Sir John Harington, England)

Harington devised England's first flushing toilet - called the Ajax. It was installed at his manor in Kelston...

The forerunner to the modern flush toilet had a flush valve to let water out of the tank, and a wash-down design to empty the bowl. The term "John", used... Read MORE...

wikipedia.org -

1592 - The thermometer is invented (Galileo, Italy)

"The first thermometer was constructed by Galileo. It consisted of a small glass globe fitted with a long tube. The open end of the tube was inserted in water, and the globe was heated until some of the air was expelled from it. When it was allowed to cool, the pressure of... Read MORE...

Principles of Physics:Designed for Use as a Textbook of General Physics, William Francis Magie, 1911 -

1609 - Galileo's telescope (Galileo, Italy)

"Galileo made his first telescope in 1609, modeled after telescopes produced in other parts of Europe that could magnify objects three times. He created a telescope later that same year that could magnify objects twenty times. With this telescope, he was able to look at the ... Read MORE...

galileo.rice.edu -

1656 - The pendulum clock is invented (Christiaan Huygens, Netherlands)

"In 1656 Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist and horologist Christiaan Huygens invented the pendulum clock in 1656 and patented it in 1657. This technology reduced the loss of time by clocks from about 15 minutes to about 15 seconds per... Read MORE...


1666 - Isaac Newton discovers gravity

"...According to the well-known story, it was on seeing an apple fall in his orchard at some time during 1665 or 1666 that Newton conceived that the same force governed the motion of the Moon and the apple. He calculated the force needed to hold the Moon in its orbit, as... Read MORE...

www.newton.ac.uk -

1698 - The steam engine is invented (Thomas Savery, England)

"Thomas Savery was an English inventor credited with making important advancements and discoveries in the development of the steam engine. He was born in 1650 at Shilston and belonged to a well known family of Devonshire. He received a thorough education and was fond of... Read MORE...

www.famousinventors.org -

1720 - June 10 - Mrs Clements of England markets first paste-style mustard

"In 1720 Mrs Clements, in Durham, England, developed a process to remove the husks from ground mustard and make smooth mustard. This was the first recorded smooth mustard made in England. Mrs Clements understood the value of her innovation well and kept the process secret... Read MORE...

www.theeastindiacompany.com -

1753 - The lightning rod is invented (Benjamin Franklin, United States)

"Those of our Readers in this and the neighboring Provinces, who may have had an Opportunity of observing, during the present Summer, and of the Effects of Lightning on Houses, Ships, Trees, &c. are requested to take particular Notice of its Course, and Deviation from a... Read MORE...


1784 - The bifocal lens is invented (Benjamin Franklin, United States)

"While living in Paris, Franklin hated having to change constantly from reading glasses to distance glasses. He directed an optician to cut two pairs of lenses horizontally in half and mount them in a new frame, with the reading lens at the bottom and the distance lens at... Read MORE...


1784 - The oil lamp is invented (Aimé Argand, Switzerland)

"Argand burner, first scientifically constructed oil lamp, patented in 1784 in England by a Swiss, Aimé Argand. The first basic change in lamps in thousands of years, it applied a principle that was later adapted to gas burners. The Argand burner consisted of a cylindrical... Read MORE...

www.britannica.com -

1793 - The cotton gin is invented (Eli Whitney, United States)

"In 1793, Eli Whitney invented a simple machine that influenced the history of the United States. He invented a cotton gin that was popular in the South. The South became the cotton producing part of the country because Whitney’s cotton gin was able to successfully pull... Read MORE...

score.rims.k12.ca.us -

1800 - Electric storage battery is invented (Alessandro Volta, Italy)

...Probably the most important developments in the science of electricity started with the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta. This battery gave the world its first continuous, reliable source of electric current and led to all the important... Read MORE...

Tucson Daily Citizen - Tucson, Arizona - March 18, 1960

1817 - The bicycle is invented (Baron Karl de Drais de Sauerbrun, Germany)

"... The first known bicyclist was the Comte de Sivrac, who was seen riding a two-wheel 'wooden horse' in Paris in 1791, the Smithsonian reports. Among its many drawbacks was that it was impossible to steer.

On had to lift, drag or jump the front wheel to change... Read MORE...

Waukesha Daily Freeman - Waukesha, Wisconsin - May 26, 1977

1824 - Portland cement is invented (Joseph Aspdin, England)

One of the greatest commodities in the United States today is a greyish powder commonly sold in 50-pound bags for about 10 cents a pound.

Modern Portland cement has a rather short but fabulous history. Back in 1824 an English mason named Joseph Aspdin mixed a compound... Read MORE...

The Times - Hammond, Indiana - October 23, 1957

1825 - The locomotive is invented (George Stephenson, England)

"... in 1811 George Stephenson made an engine. 'At last something practical has been designed,' thought many. George improved his design, and by 1825 his locomotion was on the rails. This was the first engine for the first important railway in the world. It went from... Read MORE...

The Age - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - December 19, 1930 -

1826 - The gas stove is invented (James Sharp, UK)

...John Baptist von Helmont, born at Brussels in 1677, while engaged in chemical research, discovered gas and named it. An English rector, Rev. Dr. John Clayton, discovered coal gas in 1792, thereby causing great consternation in his village in Wales. It was nearly 40 years ... Read MORE...


1827 - Matches are invented (John Walker, England)

In 1827 the first friction match was invented in England by John Walker. Walker's matches were sticks tipped with a mixture of chemicals that burst into flame when scratched against a rough surface.

Walker found that when the mixture dried, he could ignite the stick by... Read MORE...

Alton Evening Telegraph - Alton, Illinois - March 20, 1972

1829 - The sewing machine is invented (Barthélemy Thimonnier, France)

MONUMENT FOR SUPPOSED SEWING MACHINE INVENTOR

Lyons, France, Aug. 23. - (Correspondence of Associated Press) - A monument is to be erected here soon in honor of Bartholomew Thimonnier, whom the French claim was the inventor of the sewing machine.

Thimonnier, a... Read MORE...

Salisbury Evening Post - Salisbury, North Carolina - September 5, 1919

1839 - February 24 - Steam shovel patented by William Smith Otis, Philadelphia

William Smith Otis (1813-1839) was an American mechanical engineer and inventor who is credited with the development of the steam shovel, a significant innovation in the construction and mining industries. He was born in Hampden, Maine, in 1813.

The steam shovel is a... Read MORE...

historyorb.com -

1843 - The Christmas card is invented (Sir Henry Cole and John Callcott Horsley, England)

"The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a civil servant (Government worker) who had helped set-up the new 'Public Record Office' (now called the Post Office), where he was an Assistant Keeper, and wondered how it could... Read MORE...

www.whychristmas.com -

1843 - Artificial Freezer Patented

1843: Until September 9, 1843, ice cream was made by the "pot freezer method," but on this day, Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia got her "artificial freezer" patented, containing a tub, cylinder, lid, dasher, and crank. This design is still widely used today.

The Old Farmer's Almanac www.almanac.com -

1845 - The refrigerator is invented (John Gorrie, United States)

"John Gorrie was born in 1803 and spent most of his childhood in South Carolina. After receiving a degree in medicine, he moved to Apalachicola, Florida, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to practicing medicine, Gorrie studied tropical diseases. Like most... Read MORE...

How the Refrigerator Changed History by Lydia Bjornlund, ABDO, 2015 -

1845 - The rubber band is invented (Stephen Perry, England)

"THE FIRST elastic bands, made from vulcanised rubber, were patented on March 17, 1845, by Stephen Perry of Messrs Perry & Co, rubber manufacturers of London. Production of rubber bands 'for papers, letters, etc' was inaugurated by the firm at about the same time.

Sean... Read MORE...

www.theguardian.com -

1849 - The safety pin is invented (Walter Hunt, United States)

THE SAFETY PIN.
Interesting Story of Its Inventor, Walter Hunt.

Buffalo Commercial.
John R. Chapin, now of Buffalo, gives some interesting reminiscences of Walter Hunt, who, in the opinion of may, including Mr. Chapin, was the real inventor of the sewing machine. "Let... Read MORE...

The Saint Paul Globe - Saint Paul, Minnesota - December 25, 1895

1857 - Toilet paper is invented (Joseph Gayetty, United States)

Really a Capital Production!
The celebrity of Gayett's Medicated Paper for the water-closet is rapidly being extended throughout the United States. It is one of the best articles ever put before the public. It obviates the use of chemically-poisoned white paper, and paper... Read MORE...

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer - Wheeling, West Virginia - November 30, 1858

March 30, 1858: H. L. Lipman, of Philadelphia, patented the first pencil with eraser

In 1858, an American inventor named Hyman Lipman patented the design for a pencil with an attached eraser. His invention involved attaching a small rubber eraser to the end of a wooden pencil, creating a convenient two-in-one writing and erasing tool. This innovation made... Read MORE...

The Old Farmer's Almanac www.almanac.com - March 30, 1858

1864 - Pasteurization is invented (Louis Pasteur, France)

Perfect Pasteurization Means Perfect Protection

Pasturization is simply heating milk - not boiling it.

By raising the temperature of the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping it at that point for thirty minutes, all harmful germs are destroyed, by the milk is... Read MORE...

The Evening Herald - Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 14, 1925

1868 - The typewriter is invented (Christopher Latham Sholes, United States)

... In 1867 Mr. C. Latham Sholes, a printer and editor; Mr. Samuel W. Soule, a printer, and Mr. Carlos Glidden, a retired merchant, all residents of Milwaukee, inspired by an article of the London Engineering, descriptive of "the prototype" invented by John Pratt, of... Read MORE...

National Republican - Washington, DC - December 6, 1884

1876 - March 7 – Alexander Graham Bell is granted a United States patent for an invention he calls the telephone (patent 174,466).

Professor Bell tried his telephone on the telegraph line between Boston and Salem the other day, he remaining in Boston. Conversation was carried on with the operator at Salem without the slightest difficulty, even the voices of the speakers being easily recognized.... Read MORE...

Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester, New York - December 2, 1876

1877 - Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record sound, considered Edison's first great invention. Edison demonstrates the device for the first time on November 29.

November 21, 1877
Thomas Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), the 1st machine to play and record sound. onthisday.com

The Phonograph.
The Scientific American contains the first announcement of what may be the most wonderful invention of the... Read MORE...

Cambridge Jeffersonian - Cambridge, Ohio - November 15, 1877

1879 - Incandescent light bulb is invented (Thomas Alva Edison, United States)

Edison still claims that his electric light is a complete success, and says he can now furnish it at one-third the cost of gas, but he thinks that he can make the difference in price much greater, and hence the delay. In San Francisco, a company has been formed and is now... Read MORE...

Reading Times - Reading, Pennsylvania - April 18, 1879

1884 - The first gravity roller coaster amusement ride (LeMarcus A. Thompson, United States)

"1884: The first gravity roller coaster designed and built specifically as an amusement ride opens at Coney Island, New York. It is a commercial success and leads to the building of roller coasters all over the world.

LaMarcus Adna Thompson’s Coney Island coaster, which, ... Read MORE...

wired.com/ 2011/ 06/ 0616gravity-roller-coaster -

1884 - Photographic film is invented (George Eastman, United States)

Photographic.

A certificate was filed yesterday in the county clerk's office showing that the capital stock of the Eastman Dry Plate and Film company $200,000, has been fully paid up. The trustees are Henry A. Strong, Edwin O. Sage, J. H. Kent, George Eastman and William ... Read MORE...

Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester, New York - December 20, 1884

1889 - The automobile is invented (Gottlieb Daimler, Germany)

THE NEW MOVING POWER
DAIMLER'S WONDERFUL MOTOR AND ITS PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS.
The Various Vehicles That Can Be Seen Moved by It at Stuttgart - Daimler's Gas or Petroleum Motor - Combustible Air the Chief Ingredient - Its Portability - The Thorough Test That Has Been... Read MORE...

St Louis Post-Dispatch - St Louis, Missouri - September 1, 1889

1891 - First Perforated Toilet Paper Roll is Patented

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, is credited with patenting the first perforated toilet paper roll in 1891. He was an American inventor and entrepreneur born in 1860. Wheeler's invention revolutionized personal hygiene and bathroom habits.

Before Wheeler's innovation,... Read MORE...


1891 - The motion picture camera is invented (Thomas Alva Edison, William K.L. Dickson, United States)

LIGHT AND SOUND UNITED
EDISON OUTDOES HIMSELF IN THE KINETOGRAPH.
It is to Reproduce a Picture of What Passes Before the Mechanical Eye - With the Phonograph the Invention Will Serve to Take the Opera Into the Parlor - A Rapid-Transit Road Under Broadway - General New... Read MORE...

Chicago Daily Tribune - Chicago, Illinois - May 28, 1891

1891 - The zipper is invented (Whitcomb L. Judson, United States)

"...the inventor of the first zipper, Whitcomb L. Judson, did his experimentation right here in the Windy City and in 1891 invented a device called the zipper.

Actually, the first zipper was a very crude invention, conceived by this portly fella called Judson who found... Read MORE...

The Daily Herald - Chicago, Illiniois - May 19, 1975

1893 - The electric toaster is invented (Crompton Co., UK)

The first electric toaster was invented in 1893 by Alan MacMasters in Scotland. He called the device the "Eclipse Toaster," and it was manufactured and marketed in Britain by the Crompton Company.
www.hagley.org

Crompton and Co. invented the first electric toaster 1893 ... Read MORE...

madeupinbritain.uk/ Electric_Toaster?ans=1 -

1897 - Aspirin is invented (Felix Hoffmann (Bayer), Germany)

Aspirin Discoverer Dies an Unknown Man

"CHICAGO (UPI) - In these days of deadlines and taxes and other headaches, offer a cheer for Felix Hoffmann, one of the world's great painkillers.

Hoffmann solved a problem and narrowed the odds in mankind's fight with misery He... Read MORE...

Simpson's Leader-Times - Kittanning, Pennsylvania - August 19, 1971

1901 - King Camp Gillette and William Emery Nickerson invented the world's first disposable razor blade in 1901. (Boston)

King Camp Gillette (1855-1932) was an American businessman and inventor. He is best known for inventing the disposable safety razor, which revolutionized shaving and became an essential personal care product for people around the world.
Before Gillette's invention, shaving ... Read MORE...


On July 17, 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier designed the first modern air-conditioning system. (Buffalo, NY)

Willis Haviland Carrier was an American engineer and inventor who is widely regarded as the "Father of Air Conditioning." He was born on November 26, 1876, in Angola, New York, and passed away on October 7, 1950, in New York City.

Carrier's most significant contribution... Read MORE...

carrier.com -

1903 - The first engine-powered airplane is invented (Wilbur & Orville Wright, United States)

LIKE A BIRD AEROPLANE FLIES.
Two Americans Solve Great Problem of Aerial Navigation With a Flying Machine Which They Invent and Build.
NORFOLK, Va. - The problem of aerial flight without the use of a balloon has been solved by Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, O.

At ... Read MORE...

Evening Sentinel - Santa Cruz, California - December 19, 1903

1906 - August 22 – The first Victor Victrola, a phonographic record player, is manufactured.

Splendid Talking Machine.
The Victor Victrola, a splendid new talking machine, is being exhibited by Wharton Brothers. This is the costliest and by far the most nearly perfect ever seen here. It has been on the market for only about one month. It has no horn, as is usually ... Read MORE...

Daily Industrial News - Greensboro, North Carolina - November 10, 1906

1906 - Reginald Fessenden - First AM Radio Broadcast

Fessenden reported that on the evening of December 24, 1906 (Christmas Eve), he had made the first of two radio broadcasts of music and entertainment to a general audience, using the alternator-transmitter at Brant Rock (Marshfield).

Wikipedia -

1907-1908 - The electric washing machine is invented (Alva J. Fisher, United States)

"Dateline 1907 - Chicago Cubs sweep World Series, defeating Detroit Tigers in four games. A washing machine operated by electricity rather than by hand has been marketed by the Hurley Machine Company. The Hurley uses a small motor to spin a drum that holds clothes, water... Read MORE...


1908 - First Model-T car is produced by Henry Ford (United States)

FORD FACTORY CLEVERNESS
The Ford Motor Company from now until July will manufacture in quantities only the four-cylinder Rumble Seat Runabout, Model "S," and the six-cylinder Runabout Model K. By cutting down the variety of models their factory can put its best energy... Read MORE...

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Brooklyn, New York - June 7, 1908

1913 - December 1 - The assembly line is invented (Henry Ford, United States)

"...Henry Ford installs the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. His innovation reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to two hours and 30 minutes...

Ford had been trying to increase his factories’... Read MORE...

www.history.com -

1913 - The bra is invented (Mary Phelps Jacob, United States)

"... Mary Phelps Jacob, a young New York socialite who became exasperated with the antiquated corsets after finding it impossible to prevent the support rods from poking out from underneath the fabric of her evening gown. Determined to create a more comfortable, less... Read MORE...

women-inventors.com -

1923 to 1927 - Television is invented (Vladimir Kosma Zworykin (Russia), Philo Taylor Farnsworth (United States))

...Zworykin had a patent, but Farnsworth had a picture

Zworykin and his television
Zworykin is usually credited as being the father of modern television. This was because the patent for the heart of the TV, the electron scanning tube, was first applied for by Zworykin... Read MORE...

www.physlink.com -

1927 - The aerosol can is invented (Erik Rotheim, Norway)

"On November 23, 1927, Norwegian engineer Erik Rotheim (also spelled Eric Rotheim) patented the first aerosol can and valve that could hold and dispense products and propellant systems. This was the forerunner of the modern aerosol can and valve..."

inventors.about.com -

1928 - Sliced bread (bread slicing machine) is invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder (United States)

"...The first automatically sliced commercial loaves were produced on July 6, 1928, in Chillicothe, Missouri, using a machine invented by Otto Rohwedder, an Iowa-born, Missouri-based jeweler. Rohwedder’s quest to make sliced bread a reality was not without its challenges. A ... Read MORE...

www,history.com -

1930 - Scotch tape is invented (Richard Drew (3M), United States)

"...Back in the ’20s, Scotch was a synonym for 'cheap.' Richard Drew, a 23-year-old research assistant at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, was trying to create a sticky-but-not-too-sticky adhesive tape for auto painters to use on two-tone paint jobs. When he erred on the ... Read MORE...

The New York Times - New York, New York - July 20, 2014

1931 - The paper towel is invented (Arthur Scott, United States)

"Arthur Scott, head of [Scott Paper Company], had big trouble. An entire railroad car full of paper, unloaded at his plant, wasn't good for anything because the paper had been rolled too thick for toilet tissue, its intended purpose. Was he going to send the whole load... Read MORE...

www.ideafinder.com -

1934 - The metal beverage can is invented (American Can Co., United States)

The American Can Company created a Coin Bank made from a metal beverage can and sold it at the 1934 Chicago Century of Progress Worlds Fair.

Canned beer made its debut January 24, 1935. Fairport’s (NY) former American Can Company is part of beer can history. American Can ... Read MORE...

collectors.com -

1935 - The snowmobile was invented by Joseph Bombardier (Quebec)

Joseph Bombardier, born in the province of Quebec, was the first to design a snowmobile as we know it today. Later, he released the model name Ski-doo with his company, which is nowadays the common name in Quebec to name a snowmobile.

weleaf.nl -

1938-1944 - Sunscreen is invented (Franz Greiter, Switzerland and Benjamin Green, United States)

The earliest form of sunscreen was created by Franz Greiter in 1938 and then Benjamin Green in 1944 who used a mixture of cocoa butter and red veterinary petroleum to protect his skin from the sun. Shortly afterwards, Franz Greiter branded his formula Piz Buin while Mr... Read MORE...

weldricks.co.uk/ news/ the-history-of-sunscreen -

1938 - The ballpoint pen is invented (Lazlo Biro, Hungary)

A Hungarian journalist named Laszlo Biro invented the first ballpoint pen in 1938. Biro had noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly, leaving the paper smudge-free, so he decided to create a pen using the same type of ink. But the thicker ink wouldn't... Read MORE...

thoughtco.com -

1938 - October 27 - Du Pont announces a name for its new synthetic yarn: "nylon".

The invention of nylon in 1938 ushered in a textile revolution for consumers and the military alike, ultimately helping the Allies win World War II...

Nylon’s characteristics made for an ideal material to suit any number of uses, but DuPont decided early on that it would ... Read MORE...

sciencehistory.org - October 27, 1938

1940 - April - 1st electron microscope demonstrated (RCA), Philadelphia, Pa

In 1940, RCA Laboratories (later merged into SRI) commercialized the first high-resolution transmission electron microscope in North America; this TEM became known as "Model B" and created a usable electron microscope for wider application.

Model B was a behemoth,... Read MORE...

medium.com -

1945 - The atomic bomb is invented (J. Robert Oppenheimer, et al., United States)

Washington Column by Peter Edson

WASHINGTON - (NEA) - When first publicity was given in the fall of 1945 to the men who had made the atomic bomb, interest centered on the then practically unknown young University of California physicist, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer.

He... Read MORE...

The Victoria Advocate - Victoria, Texas - April 25, 1954

1948 - Velcro is invented (George de Mestral, Switzerland)

George de Mestral (June 19, 1907 – February 8, 1990) was a Swiss electrical engineer who invented the hook and loop fastener which he named Velcro...

De Mestral first conceptualised hook and loop after returning from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps in 1941. After ... Read MORE...

wikipedia.org -

1968 - The ATM is invented (Don Wetzel, United States)

In 1968 the ATM was pioneered in the U.S. by Donald Wetzel, who was a department head at a company called Docutel. Docutel was a subsidiary of Recognition Equipment Inc of Dallas, Texas, which was producing optical scanning equipment and had instructed Docutel to explore... Read MORE...

wikipedia.org -

1982 - The camcorder is invented (Sony Corp., Japan)

"...In 1982, two events happened that eventually led to the home camcorder boom: JVC introduced the VHS-C format, and Sony released the first professional camcorder named Betacam. VHS-C was essentially VHS with a reduced-size cassette that had been designed for portable... Read MORE...

newworldencyclopedia.org -

1983 - The laptop computer is invented (Radio Shack Corp., United States)

The TRS-80 Model 100 is a portable computer introduced in 1983. It is one of the first notebook-style computers, featuring a keyboard and liquid crystal display, in a battery-powered package roughly the size and shape of a notepad or large book.

It was made by Kyocera,... Read MORE...

wikipedia.org -

1989 - The World Wide Web is invented at CERN (Tim Berners-Lee, UK)

Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist, invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989, while working at CERN. The web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the... Read MORE...

home.cern/ science/ computing/ birth-web -