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Inventions During My Lifetime


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




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




1592 - The thermometer is invented (Galileo, Italy)




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 moon, discover the four satellites of Jupiter, observe a supernova, verify the phases of Venus, and discover sunspots. His... 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 day."

www.historyofinformation.com -

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 compared with the force pulling an object to the ground. He also calculated the centripetal force needed to hold a stone in a... 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 mathematics, mechanics and philosophy. He spent a great deal of time performing experiments and engineering new types of... Read MORE...

www.famousinventors.org -

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



www.onthisday.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 strait Line in the Walls or other Matter affected by it, its different Operations or Effects on Wood, Stone, Bricks, Glass,... Read MORE...

The Philadelphia Gazette - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - June 21, 1753

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 the top–Voila, Bifocals!"

www.pbs.org/ benfranklin/ 1784.html -

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 wick housed between two concentric metal tubes. The inner tube provided a passage through which air rose into the centre to... 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 out the seeds from the cotton bolls.

Eli Whitney was born in Westboro, Massachusetts on December 8, 1765 and died on... 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 discoveries of the use of electricity.

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 direction.

Baron von Drais or Sauerbrun, chief forester to the Grand Duke of Baden, solved that problem in 1817 - and added a... 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 composed of lime, silica, alumina and iron oxide. The result was a grayish substance which reminded him of the stone quarried... 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 Stockto to Darlington, England, for the first time on 27th September 1825. This great old parent engine is preserved in the South... 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 later that the practicability of gas for cooking was demonstrated by James Sharp, of Northampton, England...

The Winnipeg Tribune - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - February 2, 1931

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 drawing the head through a piece of sandpaper. Other people began making such matches, but they presented many problems. They... 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 tailor's assistant, constructed his first working model in 1829, and was thrashed by his fellow workmen who complained that his... Read MORE...

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

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



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 be used more by ordinary people.

Sir Henry had the idea of Christmas Cards with his friend John Horsley, who was an... 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 physicians of the time, Gorrie incorrectly believed malaria, yellow fever, and other diseases were caused by hot air - a theory... 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 Tyler, Orpington, Kent."

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 me close," he says "with an anecdote of his talent in the line of invention. He came inot my office on Nassau street one day... Read MORE...

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

1853 - Potato chips are invented (George Crum, United States)

This year is the seventy-fifth anniversary or the potato chip and a resident of Saratoga Springs advises The New Yorker that many of the older neighbors are all excited. It seems that the chip was invented there in 1853, and that is why it is known more elegantly, as the Saratoga Chip. The discoverer's name was George Crum, and there are still alive people who remember talking to him... We say... Read MORE...

Alton Evening Telegraph - Alton, Illinois - February 28, 1928

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 stained with pile producing printer's ink. It is as fine and light as bank-note paper, and as tough as stout paper. Nothing... 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



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 not changed.


After heating, the milk, is immediately cooled to 40 degrees or less and flows to the bottling machine and 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 Centre, Ala., projected the Type-writer. It was completed after six years of the persistent application indispensable to all great... 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. Whispering was found to be perfectly audible, but was unintelligible. After a time, instead of grounding the wire at Salem, it was... 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 day - Edison's Phonograph. The Sun says that nothing could be more incredible than the likelihood of once more hearing 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 ready to furnish light in any part of the city, while the directors claim they can light all the streets of the city at a... Read MORE...

Reading Times - Reading, Pennsylvania - April 18, 1879

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 H. Walker. The company is preparing to introduce its new discovery, paper dry plates.

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

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, for a nickel ($1.15 in today’s money), hurtled passengers down an undulating 600-foot-long track at speeds up to a... Read MORE...

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

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 Made.

While in our age of steam and electricity nature's mysterious forces are made more and more subservient to the use of... Read MORE...

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

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 he could no longer bend over to tie his shoes. What he came up with was a device that held together some crude hooks and eyes... Read MORE...

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

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 York News.
NEW YORK, May 27. - (Special.) - From the laboratory of the Wizard of Menlo Park there is coming an invention which... Read MORE...

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

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

Crompton and Co. invented the first electric toaster 1893 in Leeds England. This was the forerunner of todays toasters. The device was quite simple and a person had to turn the bread over to toast both sides and turn the machine off by hand... Toasting bread began as a method of prolonging the life of bread. The word comes from a Latin word tostum, meaning scorching or burning.

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 developed our most popular drug - acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin.

By whatever name, its annual worldwide... Read MORE...

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

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 Kitty Hawk, on the coast of North Carolina, they successfully navigated a flying machine of their own invention for three... 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 the case, but it has the appearance of a mahogany cabinet.

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

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

"The first washing machine powered by electricity was invented by Alva J. Fisher in 1908. Fisher worked for the Hurley Washing Machine in Chicago and named his creation The Thor.

Previous to the invention of the electric-powered washing machine, James King invented a machine that used a drum device in 1851 that is still in use today for some machines. His machine was hand powered. In 1858... Read MORE...

www.reference.com -

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 toward bringing out the Model "T" Touring Car and Taxicab on schedule time. The Model "T" four-cylinder Touring Car will be... 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’ productivity for years. The workers who built his Model N cars (the Model T’s predecessor) arranged the parts in a row on the floor,... 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 cumbersome alternative, Jacob took two silk handkerchiefs and, with help from her maid, sewed them together using some pink ribbon... Read MORE...

www.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 in 1923, under the name of an iconoscope. The iconoscope was an electronic image scanner - essentially a primitive television... 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 1917 fire destroyed his prototype and blueprints, and he also faced skepticism from bakers, who thought factory-sliced... 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 not-too-sticky side, one of the car-painters asked, 'Why so Scotch with the adhesive?' and a brand name was born.

An... 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 back?

Meanwhile, Scott heard about a certain teacher in the city school system who had developed a novel idea to help fight... Read MORE...

www.ideafinder.com -

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




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




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



www.wikipedia.org - October 27, 1938

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



historyorb.com -

1944 - Sunscreen is invented (Benjamin Green, United States)




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




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




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




1981 - Personal Computer introduced




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 VCRs. Sony's Betacam was a standard developed for professional camcorders, which used component video to provide a superior... Read MORE...

newworldencyclopedia.org -

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




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