20th century inventions and Happy Birthday Grandma!

inventionsMy grandmother turned 96 this week! Incredible!

Happy Birthday Grandma!

That’s almost 100 years! And my Grandma is amazing. Always ready to lend an ear or provide a needed hug. She has always listened more than she talked and you always knew that she was genuinely interested in what you were saying.

Her house was always immaculate and there was always candy in the candy dish.
But if I ever felt my house wasn’t tidy enough when she came to visit, she would always say:

Babs, I’m here to visit you, not your house

I never heard her raise her voice, she never swore, she had opinions but never pushed them and she doesn’t have a judgemental bone her body. She is one classy lady and I love her to the moon and back.

Born in 1920, my grandmother has lived to see the invention of so many things that have changed the way we live. So much that is commonplace now got their start during my Grandmothers lifetime. In honour of my Grandmother’s birthday, let’s look at the inventions that she has been witness to during her 96 years!

Inventions of the 1920’s
1920 – the bandaid
1921 – the first robot, the lie detector
1922 – insulin, the first 3D movie
1923 – the traffic light, frozen food
1924 – notebooks with spiral binding
1926 – the television
1927 – PEZ candy, the iron lung
1928 – penicillin, bubble gum and the electric shaver
1929 – the yo-yo

Inventions of the 1930”s
1930 – Scotch tape
1932 – the parking meter
1933 – FM radio
1935 – the first canned beer
1937 – the photocopier
1938 – the ballpoint pen, freeze dried coffee
1939 – the helicopter
hmmm, I thought the helicopter was invented earlier than this

Making their first appearance in the 1940’s
1940 – Jeep
1941 – aerosol spray cans
1943 – the slinky and silly putty
1944 – kidney dialysis
1945 – the atomic bomb
essentially ending the second world war
1946 – the microwave oven
1947 – Tupperware
1948 – the Frisbee, Velcro
1949 – cake mix

What’s new in the 1950’s
1950 – the credit card
1951 – super glue
1952 – Mr Potato Head
1954 – the birth control pill, Teflon, McDonalds opened
birth control and Teflon? aren’t they essentially the same thing?
1956 – Liquid Paper, first rocket launch to space
and, yes, Liquid Paper was invented by the mother of Michael Nesmith, the toque wearing guitar player for the band “The Monkees”
1958 – the Hula Hoop
1959 – the Barbie Doll

Inventions in the 1960’s
1961 – Valium
1962 – silicone breast implants
1964 – acrylic paint, permanent-press fabric
1965 – NutraSweet
1967 – the handheld calculator
1968 – computer mouse
1969 – artificial heart

New in the 1970’s
1970 – the floppy disk
1971 – food processor, VCR
1972 – Pong the video game
1973 – Bic disposable lighter, cell phone
1974 – Post-it Notes, liposuction
1975 – laser printer
1976 – ink-jet printer
1977 – the MRI
1979 – the Walkman, roller blades

New in the 1980’s
1980 – hepatitis-B vaccine
1981 – first space shuttle launch
1983 – soft bifocal contact lenses
1984 – Apple Macintosh
1985 – Windows by Microsoft
it only took a year for Microsoft to steal the Apple interface – ooooh, burn!
1986 – the disposable camera
1987 – disposable contact lenses
1988 – Doppler radar, Prozac
1989 – HD TV

1990 – the Hubble Space Telescope
1991 – the first test tube baby is born
1993 – the first genetically modified tomato is sold
1995 – GPS
1996 – Dolly the sheep is cloned
1997 – Hybrid vehicles, Mars Rover
1998 – construction of the international space station begins
1999 – digital video recorders

2000 – first long-duration stay on the international space station
2001 – iPod
2002 – camera phones
2007 – smartphone
2010 – ipad
2011 – Siri
my grandmother doesn’t know who Siri is but says she would love to meet her

It’s amazing to think how different the world is now compared to the world that my grandmother was born into. I often wonder what kind of world my kids and grandkids will be living in.

It will be interesting to watch what new developments the next generations come up with but I think they will be hard pressed to match the 20th century for inventions.

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Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. That’s quite some list you have compiled there, well done! Happy Birthday to your grandma – she is a year older than my Mum who passed away in 2013.
    It is interesting to speculate about what new inventions may appear in future, given that we have so many more educated people competing for various research and development goals.

    • I think it’s cool to look back at even the stuff that’s been invented in our 50 years! I did do some research on developments/inventions in the years starting with 2000 but I couldn’t include most of the stuff I found on my list because I didn’t know what the heck it was. Lots of progress but it’s all so technical, I don’t understand it. But I’m sure they felt the same way in the 1900’s.

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