While there have been numerous inventions over the last 100 years that have made our lives better in some way, some more than others have significantly changed the way we do things in our everyday lives, and had the ability to change industries and markets.
We present 15 of them (in no particular order). Click on the Commodore 64 below to start the slideshow, and let us know, in the comments section below, if you agree with us, or if we missed something big.
It can be argued that the birth of personal computing began with the Commodore 64, introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. Some even claim the computer remains the highest selling computer of all time, although its difficult to prove. Claim notwithstanding, the Commodore 64 certainly made the PC accessible to a wide audience and ushered in the now-thriving market for home computing systems. The Commodore 64 also provided a platform for a new generation of computer programmers that would change the world with their inventions years later. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Liz, I'm not surprised you missed it; because really, so did I. I had that conversation with my dad probably 10 or 15 years ago, as we were together marveling at the advancements he had seen in his life. His refrigerator story blew me away, because we totally take them (fridges) as "granted". So I'll never forget his description of retrieving Ice Blocks from under piles of Sawdust in the Farm-Cellar in July & August. ,,,and I thought they were "roughing-it" where they had to use an Out-House!!
Good point, JimT, i seem to have missed the refigerator. Although in doing some research it seems the modern refrigerator was invented in 1913, which just misses the 100-year mark if you are going back to 1914 from 2014! But still you make a very good point--that this was an incredibly life-changing device.
Hey, Chuck, that is a good idea, actually, for another slideshow. This slideshow may actually spawn more than one sequel. :) I don't know that story but I will take a look, it sounds interesting and informative.
Yes, Jim, people of the World War II generation consider the refrigerator a huge step forward, whereas we just take it for granted. Many people from the pre-refrigerator era still use the term "ice box."
Interesting the cell phone shown in slide 8 had the British Telecom logo. Of course that was the Motorola DynaTac 8000. With all the Apple-Love in the article, I have to point out the Cellular phone technology was invented my Motorola in 1973.
Agreed – the slide show favors only the last 30 years. Yes, there have been numerous paradigm shifts in those 3 decades (a favorite memory was my daughter asking, "what kind of cell phone did you have when you were little-?") But over 100 years, you have to include refrigeration, air-conditioning, jet engines, RADAR, Nuclear fission, and on and on and on ,,,,
Yes the Transistor revolutionized the electronics Industry, as did breaking the DNA/RNA codes for the Medical industry. Third, was the breaking of the atom as an atomic particle, and these three enormous breakthroughs defined whole new fields opened to the 21st century.
While the article opens with a comment about the last 100 years, this slide show favors only the last 30 years. But I asked my father born in 1926, now 87, about the life-changing developments he experienced, and he said, without pause, "the refrigerator". Growing up during the Great Depression on a Farm near Buffalo, NY, he remembers cutting the blocks of ice from the pond in the winter and storing them all summer long in the cellar.
Yes, the transistor was monumentally important, Liz. You could do a massive slideshow just on the inventions spawned by the transistor. For a great take on that subject, read Tom Wolfe's story, "Two Young Men Who Went West" (it's from his book, "Hooking Up"). It's a profile of Robert Noyce and William Shockley.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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