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How Inventive!

A Timeline of Inventions




Paper money is first printed in China. 1023
The magnetic compass is invented. 1182
Johannes Gutenberg invents the printing press. The Gutenberg Bible was published in 1452. 1436
Peter Henlein, a German locksmith from Nuremberg, invents the pocket watch. 1510
Galileo Galilei invents the water thermometer. 1593
Englishman William Oughtred invents the slide ruler. 1624
Frenchman Blaise Pascal invents an adding machine. 1642
Bartolomeo Cristofori invents the piano. 1709
German Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the first mercury thermometer. 1714
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit introduces the temperature scale called Fahrenheit 1724
Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning rod. 1752
English clergyman and chemist, Dr. Joseph Priestley, invents manmade carbonated water or soda water. 1767
David Bushnell's turtle is the first submarine. 1775
Benjamin Franklin invented bi-focals. 1784
Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin which combs and deseeds bolls of cotton. 1793
Oliver Evans invents the Orukter Amphibolos, the worlds first amphibious vehicle. 1805
Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, invents a coffee pot with a metal sieve to strain away the grounds. 1806
Robert Fulton invents the steamboat. 1807
At age 20, Frenchman Louis Braille publishes the first book in braille entitled, "Method of Writing Words, Music and Plainsong by Means of Dots for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them." 1829
Walter Hunt invents the first lock-stitch sewing machine. 1833
Samuel Colt invents the revolver. 1836
Crawford Williamson Long performs the first operation using an ether-based anesthesia. 1842
Charles Goodyear perfects his process for "vulcanizing" rubber, or combining it with sulfur to create a soft, pliable substance unaffected by temperature. 1843
Samuel F. B. Morse demonstrates his telegraph. 1844
Edwin T. Holmes of Boston begins to sell electric burglar alarms. His workshop is later used by Alexander Graham Bell as he develops the telephone. Holmes is the first person to have a home phone. Ezra J. Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut, patented the first can opener. 1858
"Colonel" Edwin Drake invents the oil well. 1859
B. Tyler Henry creates a new lever action repeating rifle eventually known as the Winchester. 1860
James Plimpton of Medford, Massachusetts, gives the world the first practical four-wheeled roller skate. 1863
Lucien B. Smith of Kent, Ohio, invents barbed wire. 1867
Christopher Latham Sholes invents the typewriter. His QWERTY layout is still in use today. 1873
George F. Green of Kalamazoo, Michigan, invents the electric dental drill. 1875
Alexander Graham Bell patents his telephone, built with the assistance of young self-trained engineer Thomas A. Watson. Susan Hibbard receives a patent for the feather duster. 1876
"Mary had a little lamb" is the first recording replayed on Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph. 1877
Thomas Edison perfects an incandescent light bulb. 1879
Dr. Schuyler Skaats Wheeler invents the electric fan. 1882
L.N. Thompson, founder of Coney Island's Luna Park, invents the roller coaster. 1884
In Rochester, New York, George Eastman introduces the Kodak Camera. 1888
Theophilus Van Kannel of Philadelphia invents the revolving door. 1888
Mrs. WA Cockran of Shelbyville, Indiana, produces a practical dishwasher. 1889
Jesse W. Reno, introduces a new novelty ride at Coney Island, the escalator. 1891
Edwin S. Votey, patents his self-playing piano, which he calls the pianola. 1897
Double edged safety razor is invented by King Camp Gillette. 1901
Willis Carrier invents the air conditioner. George Claude invents the neon light. James Mackenzie invents the polygraph machine. 1902
Edward Binney and Harold Smith co-invent Crayons. At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright have the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight in an airplane that lasts 12 seconds. Mary Anderson invents windshield wipers. 1903
Albert Einstein gave us E=MC2. 1905
Cornflakes are invented by William Kellogg. 1906
The first synthetic plastic (Bakelite) is invented by Leo Baekeland. Auguste & Louis Lumiere invent color photography 1907
Jacques E. Brandenberger invents cellophane. 1908
G. Washington invents instant coffee. 1909
Thomas Edison demonstrates the first talkie (talking motion picture). 1910
The automobile electrical ignition system is invented by Charles Franklin Kettering of Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company or Delco. 1911
Australian inventor De La Mole patents the first tank 1912
Arthur Wynne invents the crossword puzzle. Mary Phelps Jacob invents the bra. 1913
Eugene Sullivan and William Taylor co-invent Pyrex. 1915
Stainless steel is invented. 1916
Charles Strite invents the pop-up toaster. Short-wave radio and the arc welder are invented.  1919
Earle Dickson invents the Band-Aid. The tommy-gun is patented by John T Thompson. 1920
Sir Frederick Grant Banting invents insulin. 1922
The traffic signal is invented by Garrett A. Morgan. 1923
In an effort to make capital punishment more humane, the State of Nevada introduces death by gas chamber. 1924
PEZ candy is invented by Eduard Haas III. JWA Morrison invents the quartz crystal watch. Philo Farnsworth demonstrates the first television for potential investors by broadcasting the image of a dollar sign. 1927
Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. An injectable form was not to be available for 13 years. Bubble gum is invented by Walter E. Diemer. 1928
The Yo-Yo name is trademarked by D. F. Duncan, Sr. He contributed the slip-not to the design of the yo-yo which allowed it to "sleep" for the first time. Clarence Birdseye offers his quick-frozen foods to the public. 1929
3M engineer, Richard G. Drew, patents Scotch tape. 1930
The electronic flash is invented by Harold Edgerton. 1931
Working at the research facilities at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. William Bennett Kouwenhoven develops the defibrillator. 1932
Bell Labs invents a voice recognition machine. 1936
The photocopier is invented by Chester F. Carlson. 1937
Ladislo Biro invents the ballpoint pen. 1938
Igor Sikorsky invents the first successful helicopter. 1939
Karl K. Pabst of the Bantam Car. Co., Butler, Pennsylvania, produces a four-wheel drive vehicle that will become famous as the jeep. 1940
Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan invent the aerosol spray cans. 1941
A team led by J.R. Oppenheimer, Arthur H. Compton, Enrico Fermi and Léo Szilard detonates the first atomic bomb at the Los Alamos Lab near Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1945
Two Frenchmen, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard , invented the bikini. They named it after a famous nuclear testing site in the Marshall Islands named Bikini Atoll. 1946
Polaroid photography is invented by Edwin Herbert Land. Mobile phones are invented. 1947
After observing under a microscope the burrs that were stuck to his pants, George de Mestral invents Velcro®. Leo Fender invents the electric guitar. 1948
Super glue is invented. Francis W. Davis invents power steering. 1951
Mr. Potato Head is invented 1952
Chemist Norm Larsen invents WD-40. 1953
Frank B. Colton invents the first oral contraceptive. The nonstick pan and solar cell are introduced. 1954
The hovercraft is invented by Christopher Cockerell. 1956
Dr. Albert Sabin develops a polio vaccine using strains of polio too weak to cause infection but strong enough to activate the human immune system. 1957
Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, founders of the Wham-O Company, invent the Hula Hoop. 1958
The Compact Cassette, a portable tape recorder, is first produced by Phillips. 1962
Edward Craven Walker invents the Astro Lava-Lamp. 1963
Astro Turf® is invented. NutraSweet is discovered by a researcher, Mr. James Schlatter, at the G.D. Searle & Company. James Russell invented the compact disc. 1965
28 year-old Noland Bushnell invents Pong, the first video game. He goes on to found Atari. 1972
Post-it® Notes introduced. 1980
The first IBM PC and MS-DOS are invented. For the first time, NASA successfully launches and lands its reusable spacecraft, the Space Shuttle. 1981
The Apple MacIntosh is invented. 1984
Windows is invented by Microsoft. 1985
Fuji introduces the disposable camera. 1986
Christian Andreas Doppler invents doppler radar. 1988
Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web/Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML). 1990
Microsoft makes a $150 million investment in Apple, helping Apple to stay in business. 1997
Viagra ® is invented by Pfizer. Millions of men and women rejoice. 1998
Apple introduces the first iPhone. 2007
The HTC Dream is the first commercially available Android phone 2008


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