I’ve been thinking about technology and inventions in recent times that changed the world. Looking back two hundred years there have been many. I know this list is only from the US but it is a start. Happy to accept other similar worldwide recommendations.
1801, Modern Suspension Bridge, James Finley
1853, Potato chips, George Crum
1856, Condensed Milk, Gail Borden
1861, Machine Gun, Richard Gutling
1877, Phonograph, Thomas Alva Edison
1879, Electric Light Bulb, Thomas Alva Edison
1885, Photographic Film, George Eastman
1885, Skyscraper, William Le Baron Jenney
1887, Disc Record, Emile Berliner
1894, Mousetrap, William C. Hooker
1897, Cotton Candy, William Morrison & John C. Wharton A personal favorite)
1903, Airplane, Wilbur and Orville Wright
1912 the electric traffic light by Lester Wire, a policeman from Salt Lake City.
1926, Liquid-Fuel Rocket, Robert H. Goddard
1929, Frozen Food, Clarence Birdseye
1929, Sun glasses, Sam Foster 1937, Edwin Land, Polarized sun glasses
1930, Chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Wakefield
1937, modern day digital computer by George Stibitz
1938, Nylon, Wallace H. Carothers 1956, Pantyhose, Ernest G. Rice
1945, Microwave Oven, Percy Spencer
1945, Nuclear Bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer
1945, the microwave oven Percy Spencer,
1950, Credit card, Ralph Schneider & Frank X. McNamara
1950, Disposable Diaper, Marion Donovan
1954, Nuclear Submarine, Hyman Rickover
1958, Integrated circuit, 1947, Transistor, Jack Kilby William Shockley
1960 the first LASER was built by Theodore H. Maiman
1960, Magnetic stripe card, Forrest Parry (no credit cards without it)
1962 light emitting diodes for lighting and image displays, Nick Holonyak Jr.
1965 Compact Disk, by inventor Jack Russel
1965 Kevlar, Stephanie Kwolek
1968, Lunar Module, Tom Kelly
1971 Email The first email was sent in 1971 using ARPANET, by Ray Tomlinson.
1971, Personal Computer, John Blankenbaker
1973 The first the mobile phone was developed by a team headed by Dr. Martin Cooper.
1980s the personal computer
1981, Space Shuttle, George Mueller (although there were thousands working on it)
1982 – Internet Protocol Suite by US government.
1994 GPS became operational by the United States Air Force
1994 DNA computing is a form of computing which uses DNA, biochemistry and molecular biology. Leonard Adleman University of Southern California
1994 A CMOS image sensor by Eric Fossum, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
1995 The computer mouse
1995 Java Script by Brendan Eich
1997, Mars Rovers, Howard Eisen (again, hundreds worked on them)
1999 The Torino Scale by Richard P. Binzel. A method for categorizing the impact hazard associated with near-Earth (NEOs) asteroids and comets.
2008Bionic contact lens A bionic contact lens is a digital contact lens worn directly on the human eye which in the future, scientists believe could one day serve as a useful virtual platform for activities such as surfing the World Wide Web, superimposing images on real-world objects, playing video games for entertainment, and for monitoring patients’ medical conditions. (Check out Edward of Planet Earth for more on this)