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20th Century America - Timeline 1900-1909

Updated on February 10, 2013

In the beginning

 At the start of the 20th century we began with the infancy of the airplane, automobiles, and the radio. And there is no doubt that those inventions alone dazzled us with their novelties and wonderment.

Inventions, technology and science have progressed so much and at such and elevated rate during the hundred years of the 20th century. Believably more so than any other century.

We end the 20th century with such inventions as the cell phones, computers, and even the internet. Inventions that we now and will always take for granted.


 Two major inventions of the year 1900 were brought to light by very intelligent men. First we have the Zeppelin. Invented by Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin. Now for those of you that don't know, the Zeppelin is a rigid framed airship. Still confused? Yea so was I! But think of it as an older version of the hot air balloon or even a blimp. That's what I'm gathering from the research I've done on it.

The second invention was the modern day escalator. A man named Jesse Reno actually invented the first known escalator. But Charles Seeberger redesigned it and went on to win first prize in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in France.


 Oh men you are going to love this! 1901 brought about the invention of the first ever safety razor. King Camp Gillette invented this razor after considering and rejecting hundreds of other inventions. The idea actually came to him one morning while shaving. And that was in 1895. In 1901, 6 years after the idea, he started the Gillette Safety Razor company in South Boston.

Now you didn't think I was going to leave the women out of this one did you? In the year 1901 the first compact modern vacuum cleaner is invented by Hubert Booth. (Wait....did that sound sexist to you? OOOOOPPPPssssss sorry!)

And of course I can't leave out the best of all! The first radio reciever successfully recived a radio transmission!


 How much do you love your air conditioner? Hot, humid, sticky days when all you have to do is shut yourself inside the house and be cool and comfortable! Of course we all love it! But you wouldn't have it if it wasn't for Willis Carrier! Yup, he invented the first air conditioner in 1902.

Ever been hooked to a lie detector machine? Or as they are also called "polygraph"? I'm sure those of us whom haven't had the pleasure, never want to! But in 1902 James Mackenzie invented it.

Now who doesn't love a cute and adorable fluffy teddy bear? Well you can thank the 26th President of the United States for giving the name to the bear! That's right. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt gave the cute cuddly critters we grew up with their names!


 You can thank co-inventors Edward Binney and Harold Smith for that little past time you get when the kids are coloring. For in 1903 they co-invented crayons! The first original colors of crayons were blue, black, brown, red, orange, purple and yellow. They sold for a nickle in 1903. And now you can find them in hundreds of different colors.

Of course we know what airplanes are. And if you listened in history class you know of the Wright Brothers. In 1903 the Wright Brothers invented the first ever gas motored manned airplane. So I don't think I need to go into great detail about that.

Here's an exciting little tidbit of information for you. Do you know that the windshield wipers were invented in 1903? Better yet, did you know that they were invented by a woman? Yes sir they were. Her name is Mary Anderson. Her main reason for inventing the windshield wiper was to improve driver visibility during stormy weather.


Of course most of us know that tea was first drank by the Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung in about 2737 B.C. But the first teabags were appeared commercially in 1904 and were made from hand sewn silk muslin bags. But were successfully marketed by a tea and coffee shop merchant by the name of Thomas Sullivan of New York.

That's all I could find in 1904 that really interested me. But two other things were the first tractor was built and also a vacuum diode was invented. Feel free to look up 1904 if you wish to learn more about what was invented during that year.


 Of course we all have heard of Albert Einstein. Well in 1905 Albert Einstein published the Theory of Relativity and made famous the equation of E=mc2


Also in 1905 Mary Anderson finally received her patent for the windshield wipers. Yes she invented them in 1903. But didn't actually receive the patent for them until 1905.


 Oh the breakfast of cereal in the morning. I mean really who doesn't love it? Well in 1906 Will Keith Kellogg obviously did. Because in 1906 he invented Kellogg's Cornflakes. And actually Cornflakes were invented by accident. While trying to improve the diet among hospital patients Will Kellogg was trying to search for a more digestible bread. And in doing this he was using the process of boiling wheat. Accidentally leaving the pot of boiling wheat on to long tho, he rolled out the tempered wheat to find that it was in fact a tasty treat. Thus the invention of Cornflakes!


Who loves to scrapbook? Sitting down for hours on end with the mountains of pictures and making memories. For most it's fun and enjoyable. Even just sitting down to look at albums upon albums of pictures. The first steps, the first pony ride etc. Well you can think inventors Auguste and Louis Lumiere. Because in 1907 they invented the first color photography. Thus making your pictures come to life.

Thanks to the Wright Brothers in 1903 we got the first airplane. But it wasn't until 1907 that the first ever helicopter was invented by Paul Cornu. But it actually wasn't the first ever helicopter to be invented. It was the first piloted helicopter. Another had invented it, but Paul Cornu piloted the first one.


 We all know of Henry Ford and the first ever automobiles. The Model T's. But it wasn't until 1908 that the first ever Model T was actually sold. The first Model T was sold in October of 1908 for only $950. Wouldn't we all love to be able to buy a car for so cheap! During the 19 years of production the Model T price actually dipped as low as $250. Over 15 million Model T's were sold.


 As I draw and end to this hub, I'm leaving you with by far the best invention since coffee. You all know coffee. It's most of everyone's best friend in the mornings. Most can't function without it. But no it wasn't coffee that was invented in 1909. It was actually instant coffee that was invented. George Washington (not to be confused with our very first President) mass produced instant coffee. So ladies and gents you can thank him for your little jolt in the mornings!

That is the end of the beginning of the 20th century timeline for now. I hope you all enjoyed and learned from this hub. There will be more to come tomorrow with the timeline of 1910-1919.


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