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Major Inventions Timeline: 20th Century

Updated on August 18, 2013

The 20th century saw an unprecedented level of advancement in science, technology and invention. At the beginning of this century, the air and land were conquered with such inventions as the airplane, radio and the automobile. These infant inventions quickly evolved into supersonic flight, wireless internet, alternative fuel and electric vehicles.

Historic photo of the Wright brothers' third test glider being launched at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on October 10, 1902. Wilbur Wright is at the controls, Orville Wright is at left, and Dan Tate (a local resident and friend of the Wright bro
Historic photo of the Wright brothers' third test glider being launched at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on October 10, 1902. Wilbur Wright is at the controls, Orville Wright is at left, and Dan Tate (a local resident and friend of the Wright bro | Source
Reproduction Wurlitzer 1015 Jukebox in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana
Reproduction Wurlitzer 1015 Jukebox in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana | Source
Zeppelin landing in presence of Count Zeppelin and Crown Prince
Zeppelin landing in presence of Count Zeppelin and Crown Prince | Source
Altair 8800 Computer with 8 inch floppy disk system
Altair 8800 Computer with 8 inch floppy disk system | Source
A small sample of the high-temperature superconductor, Bi-2223
A small sample of the high-temperature superconductor, Bi-2223 | Source
  1. 1900 - Charles Seeberger invents the modern escalator.
  2. 1900 - Electric cookers are developed.
  3. 1900 - Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin invents the zeppelin.
  4. 1900 - Creed Telegraph System, a way to convert Morse Code to text, is invented by Canadian Frederick Creed.
  5. 1900 - The pushpin is invented by Edwin Moore.
  6. 1901 - The double edged safety razor is invented by King Camp Gillette.
  7. 1901 - The modern vacuum cleaner is invented by Hubert Booth.
  8. 1901 - First assembly line production is used by Ransome Eli Olds, the manufacturer of the Oldsmobile.
  9. 1901 - The first radio transmission is received by a radio and was transmitted by Guglielmo Marconi across the Atlantic Ocean.
  10. 1902 - Willis Carrier invents the air conditioner.
  11. 1902 - James Mackenzie invents the lie detector.
  12. 1902 - The Teddy Bear is invented.
  13. 1902 -Neon light is invented by George Claude.
  14. 1903 - Crayons are invented by Edward Binney and Harold Smith.
  15. 1903 - The Wright Brothers invent the first gas powered and manned airplane.
  16. 1903 - Mary Anderson invents windshield wipers.
  17. 1903 - Cavities filled with porcelain,
  18. 1904 - Thomas Sullivan invents the tea bag.
  19. 1905 - 11 year old Frank Epperson invents the popsicle, originally called the Episicle.
  20. 1906 - Cornflakes are invented by William Kellogg;
  21. 1906 - Enrico Forlanini designs the first hydrofoil which he cruised across a lake in Italy.
  22. 1906 - Charles F. Kettering develops the electric cash register.
  23. 1907 - The first synthetic plastic, called Bakelite, is invented by Leo Baekeland.
  24. 1907 - Color photography is inventedd by Auguste and Louis Lumiere.
  25. 1907 - Paul Cornu invents the first piloted helicopter.
  26. 1907 - Canada Dry Gingerale is invented by Canadian John A. McLaughlin.
  27. 1908 - Elmer A. Sperry invents the gyrocompass.
  28. 1908 - Jacques E. Brandenberger invents cellophane.
  29. 1908 - Henry Ford's Model T is first sold.
  30. 1908 - The Geiger counter is invented by J.W. Geiger and W. Muller.
  31. 1909 - Instant coffee is invented by G. Washington.
  32. 1909 - 5 pin bowling is invented by Canadian T.E. Ryan.
  33. 1910 - The first talking motion picture is demonstrated by Thomas Edison.
  34. 1911 - The first automobile electrical ignition system is invented by Charles Franklin Kettering.
  35. 1912 - Australian inventor De La Mole patents the first tank.
  36. 1912 - Life Savers candy is invented by Clarence Crane.
  37. 1913 - Arthur Wynne invents the Crossword Puzzle.
  38. 1913 - The bra is invented by Mary Phelps Jacob.
  39. 1913 - Gideon Sundback invents the modern zipper.
  40. 1914 - The Gordon Gas Mask is invented by Garrett A. Morgan
  41. 1915 - Pyrex is invented by Eugene Sullivan and William Taylor in New York City.
  42. 1916 - Henry Brearly invents stainless steel.
  43. 1918 - Edwin Howard Armstrong invents the superheterodyne radio circuit.
  44. 1918 - Fortune cookies are invented by Charles Jung.
  45. 1919 - Charles Strite invents the pop-up toaster.
  46. 1919 - Short-wave radio, the flip-flop circuit and the arc-welder are invented.
  47. 1919 - An early form of sonar, the fathometer, was invented by Canadian Reginald A. Fessenden.
  48. 1920 - Hand-held hairdryers available to the consumer.
  49. 1921 - The first robot is built, signalling the beginning of artificial life.
  50. 1922 - Sir Frederick Grant Banting, Charles Best, J.B. Collip and J.J.R. MacLeod isolate insulin.
  51. 1922 - 3D cinematography is introduced in the theatres.
  52. 1923 - The traffic signal is invented by Garrett A. Morgan.
  53. 1923 - Vladimir Kosma Zworykin invents the cathode ray tube paving the way for television.
  54. 1923 - The self-winding watch is invented by John Harwood.
  55. 1923 - Frozen food is invented by Clarence Birdseye.
  56. 1924 - Electric loudspeakers are invented.
  57. 1924 - Spiral bound notebooks invented.
  58. 1925 - AC Radio tube is invented by Edward Samuels Rogers.
  59. 1926 - John Logie Baird invents the television.
  60. 1926 - The liquid-fueled rocket is invented by Robert H. Goddard.
  61. 1927 - Technicolor is invented.
  62. 1927 - The aerosol can is invented by Erik Roheim.
  63. 1927 -Warren Morrison invents the first quartz clock.
  64. 1927 - The iron lung is developed by Philip Drinker.
  65. 1928 - Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin from bread mold.
  66. 1928 - Walter E. Diemer invents bubble gum.
  67. 1928 - The electric shaver is invented by Jacob Schick.
  68. 1928 - World's first electric organ is patented by Canadian Morse Robb of Belleville, Ontario.
  69. 1929 - The car radio is invented by Paul Galvin.
  70. 1930 - Richard G. Drew, a 3M engineer, invents scotch tape.
  71. 1930 - Vannevar Bush of MIT invents the analog computer.
  72. 1930 - Canadian William Chalmers invents a clear plastic called Plexiglas.
  73. 1930 - Pablum, the first baby food, was invented by Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
  74. 1931 - Stop-action photography is invented by Harold Edgerton.
  75. 1931 - Together, Max Knott and Ernst Ruska invent the electron microscope.
  76. 1932 - The electric guitar is invented.
  77. 1932 - Edwin Herbert Land invents polaroid photography.
  78. 1932 - Both the zoom lens and light meter are invented.
  79. 1932 - The parking meter is invented by Carl C. Magee.
  80. 1932 - The radio telescope is invented by Karl Jansky.
  81. 1932 - Easy off oven cleaner is invented by Canadian Herbert McCool in Regina.
  82. 1933 - Edward Howard Armstrong invents FM radio.
  83. 1933 - Richard M. Hollingshead invents the first drive-in movie theatre which he showcases in his driveway.
  84. 1934 - Nylon is invented.
  85. 1934 - Cat eye road reflectors are invented by Percy Shaw.
  86. 1934 - Joseph Begun invents magnetic recording.
  87. 1935 - Canned beer is invented.
  88. 1935 - Radar is patented by Robert Watson-Watt.
  89. 1936 - Samuel Colt invents the Colt Revolver.
  90. 1937 - Frank White invents the jet engine.
  91. 1937 - Canadian Donald Higgs invented the precursor to the Walkie-talkie.
  92. 1938 - Chester Carlson invents the photocopier.
  93. 1938 - The ball point pen is invented by Ladislo Biro.
  94. 1938 - Strobe lighting is invented.
  95. 1938 - Teflon is invented by Roy J. Plunkett.
  96. 1938 - Freeze-dried coffee is invented.
  97. 1938 - The University of Toronto developed the first electron microscope.
  98. 1939 - The first working helicopter is invented by Igor Sikorsky.
  99. 1940 - Modern color television is invented by Peter Goldman.
  100. 1941 - Wibur Rounding Franks, a Canadian, invents the anti-gravity suit.
  101. 1941 - Konrad Zuse invents the Z3, the first software controlled computer.
  102. 1941 - The aerosol can is invented jointly by Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan.
  103. 1941 - The neutronic reactor is invented by Enrico Fermi.
  104. 1942 - The first electronic digital computer is jointly developed by John Atansoff and Clifford Berry.
  105. 1943 - Synthetic rubber is invented.
  106. 1943 - The slinky is invented by Richard James.
  107. 1943 - Silly putty is invented by James Wright.
  108. 1943 - The aqualung is jointly invented by Emile gagnan and Jacques Cousteau.
  109. 1944 - Willem Kolff invents the kidney dialysis machine.
  110. 1944 - Oswald Theodore Avery, a Canadian physician, showed that DNA was the material that passed heritable traits between cells.
  111. 1945 - The atomic bomb is invented.
  112. 1946 - Percy Spencer invents the microwave oven.
  113. 1947 - The theory of hollography is developed by Dennis Gabor.
  114. 1947 - The mobile phone is invented.
  115. 1947 - The transistor is invented by Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley.
  116. 1948 - Walter Frederick Morrison and Warren Franscioni invent the frisbee.
  117. 1948 - The Wurlitzer jukebox is invented by Robert Hope-Jones.
  118. 1948 - Velcro is invented by George de Mestral.
  119. 1950 - Canadian Harry Wasylyk invents the polyelthylene garbage bag.
  120. 1950 - Canadian Dr. John A. Hopps invents the external heart pacemaker.
  121. 1950 - Ralph Schneider invented the first credit card.
  122. 1951 - Super glue invented.
  123. 1951 - The video tape recorder invented by Charles Ginberg.
  124. 1952 - Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver patent the bar code.
  125. 1952 - Edward Tellerleads the group that invents the hydrogen bomb.
  126. 1953 - Radial Tires are invented.
  127. 1953 - David Warnen invents the the black box flight recorder.
  128. 1953 - Texas instruments invents the transistor radio.
  129. 1954 - The contraceptive pill is invented.
  130. 1954 - The solar cell is invented by Chaplin, fuller and Pearson.
  131. 1955 - Tetracycline invented.
  132. 1955 - Optic fibre invented.
  133. 1957 - Automatic postal sorter invented by Canadian Maurice Levy.
  134. 1957 - A 3D map-making system is invented by Canadian Uno Vilho Helava.
  135. 1957 - The computer language Fortran was invented.
  136. 1958 - The computer modem is invented.
  137. 1958 - The laser is invented by Gordon Gould.
  138. 1958 - Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce invent the integrated ciruit.
  139. 1958 - The hula-hoop is invented by Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin.
  140. 1959 - Wilson Greatbatch invents the internal pacemaker.
  141. 1959 - The Barbie Doll is invented.
  142. 1959 - The microchip is invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce.
  143. 1960 - A Canadian, Barbara Bain, invents the Bone Marrow Compatibiity Test.
  144. 1960 - The halogen lamp is invented.
  145. 1961 - Valium is invented.
  146. 1961 - Non-dairy creamer is invented.
  147. 1962 - The audio cassette is invented.
  148. 1962 - Yukio Horie invents the fibre-tip pen.
  149. 1962 - Silicone breast implants are invented by Dow Corp,
  150. 1962 - Telsar, television satellite, is implemented allowing the transmission of television shows across the Atlantic Ocean.
  151. 1963 - Cassette recorders are introduced.
  152. 1963 - The video disk is invented.
  153. 1964 - Acrylic paint is invented.
  154. 1964 - Permanent-press is invented.
  155. 1964 - John George Kemeny and Tom Kurtz invent the computer language BASIC.
  156. 1965 - Soft contact lenses are invented.
  157. 1965 - NutraSweet is invented.
  158. 1965 - James Russell invents the compact disk.
  159. 1965 - Stephanie Louise Kwolek invents Kevlar.
  160. 1965 - Astroturf is invented.
  161. 1966 - Electronic fuel injection cars invented.
  162. 1968 - Douglas Engelbart invents the computer mouse.
  163. 1968 - The first integrated circuit computer is developed.
  164. 1969 - The jumbo jet is introduced carrying 362 passengers.
  165. 1969 - The first internet (arpanet) is invented.
  166. 1969 - The artificial heart is invented.
  167. 1969 - The ATM is invented.
  168. 1970 - The daisy-wheel printer is invented.
  169. 1970 - Pocket calculator is introduced.
  170. 1970 - Alan Shugart invents the floppy disk.
  171. 1971 - The dot- matrix printer is invented.
  172. 1971 - The food processor is invented.
  173. 1971 - James Ferguson invents the liquid-crystal display.
  174. 1971 - Faggin, Hoff and Mazor invent the microprocessor.
  175. 1971 - The VCR is invented.
  176. 1972 - The word processor is invented.
  177. 1973 - Gene splicing is invented.
  178. 1973 - The ethernet (local computer internet) is invented by Robert Metcalfe and Xerox.
  179. 1973 - The disposable lighter is invented by Bic.
  180. 1974 - Arthur Fry invents the post-it notes.
  181. 1974 - Computer readable bar codes invented.
  182. 1975 - The laser-printer is invented.
  183. 1976 - The ink-jet printer is invented.
  184. 1977 - The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is invented by Raymond V. Damadian.
  185. 1978 - Personal computers are invented.
  186. 1978 - Robert K. Jarvik invents the artificial heart Jarvik-7.
  187. 1979 - Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott developed the game, Trivial Pursuit.
  188. 1979 - Cell phone is invented.
  189. 1979 - Walkman is invented.
  190. 1979 - Roller blades are invented by Scott Olson.
  191. 1980 - The hepatitis -B vaccine is developed.
  192. 1981 - MS-DOS is invented.
  193. 1981 - The first IBM-PC is invented.
  194. 1981 - Gerd Karl Binnig and Heinrich Roher invents the scanning tunneling microscope.
  195. 1982 - Compact discs are introduced to the market.
  196. 1982 - Human growth hormone is genetically engineered.
  197. 1983 - Soft bifocal contact lenses are invented.
  198. 1983 - The term 'virtual reality' is introduced by programmer Jaron Lanier.
  199. 1984 - The CD-ROM is invented.
  200. 1984 - The Apple-Macintosh is invented.
  201. 1985 - Mobile phones are introduced.
  202. 1985 - Microsoft invents the Windows program.
  203. 1986 - J. Georg Bednorz and Karl A. Meller invent high-temperature super-conductor.
  204. 1986 - G. Gregory Gallico,III invents synthetic skin.
  205. 1986 - Fuji introduces the disposable camera.
  206. 1987 - The first 3D video game is invented.
  207. 1987 - Disposable contact lenses are invented.
  208. 1987 - Fax machines are invented.
  209. 1988 - Digital cellular phone is invented.
  210. 1988 - The abortion pill is invented.
  211. 1988 - Doppler radar is invented by Christian Andreas Doppler.
  212. 1988 - Ray Fuller of the Eli Lilly Company invents prozac.
  213. 1988 - The first genetically engineered animal is patented by Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart of Harvard University.
  214. 1989 - High definition television is invented.
  215. 1989 - The World Wide Web was first conceived by by English Engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
  216. 1990 - The personal computer becomes portable.
  217. 1990 - The world wide web and HTML language was invented by Tim Berners-Lee.
  218. 1991 - The digital answering machine is invented.
  219. 1992 - The computer-controlled smart pill is invented.
  220. 1993 - The pentium computer processor is introduced.
  221. 1994 - The HIV protease inhibitor is invented.
  222. 1995 - Canadian James Gosling invented Java applets introduced in May of 1995.
  223. 1995 - The DVD is invented.
  224. 1996 - Web TV is invented.
  225. 1997 - The gas-powered fuel cell is invented.
  226. 1998 - Viagra is invented.

© 2012 Teresa Coppens

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    • Teresa Coppens profile image
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      Teresa Coppens 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Jimmy, I'm so glad my hub could help with your projects. Good luck with them!

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      jimmy 3 years ago

      thanks so much it help so much your amazing it help with all my projects

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      Johnny Test 3 years ago

      Helped my project

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      ZAckkkkkkkkkkh 3 years ago

      #THISROCKS

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      ZAckkkkkkkkkkh 3 years ago

      This sight was amaxing i loved it

      THX

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      walter 3 years ago

      thanks helped with with homework

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      Yo Mama 3 years ago

      Nice site

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      Andrea Kibigo 4 years ago from Old Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

      nice

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      Tayyaba Mukhtar 4 years ago

      thanks a lot this info hlped me very much in my assignment!!!!

    • Teresa Coppens profile image
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      Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So true vibesites, so true. Thanks for reading and commenting. I live with a science nerd. They rock!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      So don't you bully and laugh at the nerds now! In the future they would be the ones to make your lives easier. Thank God for the inventors, life wouldn't have been the same without them. :)

    • Teresa Coppens profile image
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      Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So glad my hub could be of service to you Sam!

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      sam the great 4 years ago

      thanks a lot it hlped me with my homework a lot

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      tom 4 years ago

      thank you for helping me and my wife I like you

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      dominick 4 years ago

      goog job

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      alex 4 years ago

      hi info

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      gabe 4 years ago

      really

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      blade 4 years ago

      set the blade

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      dakota 4 years ago

      i like it

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      dominck 4 years ago

      me to

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      brandon 4 years ago

      I like that info

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      gabe 4 years ago

      nice info

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      domnick 4 years ago

      hello

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      dakota 4 years ago

      nice

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      saitam 5 years ago from Lisbon

      Very nice timeline, specially the ending.

    • Teresa Coppens profile image
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      Teresa Coppens 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Susan. My husband was especially surprised at the development of computer hardware and language development. It's amazing how inventive we humans can be! Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great list. Some of these inventions I was surprised to find out how far back they went. Awesome job!

    • Teresa Coppens profile image
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      Teresa Coppens 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Phdast. I enjoy putting them together. My husband learned a lot about the development of the personal PC and development of some of the computer programs he's used. He was surprised at how early these tools were developed! Thanks for checking in.

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      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Totally cool! All your timelines are terrific. Thanks for the hard work.

    • livelovelaugh5 profile image

      livelovelaugh5 5 years ago

      Wow a compile list of significant inventions! Thanks!