Some 20th Century Inventions: a timeline

1900: electric cookers

1901: Marconi sends his first radio communication across the Atlantic ocean from England to Canada
Read about Guglielmo Marconi here

1901: King Gillette invents a safety razor with a disposable blade
Read about King Gillette here

1903: porcelain is used for teeth fillings

1906: the world's first hydrofoil, designed by Enrico Forlanini, cruised across a lake in Italy
Read about this inventor and his hydrofoil

1906: W.K. Kellogg manufactures the first corn flakes
Go here to read about this accidental discovery

1914: the zip fastener is invented
Read about the invention of the zipper here

1920: the first hand held hair dryer is on sale

1924: electric loudspeakers invented

1926: television is invented and demonstrated by John Logie Baird
Read about this inventor here

1928: penicillin discovered and later used to treat many human diseases
Read about Alexander Fleming and penicillin

1932: the first electric guitars invented

1934: Nylon, a plastic thread is invented and used to make toothbrushes

1937: Frank Whittle invents a jet engine
Read about this inventor here

1938: a photocopier is invented by Chester Carlson

1938: Ladislo Biro invents a ball point pen
Read about the inventor here

1940: the traffic cone was invented by Charles D Scanlon. It has been modified and developed over the years to the form we see today.
Go here to see a terrific timeline of its development:

1943: SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus) is invented by Frenchmen, Jacques Cousteau and Emil Gagnan
Go here to read how scuba works

1946: first computer constructed by American scientists

1950: the first credit cards is invented meaning people could buy things and pay later

1952: transistor radio developed meaning that people could have portable, battery driven radios

1956: the pacemaker: an electrical device used to control the beat of the human heart is invented

1957: The first human-made satellite, Sputnik 1, launched by Russia (then called USSR) on 4th October.

Sputnik 1 was about the size of a basketball -Image©

1962: television satellite 'Telstar' launched and enables television to be transmitted across the Atlantic ocean between America and Europe

1963: cassette recorders
Go here to read about how tape recorders work

1964; 'Bullet train' travelling at speeds up to 210 kilometres per hour runs from Tokyo and Osaka in Japan

The 'bullet train' speeds past Mount Fujiyama - image©

1969: 'jumbo' jet carrying 362 passengers is in service

1971: pocket calculators developed

1974: computer readable bar codes invented
Go here to read about how barcodes work

1976: supersonic airliner 'Concorde' in service across the Atlantic Ocean
Read all about Concorde history here

The Concorde had a very distinctive shape

1978: personal computers invented

1982: compact discs are available

1985: mobile phones Go here to find out how mobile phones work

1987: fax machines Go here to find out how a fax machine works

1990: portable personal computers

1991: CD-ROM (read-only-memory) present information as text, graphics, video and sound

A timeline about the invention and develpment of traffic cones

Back to Technology and Inventions

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Updated May 2013