Inventors and their inventions from 1900 to 1999 have come to dominate our lives. Here are a few of the major inventions and their inventors from the Twentieth Century.

Orville and Wilbur WrightOrville was at the controls of the world’s first powered flight while Wilbur observed (1903).
John Ambrose FlemingInvented the diode – a vital part of radios and televisions (1904)
Christian HulsmeyerThe first radar system used in shipping (1904)
Leo BaekelandInventor of plastic (1905)
Reginald FessendenInvented radio broadcasting (1906)
Mary Phelps JacobInvented the bra (1913)
Gidoen SundbackInvented the zip (1913)
John ThompsonInvented the sub-machine gun (1920)
Frederick Banting / Charles BestIsolated insulin (1921)
Karel CapekInvented the first robot (1921)
Clarence BirdseyeStarted the idea of frozen food (1924)
John Logie BairdInvented the television – its first public demonstration was at Selfridges in London (1925)
Robert GoddardInvented liquid fuel rocket (1926)
Alexander FlemingDiscovered penicillin and paved the way for antibiotics (1928)
Frank WhittleThe jet engine (1930)
Percy ShawInventor of the cats eyes – a major factor in improved road safety (1934)
Laszlo Jose BiroInvented the ball point pen (1938)
Igor SikorskyInventor of the modern helicopter (1939)
Enrico FermiBuilt the first nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago (1942)
Willem KolffInvented the kidney dialysis machine (1944)
Percy LeBaron SpencerInvented the microwave oven (1946)
George deMestralInvented velcro (1948)
Carl DjerassiDeveloped the contraceptive pill (1951)
Sir Christopher CockerellInvented the hovercraft (1955)
Jonas SalkMade the vaccine for polio (1955)
Jack KilbyMade the first microchip – the start of miniaturisation of technology (1958)
Wilson GreatbatchInvented the first heart pacemaker (1960)
Douglas EngelbartInvented the computer mouse (1964)
Stephanie KwolekInvented kevlar (1966)
Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James von TasselThe portable calculator (1967)
George GrayInvented the LCD and LED (1970)
Herbert BoyerPioneer of genetic engineering (1973)
Akio MoritaInventor of the personal stereo (1979)
Tim Berners-LeeCreator of the World Wide Web (1989)
Ian WilmutHeaded team that produced the first cloned sheep – Dolly (1997)