Inventors 1900 to 1999

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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 Wright Orville was at the controls of the world’s first powered flight while Wilbur observed (1903).
John Ambrose Fleming Invented the diode – a vital part of radios and televisions (1904)
Christian Hulsmeyer The first radar system used in shipping (1904)
Leo Baekeland Inventor of plastic (1905)
Reginald Fessenden Invented radio broadcasting (1906)
Mary Phelps Jacob Invented the bra (1913)
Gidoen Sundback Invented the zip (1913)
John Thompson Invented the sub-machine gun (1920)
Frederick Banting / Charles Best Isolated insulin (1921)
Karel Capek Invented the first robot (1921)
Clarence Birdseye Started the idea of frozen food (1924)
John Logie Baird Invented the television – its first public demonstration was at Selfridges in London (1925)
Robert Goddard Invented liquid fuel rocket (1926)
Alexander Fleming Discovered penicillin and paved the way for antibiotics (1928)
Frank Whittle The jet engine (1930)
Percy Shaw Inventor of the cats eyes – a major factor in improved road safety (1934)
Laszlo Jose Biro Invented the ball point pen (1938)
Igor Sikorsky Inventor of the modern helicopter (1939)
Enrico Fermi Built the first nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago (1942)
Willem Kolff Invented the kidney dialysis machine (1944)
Percy LeBaron Spencer Invented the microwave oven (1946)
George deMestral Invented velcro (1948)
Carl Djerassi Developed the contraceptive pill (1951)
Sir Christopher Cockerell Invented the hovercraft (1955)
Jonas Salk Made the vaccine for polio (1955)
Jack Kilby Made the first microchip – the start of miniaturisation of technology (1958)
Wilson Greatbatch Invented the first heart pacemaker (1960)
Douglas Engelbart Invented the computer mouse (1964)
Stephanie Kwolek Invented kevlar (1966)
Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James von Tassel The portable calculator (1967)
George Gray Invented the LCD and LED (1970)
Herbert Boyer Pioneer of genetic engineering (1973)
Akio Morita Inventor of the personal stereo (1979)
Tim Berners-Lee Creator of the World Wide Web (1989)
Ian Wilmut Headed team that produced the first cloned sheep – Dolly (1997)

 

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