20th century inventions were hugely influenced by major developments in technology and resources, enabling the inventions of key items and devices which changed the way we live today.

1900 – 1910 inventions

1901 : Vacuum cleaner

1902 : Air conditioning; automated tea maker

1903 : Electrocardiogram; first powered flight

1904 : Radar; tea bags; diodes

1905 : Plastic; windscreen wipers; silencer for guns

1906 : Radio broadcasting

1907 : Electric washing machine

1908 : Coffee filter; water coolers; paper cups; assembly line production; the model T – first affordable motor car

1910 : Neon lamps 

1911 – 1920 inventions

1911 : Stenotype machines

1913 : Ecstasy; Brillo pads; crossword puzzles; bras; zips

1916 : Sonar

1920 : Hair dryers; kiss-proof lipstick; submachine guns 

1921 – 1930 inventions

1921 : Robots; insulin

1922 : Aga cooker

1923 : Hearing aids

1924 : Frozen food

1925 : Geiger counter; television

1926 : Liquid fuel rocket; pop-up toaster; aerosol sprays

1927 : ‘Talkies’ at the movies

1928 : Iron lung; penicillin

1929 : Artificial life

1930 : Jet engine; mechanical toothbrushes; Scotch tape

1931 – 1940 inventions

1931 : Electric razor

1932 : Radio telescope; parking meter; folding wheelchair

1933 : Electron microscope; angle-poise lamp

1934 : Cats eyes

1935 : Electric guitar

1936 : Sun tan lotion; electric blanket

1938 : Ballpoint pen; photocopying

1939 : Helicopters; cloud seeding to trigger rain

1941 – 1950 inventions

1942 : First nuclear reactor built; napalm

1943 : Aqualung

1944 : Kidney dialysis machine

1945: Nuclear Bomb

1946 : Microwave ovens; automation; bikini; tupperware; tupperware Parties

1947 : Transistors; holograms; artificial intelligence; disposable nappy; mobile phones

1948 : Frisbees; velcro; general purpose computers; contact lenses

1950 : credit cards; self-cleaning house; junction transistor

1951 -1960 inventions

1951 : Contraceptive pill; tetrapak cartons of milk

1952 : Wide-screen cinema

1953 : Transistor radio

1954 : Solar cell; synthesiser

1955 : Hovercraft; atomic clock; polio vaccine; structurally modified antibiotics

1956 : Video tape recorder

1957 : Satellite; endoscope

1958 : Video games; microchip; modems

1959 : Car seat belts

1960 : Cardiac pacemaker; laser

1961 – 1970 inventions

1961 : Man in Space; Valium

1963 : Lava lamp

1964 : Computer mouse; miniskirt

1965 : Optical disc; bay buggy; HTML

1966 : Kevlar; fibre optics; pocket television

1967 : Portable calculator

1968 : Biometrics; Workmate; artificial heart

1969 : Internet; cash dispenser

1970 : LED and LCD’s

1971 – 1980 inventions

1971 : Floppy disc

1972 : Prozac; disposable lighter

1973 : Genetic engineering; barcodes; post-it-note; car airbags; cellular phones

1975 : Personal computer; laser printer

1976 : Apple 1

1977 : In vitro fertilisation; MRI scanner; inkjet printer

1979 : First personal stereo

1980 : Abortion pill; Hepatitis B vaccine

1981 – 1990 inventions

1981 : Scanning tunneling microscope; Space shuttle

1984 : Macintosh computer

1986 : High temperature superconductor

1987 : Disposable contact lenses

1989 : World Wide Web; Macintosh Portable

1990: Hubble Telescope

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