Inventions and Technological Advances of the 50's, 60's, and 70's

Timeline created by Megan, Kristen, and Deanne
  • First Color T.V. Aired

    First Color T.V. Aired
    On June 25, 1951, CBS airs teh first commercial color T.V. program. It was called "Premeire" and it featured famous celebrities of the time who hosted their own shows. Two days later, "The World Is Yours" became the first regularly scheduled color T.V. series. A month and a half later, on August 11, 1951, the first baseball game in color was aired.
  • World's First Nuclear Powered Submarine

    World's First Nuclear Powered Submarine
    On January 21, 1954, USS Nauticus (SSN 571) was launched. It was the world's first nuclear powered submarine. In August of 1958, it became the first ship to cross the North Pole, under, "Operation Sunshine." In it's 25 years, it logged a record of 300,000 miles, and it was involved in a variety of developmental testing programs. It set the way for many future submarines, and it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of Interior on May 20, 1982.
  • The First Modern Solar Cell

    The First Modern Solar Cell
    On April 25, 1954, Bell Labs reveals the Bell Solar Battery. This is the first device that is able to create electricity directly from the sun. The principle of converting photons to Electricity is widely used in many later advances, such as digital cameras, DVDs, CDs, and other modern photo detector technology.
  • Velcro Is Patented

    Velcro Is Patented
    In the summer of 1948, a Swiss inventor, George Mestral took a walk with his dog, and they both came back home covered in burrs. After closely examining the burrs he got he thought of inventing a fastener from the idea of the hooks catching on to the soft loops in the fabric. Hey patented Velcro in 1955, and went on to form Velcro Industries, which was selling over 60 million yards of Velcro per year. Today, it is a multi-million dollar industry.
  • World's First Artificial Satellite

    World's First Artificial Satellite
    On October 4, 1957, The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, making history with the world's first artificial satellite. It weighed about 184 pounds, and it took close to 98 minutes to complete it's orbit around Earth. This event started the space age, and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.
  • The Explorer

    The Explorer
    The launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union directly led to the ccreaton of NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. As the space race began, the U.S. soon successfully launched the Explorer I, which eventually led to the discovery of the magnetic radiation belts around the earth.
  • First Internal Pacemaker

    First Internal Pacemaker
    On October 8, 1958, Arne H.W. Larsson had the first internal Pacemaker installed into his chest. It had been invented by George Greatbatch in 1958, when he was building an oscillator to recor heart sounds. When he accidently installed a resistor with the wrong resistance, he saw that it started to give off a steady electrical pulse. He realized that this could be used to regulate the heart, and the rest is history.
  • 1st Laser Fired

    1st Laser Fired
    Physicist Theodore Maiman created the first laser. This was done by shining a high-power flash lamp on a ruby rod with silver coated surfaces, producing monochromatic (all the same wavelength), and coherent (all the waves in phase) light.
  • Polaris Missile FIred

    Polaris Missile FIred
    The firing of Polaris Missile
    The Polaris Missile was tested by the U.S. Navy from a submarine. It was successful and allowed U.S. to base a large number of its nuclear defending forces on submarines, where they were safe from a successful first strike by Soviet forces.
  • Starr- Edwards Heart Valve

    Starr- Edwards Heart Valve
    Dr. Albert Starr, who was an Oregon surgeon, developed the Starr- Edwards heart valve, which was one of the most successful heart valves produced at that time. It was invented in a small lab in Portland and continues to change the lives of many. The first implantation on a human was in August but the patient died due to the procedures not becasue of the valve. The second surgery, however, on a human was a complete success.
  • Telstar was launched

    Telstar was launched
    Telstar was the first active-repeater communications satellite. It was highly successful and demonstrated the ability of transmitting television images, telephone, and radio messages on a global basis.
  • IBM introduces System 360

    IBM introduces System 360
    IBM’s System 360 mainframe line was a major shift in the way computers were produced, introducing a family of systems with the same instruction set, which meant that customers could upgrade to a bigger model if their requirements changed and keep the same software. System 360 computers supported several different operating systems and were flexible enough and could be configured with enough storage to be used for commercial or scientific purposes.
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    The purpose of the Apollo 11 mission was to land men on the lunar surface and to return them safely to Earth. It was launched off on July 16, 1969 and four days later Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the moon, leaving behind a U.S. flag and a sign. When he first stepped onto the moon, he said, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The purpose of Apollo 11 was accomplished successfully.
  • First ATM invented

    First ATM invented
    In 1969, the company Docutel created a machine called the Docuteller, which was installed at the Chemical Bank in New York, and was the first ATM machine to feature reusable plastic cards for bank customers.
  • Pong

    Pong was the first video game ever invented. It is like ping pong. The ball moves across the screen and two people move their paddles up or down to hit the ball back and forth, whoever misses, loses that point. Nolan Bushnell invented the game and was also the founder of Atari. Atari is a Japanese company that creates video games. Pong was invented in 1971 and Atari was founded in 1972. Play pong for free here:
  • Sony VO 1600 (VCR)

    Sony VO 1600 (VCR)
    The first video cassette recorder to both record and playback was invented by Sony in 1971. It was called the Sony VO 1600 and it used a 3/4 inch tape UMATIC system. A cassette tape was placed in the recorder and people could record sounds and play them back. There was no video involved.
  • E-mail

    Ray Tomlinson invented the e-mail on November 21, 1972. He worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman as an ARPANET contractor. He figured out a way to send files from one computer to another calling the process e-mail. The @ symbol was and still is used to identify the sender and recipient of the message.
  • Cell Phone

    Cell Phone
    A worker from Motorola in New York, Martin Cooper, created a cell phone called the prototype DynaTAC. He had the first call ever with a cellular device on April 3rd, 1973. He called his rival, Joel Engel at Bell Labs. The original phone weighed two and a half pounds and you could talk for 35 minutes and the recharge time was 10 hours.
  • Digital Camera

    Digital Camera
    Steve Sasson from Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975. It was about the size of a toaster and held images of .01 megapixels. Here is a video about how the camera was made and Steve Sasson's story.
  • Apple II (PC)

    Apple II (PC)
    Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak invented the Apple Computer in 1976. One year later, in 1977, they introduced the Apple II which had 16K of memory and produced color graphics and all the electronics were contained in a plastic case. The computer wasn't public until 1980 and it was a big hit, making Jobs and Wozniak millionaires. The first commercial for the Apple II can be viewed here:
  • Sony Walkman

    Sony Walkman
    The first portable audio cassette player was invented in 1972 by a man named Andreas Paval in Germany. It was called the Stereobelt. Sony used his idea and sold it to the public on July 1, 1979. They even fought about whether they could use his idea in court for about twenty years before it was definately ok. Before this time, people were carrying around VCRs while traveling and they were a pain to carry around. The Walkman made music more popular and more accessable to people then and now.
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    The Cold War and Civil Rights Era