Science and Technology between 1935-1960

Timeline created by Modern Drama
  • Nylon fabric invented

    Nylon fabric invented
    Nylon is a generic designation for a family ofsynthetic polymers known generically as aliphatic polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers atDuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station. It is known more famously as women's stockings ("nylons"; 1940) after being introduced as a fabric at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
  • Bell Labs invents the voice recognition machine.

    Bell Labs invents the voice recognition machine.
    AT&T's Bell Labs produced the first electronic speech synthesizer called the Voder (Dudley, Riesz and Watkins). This machine was demonstrated in the 1939 World Fairs by experts that used a keyboard and foot pedals to play the machine and emit speech.
  • Charlie Chaplin in Film Modern Times

    Charlie Chaplin in Film Modern Times
    In 1936 Charlie Chaplin starred as a factory worker in the movie Modern Times. This movie is not only a reflection of the mechanization of the arts, but also an attack to the process of machinery. Although at times heavily ideological and exaggerated to please audiences, Modern Times represented a mechanized attempt at understanding machine technology. The inevitable progress of science and technology let people’s voice can be heard through impersonal contact.
  • The first jet engine is built.

    The first jet engine is built.
    Hans von Ohain is considered the designer of the first operational turbojet engine. Frank Whittle was the first to register a patent for the turbojet engine in 1930. Hans von Ohain was granted a patent for his turbojet engine in 1936. However, Hans von Ohain's jet was the first to fly in 1939. This engine, which had a single-stage centrifugal compressor coupled to a single-stage turbine, was successfully bench tested in April 1937. Frank Whittle's jet first flew in in 1941.
  • Chester F. Carlson invents the photocopier.

    Chester F. Carlson invents the photocopier.
    Chester Carlson, the inventor of photocopying, was originally a patent attorney, as well as a part-time researcher and inventor. His job at the patent office in New York required him to make a large number of copies of important papers. Carlson, who was arthritic, found this to be a painful and tedious process. This motivated him to conduct experiments with photoconductivity. Carlson used his kitchen for his "electrophotography" experiments, and, in 1937, he applied for a patent for the process.
  • Volkswagen Beetle first introduced

    Volkswagen Beetle first introduced
    The Volkswagen Beetle, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. The car was conceived by Adolf Hitler when he was leader of Nazi Germany and wanted a cheap, simple car; he contracted Porsche in 1934 to design and build it to his exacting standards.
  • The ballpoint pen invented by Ladislo Biro.

    The ballpoint pen invented by Ladislo Biro.
    A Hungarian journalist named Laszlo Biro invented the first ballpoint pen in 1938. Biro had noticed that the type of ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly, leaving the paper dry and smudge-free. He decided to create a pen using the same type of ink.
  • The first working turboprop engine.

    The first working turboprop engine.
    A turboprop engine is a jet engine attached to a propellor. The turbine at the back is turned by the hot gases, and this turns a shaft that drives the propellor. Some small airliners and transport aircraft are powered by turboprops. Hungarian, Gyorgy Jendrassik who worked for the Ganz wagon works in Budapest designed the very first working turboprop engine in 1938.
  • Nescafe or freeze-dried coffee invented.

    Nescafe or freeze-dried coffee invented.
    The new product was named NESCAFÉ – a combination of Nestlé and café. NESCAFÉ was first introduced in Switzerland, on April 1st, 1938. For the first half of the next decade, however, World War II hindered its success in Europe. NESCAFÉ was soon exported to France, Great Britain and the USA. American forces played a key role in re-launching NESCAFÉ in Europe by virtue of the fact that it was included in their food rations. Its popularity grew rapidly through the rest of the decade.
  • Roy J. Plunkett invented tetrafluoroethylene polymers or Teflon.

    Roy J. Plunkett invented tetrafluoroethylene polymers or Teflon.
    PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene was discovered on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories (Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey). Plunkett was working with gases related to Freon® refrigerants when upon checking a frozen, compressed sample of tetrafluoroethylene, he and his associates discovered that the sample had polymerized spontaneously into a white, waxy solid to form polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.
  • War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast causes panic

    War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast causes panic
    The War of the Worlds is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds (1898).
  • LSD was synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Laboratories.

    LSD was synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Laboratories.
    Lysergic acid diethylamide, abbreviated LSD or LSD-25, also known as lysergide (INN) and colloquially as acid, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the ergoline family, well known for its psychological effects which can include altered thinking processes, closed and open eye visuals, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spiritual experiences, as well as for its key role in 1960s counterculture.
  • Gone with the wind first technicolor matte painting

    Gone with the wind first technicolor matte painting
    Technicolor is a process that shoots film in color it became known and celebrated for its saturated levels of color, which were new during this time period. A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that is nonexistent in real life or would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit.
  • Wizard of Oz Premier

    Wizard of Oz Premier
    Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character makeups and special effects in a film up to that time.
  • World War II and Einstein

    World War II and Einstein
    On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the potential developing of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the U.S. begin similar research. This eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russ
  • Helicoptor Invented

    Helicoptor Invented
    Helicopters were developed and built during the first half-century of flight, with the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 being the first operational helicopter in 1936. Some helicopters reached limited production, but it was not until 1942 that a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky reached full-scale production, with 131 aircraft built.
  • Brecht writes essay "On Experimental Theatre"

    Brecht writes essay "On Experimental Theatre"
    This combines theatre within science by incorporating naturalism and expressionism. His staging effects made audiences think scientifically while entertaining them.
  • Aerosol spray cans invented by American inventors, Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan.

    Aerosol spray cans invented by American inventors, Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan.
    It was not until 1941 that the aerosol spray can was first put to good use by Americans Lyle Goodhue and William Sullivan, who are credited as the inventors of the modern spray can. Their design of a refillable spray can dubbed the "bug bomb", is the ancestor of many popular commercial spray products.
  • Jeep Invented

    Jeep Invented
    The original Jeep vehicle that first appeared as the prototype Bantam BRC became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies during World War II, as well as the postwar period.
  • Enrico Fermi invents the neutronic reactor.

    Enrico Fermi invents the neutronic reactor.
    On this day, Enrico Fermi, the Italian-born Nobel Prize-winning physicist, directs and controls the first nuclear chain reaction in his laboratory beneath the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, ushering in the nuclear age.
  • The kidney dialysis machine invented by Willem Kolff.

    The kidney dialysis machine invented by Willem Kolff.
    Dr. Willem Kolff, a Dutch physician, constructed the first working dialyzer in 1943 during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Due to the scarcity of available resources, Kolff had to improvise and build the initial machine using sausage casings, beverage cans, a washing machine, and various other items that were available at the time.
  • Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau invent the aqualung.

    Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau invent the aqualung.
  • First Computer Built

    First Computer Built
    The first electronic digital computers were developed between 1940 and 1945. Originally they were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). In this era mechanical analog computers were used for military applications.
  • The Atomic Bomb Invented

    The Atomic Bomb Invented
    At 5:29:45 (Mountain War Time) on July 16, 1945, in a white blaze that stretched from the basin of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico to the still-dark skies, "The Gadget" ushered in the Atomic Age. The light of the explosion then turned orange as the atomic fireball began shooting upwards at 360 feet per second, reddening and pulsing as it cooled.
  • The microwave oven invented by Percy Spencer.

    The microwave oven invented by Percy Spencer.
    In 1946, the engineer Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer, who worked for the Raytheon Corporation, was working on magnetrons. One day at work, he had a candy bar in his pocket, and found that it had melted. He realized that the microwaves he was working with had caused it to melt. After experimenting, he realized that microwaves would cook foods quickly - even faster than conventional ovens that cook with heat.
  • Polaroid Camera Invented

    Polaroid Camera Invented
    he invention of modern instant cameras is generally credited to American scientist Edwin Land, who unveiled the first commercial instant camera, the Land Camera, in 1948, a year after unveiling instant film in New York City.
  • Mobile phones first invented.

    Mobile phones first invented.
    In 1947 AT&T commercialized Mobile Telephone Service. From its start in St. Louis in 1946, AT&T then introduced Mobile Telephone Service to one hundred towns and highway corridors by 1948. Mobile Telephone Service was a rarity with only 5,000 customers placing about 30 000 calls each week. Calls were set up manually by an operator and the user had to depress a button on the handset to talk and release the button to listen. The call subscriber equipment weighed about 80 lbs.
  • British/Hungarian scientist, Dennis Gabor, developed the theory of holography.

    British/Hungarian scientist, Dennis Gabor, developed the theory of holography.
    The holographic principle is a property of quantum gravity and string theories that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon.
  • Velcro Invented

    Velcro Invented
    Velcro is a company that produces the first commercially marketed fabric hook-and-loop fastener, invented in 1948 by the Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral. De Mestral patented Velcro in 1955, subsequently refining and developing its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s. Velcro held together a human heart during the first artificial heart surgery, and it is used in nuclear power plants and army tanks to hold flashlights to walls.
  • Robert Hope-Jones invented the Wurlitzer jukebox.

    Robert Hope-Jones invented the Wurlitzer jukebox.
    The Wurlitzer was the iconic jukebox of the Big Band era, to the extent that Wurlitzer came in some places to be a generic name for any jukebox.
  • Ralph Alpher and the Big Bang Theory.

    Ralph Alpher and the Big Bang Theory.
    The mathematical genius, Ralph Alpher, explained the expansion of the universe from an initial ultra-dense state would produce all elementary particles needed to assemble hydrogen and helium in the proportions seen in the universe today in just a few minutes. This was an important result because hydrogen and helium make up 99.99% of the matter in today’s universe. This time the world took notice and on April 14, 1948 the Washington Post carried the headline “World Began in 5 Minutes."
  • Artificial Heart.

    Artificial Heart.
    In 1949, a precursor to the modern artificial heart pump was built by doctors William Sewell and William Glenn. Through 1958 inventions such as the heart-lung machine and different implementations of pumps contribute to artificical heart research.
  • Movie attendance drops as television grows. Effects-laden productions and larger-than-life formats such as CinemaScope, VistaVision, Cinerama, and 3-D.

    Movie attendance drops as television grows. Effects-laden productions and larger-than-life formats such as CinemaScope, VistaVision, Cinerama, and 3-D.
    Drastic changes in technology of movies and televison which were the beginnings of the movies we have today were all brought about by the decline of movie goers, due to television becoming more popular. This also had an affect towards theater which had to compete vs the changing technology of film and televison.
  • The internal pacemaker invented by Wilson Greatbatch.

    The internal pacemaker invented by Wilson Greatbatch.
    While experimenting with radio frequency heating to restore body temperature, Hopps made an unexpected discovery: if a heart stopped beating due to cooling, it could be started again by artificial stimulation using mechanical or electric means.
  • Modern Credit Card Introduced

    Modern Credit Card Introduced
    The modern credit card was the successor of a variety of merchant credit schemes. It was first used in the 1940s, in the United States, specifically to sell fuel to a growing number of automobile owners. In 1938 several companies started to accept each other's cards.
    The concept of customers paying different merchants using the same card was expanded in 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara, founders of Diners Club, to consolidate multiple cards.
  • Super glue invented.

    Super glue invented.
    Super Glue, also known as cyanoacrylate, was originally discovered in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover. Nine years later, in 1951, now working at Eastman Kodak, Dr. Coover was the supervisor of a project looking at developing a heat resistant acrylate polymer for jet canopies. Fred Joyner was working on that project and at one point used the rediscovered Super Glue and tested it by spreading ethyl cyanoacrylate between a pair of refractometer prisms.
  • Charles Ginsburg invented the first video tape recorder (VTR).

    Charles Ginsburg invented the first video tape recorder (VTR).
    The VTR is said to have revolutionized television broadcasting. Tape recording of television signals dates to just after World War II, when audio tape recorders were used to record the very high frequency signals needed for television.
  • Edward Teller and team build the hydrogen bomb.

    Edward Teller and team build the hydrogen bomb.
    A thermonuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon design that uses the heat generated by a fission bomb to compress and ignite a nuclear fusion stage. This results in a greatly increased explosive power. It is colloquially referred to as a hydrogen bomb or H-bomb because it employs hydrogen fusion, though in most applications the majority of its destructive energy comes from uranium fission, not hydrogen fusion alone.
  • Tetracycline invented.

    Tetracycline invented.
    Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum polyketide antibiotic produced by the Streptomyces genus of Actinobacteria, indicated for use against many bacterial infections. It is a protein synthesis inhibitor. It is commonly used to treat acne today, and, more recently, rosacea, and is historically important in reducing the number of deaths from cholera.
  • The first patent for bar code issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver.

    The first patent for bar code issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver.
    Woodland and Silver filed a patent application for "Classifying Apparatus and Method", in which they described both the linear and bullseye printing patterns, as well as the mechanical and electronic systems needed to read the code.
  • The first musical synthesizer invented by RCA.

    The first musical synthesizer invented by RCA.
    A sound synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing a wide range of sounds. Synthesizers may either imitate other instruments or generate new timbres.
  • David Warren invented the black box - flight recorder.

    David Warren invented the black box - flight recorder.
    Popularly referred to as a "black box" by the media, the data recorded by the FDR is used for accident investigation, as well as for analyzing air safety issues, material degradation and engine performance. Due to their importance in investigating accidents, these ICAO-regulated devices are carefully engineered and stoutly constructed to withstand the force of a high speed impact and the heat of an intense fire.
  • DNA Discovered

    DNA Discovered
    Taken in 1952, this image is the first X-ray picture of DNA, which led to the discovery of its molecular structure by Watson and Crick. Created by Rosalind Franklin using a technique called X-ray crystallography, it revealed the helical shape of the DNA molecule. Watson and Crick realized that DNA was made up of two chains of nucleotide pairs that encode the genetic information for all living things.
  • Transistor radio invented by Texas Instruments.

    Transistor radio invented by Texas Instruments.
    A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver that uses transistor-based circuitry. Following their development in 1954 they became the most popular electronic communication device in history, with billions manufactured during the 1960s and 1970s. Their pocket size sparked a change in popular music listening habits, allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went.
  • Color TV Invented

    Color TV Invented
    A successful color television system began commercial broadcasting, first authorized by the FCC on December 17, 1953 based on a system designed by RCA. "Between 1946 and 1950 the research staff of RCA Laboratories invented the world's first electronic, monochrome compatible, color television system."
  • Oral contraceptives invented - the pill.

    Oral contraceptives invented - the pill.
    Pincus knows progesterone will work, but in order to get FDA approval he will need to test the drug on humans, which only a clinical doctor can do. Finally with adequate funding at hand, Pincus joins forces with Dr. John Rock to test the drug on Rock's female patients. In Massachusetts, a state with extremely restrictive anti-birth control laws, Rock and Pincus begin the first human trials with 50 women, under the guise of a fertility study. Searle provides the pills for the trial.
  • First Atomic Submarin lauched

    First Atomic Submarin lauched
    USS Nautilus (SSN-571) is the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine. She was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole on 3 August 1958. Sharing names with the submarine in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and named after another USS Nautilus (SS-168) that served with distinction in World War II, Nautilus was authorized in 1951 and launched in 1954.
  • The solar cell invented by Chaplin, Fuller and Pearson.

    The solar cell invented by Chaplin, Fuller and Pearson.
    Three American researchers, Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Daryl Chapin, designed a silicon solar cell capable of a six percent energy conversion efficiency with direct sunlight.
  • Bette Nesmith Graham invented "Mistake Out," to paint over mistakes made with a typewriter.

    Bette Nesmith Graham invented "Mistake Out," to paint over mistakes made with a typewriter.
    Bette Nesmith Graham never intended to be an inventor; she wanted to be an artist. However, shortly after World War II ended, she found herself divorced with a small child to support. She learned shorthand and typing and found employment as an executive secretary. An efficient employee who took pride in her work, Graham sought a better way to correct typing errors. She remembered that artists painted over their mistakes on canvas, so why couldn’t typists paint over their mistakes?
  • Computers becoming more complex and more compact.

    Computers becoming more complex and more compact.
    Starting in 1956, computers continue to increase in complexity, usablitiy, and become smaller. Many inventions such as the modem, the microchip, computer language, circuit boards, and hard disks for data were invented in the mid to late 50's and early 60's.
  • T.V. Remote Control Invented

    T.V. Remote Control Invented
    The first remote intended to control a television was developed by Zenith Radio Corporation in 1950. The remote, called "Lazy Bones", was connected to the television by a wire. A wireless remote control, the "Flashmatic", was developed in 1955 by Eugene Polley. It worked by shining a beam of light onto a photoelectric cell, but the cell did not distinguish between light from the remote and light from other sources. In 1956, Robert Adler developed "Zenith Space Command", a wireless remote.
  • The hovercraft invented by Christopher Cockerell.

    The hovercraft invented by Christopher Cockerell.
    Christopher Cockerell's idea was to build a vehicle that would move over the water's surface, floating on a layer of air. This would reduce friction between the water and vehicle. To test his hypothesis, he put one a smaller can inside a larger can and used a hairdryer to blow air into them.
  • Lasers Invented

    Lasers Invented
    In 1960, Theodore Maiman invented the ruby laser considered to be the first successful optical or light laser.
  • The halogen lamp invented.

    The halogen lamp invented.
    It is an advanced form of incandescent lamp. The filament is composed of ductile tungsten and located in a gas filled bulb just like a standard tungsten bulb, however the gas in a halogen bulb is at a higher pressure (7-8 ATM). The glass bulb is made of fused quartz, high-silica glass or aluminosilicate. This bulb is stronger than standard glass in order to contain the high pressure. This lamp has been an industry standard for work lights and film/television/theater lighting.
  • Period: to

    Science and Technology of Modern Drama