United States Inventions (1870-1920)

  • Period: to

    United States Inventions

  • Earmuffs

    Earmuffs were invented by Chester Greenwood in 1873, when he was only fifteen years old. Earmuffs were made for safety purposes, and it consisted of a metal or plastic headband attatching the two muffs together.
  • Electric Dental Drill

    Electric Dental Drill
    The first electric dental drill was patented by George F. Green in 1875. By 1912 the drills could reach speeds of up to 3000rpm (rotations per minute). Green's invention revolutionized denistry in the United States.
  • First Practical Telephone

    First Practical Telephone
    Alexander Graham Bell is credited as the inventor of the first practical telephone, and obtained the first patent for such a device in 1876. This device was an "apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically." When the successful trial commenced, Bell talked into the telephone and said, "Watson, come here! I want to see you!". Watson was Bells assistant.
  • Light Bulb

    Light Bulb
    With its first successful trial taking place on this date, the invention of the lightbulb is credited to Thomas Edison. The invention was patented on January 7, 1880. It consisted of a glass bulb with a carbonized cotton thread inside used as a filament.
  • Electric Iron

    Electric Iron
    The eletric iron, an appliance used to remove wrinkles from various fabrics, was first invented by Henry W. Seely in New York, and was patented a year later. The iron stretches the fibers in a fabric through the use of heat, smoothening the fabric when it cools.
  • Transcontinental Railroad- Kansas connected to New Mexico

    Transcontinental Railroad- Kansas connected to New Mexico
    Topeka, Santa Fe, and Atchison Railways connected Atchison, Kansas with Deming, New Mexico. This completed a second link to Los Angeles.
  • Period: to

    Transcontinental Railroad Construction

  • Solar Cell

    Solar Cell
    Using junctions coated with selenium and an extremely thin layer of gold, Charles Fritts had invented the solar cell. A solar cell is a device that directly converts the energy in light into electrical energy through the process discored in 1839 called the photovoltaic effect.
  • Thermostat

    A thermostat is a device used for regulating the temperature of a system. The thermostat switches the heating and cooling systems as needed to maintain a steady temperature. It was invented in 1883 by Warren S. Johnson.
  • Transcontinental Railroad- New Orlean linked to Los Angelas; Chigaco linked to Seattle

    Transcontinental Railroad- New Orlean linked to Los Angelas; Chigaco linked to Seattle
    The Southern Pacific Railroad linked New Orleans to Los Angeles. The Northern Pacific Railway linked Chigaco to Seattle.
  • Skyscraper

    The first skyscraper in the world was built in Chicago (After the Great Fire of 1871, Chigaco had been the hot spot for many risky architectual experiments.) This skyscraper was a 10-story Home Insurance Company Building completed in 1885, and was designed by William Le Baron Jenney from Massachusetts.
  • Coca-Cola

    Invented by John Pemberton, Coca-Cola was first intended to be a patent medicine. This means that it was advertised to cure many things, such as morphine addiction, when it infact did not cure as advertised.
  • Ballpoint Pen

    Ballpoint Pen
    The ballpoint pen was a creation of John Loud of Weymouth, Massachusetts. He was an American leather tanner, and invented the ballpoint pen in 1888. The ballpoint pen had a chamber filled with ink that dispensed at the tip as the small sphere tip rolled.
  • Transcontinental Railroad- Stretched from St. Paul to Seattle

    Transcontinental Railroad- Stretched from St. Paul to Seattle
    The Great Northern Railway was constructed without federal aid by James J. Hill. This expansion was from St. Paul to Seattle.
  • Muffler

    The internal combustion engine muffler was invented and patented in 1897 by Milton O. Reeves. The muffler is a device that reduces the noise put out by a machine. The exhaust blows through the muffler in the internal combusion engine.
  • Nickel-Iron Battery

    Nickel-Iron Battery
    First discovered by Waldemar Jungner in 1899, the nick-iron battery was developed by Thomas Edison in 1901. Edision developed the battery for it to be used as an energy source for electric vehicles. Edison states that the nickel-iron design was "far superior to batteries using lead plates and acid."
  • Electric Hearing Aid

    Electric Hearing Aid
    The hearing aid is a body-worn device that is worn in or behind the ear to amplify sounds for the person wearing it. The first electric hearing aid was invented by Miller Reese Hutchison in 1902.
  • Airplane

    The Wright brothers, Orville and Willbur, from Dayton, Ohio made the first successful airplane flights on this date in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The airplane was an aircraft that was lifted by airpressure guided by the upper and lower wings. The brothers improved on this design, and in under two years, their device was able to circle the air 30 times in 39 minutes, totalling a distance of 24.5 miles.
  • Suppressor

    The suppressor was a silencer attached to the barrel of a gun to reduce the ammount of noise and flash produced. It was typically a metal tube with internal mechanisms that served the purpose of muffling the sound. The silencer was invented by Hiram Percy Maxim in 1909.
  • Transcontinental Railraod- Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Chicago are extended to Seattle

    Transcontinental Railraod- Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Chicago are extended to Seattle
    This Milwaukee Road was privately funded and built a Pacific extension to Seattle. It is still considered to have been built with federal aid because it benefitted from the Federal Land Grant Act.
  • Tow Truck

    Tow Truck
    The tow truck is a vehicle used to transport other vehicles to a location, typically being a repair garage. The tow truck was invented by Ernest Holmes Sr. from Chattanooga, Tennesee in 1916. He was inspired to invent this after having to pull a car out of a creek by used "blocks, ropes, and six men."
  • Transcontinental Railroad- Railway is stretched to link San Diego, California and the Eastern United States

    Transcontinental Railroad- Railway is stretched to link San Diego, California and the Eastern United States
    Named the San Diego and Arizona Railway, it stretched 148 miles, and reached as far as Calexico, California. This railway was privately funded, and was completed by John D. Spreckels.