Inventions of the ’60sPosted: September 22, 2010
The ’60s was a time of revolution. New ideas and creations were shaping society. Many of the modern gadgets we use on a daily basis were created during this time, of course they have transitioned and have been upgraded to match today’s technology. It seems that from 1960 to 1969 a new device was created each year.
For this post I’d like to give praise to the inventors and their inventions. Whether their device or creation has made our lives easier or simply brought entertainment to our pastimes, let’s take a look at the inventions (one for each year) that were introduced in the ’60s:
1. 1960- The Heart Pacemaker, a small device that’s placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms, made a remarkable breakthrough in April of 1960 when a group of surgeons successfully implanted a pacemaker to a 77 year old patient. The pacemaker worked without problems for 18 months. This was the longest one had functioned without fail. Recognition goes to Wilson Greatbatch who signed a patent in July of 1960 after overcoming failed attempts of his pacemaker when it was tested on a dog and a human in 1958.What an advance in the medical field!
2. 1961- Those who are lactose intolerance or simply dislike dairy products, you should be thankful for the next invention. In 1961, Nestle Coffee-Mate introduced a first of its kind: powdered non-dairy creamer. Nestle also made a hit in the ’60s with another first: Taster’s Choice instant coffee.
3. 1962- The next invention may be too outdated in our minds but in the ’60s it certainly was a major advancement for technology. In 1962, The Philips Company of the Netherlands introduced the first compact audio cassette, a magnetic tape that stores audio. It made its debut in the United States the following year.
4. 1963- I imagine this next invention is similar to replacing a regular keypad cell phones with a touch screen phone. In 1963, AT&T introduced touchtone service, which replaced telephone dial. The telephone known as the Western Electric 1500 had 10 buttons; today’s * and # were not included.
5. 1964- A true beauty was introduced at the New York World’s Fair in April of 1964. The first of its class are commonly known as either 1964 1/2 or 1965 models. Drivers everywhere were eager to get their hands on one of these after it appeared in the James Bomb film Goldfinger. The pony car, otherwise known as the Ford Mustang brought adventure to driving in 1964.
6. 1965- Kevlar, an innovative to its time brand of fiber, was discovered in 1965 when Stephanie Kwolek, a researcher at DuPont spun fiber from crystalline solutions. This fiber is five times as strong as steel and is used for bulletproof vests. I think we should hand it to Kwolek for discovering a material that would be used to save lives.
7. 1966- In a 1966 issue of Popular Mechanics, flat screen televisions were introduced. It was reported that the screens were available in color or black and white and could be viewed on both sides. The next step was pocket televisions.
8. 1967- Not an invention but a rare astronomical discovery took place in 1967. In November of ’67 the first pulsar was seen by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a British astrophysicist and Antony Hewish, Jocelyn’s thesis observer and British radio astronomer. Pulsars are rotating neutron stars.
9. 1968- In 1968 a patent was granted to Robert Dennard for his invention of a one-transistor Random Access Memory, which he called DRAM, a new memory chip for computers. I imagine this was one huge step forward for computer memory.
10. 1969- This final invention has come a long way and it’s difficult to imagine what today would be like without it. Life without internet that is. It has evolved in ways unthinkable but in 1969 for the first time someone got “online.” During this time the internet was known as ARPAnet. It was the ideas of a group of visionaries who thought there was potential in sharing information through computers.
Based on this list, we can see just how the ’60s was a time of breakthrough and advancement.