The Greatest Technology Innovations By Decade | 1900 - 2020

Modern-day technology is driven by Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning which makes it easy to overlook the founding innovators who set the foundation and remind us that technology in its root form is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.

Photo by Florian Klauer

Technology Innovations In The 1920s

  • Automotive headrest, Benjamin Katz in 1921
  • Convertible automobile, Ben P. Ellerbeck in 1922
  • Automatic Traffic lights, Garrett Morgan in 1923
  • Audiometer, Dr. Harvey Fletcher
  • Bulldozer, James Cummings and J. Earl McLeod in 1925
  • Instant Camera, Samuel Shlafrock in 1923
  • Cheeseburger, Lionel Sternberger in 1926
  • Radio Altimeter, Lloyd Espenschied in 1924
  • Penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming in 1920

Photo by Nicole Wilcox

Technology Innovations In The 1930s

  • Differential Analyzer, Vannevar Bush in 1930
  • Polygraph Machine, Metrigraph Instrument Company in 1930
  • Electron Microscope, Max Knott and Ernst Ruska in 1931
  • High-speed Photography, Harold Edgerton in 1931
  • Electric Razor, Jacob Schick in 1931
  • Desk Phone, in 1932
  • BBC Television, in 1932
  • FM Broadcasting, Edwin H. Armstrong in 1933
  • Rail Transport, in 1934
  • Chevrolet Car, in 1934
  • Jet Engine, Sir Frank Whittle in 1937
  • Photocopier, Chester Carlson in 1938

Photo by Possessed Photography

Technology Innovations In The 1940s

  • Color Television, Peter Goldmark in 1940
  • Aerosol Spray Cans, Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan in 1941
  • Slinky, Richard James in 1943
  • Silly Putty, James Wright in 1943
  • Kidney Dialysis Machine, Willem Kolff in 1944
  • Frisbee, Walter Frederick Morrison and Warren Franscioni in 1948
  • Jukebox, Robert Hope-Jones in 1948
  • Boxed Cake Mix, in 1949
Photo by Compare Fibre

Technology Innovations In The 1950s

  • Credit Card, Frank McNamara in 1950
  • First Video Recorder, Charles Ginsburg in 1951
  • Passenger Jets, in 1952
  • Transistor Radio, in 1953
  • Black Box Flight Recorder, in 1953
  • Polypropylene, in 1954
  • Solar Battery, R.S. Ohl in 1954
  • Solar Cell, Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller, and Daryl Chapin in 1954
  • Fiber Optic, John Tyndall in 1955
  • Hovercraft, Sir Christopher Cockerell in 1956
  • First Computer Hardisk [the drive held 5MB of data at $10,000 a megabyte], in 1956
  • 3D Movie Technology, in 1956
  • Satellite, in 1957
  • Computer Modem, in 1957
  • First Laser, in 1958
  • Integrated Circuit, Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1958
  • First Copy Machine, in 1959
  • Microchip, in 1959
  • First Heart Pacemaker, John Hopps in 1959