Teaching Treasures

Some technological inventions and enterprises from 1780 to 1980


1780 - The Epsom Derby takes its name from the 12th Earl of Derby, who establishes the rules of the race: one and a half miles for three-year-old horses.

1788 - The first diving-suit is made for under water use.

1788 - The first issue of 'The Times' is printed.

1790 - False teeth are made of hippopotamus ivory. American president George Washington had a set.

1792 - Central heating is installed in the Bank of England in London.

1799- Domestic gas lighting brought to the people.

1801 - The Jacquard Loom automatically weaves patterns into cloth or carpets.

1804 - The steam locomotive is used to pull wagons in coal mines in South Wales.   link3 link4

1805 - A French doctor R. Laennec invents the stethoscope. link2

1807 - Danish inventor Bertel Sanders, invents the push button. Push buttons are used all over the world now.
(Information about this man is hard to find, here is a link to a Spanish web site of inventors, see if you can find him.)

1824 - Matches are invented in England. link2

1829 - Louis Braille, designs the Braille alphabet.

1830 - The first sewing machine can make 200 stitches a minute.

1834 - The harvester was built in America.

1836 - American Samuel Colt, invents the revolver. Second revolver link

1849 - The safety pin is re-invented by Walter Hunt to pay back a debt. His design was based on the design Greeks and Romans used.

1851 - American James T. King builds a
washing machine.

1860 - The invention of the combination lock.

1879 - The cash register is invented. link2

1884 - The first fountain pens are in use. link2

1889 - The building of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

1890 - The first air conditioners are installed.

1891 - The invention of the periscope for submarines.

1895 - Wilhelm Roentgen develops the X-Ray
machine ( Link)( Link).

1906 - Disc-brakes are designed for cars. Link2

1910 - Neon lighting first in use. link2

1914 - The first traffic lights of red and green appear in Cleveland, Ohio.

1928 - Erik Rotheim of Norway invented the first aerosol spray can.

1940 - Radar is used by Britain.

1942 - The development of nuclear power. link2

1945 - First atom bomb is tested in July in the New Mexico desert.

1946 - Weighing 30 tonnes and using 18.000 valves, the Eniac electronic computer is used.

1947 - Instant photographic prints become possible with the Polaroid camera.

1947 - The American aeroplane Bell X-1 breaks the sound barrier.

1957 - The USSR launches the Sputnik, the first man-made satellite.

1958 - High-fidelity stereo on record.

1958 - A Pan Am Boeing 707 airliner begins regular service between New York and Europe.

1963 - The Dutch firm Philips invents the mini cassette and the portable cassette recorder. Using high-quality polyester 1/8-inch tape produced by BASF, which allowed recording and playback at a speed of 1.7/8 inches per second or approximately 47.8 millimetres a second.

1969 - The first men are sent to the moon. link3

1971 - The microprocessor is dubbed the 'miracle chip'. Used in pocket calculators, computers, video games and industrial machinery.

1978 - The first test-tube baby is born in England. link2

1979 - Laser compact discs start replacing LP records.

1980 - The nuclear Magnetic Resonance body scanning machine in use. link 2, link 3

Your task

  • Find out some of the inventions and enterprises that have been undertaken over the last 20 years.
  • List them in order and give a short description as the list above.
  • Choose one of the inventions or enterprises from your list. Write a detailed explanation of it, find pictures of the invention or enterprise to paste on your pages.

You may also like to visit about.com's invention page

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