20th Century: 1900 – 1941

The 20th century went from Victorian fashion to mini skirts in just 55 years. There were two world wars that was not cool. Advances in medicines were tremendous. In transportation, we went from horse-drawn carriages to trips to the moon in as little as 64 years.

Evelyn_Nesbit
Victorian Fashion, 1901
Space_Patrol_cast_1950
The miniskirt, Space Patrol Cast 1950

January 1, 1904

The Apple macOS Epoch time set to start.

John Ambrose Fleming experiments with Edison’s diode vacuum tubes and creates the first commercial diode vacuum tube.

1906

American inventor Lee de Forest invented triode.

December 24, 1906

Reginald Fessenden used an Alexanderson alternator and rotary spark-gap transmitter to make the first radio audio broadcast, from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible.

1907

Lee De Frost filed patent #879,532 on January 29, 1907, for the vacuum tube triode. The patent is later used as an electronic switch in the first electronic computer.

1908

The film “A Visit To The Seaside” became the first film commercially produced in natural color.

1910

Hitachi was founded.

1911

The company now known as IBM was founded on June 16, 1911, in the state of New York. IBM was originally known as the Computing – Tabulating – Recording Company (C-T-R), a consolidation of the Computing Scale Company, and The International Time Recording Company.

1916

First regular broadcasts on 9XM (now WHA) – Wisconsin state weather, delivered in Morse Code

1918

Panasonic was founded on March 18, 1918.

1921

The first Radio Shack store was opened. Theodore and Milton Deutschmann, who wanted to provide equipment for the then-nascent field of amateur, or ham radio. The brothers opened a one-store retail and mail-order operation in the heart of downtown Boston at 46 Brattle Street. They chose the name “Radio Shack”, which was the term for a small, wooden structure that housed a ship’s radio equipment. The Deutschmann’s thought the name was appropriate for a store that would supply the needs of radio officers aboard ships, as well as hams (amateur radio operators).

1922

Kodak makes a 35 mm panchromatic motion picture film available as a regular stock.

1925

John Logie Baird achieves transmission and remote display of the first television pictures in his laboratory.

1926

The first joystick was invented by C.B. Mirick at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Packard Bell is founded.

Robert Goddard, sometimes referred to as the “Father of Modern Rocketry,” launches the first successful liquid-fueled rocket.

Motorola is founded.

1930

The dwarf planet Pluto is discovered by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.

1932

The BBC starts a regular public television broadcasting service in the UK.

1933

Edwin Armstrong invented the FM radio in 1933.

1936

Austrian engineer Paul Eisler invented a printed circuit board.

Germany’s Konrad Zuse creates the Z1, one of the first binary digital computers and a machine that could be controlled through a punch tape.

The 1936 Summer Olympics becomes the first Olympic Games to be broadcast on television.

1938

September 1, 1938, The Second World War breaks out in Europe with the invasion of Poland.

The BBC suspends its television service owing to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Samsung is founded.

Vivitar is founded.

The HP200A was the first product made by Hewlett-Packard and was manufactured in David Packard’s garage in Palo Alto, California.

1939

The first Radio Shack catalog was published.

radioshackcat 1939PNG

 

1940

George Stibitz, an engineer from Bell Telephone Labs, demonstrates the first example of “remote computing”: Having created his digital “Complex Number Calculator” a year before, he leaves it in New York City and travels to New Hampshire with a teleprinter, where he allows attendees at the American Mathematical Society to enter equations that are transmitted down phone lines, calculated, and the answers returned to what is described as an astounded audience.

1941

The first handheld two-way radio called the “Handy Talkie” is created by Motorola.

German engineer Konrad Zuse developed the first programmable computer in Berlin.

July 1, 1941

First television advertisements aired. The first official paid television advertisement was broadcast in the United States on July 1, 1941, over New York station WNBT (now WNBC) before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The announcement was for Bulova watches. [this was a local station in New York and not televised nationwide]

October 6, 1941

Chester Carlson got the patent for electric photography more commonly known today as photocopying.

December 7, 1941

You know…