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Twentienth Century History : 1900 – 1924

1900 Escalator invented by Charles Seeberger. Paperclip patented by Norwegian Johann Vaaler. Loudspeaker invented by Horace Short. Charlotte Cooper becomes the first woman to win an Olympic gold, for tennis. Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, in a lecture to the German Physical Society, announces that matter absorbs heat energy and emits light energy discontinuously, giving birth to quantum mechanics.

1901 Edison General Electric Co introduces its Christmas tree lights. The first facelift is performed by Eugene Hollander in Berlin on a Polish aristocrat. First time getaway car is used by 3 bank robbers in Paris. Gustave Whitehead possibly made first flight.

1902 The teddy bear is created by a Russian immigrant to the USA, after seeing a newspaper cartoon depicting President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Automatic vending machine invented. Willis Carrier invents the air conditioner. Richard Pearse makes powered flight.

1903 Orville Wright makes powered flight with Kitty Hawk, flying for 12 seconds. Earlier that year, Russian physicist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky claimed, with complex mathematical theories that man will one day travel in space and occupy planets. First Tour de France. William Harley and Arthur Davidson launch the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company. Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky publishes The Investigation of Outer Space by Means of Reaction Apparatus. First Crayola crayons go on sale.

1904 Teabags invented by Thomas Suillivan. The first underwater journey by submarine – from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight. Henry Royce and Charles Rolls start Rolls-Royce.

1905 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen discovers the magnetic north pole. Albert Einstein publishes “theory of relativity.” Sinn Fein founded by printer Arthur Griffith.

1906 William Kellogg invents cornflakes. Lewis Nixon invents sonar. Instant coffee invented by Mr G Washington, an Englishman living in Guatemala. The first Grand Prix is held at Le Mans, France – won by Romanian driver Ferenc Szisz in a Renault. Picasso invents cubism.

1907 Frenchman Paul Cornu designs first helicopter, flying it for a few seconds. First blood transfusion. Leo Baekeland discovers plastic. Color photography invented by Auguste and Louis Lumiere.

1908 Paper cups launched by the International Paper Co New York. Ford Model T rolls out. Einstein proposes quantum theory. Swiss chemist Jacques Brandenberger invents cellophane. Gideon Bible Company started. Aisin-Gioro Puyi becomes the last emperor of China – he ruled until 1912 and for 12 days in 1917.

1909 American Robert Peary reaches North Pole. French aviator Louis Bleriot flies across the English Channel in a wooden monoplane tied together with piano strings. Briton George Smith launches the first commercially made color film.

1910 French physicist George Claude invents neon light. Thomas Edison demonstrates the talking motion picture. Artificial silk stockings made in Germany. Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker found Black & Decker in Baltimore. Mrs John B Dodd starts Father’s Day. The Dalai Lama is forced to flee Tibet as Chinese invade Lhasa.

1911 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who discovered the magnetic north pole, reaches the South Pole. First airmail is carried from London to Berkshire. Republic of China founded. Chevrolet Motor Co founded. First Hollywood studios built. Word “Vitamin” used to describe chemicals necessary to diets.

1912 First crossword puzzle published in New York Journal. Dr Gaston Odin discovers the cancer microbe. Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from an airplane. First neon advertising sign is displayed in Paris, for Cinzano. First self-service food store opens in California. The Titanic sinks on April, 15. Turkey surrenders to Serbia and Bulgaria, ending the Ottoman period.

1913 Briton Henry Brearly invents stainless steel. Thomas Edison invents the telephone recorder. Georgia “Tiny” Broadwick becomes the first woman to make a parachute jump.

1914 World War I breaks out on 4 August. First aerial dogfight, when Joseph Frantz and Louis Quenault in a Voisin shoot down a German Aviatik. Color photographic process invented by Eastman Kodak. Gideon Sundback designs the zip fastener. First commercial airline flies from Tampa to St Petersburg, Florida. First passenger meal served on airplane in flight, from Russia to Ukraine. US President Woodrow Wilson proclaims Mother’s Day, a revival of a practice that dates back to the Greek empire.

1915 James Lewis Kraft launches process cheese in Canada. Eugene Sullivan and William Taylor invents Pyrex in New York. Poison gas is used as a weapon in Ypres, Belgium by German forces.

1916 George Jung produces the first fortune cookies, in Los Angeles. Coca-Cola launches its curvaceous bottle, modeled on the cola nut. William Boeing found his aircraft construction company. John D Rockefeller becomes the first billionaire.

1917 BMW founded. Charlie Chaplin signs the first million dollar movie contract. Lenin leads the Russian revolution. British royal family changes name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. The war tank is introduced, at the Battle of Cambrai. The airplane is used to drop bombs, in Belgium.

1918 US astronomer Harlow Shapley discovers the size and shape of the milky way. Electric food mixer is manufactured by Universal Co. Robert Ripley’s strip “Believe it or not!” is published in the New York Globe. Germany surrenders to the Allies on 11 November at Compiegne, France.

1919 The Treaty of Versailles signed 28 June, concluding WWI. Wireless telephone is invented, allowing pilots to talk in-flight. First non-stop flight across the Atlantic made by Briton John Alcock and American Arthur Whitten Brown, from Newfoundland to Ireland. KLM of the Netherlands is the world’s first airline company. Physicist Ernest Rutherford discovers a means of splitting the atom.

1920 Electric hand iron goes on sale in London. The tommy-gun is patented by John T Thompson. First ice cream on a stick is sold by Harry Burt at his Good Humor Bar. Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach devises “inkblot test.”

1921 Johnson & Johnson launches the band-aid bandage. Avus Autobahn in Berlin is the first motorway. Californian medical student John Larson invents the polygraph (lie detector). Philo Farnsworth realized an idea for TV.

1922 Husband-and-wife team De witt Wallace and Lila Acheson launch Reader’s Digest. British Egyptologist Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Tutankamun, pharaoh 1316-1322BC. The snowmobile is built by 15-year old Joseph Bombardier in Quebec. The police car, called a bandit-chaser, is launched in Denver, Colorado, using a Cadillac engine.

1923 Swiss John Harwood invents the self-winding watch. Jacob Schick patents the electric shaver. 16mm home movie camera is launched by Kodak. Frank Epperson invents the popsicle when he leaves his lemonade mix on a windowsill overnight.

1924 First around-the-world flight. First Winter Olympics at Chamonix, France. Columbia Pictures and MGM founded. Spin dryer launched by Kleenex. Caesar salad invented in Tijuana, Mexico by Caesar Gardini.

1900 – 1924 | 1925 – 1949 | 1950 – 1974 | 1975 – 1999

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