Twentieth Century History : 1925 – 1949
1925 Red double-decker buses enter service in London. In-flight movie offered by German airline. Walter P Chrysler founded vehicle company. Frisbee is invented – by Yale students, using empty plates used to hold pies from the Frisbie Baking Company.
1926 Marion B Skaggs founded Safeway food stores. Scottish engineer John Logie Baird demonstrates a machine that transmits movie pictures using radio technology, calling it a “televisor”, based on a 1884 idea by German Paul Nipkow. (But the mechanical TV system is beaten to general use by Philo Farnsworth’s design of 1928.)
1927 25-year old Charles Lindbergh flies non-stop from New York to Paris in Spirit of St Louis. The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, is the first talkie movie. The first words were: “Wait a minute! You ain’t heard nothing’ yet!” First transatlantic phone call – at $75 for 3 minutes, half the cost of a car.
1928 Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Philo Farnsworth has a working model for TV. TV sets go on sales in the US for $75. Harry Ramsden opens the first chip shop in Bradford, England. First Bubble Gum, Fleer’s Dubble Bubble, goes on sale in the US. JW Horton and WA Morrison invent the quartz crystal clock.
1929 US engineer Paul Galvin invents the car radio. Enzo Ferrari launches his company. Colour television pictures is transmitted in New York. Kelloggs launches Rice Krispies. Popey debuts in the Thimble Theater strip by Elzie Segar. New York Stock Exchange crash on “Black Thursday” 24 October.
1930 The “differential analyzer”, or analog computer, is invented by Vannevar Bush at MIT in Boston. General Electric launches the electric kettle with automatic cut-out. First football World Cup, won by host Uruguay.
1931 Harold Edgerton invents the electronic flash for cameras. Germans Max Knott and Ernst Ruska invents the electron microscope. Chevrolet launches the pickup truck. The American anthem “land of the free and the home of the brave” is adopted.
1932 Worldwide depression hits its peak. Zippo lighter is introduced. Britons John Cockroft and Ernest Walton introduces nuclear energy by demonstrating the split of the atom. British physicist James Chadwick discovers the neutron. Carrier Corp invents air conditioning. Edwin Land develops Polaroid sunglasses.
1933 The chocolate chip cookie is invented by Ruth Wakefield. Prohibition end in the US, on 5 February – 1,5 million barrels of beer are drunk that night. Adolf Hitler becomes leader of Germany.
1934 First launderette, the “washeteria” opens in Texas. British engineer Percy Shaw invents the “catseyes” for roads. Charles Darrow invents the Monopoly game. Carl Kaelen launches the cheeseburger at his burger bar in Louisville, Kentucky.
1935 Wallace Carother lead DuPont scientists to invent nylon, calling it “polymer 6.6.” Penguin Books are launched by publisher The Bodley Head. The hearing aid is launched. Kreugers launches beer in a can.
1936 Volkswagen Beetle is launched. Billboard magazine publishes the first “hit parade.” German Heinrich Focke creates the first successful helicopter, the FA61. King Edward VIII announces his abdication to marry twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.
1937 An emergency number to the police – 999 – is launched in London. Humphrey Bogart stars in 8 films this year. Golden Gate Bridge opens. Hormel launches tinned processed pork and ham, Spam. Scientists bombard the element molybdenum (42 protons) with atomic particles in a cyclatron, adding a proton and creating the first artificial element, technetium (43 protons).
1938 Swiss company Nestle introduces its instant coffee, Nescafe (read about coffee). Supermarket trolleys introduced in Oklahoma. Maiden flight of pressurized airliner, Boeing Stratoliner. Roy Plunkett discovers Teflon. Chester Carlson invents the copying process, “xerography.” Superman debuts in Action Comics. Germans discover nuclear fission.
1939 Outbreak of World War II. Frank J Whittle invents the jet engine. Robert Watson-Watt invents radar. Nash introduces car with air conditioning. General Electric launches a refrigerator with a freezer compartment. Igor Sikorsky makes a successful flight in his VS300 helicopter. “Gone with the wind” is screened.
1940 M&M sweets are launched in military ration packs. Colonel Sanders’ recipe is launched for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Nylon stocking introduced. Freeze drying process discovered. CBS makes the world’s first TV broadcast in color. Bugs Bunny debuts in “A wild hare.”
1941 Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor draws USA into WWII. The Willys General Purpose vehicle, or GP (to be known as the “jeep”) is introduced by Bantam Car Co. In New York, WNBT becomes the world’s first commercial radio station. Aerosol insect sprays go on sale in the US. Using atomic bombardment, scientists create plutonium (94 protons). German Konrad Zuse create world’s first programmable computer, the Z3, from spare telephone parts.
1942 Tony the Tiger debuts as mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Earl Tupper uses polyethylene to create Tupperware. A sell-by-date is first used – on Lyons Coffee in Britain. Glenn Miller receives the first gold disc for selling a million copies of Chattanooga Choo Choo. Italian physicist Enrico Fermi launches the first controlled nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago.
1943 Irish chef Joe Sheridan introduces Irish Coffee at Shannon Airport, Ireland. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers the hallucinogenic properties of LSD. In Britain, a 1,500-valve electronic machine, called Colossus, becomes the first programmable or digital computer, used to decode German messages.
1944 Allied D-Day landings at Normandy, France break German defenses. “The Three Caballeros” by Walt Disney becomes the first film to combine live action and animation. Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro invents ballpoint pens. Elizabeth Taylor stars in “National Velvet”, filmed in California where Taylor was living as a war evacuee. B.F. Skinner describes Project Pigeon, the system which Google would eventually be based upon.
1945 German forces finally surrender in May. The US drops atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to Japan’s surrender. 35 million people were killed in WWII, 18 million were from Russia. UN is founded, as is the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Percy LeBaron Spencer invents the microwave oven. “Coke” is registered as a trademark by the Coca-Cola company.
1946 Enrico Piaggio launches the Vespa scooter in Italy. Louis Reard introduces the bikini swimsuit in Paris, modeled by Micheline Bernardini. Proctor & Gamble launches Tide. Cannes Film Festival is launched. The Electronic Numerial Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) at the University of Pennsylvania, with 18,000 electronic valves, performs 5,000 additions or subtractions per second. The world’s first nuclear reactor is opened in the USSR.
1947 Edwin H Land invents the Polaroid instant camera, which prints black-and-white photos in 60 seconds. First solid-body electric guitar is built by Les Paul. AT&T invents cell phone (became commercial only 1983). Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 rocket plane. The Edinburgh Festival is launched. Mikhail Kalashnikov invents the AK-47. The Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in Jordan – dating from the 1st century, they are in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, and Hebrew. The 400 scrolls contain fragments of every book of the Hebrew Bible except Esther.
1948 Israel established. Kenneth Wood launches the Kenwood Chef food mixer, and Daimler introduces electric windows in cars. Robert Hope-Jones invents the Wurlitzer jukebox. Columbia Records introduces long-playing record, LP. Bell laboratories displays the first transistor.
1949 In Britain, Robinson’s launches the world’s first disposable nappies, “Paddipads”. De Havilland Comet is the first jet airliner. Israel’s capital move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Birth of the People’s Republic of China. NATO founded. Republic of Ireland founded.The first Emmy is awarded.
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