The 1970s Versus Today: What was invented and what we couldn’t live without…or maybe we could?

There were a lot of important inventions made in the 1970's, as well as some "time-worn" inventions. We've picked out five of the most important things that were invented in the '70's that we simply couldn't live without in today's world, big or small, and five inventions that time has shown probably aren't as important as they were when they were first debuted: 5 Things We Couldn’t Live Without 1. Email (1972) Ray Tomlinson who was a computer programmer, experimented with software-based internal messaging where team members could communicate with text-based messages using the network. In order to determine where the messages should go, he routed them using an “@“ symbol. 2. Mobile Phone (1973) Motorola was the first company to produce a handheld mobile phone. On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment placing a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of At&T, his rival. 3. Bar Code (1974) Designed In June of 1974, one of the first Universal Product Code scanners, was installed at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The first product with a bar code was scanned at a check-out counter. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. 4. Post- It Note (1974) Did you know the Post-It Note was invented by accident? Spencer Silver was working to create a super strong adhesive for use in the aerospace industry in building planes but instead he managed to create an incredibly weak, pressure sensitive adhesive agent. When another engineer thought to attach the adhesive to slips of paper to prevent bookmarks from falling out, the Post-It Note was born.

5. Ink Jet Printer (1976) The first laser printer was called EARS and was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Starting in the 1970s, inkjet printers could reproduce digital images generated by computers and were mainly sold by Epson, HP and Canon. These companies realized the potential of the technology that would make dot matrix printers obsolete. 5 Things (as time went on) We Learned We Could Live Without 1. Home VCR (1970) Video Cassette Recording is an early domestic analog recording format designed by Philips. The VCR was targeted particularly at education but also domestic users. This system was groundbreaking and brought together many advances in video recording technology to produce the first truly practical home video cassette system.

2. Floppy Disk (1970) The floppy disk drive (FDD) was invented at IBM by Alan Shugart. The first floppy disk drives used an 8-inch disk which evolved in to the 5.25-inch “diskette” that was used on the first IBM Personal Computer. The disks were dubbed “floppy” because the diskette packaging was a very flexible plastic envelope. 3. Hacky Sack (1972) Invented by John Stalberger and Mike Marshall as a fun, challenging way to exercise, the Hacky Sack involves kicking a bean bag and keeping it off the ground for as long as possible without using your arms or hands. It was created when Stalberger, who was recovering from a knee injury, began playing a game he called, “hack a sack”, as a way of rehabilitating his leg. 4. Pong: Arcade Video Game (1972) Pong was one of the earliest arcade video games and the first sports arcade video game. It is a table tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics and is the first commercially successful arcade video game machine, which helped to establish the video game industry.

5. SONY Walkman (1979) The first Walkman introduced by Sony was a 14 ounce, blue-and-silver, portable cassette player with chunky buttons, headphones and a leather case. It even had a second earphone jack so that two people could listen in at once. Originally the Walkman was introduced in the U.S. as the “Sound-About” and in the UK as the “Stowaway.”

What are YOUR favorite 1970's inventions? Tell us in the comments! Don't forget to come see "I Feel The Earth Move," a rock & roll journey through the 1970's at GLT August 4-13!

Recent Posts