American inventions have been changing the world for last three centuries. Even though, scientists don’t like to call it “American” inventions, they just believe that they do their job for the humanity as a whole, and they also don’t want their work to be linked with a particular identity. But of course, for understanding, we like to know what are the greatest American inventions ever.
These inventions are not in any particular order, they are just great American inventions that we don’t even notice these days… yet if they are taken away from us, we will lose our minds.
American Inventions in Communication
There is no consensus on the exact date when the modern Internet came into being, but sometime in the early to mid-1980s is considered reasonable.
The first artificial satellite used solely to further advances in global communications was a balloon named Echo 1. It was the world’s first artificial communications satellite capable of relaying signals to other points on Earth. It soared 1,000 miles (1,609 km) above the planet after its Aug. 12, 1960 launch, yet relied on humanity’s oldest flight technology.
First patented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell and further developed by many others.
In the 1980s, a number of manufacturers, including Sony, introduced cordless phones for the consumer market.
In 1927, Philo Farnsworth made the world’s first working television system which he first demonstrated to the press on 1 September 1928.
During the 1980s, in the United States, mandated regulations not unlike public, educational, and government access (PEG) channels created the beginning of the cable-originated live television program.
Inventions Medical Research
The first artificial heart to be successfully implanted in a human was the Jarvik-7, designed by Robert Jarvik and implemented in 1982.
Artificial Cardiac Pacemaker
In 1932, American physiologist Albert Hyman, working independently, described an electro-mechanical instrument of his own.
In 1962, Leland Clark and Champ Lyons at the Medical College of Alabama developed the first glucose enzyme electrode.
A jet injector is a type of medical injecting syringe that uses a high-pressure narrow jet of the injection liquid instead of a hypodermic needle to penetrate the epidermis. 1960: Aaron Ismach invented and patented the Jet Injector medical device which was used for quick mass vaccination for smallpox and other diseases. Ismach was assisted by Dr. Abram Benenson in developing the Jet Injector Gun.
In 1936, Maurice Brodie, a research assistant at New York University, attempted to produce a formaldehyde-killed polio vaccine from ground-up monkey spinal cords.
American Inventions in Electronics
Chester Carlson, the inventor of photocopying, was originally a patent attorney, as well as a part-time researcher and inventor, in 1938, he applied for a patent for the process.
Cretors applied for a patent on his new automated peanut roaster and popcorn popper machine on August 10, 1891. U.S. Patent 506,207 was granted to Cretors on October 10, 1893.
In 1890, Louis Glass and William S. Arnold invented the nickel-in-the-slot phonograph, the first of which was an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph.
An early patent for a parking meter, US patent, was filed by Roger W. Babson, on August 30, 1928.
The earliest special-purpose washing device was the scrub board, invented in 1797.
The radar speed gun was invented by John L. Barker Sr., who developed radar for the military during World War II. After the war in 1947, the system was tested by the Connecticut State Police in Glastonbury for traffic speed.
In 1805, American inventor Oliver Evans described a closed vapor-compression refrigeration cycle for the production of ice by ether under vacuum.
The earliest example of remote control by radio waves was developed in 1898 by Nikola Tesla and described in his patent, U.S. Patent 613,809.
The first automatic electric fire alarm was invented in 1890 by Francis Robbins Upton (U.S. patent no. 436,961).
Albert Einstein explained the underlying mechanism of light instigated carrier excitation—the photoelectric effect—in 1905, for which he received the Nobel prize in Physics in 1921.
Steven Sasson as an engineer at Eastman Kodak invented and built the first electronic camera using a charge-coupled device image sensor in 1975.
The Steadicam was introduced to the industry in 1975 by inventor and cameraman Garrett Brown.
A carpet sweeper was invented by Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa in 1860.
The first practical professional broadcast quality videotape machines were introduced by Ampex on April 14, 1956 at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Chicago.
In 1945, the specific heating effect of a high-power microwave beam was discovered, accidentally. Percy Spencer, an American self-taught engineer from Howland.
The mixer with rotating parts was patented in 1856 by Baltimore, Maryland tinner Ralph Collier.
With numerous people experimenting with electrical instruments in the 1920s and early 1930s, there are many claimants to have been the first to invent an electric guitar.
The first reports of a mechanical dishwashing device are of an 1850 patent in the United States by Joel Houghton.
The first electric blanket was invented in 1912 by American physician Sidney I.
In 1881, the state of New York established a committee to determine a new, more humane method of execution to replace hanging. The first electric chair was produced by Harold P. Brown and Arthur Kennelly.
This day on September 20, 1859, George B. Simpson was awarded US patent #25532 for an ‘electro-heater.
Nathan Ames, a patent solicitor from Saugus, Massachusetts, is credited with patenting the first “escalator” in 1859.
On January 10, 1899, British inventor David Misell obtained U.S. Patent No. 617,592, assigned to American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company.
First Video Game
The earliest known interactive electronic game was by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann on a cathode ray tube. The patent was filed on January 25, 1947.
American Technological Advancements
The first satellite navigation system was Transit, a system deployed by the US military in the 1960s.
Between 1946 and 1949, Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden invented a solution acrylic paint under the brand Magna paint.
Aerosol bombs were developed in 1941 by Lyle D. Goodhue and William N. Sullivan of the United States Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine.
In 1917, Albert Einstein established the theoretical foundations for the laser and the maser.
American John Hetrick was issued U.S. patent #2,649,311 earlier on August 18, 1953.
The earliest use cited by the Oxford English Dictionary is in a 1987.
The earliest known industrial robot, conforming to the ISO definition was completed by “Bill” Griffith P. Taylor in 1937.
Nuclear Power Plant
Electricity was generated by a nuclear reactor for the first time ever on September 3, 1948 at the X-10 Graphite Reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the United States.
The first pipe, or stillson, wrench was created by Daniel C. Stillson while working as a mechanic at the Walworth Company, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Flying Disc or Frisbee
Fred Morrison discovered a market for the modern-day flying disc in 1938.
In 1948, 20-year old Newman Darby was the first to conceive the idea of using a handheld sail and rig mounted on a universal joint.
The inventor Mary Anderson is credited with devising the first operational windshield wiper in 1903.
The wheel clamp, originally known as the auto immobiliser, was invented in 1944 and patented in 1958 by Frank Marugg.
The first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, was launched on February 17, 1959.
In 1911, Sundback devoted himself to improving the fastener, and by December 1913 had designed the modern zipper.
Nuclear weapons have been used twice in the course of warfare, both times by the United States near the end of World War II in 1945.
The United States launched the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, in 1954.
It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s.
In 1863, James Plimpton from Massachusetts invented the “rocking” skate and used a four wheel configuration for stability, and independent axles that turned by pressing to one side of the skate or the other when the skater wants to create an edge.
American mechanic Walter Hunt is regarded as the inventor of the safety pin that bears resemblance to those used today.After being issued U.S. patent #6,281 on April 10, 1849, Hunt sold the patent to W. R. Grace and Company for $400 (roughly $10,000 in 2008 dollars).
The first attested use of the term “safety razor” is in a patent application for “new and useful improvements in Safety-Razors”, filed in May 1880 by Fredrik and Otto Kampfe of Brooklyn, New York, and issued the following month.
The precursor to the current tapes was developed in the 1930s in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Richard Drew.
One of the first shopping carts was introduced on June 4, 1937, the invention of Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City.
The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982.
Using an English-style Windsor chair, possibly made by and purchased from Francis Trumble or Philadelphia cabinet-maker Benjamin Randolph, Thomas Jefferson invented the first swivel chair. When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Jefferson’s swivel chair is purported to be where he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.
First used commercially in a nylon-bristled toothbrush (1938
Davis and Levi Strauss did it after 1873. Finding denim a more suitable material for work-pants, they began using it to manufacture their riveted pants. The denim used was produced by an American textile manufacturer, but popular legend states the denim was obtained from Nimes, France.
The disher was patented by Alfred L. Cralle in 1897.
Lee Newman patented a felt-tipped marking pen in 1910.
Masking tape was invented in 1925 by 3M employee Richard Drew.
An autopilot is a system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a person. The first aircraft autopilot was developed by Sperry Corporation in 1912.
In the 1930s, musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc from Seattle, Washington, developed the first electric string bass in its modern form.
An early use of one type of barcode in an industrial context was sponsored by the Association of American Railroads in the late 1960s.
The concept of using a card for purchases was described in 1887 by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel Looking Backward.
The first modern mechanical cotton gin was created by American inventor Eli Whitney in 1793.
The cotton swab was invented in the 1920s by Leo Gerstenzang after he attached wads of cotton to toothpicks.
Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss. In 1815, he recommended that people should clean their teeth with silk floss.
The first commercial electric power transmission (developed by Thomas Edison in the late nineteenth century) used direct current.
Batman Returns was the first film to use Dolby Digital technology when it premiered in theaters in Summer 1992.
The development of fiber-reinforced plastic for commercial use was being extensively researched in the 1930s.
The forerunner to the modern gas mask was invented in 1847 by Lewis P. Haslett.
The earliest forms of cigarettes were similar to their predecessor, the cigar. Cigarettes appear to have had antecedents in Mexico and Central America around the 9th century in the form of reeds and smoking tubes.
The first gasoline pump was invented and sold by Sylvanus F. Bowser in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 5, 1885. This pump was not used for automobiles, as they had not been invented yet. It was instead used for some kerosene lamps and stoves.
American Food Innovations
Potato chip recipe was created in Saratoga Springs, New York. Popular versions say this happened on August 24, 1853, and versions by the late 19th century attributed the dish to George Crum, a Native American cook.
invented in 1885.
invented in 1992.
Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by the dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss”.
Ice Cream Soda
invented in 1874.
A supercomputer is a computer at the front-line of contemporary processing capacity – particularly speed of calculation. In 1960s a series of computers at Control Data Corporation (CDC) was designed by Seymour Cray to use innovative designs and parallelism to achieve superior computational peak performance. The CDC 6600, released in 1964, is generally considered the first supercomputer.
The first wearable computer could be as early as the first abacus on a necklace, a 16th-century abacus ring, the first wristwatch made by Breguet for the Queen of Naples in 1810.
invented in 1995.
Hard Disk Drive
invented in 1956.
Pocket sized devices became available in the 1970s.
invented in 1889.
invented in 1995.
invented in 1971-1976.
invented in 1903-1910.
invented in 1999.
invented in 1965.
Intel introduced its first 4-bit microprocessor 4004 in 1971 and its 8-bit microprocessor 8008 in 1972.
The Gavilan SC, released in 1983, was the first computer described as a “laptop” by its manufacturer.
A resistive touch screen was developed by American inventor G. Samuel Hurst who received US patent #3,911,215 on Oct. 7, 1975. The first version was produced in 1982.
Liquid Crystal Display – LCD
In 1972, the first active-matrix liquid-crystal display panel was produced in the United States by T Peter Brody’s team at Westinghouse, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The monochrome plasma video display was invented in 1964 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.