1) Morse Telegraph – 1837
The Morse Telegraph, more commonly known as Morse Code, invented in 1837 by Samuel Morse, was the first technology of its kind, allowing long, detailed messages to by transported over huge distances via wire. This technology not only changed the way people communicated, it changed the armies communicated, allowing orders to be transported from command posts to the front lines quickly and efficiently.
The Telephone was invented in 1877 by Alexander Gram Bell. Building on the basic principle of Morse’s telegraph, the telephone revolutionized communication by allowing voices to be transmitted via cable to a receiver on the other end of the line. Few other technologies have had the staying power of the telephone, as it has been modified throughout the years and is still used today.
3) Radio – 1894
First demonstrated in 1894 by Oliver Lodge and Alexander Muirhead at Oxford University, the radio consisted of a devise that emitted a signal of radio waves and a receiver which received and interpreted the information into sound. The radio was first developed as a military technology but was soon employed to entertain and educate the general public.
4) Microchip – 1958
Developed by a Texas Instruments engineer named Jack Kilby in the late 1950’s, microchips forever changed the world of computing. Robert Noyce later improved the initial design by replacing Kilby’s Germanium Chip with a chip made of Silicon. This single invention dictates the pace by which we live our daily lives. Without the microchip, we would have no computers, not internet, and no cell phones.
5) ARPANET – 1969
Originally chartered as a government research project to compete with the technological innovations of the Soviet Union, ARPANET launched in 1969 under the direction of Leonard Kleinrock. ARPANET was the first computer network on which information could be sent and received between devices. ARPANET fathered the modern internet, allowing us to communicate on a global level with ease.
The first laptop computer was released and marketed in 1981 by the Osborne Corporation. Known as Osborne 1 the device consisted of a 5 inch display and a single floppy drive. The Osborne originally sold for $1,795, today it can be purchased via eBay for around $200.
7) Compact Disc – 1982
The compact disc totally revolutionized the way people listen to music. Developed in 1982 by Sony, it offered a small compact digital format on which music or other data could be stored. The first album to ever be released on CD was Billy Joel’s classic 1978 album 52nd street.
8) mp3 – 1993
Developed in 1993 as way of compressing audio files into a manageable format, the mp3 created an efficient way of storing music and other audio without sacrificing the quality of the sound. Mp3 technology opened the door for other technologies like Napster, who would come under legal allegations from Metallica in 2000 for illegally distributing the band’s music. The mp3 format also paved the way for the rise of small digital audio players like the Apple iPod.
Launched in late 2001, Apple’s iPod quickly took control of the portable media player market. It has established itself as a sort of cultural phenomenon. iPod could be considered the product that reestablished Apple as a forerunner and leading innovator in technology.
10) Facebook – 2004
Founded in 2004 by a group of Cambridge University students, Facebook revolutionized the way people use the internet forever. While not a truly unique concept, as it took the basic format of previous social networks and improved them, Facebook became the authority for social networking. However, Facebook has not escaped its share of controversy, Recently the film Social Network was released which portrayed Facebook’s founder in a rather negative light, however, Facebook remains at the top of the social media game.