Better Living Through Yankee Ingenuity
By Tom Morrow
Historically speaking, the 20th century was the most dynamic and successful in recorded history.
Consider this: as each year of the 20th passed, knowledge and human progress succeeded beyond all that of previous history. Here’s a look at each decade of the U.S. The following are thumbnail sketches of the second millennium from America’s point of view.
The technological advancement and discoveries made by Americans during each decade of the 20th century outpaced all of the world’s previous knowledge … combined. The following are merely the “highlights.” Each decade outpaced all of the previous years of recorded history in economic and technological achievement. As each day passes in this current 21st century, knowledge and technological continues to double each year.
Here are the highlights of the 20th century:
1900-1910: The dawn of the new century began with advanced transportation. Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers led the way. To accommodate the advancement in automobiles, highways were built across cities and states. U.S. 50 was created in 1926, the first of the original U.S. Highway system. Running from New York City to San Francisco, U.S. 50 was the first highway to unite the nation. Additionally, one of the most important laws in U.S. In 1906, Congress passed fhe nation’s first consumer safety law. The “Pure Food & Drug Act was the first Federal “consumer protection.” Up until the, a great deal of food was sold or served spoiled or in rotten condition. A great deal of processed foods was so contaminated many Americans became sick or died, especially children drinking poisoned milk.
1910-1920: Guglielmo Marconi developed the radio telegraph launching an entire new communications industry. By the next decade radio telegraphy was developed from ship-to-shore, then on to commercial voice radio. By the 1920s a majority of homes across the nation had a family radio for news and entertainment. Coupled with the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, radio expanded business, news and entertainment creating an economic boon.
1920-1930: The twenties and thirties were the decade of “transportation” and “Communications.” Radio brought the nation together with powerful, “clear-channel” stations. Ground and air transportation shrunk and connected the nation. Later in the decade, the 1927 invention television by Philo Farnsworth changed everything. Today, both radio and television was key to our nation, socially, commercially, and militarily. In 1926, the antibiotic Penicillin was developed, but it wasn’t until 1942, it began being used to treat a variety of infections.
1930-1940: The first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II. The first semiconductor transistors were developed, ushering the way to computers. World War II saw a number of developments and weapons inventions out of military necessity — the all-purpose “Jeep” is one.
1940-1950: During World War II, the 1943, the development introduced of the UNIVAC mainframe computer. The development into commercial use from giant mainframes to small, hand-held personal computers over the remaining decades was led by IBM, Remington Rand and Sperry Corp.
1950-1960: The century’s most significant medical impact … more so than penicillin were the two polio vaccines. On April 12, 1955, the “Jonas Salk polio vaccine” was announced, followed in 1961, by Albert Sabin who announced the development of his “Sabin Oral Vaccine.” Most Americans, in particular children, received both the Salk and Sabin vaccines, nearly wiping out polio – a plague that had taken and crippled so many lives in previous decades.
1960-1970: The rest of the century was jammed with technological and medical advances. Small, inexpensive computerizing machines such as the Commodore 64 and Tandy Corporation’s TRS-80, allowed everyone to experience computing at a relative low cost. The next two decades saw the U.S. go into space. In 1969, American astronauts landed and walked on moon, which was the height of U.S. technological feats.
1970-1980: Beginning in 1980, the World Wide Web, (a.k.a. the Internet), was developed on an international scale, making available information and knowledge to anyone. Companies such as Apple and Microsoft developed simple and inexpensive programs anyone can use on personal computers. The biggest tool is being the ability to “e-mail” (electronic communication via computer) to anyone around the world at little or no cost. By the middle of the eighties, small, desktop personal computers were “must-haves” throughout the world of business and home use.
1980 – 2000: The personal “cell” telephone ushered in another new industry. As each year passed, nearly everyone of all ages had their own personal phone. By the year 2000, the so-called “Smart Phone” was developed by Apple and Samsung to the point today a single unit has more computing power than a space capsule that journeyed to the Moon.
This is a mere sketch of the vast progress mankind has developed in the 20th century. For the past 20 years of the 21st century, knowledge and technical advances have already surpassed the previous 100 years.
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