Gadget Show Live compile the list of best gadgets over the last 100 years!


Consider the zip. Probably one of the most useful inventions ever, and it holds together everything from our modesty on clothes, to our valuables in bags, to stuffings inside mattresses and beddings. It has been a 100 years since this remarkable piece of simple engineering was launched, and it is still going strong.

The team at Gadget Show Live have just commissioned a survey of 3900 gadget fans, and they have picked the most influential inventions, year by year, of the last century. Quite a few remarkable items appear on the list, from your Polaroids to Dysons, from the Internet to Twitter, from the biro to the lie detector! The full list of the most influential gadget launches over the last century is as follows:

1913 The zip invented by Gideon Sundback

1914 Motorised movie cameras

1915 Pyrex

1916 Electric power drill

1917 Radio tuners

1918 The superheterodyne radio circuit (used in all TVs and radios today)

1919 The pop up toaster

1920 The hairdryer

1921 The modern lie detector

1922 Electric kettle

1923 Self-winding watch

1924 Loudspeaker

1925 Modern day can opener

1926 Tevelox robot

1927 Aerosol can

1928 Baird Television Department Company television

1929 Car radio

1930 Jet engine

1931 Electric razor

1932 Electric can opener

1933 The Teasmade

1934 Zippo lighter

1935 Radar

1936 First voice recognition machine

1937 Dirt Devil

1938 The biro

1939 Helicopter

1940 Modern colour television

1941 Artificial heart

1942 The turboprop engine

1943 The slinky

1944 Kidney dialysis machine

1945 Clock radio

1946 Disposable nappy

1947 Kenwood food mixer

1948 First pager

1949 Photo-Pac disposable camera

1950 Alkaline batteries

1951 Power steering

1952 SAGE modem

1953 Black box flight recorder

1954 Regency pocket radio

1955 Breathalyser

1956 Behind the air hearing aid

1957 Casio digital watch

1958 Pacemaker

1959 Black and Decker cordless drill

1960 Stereos/hi-fis

1961 Kodak Instamatic

1962 LED

1963 The Telefunken ‘mouse’

1964 Plasma television – University of Illinois

1965 Y. Hatano’s pedmoter

1966 El-Gi 1:12 Ferrari radio controlled car

1967 Polaroid

1968 Smoke detector

1969 The Internet

1970 Digital thermometer

1971 Busicom LE-120A Handy pocket calculator

1972 Multi socket power plug

1973 The Ethernet

1974 Breville sandwich maker

1975 Kodak digital camera

1976 Lithium batteries

1977 Mattel Electronic Football

1978 Victor HR-3300REK – first UK VHS video recorder

1979 Texas Instruments Speak and Spell

1980 Sony Walkman

1981 Epson HX-20 – the world’s first laptop

1982 Sony Watchman – CD player

1983 Commodore 64

1984 Sony Discman

1985 The Leatherman

1986 Bose noise cancelling headphones

1987 Sony super VHS camcorder

1988 Digital mobile phones

1989 World Wide Web

1990 Nintendo Game Boy

1991 Nintendo SNES

1992 Palm Pilot

1993 Dyson vacuum cleaner

1994 Digital cordless telephone /Mega Drive

1995 PlayStation 1

1996 Audio Highway – world’s first MP3 player

1997 Motorola StarTac

1998 Panasonic portable DVD player

1999 DVR by TiVo

2000 The Trek Tech/IBM – flash drive

2001 Apple iPod

2002 PlayStation 2

2003 Blackberry 6210

2004 Samsung OLED TV

2005 Xbox 360

2006 SanDisk Micro SD

2007 Apple iPhone

2008 Beats by Dre

2009 Twitter

2010 Apple iPad

2011 Kindle Fire

2012 Nexus 7

2013 PlayStation 4

Quite a few interesting ones there. We tend to forget that the likes of internet or Ethernet were invented in the 60s, and services like Twitter, which seem to have lasted an eternity are only about 4 years old.

“When we talk about gadgets, we often talk in terms of the 80s onwards – of phones, laptops and music systems,” said Gadget Show Live @Christmas event manager Katie Tozer. “But gadgets have been around for hundreds of years. This list, which takes us right back to 1913 with the invention of the zip, a gadget that was so influential it’s still in daily use today – is just the tip of the iceberg and it shows just how integral and essential they have become to the way we live, work and enjoy life today.”

How many of these have you owned, or wanted to own? How many of these would you say failed to impress you?

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