History | 30 March 20177 Innovations of the 20th Century Share article facebook twitter google pinterest During the 20th century, the United States made itself a world superpower. This took a lot of time and hard work on the part of the American people. What made this possible was all of the innovation that happened during this time. There were many innovations, in science, in technology, transportation, and more. Here are just 7 of those great innovations from The Twentieth Century in 100 Moments. Hand Held Camera Different models of the Kodak Brownie. In February of 1900 the Eastman Kodak company of Rochester, New York, introduced the world’s first cheap and easy-to-use handheld camera: the Brownie. It was by far the simplest camera most people had ever seen. Kodak’s sales slogan was “You push the button, we do the rest.” Instead of being cumbersome, the camera was relatively small and lightweight; the body was actually a cardboard box. The user held it at their waist, stared down into the viewfinder, aimed, and clicked a switch to shoot. NYC Subway System Construction of the NYC subway. At the start of the twentieth century, New York City pioneered a new method of train transit. An army of workers dug up city streets, built massive tunnels, and laid tracks underground for fullsized trains. On October 27, 1904, the New York City subway made its debut. Eventually the system would grow to include 468 stations and 656 miles of track for commercial use. Today, the system operates twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week. In 2013, it handled more than 1.71 billion passenger rides, making it the busiest transit system in the Americas, and the seventh largest in the world. The Model T Henry Ford had been involved in several ventures during the turn of the century before founding the Ford Motor Company in 1903. Five years later, Ford introduced its breakthrough automobile: the Model T. Compared to other cars, the Model T was a bargain at only $825 (about $20,000 in today’s money). And as Ford improved its mass production efficiency, the car’s price dropped in succeeding years. The Model T was also comparatively easy to drive and inexpensive to repair. Splitting the Atom Fat Boy. On June 28, 1941, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8807, which would lead to the formation of the Manhattan Proj ect. Overseen by American scientist Robert Oppenheimer, the Manhattan Project was a vast research and development enterprise spread across the United States. The heart of it was Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico, which opened in 1943. Relying on scientists from around the world, including many European refugees, the program successfully tested an atomic weapon in 1945. In August, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II; in each case, a single bomb obliterated the city. Roughly two hundred thousand people were killed, either immediately from the blasts or from the lingering effects of radioactive fallout. Moon Landing After a series of successful missions into space, NASA began planning the Apollo 11 space flight to the moon. Three astronauts were selected for training: Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Landing Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. By 1969, they were ready. On July 16, a Saturn V rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event was broadcast live around the world, and President Richard Nixon supplied commentary from the White House. After propelling a manned, three-part module into outer space, the Apollo’s Saturn rocket separated from the module and fell back to Earth as planned. The module embarked on a three-day journey through space toward the moon. After reaching the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin moved from the Command Module into the Lunar Module and landed it on a part of the moon’s surface known as the Sea of Tranquility. Computers In January of 1982, Commodore introduced its C64 model. Affordable, easy to use, and offering new features, the Commodore 64 attracted consumers like nothing before it. By the mid-1980s, it had captured between 30 and 40 percent of the home computer market. In an era when sales were typically measured in the thousands, the C64 would eventually sell somewhere between ten million and seventeen million units. Cell Phones The evolution of mobile phones. In 1973, the US company Motorola demonstrated the first handheld cellular telephone. It weighed more than four pounds. It was also in need of a network over which to communicate. In 1979, the Japanese company NTT launched the first commercial cellular network. These first-generation (1G) devices were still analog, greatly limiting the size of networks. The second generation of cellular phones (2G), introduced by the Finnish company Radiolinja in 1991, were digital, opening up the possibility of enormous networks. In 2001, NTT introduced 3G, which allowed for the high-speed transmission of data. However, soon that network too began to fill up. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Experience the twentieth century through the people and events that made headlines–a unique collection of voices, images, and unforgettable cultural touchstones.The Twentieth Century in 100 Moments: A Visual History groups and explains the most important events of the twentieth century in the United States, creating a textured, entertaining, and riveting narrative. Images from and ideas about the twentieth century are brought into focus through the following five themes. Triumph: Great and rousing moments that signal achievement and mark monumental accomplishments. Struggle: The hard work and long odds that bring deeper meaning to life. Living: How Americans indulge their spirit of playfulness. Celebrity: The people who have captivated America’s attention. Discovery: American exploration and invention. To present this century is to tell the nation’s collective story: the country’s changing and shifting world views, common experiences, and discoveries on Earth and beyond, all told with the the century’s rich visual imagery, photography, and film that tell the story of who we are. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.