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Timeline of Innovation Firsts & Economic Impacts

What follows is a list of firsts in innovation, the current status of the innovation, and its economic impact. We distinguish a bit from innovative scientific discoveries, best represented by the list of Nobel Prize winners and achievements. At some point, Peak Innovation, new innovations make a decreasing economic impact. We divide this timetable into three previous foundational innovation periods (followed by exploitation/exhaustion) periods, with one coming foundational innovation period:

Industrial Revolution
1782 - Steam Engine 1839 - Telegraph/Photography
Science Revolution
1865 - Electromagnetics 1905 - Modern Physics
Technology Revolution
1958 - Integrated Circuit 1981 - Teletext/Personal Computer
2031 - Cheap Electicity Storage 2041 - Cheap Ground-to-LEO Fares

GDP Per Capita

Ancient Innovation - Before the Renaissance (circa 1400 CE)

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
-55,300,000 Farming (fungus) Ants Active BR
-3,300,000 Stone Tools Australopithecines Active KE
-130,000 Jewelry Neandertals Active EU
-100,000 Ocean Travel
(Ocean Travel)
Neandertals Active EU
-100,000 Paint N/A Active ZA
-70,000 Glue N/A Active ZA
-30,000 Bread Europe Active EU
-21,000 Fishook Okinawans Active JP
-20,000 Pottery China Active CN
-13,500 Graveyard Israel Active IL
-12,000 Farming Fertile Crescent Active N/A
-8500 Dairy Products Middle East Active TR
-8000 Sugar New Guinea Active PG
-7500 Brick Anatolia Active TR
-7000 Milk Asia Active N/A
-6000 Plow Fertile Crescent Active N/A
-5000 Toothpaste Egypt Active EG
-4000 Pesticides
(powdered sulfur)
Sumeria Active IQ
-4000 Brothel Sumeria Active IQ
-4000 Beer
(Hymn to Ninkasi)
Sumeria Active IQ
-4000 Textile Dyes
Peru Active PE
-3400 Wheeled Vehicle [see Broncoice pot] Active N/A
-3000 City
(urban life)
Uruk IQ Active
-3000 Writing
Uruk IQ Active
-3000 Authentication
(cylinder seals)
Uruk IQ Obsolete
-3000 Money Mesopotamia Active IQ
-3000 Shirt Egypt Active EG
-2900 Taxes Egypt Active EG
-2800 Soap Babylon Active IQ
-2700 Medicinal Marijuana Shen Nung Active CN
-2700 Plumbing Indus Active IN
-2700 Waste Removal Social Network SEE PLUMBING
-2000 Perfume Cyprus Active GR
-1500 Glass Bottle N/A Active N/A
-1300 Lathe N/A Active EG
-1100 Plant Breeding (corn) Mexico Active MX
-930 Iron Smelting N/A Active JO
-776 Stadium Greece Active GR
-700 Umbrella Assyrians Active IQ
-650 Aqueduct Assyrians Active IQ
-550 Biological Warfare Assyrians Active IQ
-550? Mail Persia Active IR
-550? Written Message Social Network SEE MAIL
-508 Democracy Cleisthenes Active GR
-400 Durable concrete Roman Empire Active IT
-400 Hospital King Pandukabhaya Active LR
-350? Wigs Egypt Active EG
-200? Candle China Active CN
-280? Lighthouse Alexandria Unessential EG
-120? Stirrup Indus Valley Active IN
-87 Analog Computer Archimedes?
Unessential GR
98 Encyclopedia Pliny the Elder Active IT
100 Glass Windows Romans Active IT
105 Paper Cai Lun Active CN
270? Sawmill Romans Active IT
270? Crankshaft Romans Active IT
430? Crystallized Sugar India Active IN
450 Zero India Active IN
580 Toilet Paper N/A Active CN
650? Fireworks N/A Active CN
690? Paper Money Tang Dynasty Active CN
850 Oil Painting Afghanistan Active AF
800 Decryption Al-Kindi Active IQ
950 Canal Lock (pound lock) Chiao Wei-yo Active CN
1021 Scientific Method
Book of Optics
Ibn al-Haytham Active EG
1044 or earlier Gunpowder (first recipes in Wujing Zongyao) Active CN
1045 Moveable Type Bi Sheng Unessential CN
1088 Mechanical Clock Su Sung Unessential CN
1115 Flywheel Theophilus Presbyter Active DE
1215 Consitutional Governance Magna Carta Active UK
1260? Fractional Distillation Tadeo Alderotti Active IT
1286 Eyeglasses N/A Active IT
1311 Navigation Chart Petrus Veconte Active IT
1320 Assembly Line Venetian Arsenal Active IT
1320 Manufacturing Social Network SEE ASSEMBLY LINE
1344 Perspective Ambrogio Lorenzetti Active IT

Innovation - Start of the Renaissance (circa 1400 CE)

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1440 Coffee Sufi Monasteries Active YE
1450 Anemometer Leon Battista Alberti Active IT
1450 Printing Press Johannes Gutenberg Active DE
1460 Rifle N/A Active EU
1470 Parachute N/A Active IT
1474 Patent System Republic of Venice Active IT
1500 Watch Peter Henlein (?) Active DE
1503 Paperback Books Aldus Manutius Active IT
1520 Productized Opium Paracelsus Active CH
1530 Chocolate Herman Cortes Active ES
1531 Champagne Benedictine Monks Active FR
1100s Immunization
China Active CN
1560 Pencil Simonio/Lyndiana Bernacotti Active IT
1564 Condom Gabriello Fallopio Active IT
1589 Knitting Machine William Lee Active UK
1590 Microscope Zacharias Janssen Active NL
1600 Lobbying East India Company Active UK
1605 Newspaper Johann Carolus Active DE
1605 Science Sir Francis Bacon Active UK
1605 Written News Social Network SEE NEWSPAPER
1608 Telescope Hans Lippershey Active DE
1612 Thermometer Francesco Sagredo Active IT
1620 Submarine Cornelius Drebbel Active NL
1620 Science Fiction
Johannes Kepler Active AT
1632 Slide Rule William Oughtred Obsolete (evolution:
1972 - HP-35)
1640 Taxi Nicolas Sauvage Active FR
1643 Vacuum/Barometer Evangelista Torricelli Active IT
1648 Sovereign State Treaty of Westphalia Active DE
1654 Vacuum Pump Otto von Guericke Active DE
1657 Probability Theory Christiaan Huygens Active NL
1662 Equation of State Robert Boyle Active UK
1665 Science Journal
Henry Oldenburg Active UK
1669 Phosphorus Henning Brand Active DE
1679 Pressure Cooker Denis Papin Active FR
1685 Calculus Leibniz/Newton Active DE/UK
1701 Seed Drill Jethro Tull Active UK
1710 Copyright System Statute of Anne Active UK
1710 Futures Contracts Dojima Rice Exchange Active JP
1712 Reciprocating Engine (steam) Thomas Newcomen Obsolete (evolution:
1782 - Steam Engine
1807 - Int. Comb. Engine)
1728 Modern Dentistry Pierre Fauchard Active FR
1731 Magazine Edward Cave Active UK
1738 Economic Utility Daniel Bernoulli Active CH
1746/1801 Programmable Machine Jacques de Vaucanson
Joseph Marie Jacquard
Active FR
1760 Jigsaw Puzzle John Spilsbury Active UK
1760 Jesus Realism Hermann Samuel Reimarus Active DE
1761 Modern Factory Matthew Boulton
(Soho Manufactory)
Active UK
1763 Sea Navigation Nevil Maskelyne
(British Mariner's Guide)
Active UK
1769 Self-Powered Vehicle Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Obsolete FR
1770s Modern Circus Philip Astley Active UK
1774 Mutual Fund N/A Active NL
1775 Crowdfunding
(see Building Society)
Kelley's Building Society Active UK
1775 Flush Toilet Alexander Cummings Active UK

Start of the Steam Engine to Telegraph/Photography Innovation Era
(1782-1839) - Industrial Revolution

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1782 Steam Engine James Watt Active UK
1782 Rotary Washing Machine Henry Sidgier Active UK
1783 Modern Chemistry Antoine Lavoisier Active FR
1785 Shopping Mall Great Gostiny Dvor Active RU
1791 Gas Turbine John Barber Active UK
1791 Modern Prison Jeremy Bentham Active UK
1794 Cotton Gin Eli Whitney Active US
1795 Pasteurization Nicolas Appert Active FR
1796 Vaccines Edward Jenner Active UK
1800 Battery Alessandro Volta Active IT
1800 Electrochemistry Alessandro Volta Active IT
1804 Train Locomotive Richard Trevithick Active UK
1805 Fast Fourier Transform Carl Friedrich Gauss Active DE
1807 Internal Combustion Engine Nicephore Niepce Active FR
1810 Canned Foods Peter Durand Active UK
1814/1835 Revolver Gun Elisha Collier/Samuel Colt Active US/US
1816 Stethoscope Rene H.T. Laennec Active FR
1819 Spectrometer Joseph von Fraunhofer Active DE
1819 Caffeine Friedlieb Runge Active DE
1821 Electric Motor Michael Faraday Active UK
1821 Fresnel Lens Augustin-Jean Fresnel Active FR
1824 Electromagnet William Sturgeon Active UK
1824 Thermodynamics Sadi Carnot Active FR
1826 Friction Match John Walker Active UK
1827 Electric Generator Anyos Jedlik Active HU
1827 Lawnmower Edwin Budding Active UK
1829 Terrarium Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward Active UK
1831 Safety Fuse (blasting) William Bickford Active UK
1832 Gyroscope Walter R. Johnson Active US
1835 Modern Newspaper
(New York Herald)
James Gordon Bennett Sr. Active US
1836 Telegraph Cooke/Wheatstone/Morse Obsolete UK/US
1836 Electronic Message Social Network SEE TELEGRAPH
1836 Transformer Nicholas Callan Active IE
1839 Vulcanized Rubber Charles Goodyear Active US
1839 Fuel Cell William Grove Active UK
1839 Polystyrene Eduard Simon Active DE
1839 B&W Photography Louis Daguerre Active FR

End of the Steam Engine to Telegraph/Photography Innovation Era

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1840 Soil Chemistry (NPK) Baron Justus von Liebig Active DE
1840 Electric Lightbulb Warren de la Rue Active UK
1840 Commercial Electroplating George Eklington Active UK
1840 Steam Hammer James Nasmyth Active UK
1841 Portland Cement William Aspdin Active UK
1841 Squeezable Metal Tube John Goffe Rand Active US
1842 Artificial Fertilizer John Bennet Lawes Active UK
1842 Air Conditiorer John Gorrie Active US
1842 Anesthetic Surgery Crawford Long Active US
1845 Pneumatic Tire Robert William Thomson Active UK
1845 Rubber Band Stephen Perry Active UK
1846 Nitroglycerine Ascanio Sobrero Active IT
1847 Bullet Claude-Etienne Minie
William Greener
John Norton
Active FR/UK/UK
1847 Doughnut Hanson Gregory Active US
1847 Candy Bar Joseph Fry Active UK
1849 Safety Pin Walter Hunt Active US
1850? Modern Fish Trawling Town of Brixham
(Brixham trawler)
Active UK
1851 Franchising Albert Singer
(Sewing Machines)
Active US
1851 Prefabricated Building Joseph Paxton Active UK
1851 Refrigerator John Gorrie Active US
1853 Reinforced Concrete Francois Coignet Active FR
1853 Hypodermic Syringe Alexander Wood
Charles Pravaz
Active UK/FR
1853 Elevator Brake Elisha Otis Active US
1854 Bunsen Burner Robert Bunsen Active DE
1854 Breakfast Cereal Ferdinand Schumacher
(Quaker Oats)
Active US
1854 Binary Algebra George Boole Active UK
1855 Modern Steelmaking Henry Bessener Active UK
1855 Can Opener Robert Yeates Active UK
1856 Synthetic Dye William Henry Perkin Active UK
1856 Baking Powder Eben Horsford Active US
1856 Commodity Crops (grading) Chicago Board of Trade Active US
1858 Evolution Charles Darwin
Alfred Wallace
Active UK
1859 Escalator Nathan Ames Active US
1860 Sparkplug Etienne Lenoir Active FR
1860 Cocaine Processing Albert Niemann Active DE
1861 Color Photography Thomas Sutton
James Clerk Maxwell
Active UK
1861 Weather Forecasts Robert FitzRoy Active UK

Circa 1860, American slaves were the largest capital asset of the United States, four million people worth at least $3 billion, more than all the capital invested in railroads and factories in the United States. See also: The economics of the Civil War and slavery, by Roger Ransom of the University of California, and Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward Baptist, and Why would an economic analysis of the U.S. in the 1800s ignore American slavery? (Mother Jones, May 2015). Another book, "The Half Has Never Been Told", by Edward Baptist, also well reviews this ignored economic aspect of American slavery, with book reviews at: New York Times, 03 Oct 2014, and Wall Street Journal, 05 Sep 2014, with a quote: "In the 1820s, slave owners held two million slaves worth $1 billion—a third of all U.S. wealth at the time." In 1865, Abraham Lincoln issues his Emancipation Proclamation, and the U.S. Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. You will note that while "US" appears infrequently above and before these dates, it appears more and more frequently below and after these dates. Indeed, in his book, "Battle Cry of Freedom", James McPherson reports that of the 143 important inventions patented in the U.S. by 1860, 93 percent were from Northern "free" states.

Start of the Electromagnetics to Modern Physics Innovation Era
(1865-1905) - Science Revolution

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1865 Electromagnetics James Clerk Maxwell Active UK
1865 Genetic Inheritance Gregor Mendel Active DE
1865 Regulated Scuba Benoit Rouquayrol
Auguste Denayrouse
Active FR
1867 Barbed Wire Lucien Smith Active US
1869 Margarine Hippolyte Mege-Mouries Active FR
1870 Skyscraper Building George Post
(Equitable Life)
Active US
1872 National Park United States Active US
1874 Set Theory Georg Cantor Active DE
1874 Heroin C.R. Alder Wright Active UK
1875 Milk Chocolate Bar Daniel Peter/Nestle's Active CH
1876 Telephone Elisha Gray Active US
1876 Vocal Message Social Network SEE TELEPHONE
1877 Phonograph Thomas Edison Unessential US
1877 Stapler Henry Heyl Active US
1878 Wellness Movement John Kellogg Active US
1880 Electronic Hearing Aid Francis Clarke
M.G. Foster
Active US
1880 Cigarette "Printing Press" James Albert Bonsack Active US
1880 Vibrator Joseph Mortimer Granville Active US
1881 Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Jacques Arsene d'Arsonval Waiting FR
1882 Hydroelectricity Jacob Schoellkopf Active US
1883 Solar Cell Charles Fritt Active US
1883 Organ Transplant Theodor Kocher Active CH
1884 Steam Turbine Charles Parsons Active UK
1884 Stock Market Index Charles Dow Active US
1884 Cash Register James Ritty
John Patterson
Active US
1884 Peanut Butter Marcellus Gilmore Edison Active CA
1885 Tissue Culture Wilhem Roux Active DE
1885 Modern Bicycle John Kemp Starley Active UK
1885 Modern Automobile Karl Benz Active DE
1885 Motorcycle Daimler and Maybach Active DE
1886 Cheap Aluminum Charles Hall
Paul Heroult
Active US
1886 Dry Cell Battery Carl Gassner Active DE
1887 Wind Turbine Charles Brush Active US
1887 Contact Lens Adolf Fick/Theodor Samisch Active DE
1887 Dishwasher Josephine Cochrane Active US
1887 Coupon Asa Chandler Active US
1888 Chemical Engineering George Davis Active UK
1888 Movie Camera Louis Le Prince Active FR
1888 Movie
(Roundhay Garden Scene)
Louis Le Prince Active FR
1888 Ballpoint Pen John J. Loud Active UK
1888 Antenna Heinrich Hertz Active DE
1889 Modern Bra Herminie Cadolle Active FR
1889 Old-Age Pension Otto von Bismarck Active DE
1890 Serum Therapy Emil von Behring Active DE
1891 Thermal Cracking Vladimir Shukov Active RU
1895 Radio Engineering Guglielmo Marconi Active IT
1895 Slot Machine Charles Fey Active US
1895 Breast Implants Vincent Czerny Active DE
1895 (Medical) X-rays Wilhelm Roentgen Active DE
Vincenzo Tiberio
Alexander Fleming
Active IT
1897 Aspirin Arthur Eichengrun Active DE
1897 Condensed Soup John Dorrance Active US
1898 Flashlight David Misell Active UK
1898 Vitamins Christiaan Eijkman
Frederick Hopkins
Active NL/UK
1898 3D Color Photograph Frederic Eugene Ives Active US
1890s (late) Voice chat rooms American farmers
(barbed-wire telephone nets)
Active US
1900 Hybrid-electric automobile
(Semper Vivus)
Ferdinand Porsche Active DE
1901 Airplane Gustave Whitehead Active US
1901 Safety Razor King C. Gilette Active US
1901 Vacuum Cleaner Hubert Cecil Booth Active UK
1903+ 'Freebie' Marketing King C. Gilette Active US
1903 Chromatography Mikhail Tsvet Active RU
1903 Decaffeination Ludwig Roselius Active DE
1903 Barbituates
(as depressants)
Emil Fischer
Joseph von Mering
Active DE
1903 Laminated Glass Edouard Benedictus Active FR
1903 Remote Control Leonardo Torres Quevedo Active ES
1904/1906 Vacuum Tubes
John Ambrose Fleming/Lee De Forest Active UK/US
1904 Radar Christian Hulsmeyer Active DE
1904 Geothermal Power Generation Piero Ginori Conti Active IT
1905 Local Anesthetic Alfren Einhorn
Active DE
1905 Helicopter Jan Bahyl Active SK
1905 Modern Fire Engine Knox Automobile Active US
1905 Modern Physics Albert Einstein Active DE

End of the Electromagnetics to Modern Physics Innovation Era

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1906 Triode Robert von Bieben Unessential (evolution:
1947 - transistor)
1907 Modern Plastics
Leo Baekeland Active US
1908 Umami taste
(glutamate. MSG)
Kikunae Ikeda Active JP
~1908 Modern Law Firm Paul Drennan Cravath Active US
1909 Chemotherapy Paul Ehrlich Active DE
1909 Nitrogen Fixation Fritz Haber Active DE
1909 Synthetic Rubber Fritz Hofmann Active DE
1909 Airport Wilbur Wright
(College Park)
Active US
1911 Superconductivity H. Kamerlingh-Onnes Active NL
1912 Diffraction crystallography Max von Laue Active DE
1912 Stainless Steel Elwood Haynes Active US
1912 Abstract Art Frantisek Kupka Active FR
1913 Quantum Atom Neils Bohr Active UK
1915 Pyrex Glass Corning Glass Active US
1916 Modern Fast Food Restaurant Walter Anderson
(White Castle)
Active US
1920 Band-aid Earle Dickson Active US
1921 Medical Insulin Frederick Banting
Charles Best
Active CA
1921 Highway Piero Puricelli Active IT
1922 Blender Stephen Poplawski Active US
1924 Particle Diffraction Louis de Broglie Active FR
1925 Motel Arthur Heineman Active US
1926 Quantum Mechanics Erwin Schrodinger
Werner Heisenberg
Active AT/DE
1926 Modern Rockets Robert Goddard Active US
1926 Television John Logie Baird Active UK
1927 Videorecording John Logie Baird Active UK
1927 Industrial Corn (F-1) Henry Wallace Active US
1929 Consumer Frozen Food Clarence Birdseye Active US
1929 Tampon Earle Haas
(U.S. 1,926,900)
Active US
1931 Aerogel Samuel Kistler Active US
1931 Strobe Light Harold Edgerton Active US
1933 Garbage Disposal John Hammes
(U.S. 2,012,680)
Active US
1935 Nylon Wallace Carothers Active US
1935 Computational Chemistry D.R. Hartree
V.A. Fock
Active UK
1936 Videotelephone Georg Schubert Active DE
1937 Flying Automobile Waldo Waterman Active US
1938 Teflon (PTFE) Roy Plunkett Active US
1939 Automated Teller Machine Luther Simjian Active US
1939 Automatic Transmission
Chrysler Active US
1941 Modern Spray Can Lyle Goodhue/William Sullivan Active US
1941 Programmable Computer Konrad Zuse Active DE
1942 Nuclear Reactor Enrico Fermi et.al. Active US
1944 Programming Language Konrad Zuse Active DE
1945 Microwave Oven Percy Spencer Active US
1947 Holography Dennis Gabor Active UK
1947 Fusion Reactor George Paget Thomson
Moses Blackman
Waiting UK
1947 Disposable Diaper Valerie Hunter Gordon Active UK
1947 Transistor Bardeen/Brattain/Schockley Active US
1948 Information Bit Claude Shannon Active US
1948 Cable Television John Watson Active US
1948 Velcro George de Mestral Active CH
1949 Medical Ultrasound John Wild Active US
1949 Hydraulic Fracturing Stanolind Oil Active US
1949 Photocopy Machine Xerox Active US
1949 Barcodes Bernard Silver
Norman Woodland
Active US
1951 Rock and Roll Jackie Brenston
Ike Turner
(seeded by Rosetta Tharpe)
Active US
1951 Contraceptive Pill Carl Djerassi Active MX
1952 Diet Drinks Kirsch Bottling
(No-Cal ginger ale)
Active US
1953 Permanent Press Cotton Ruth Benerito Active US
1953 Sugary Cereals
(Sugar Smacks, 53%)
Kellogg Active US
1954 Transistor Radio Regency Corp. Active US
1955 Intermodal Container Malcolm McLean Active US
1955 Modern Hovercraft Christopher Cockerell Active UK
1957 Artificial Satellite Sergei Korolev Active RU
High Fructose Corn Syrup Richard Marshall and Earl Kooi
Yoshiyuki Takasaki
Actively killing US/JP

Start of Integrated Circuit to Teletext/Personal Computer Innovation Era
(1958-1981) - Technology Revolution

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1958 Integrated Circuit Jack Kilby Active US
1958 Functional Programming John McCarthy (LISP) Active US
1957 Computer Timesharing John McCarthy (CTSS) Active US
1958 Artificial Pacemaker Laverde and Pombo
Elmqvist and Senning
Active CO,US,SE
1958 Spring Break Glendon Swarthout
("Where The Boys Are")
Active US
1959 Microcredit Aktar Hameed Khan Active PK
1960 Virtual Reality - U.S. Patent 3,050,870 Morton Heilig Active US
1960 Global Positioning US Defense Dept. Active US
1960 Document Linkage Analysis Eugene Garfield Active US
1960 Laser Harold Maiman Active US
1961 Videogame Graetz/Russell/Wiitanen Active US
1962 Industrial Robot George Devol
(U.S. 3279624)
Active US
1962 Database Management System Charles Bachman Active US
1962 Audio Cassette Phillips Co. Active NL
1963 Electronic Cigarette Herbert Gilbert
(U.S. 3,200,819)
Active US
Refractive eye surgery Jose Barrauqer
Svyatislav Fyodorov
Active CO/US
1963 Airline Reservation System Trans-Canada Airlines Active CA
1963 Computer Mouse Douglas Engelbart Active US
1964 Supercomputer Seymour Cray Active US
1965 Inkjet Printer R.G. Sweet Active US
1960s CAFO - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation N/A Active United States
1965 Instant Messaging MIT (CTSS) Active US
1965 Electronic Mail MIT (CTSS) Active US
1965 Touch Screen E.A. Johnson Active US
1965 Fast Fourier Transform James Cooley
John Tukey
Active US
1966 Reality Television Chuck Barris
(Dating Game)
Active US
1967 Cluster Computing
Parallel Processing
Gene Amdahl Active US
1967 Cloud Computing SEE CLUSTER COMPUTING
1967 Hypertext Ted Nelson
Andries van Dam
Active US
1967 Markup Language William Tunnicliffe Active US
1968 Fluorescence flow cytometry Fulwyler/Herzenberg/Gohde Active US/US/DE
1968 Random Access Memory Robert Dennard Active US
1968 World Wide Web Douglas Engelbart (NLS) Active US
1969 Packet Switched Network Robert Taylor
J.C.R. Licklider
Active US
1969 Network Router ARPA/BBN (IMP) Active US
1969 Open Source Software Computer Physics Communication Active IR
1969 Supersizing Food David Wallerstein US Active
1969/1972 Word Processor Arnold Goldman/Stephen Dorsey Active US/CA
1970 Groupware David A. Evans Active US
1970 Fiber optic wire Maurer/Keck/Schultz Active US
1970 Liquid Crystal Display Wolfgang Helfrich
Martin Schadt
Active CH
1970 Relational Database Edgar F. Codd Active US
1970 Commercial Narrative Pornography Bill Osco Active US

1970 marked the year in U.S. history that Employee Compensation, as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product, reached a maximum of 57%. Since 1970, it has steadily declined to about 53%, a level earlier seen in the 1940s, with the higher corporate profits benefitting capital, not labor. Technology most likely will prevent this maximum from ever being reached again.

1971 Teletext John Adams Obsolete UK
1971 Microprocessor Gary Boone/Micheal Cochran Active US
1971 Video Game
U.S. 3,728,480
Ralph Baer Active US
1971 Computer Virus Bob Thomas Active US
1971 X-Ray Computed Tomography Godfrey Hounsfield
Allan Cormack
Active UK/US
1972 Cyclosporine Sandoz Active CH
1972/1976 Index Fund Richard Allen Beach/John Bogle Active US
1973 Transgenic Organisms Herbert Boyer
Stanley Cohen
Active US
1973 Mobile Phone Martin Cooper Active US
1973 Magnetic Resonance Imaging Raymond Damadian
Paul Lauterbur
Active US
1973 Personal Computer Xerox (Alto) Active US
1973 Graphical User Interface Xerox (Alto) Active US
1974 Local Area Network Xerox (Ethernet) Active US
1974 Post-It Note Art Fry
Spencer Silver
Active US
1976 Statins Akira Endo Active JP
1977 In Vitro Fertilization Patrick Steptoe
Robert Edwards
Active UK
1978 Fiber Optic Cable WAN Rediffusion Active UK
1979 Online Shopping Michael Aldrich Active UK
1979 Spreadsheet Dan Bricklin
Bob Frankston
Active US
1979 3D Printing Ross Householder
(U.S. 4,247,508)
Active US
1979-1985 Lithium-Ion Battery John Goodenough
Rachid Yazami
Akira Yoshino
Active UK/FR/JP
1980/1 Quantum Computing Paul Benioff/Richard Feynman Active US
1981 Scanning Tunneling Microscope Heinrich Rohrer
Gerd Binning
Active CH
1981 Quantum Dots Alexei Ekimov Active RU
1981 Electronic Map Texas Instruments
Active US
1981 Online B2B Commerce Thomson Holidays Active UK
1981 Consumer Online Reservations Japanese Railway System Active JP
1981 Laptop Computer Bill Moggridge (Grid)
Epson (HX-20)
Active UK/JP
1981 Corporate Personal Computer IBM Active US

End of Integrated Circuit to Teletext/Personal Computer Innovation Era

NOTE: we are curently focusing on completing these timetables up to 1981. In terms of fundamental innovation, one can argue that since the mid-1980s, it has mostly been evolution and aesthetics, not revolution.

Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
1982 Liposuction Yves-Gerard Illouz Active FR
1982 Genetically Modified Plant Monsanto Active US
1982 Video Camera Recorder Sony Active JP
1983 Birth of Internet
(ARPANET to TCP/IP switch)
ARPA Active US
1983 Polymerase Chain Reaction Kary Mullis Active US
1987 High Temperature
K. Alex Muller
J. Georg Bednorz
Active CH
1987 Exchange Traded Fund Index Participation Shares Inc. Active US
1988 NAND Flash Memory Fujio Masuoka Active JP
1991 Female Sperm Ralph Brinster Waiting US
1994 SmartPhone
IBM/BellSouth Active US
1994 DNA computer Leonard Adelman Waiting US
1995 Bose-Einstein condensate Ketterle/Cornell/Wieman Active US
1995 Retail Tax/Labor
Electronic Arbitrage
Amazon Active US
1995 Online Privacy Exploitation DoubleClick/Google Active US
1995 Computer Generated Movie Disney (Toy Story) Active US
1996 Mammalian Cloning Ian Wilmut
Keith Campbell
Active UK
1997 Video Sharing Network
Chase Norlin Active US

Productivity Since 1956

Productivity Since 1956

Since the year 2000, innovators have spent over $30 billion acquiring 2.6 million U.S. patents. Since the year 2000, under Presidents Barack Obama and George Bush, the U.S. Federal government has spent over $800 billion on research and development, mostly through the DoD, DoE, NASA, and NIH. For this $800 billion (in light of these 2.6 million patents), U.S. taxpayers MAY have helped make contributions to the following fundamental post-1999 innovations:
Date Innovation Inventor Status Country Economic
2001 Artificial Liver Kenneth Matsumara Active US
2009 Global Virtual Currency Satoshi Nakamoto
Active JP
2009 Non-Line-of-Sight Photography Ramesh Raskar Waiting US
2010 Consumer Plenoptics Christian Perwass
Lennart Wietzke
Active DE
2012 Peak Innovation
Google Glass
Google see Jumping the Shark US
2013 Test Tube Meat
Mark Post Waiting NL
2013 Digital Laser CSIR/Andrew Forbes et al. Active ZA
2013 Bionic Leg Levi Hargrove et al. Developing US
2013 Intelligent Scalpel Zoltan Takats Active UK
2013 3D printed living organ
Xu Mingen et al. Active CN
2014 Synthetic chromosome (yeasty) Jef Boeke et al. Active US

Start of the Cheap Electricity Storage to Cheap Ground-to-LEO Innovation Era

Let us be blunt: unless civilization achieves cheap ground-to-LEO (Low Earth Orbit) transportation costs by mid-century, say 2050, civilization will choke on its own vomit, dead before its time is due. There are way too many people working so hard, and way too few political leaders leading. All other innovation is irrevelant for a better life (now, e.g., we can eat too much, can buy too much advertised crap on the Internet, can live long enough). We must expand off the planet. We need a "steam aerolocomotive" to raise us to Low Earth Orbit (with a cost which that has only dropped 50% in the last 30 years to plataeu around $11,000/pound). It won't be penis-shaped (such rockets only useful for inspiring David Bowie), and this "steam aerolocomotive" won't come out of Washington, Arlington or Silicon Valley. And it will be patented. In the words of The Animals, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.
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