Popular Technology of Our Four Generations

Photo Via:  www.hypable.com

Photo Via: www.hypable.com

Do you ever sit back and wonder what technology was popular at the time of each generations’ peak reign? We all know what technology is present at the moment, but let’s take a moment to look back and appreciate where we’ve come from. Thanks to many of the technologies developed throughout the 20th century, we have modern convenience at our fingertips. Ready for the history lesson? I promise it’ll be fun AND educational, because those two concepts can go together. Let’s go!

According to amanet.org, the four generations are as follows:
Silents (born between 1925 and 1946)

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1980)
Generation Y or Millennials (born after 1980)

Now, let’s run through the timeline!
Technology Timeline in this blog is via: www.thoughtco.com

Photo Via:  time.com , 1945 - Silent Generation

Photo Via: time.com, 1945 - Silent Generation


  • Eduard Haas III invents PEZ candy.

  • Philo Taylor Farnsworth invents a complete electronic TV system.

  • Technicolor invented.

  • The mechanical television, a precursor to the modern television, invented by John Logie Baird.


  • Scotch Tape patented by 3M engineer, Richard G. Drew.

  • Frozen food process patented by Clarence Birdseye.

  • Frank Whittle and Dr. Hans von Ohain both invent a jet engine.

  • Harold Edgerton invented stop-action photography.

  • Carl C. Magee invents the first parking meter.

  • Frequency modulation (FM radio) invented by Edwin Howard Armstrong.

  • Stereo records invented.

  • The first canned beer made.


  • Karl Pabst invents the Jeep.

  • Konrad Zuse's Z3, the first computer controlled by software.

  • John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry build the first electronic digital computer.

  • Richard James invented the Slinky.

  • The microwave oven invented by Percy Spencer.


  • The first credit card (Diners) invented by Ralph Schneider.

  • Super Glue invented.

  • Power steering invented by Francis W. Davis.

  • Charles Ginsburg invented the first video tape recorder (VTR).

  • Radial tires invented.

  • The first musical synthesizer invented by RCA.

  • David Warren invented the black box - flight recorder.

  • Transistor radio invented by Texas Instruments.

  • Oral contraceptives invented - the pill.

  • Computer modem invented.

  • Gordon Gould invents the laser.

  • Barbie Doll invented.

  • Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce both invent the microchip.

Photo Via:  homecare4u.com , 1960’s - Baby Boomers Generation

Photo Via: homecare4u.com, 1960’s - Baby Boomers Generation


  • Fiber-tip pen invented by Yukio Horie.

  • Spacewar, the first computer video game, invented.

  • Dow Corp invents silicone breast implants.

  • Video disc invented.

  • Acrylic paint invented.

  • Permanent-press fabric invented.

  • BASIC (an early computer language) is invented by John George Kemeny and Tom Kurtz.

  • Audio cassette invented.

Photo Via:  www.damemagazine.com , 1970’s - Generation X,

Photo Via: www.damemagazine.com, 1970’s - Generation X,


  • Daisy-wheel printer invented.

  • Floppy disk invented by Alan Shugart.

  • Dot-matrix printer invented.

  • Food processor invented.

  • Liquid-crystal display (LCD) invented by James Fergason.

  • Microprocessor invented by Faggin, Hoff and Mazor.

  • VCR invented.

  • Word processor invented.

  • Pong, the first video game, invented by Nolan Bushnell.

  • Gene splicing invented.

  • Ethernet (local computer network) invented by Robert Metcalfe and Xerox.

  • Bic invents the disposable lighter.

  • Post-its notes invented by Arthur Fry.

  • Giorgio Fischer, a gynecologist from Rome, Italy, invents liposuction.

  • Laser printer invented.

  • Inkjet printer invented.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) invented by Raymond V. Damadian.

  • Artificial heart Jarvik-7 invented by Robert K. Jarvik.

  • Cell phones invented.

  • Walkman invented.

Photo Via:  bntouch.com , 1990’s - Millennials

Photo Via: bntouch.com, 1990’s - Millennials


  • Hepatitis-B vaccine invented.

  • MS-DOS invented.

  • Programmer Jaron Lanier first coins the term "virtual reality.”

  • CD-ROM invented.

  • Apple Macintosh invented.

  • Windows program invented by Microsoft.

  • A high-temperature superconductor invented by J. Georg Bednorz and Karl A. Muller.

  • Synthetic skin invented by G. Gregory Gallico, III.

  • Fuji introduced the disposable camera.

  • The first 3D video game invented.

  • Disposable contact lenses invented.

  • Digital cellular phones invented.

  • The invention of genetic engineering, as well as cloning, and stem cell research.


  • World Wide Web and Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML) created by Tim Berners-Lee.

  • Digital answering machine invented.

  • SmartPill invented.

  • Pentium processor invented.

  • Java computer language invented.

  • DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) invented.

  • Web TV invented.

  • Scientists measure the fastest wind speed ever recorded on earth, 509 km/h (318 mph).


  • Self-cleaning windows invented by PPG Industries.

  • Nanotex - nanotechnology wearable fabrics invented by Nano-tex LLC.

  • Solar Tower invented by Jorg Schlaich.

  • Virtual keyboard invented by Canesta and VKB.

  • ICOPOD invented by Sanford Ponder.

  • Toyota's Hybrid Car

  • Ice Bike invented by Dan Hanebrink

Getting Up To Speed
There you have it, a fun list of technology inventions that were popular in each generation’s upbringing. Comment below on your favorite invention! Can you imagine what’s next?

Cheers to closing the Gen-Gap!


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Samantha Sugarman