Technology's Impact on the American Economy

(12) Notable Creations and Inventions
Jerry Speziale
Period 3

1. Cellular - Smart Phone

The Smart Phone was not invented by an individual, but actually created by the IBM Corporation.  The Smart Phone was invented in 1992 by the International Business Machines Corporation, (IBM) and the first phone was actually named, "Simon."  The Smart Phone was a handheld cellular telephone and  personal digital assistant or palmtop computer with a touchscreen.  Before the Smart Phone people communicated on traditional telephone systems.  Today, mobile phones play an important role in America's technologically because they allow users to communicate with others from anywhere in the world in a variety of forms, which include camera phones, computer phones and smartphones.  Because of the Smart Phone capabilities, smartphones extended the importance and use of mobile phones not only as a communication device

but as a compact computer.…

2. Cotton Gin

In April of 1793, Eli Whitney  invented and built the cotton gin, a machine that made cotton fiber from the cottonseed.  The cotton gin had substantial impact because it was capable of mass producing cotton from cotton seeds.  This was really important because our clothes are made of cotton and it helped mass production of anything with cotton.  The importance of the invention today, continues to fastback the production of cotton with similar methods.

3. Transistor

Three scientists, William Shockley, Walter Brattain, and John Bardeen of Bell Telephone Laboratories invented the first transistor in December 23, 1947.  The inventing of the transistor was one of the greatest of the 20th century because it kicked off the revolution, which brought American Technology into the computer and information age.  The reason the transistor matters today is because it replaces the older large tubes that were used in televisions, car radios and it makes electronics much smaller and compact.  The inventing of the transistor was so important, in 1956, the three inventors responsible all won the Nobel Prize for physics.

4. Microchip

The microchip was designed by Jack Kilby, which was invented on September 12, 1958 after the first successful demonstration of the chip.  The microchip is a bunch of electronic components like transistors and resistors all interconnected, which are imprinted on a very small chip of a material.  The importance of this invention in modern time is the microchip tremendously reduced the size and cost of making electronics, which impacted the future designs of all computers and all types of electronics.

5. Internet

The Internet was developed by several people.  Leonard Kleinrock had the original idea for the Internet based on a paper he wrote on May 31, 1961, called the "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets." In 1962, another person named J.C.R. Licklider provided his vision of a galactic network and based on those two idea's an individual named Robert Taylor became involved and had an idea for a network called the Arpanet.

In December of 1968, a group at the Stanford Research Institute had a meeting led by Elmer Shapiro and several other technicians.  Lawrence Roberts and Barry Wessler designed plans for building an Interface Message Processor, which led to the Bolt Beranek and Newman company designing the first Interface Message Processor.  Right after this, the public learned about the Internet and the University of California Los Angeles, (UCLA) introduced the Internet to the public on July 3, 1969.  

On October 29, 1969, a computer science Professor named Leonard Klienrock sent the first Internet message at UCLA, which became the backbone of the Internet.   Shortly thereafter, email and commercial networks were developed and perfected, which established the Internet as we know it today.

6. Telegraph - Telephone

There were actually a few telegraph systems that were created.  Samuel Morse invented the telegraph by proving that signals could be transmitted over wire. Samuel Morse used pulses of electrical current to move an electromagnet marker that made written codes on a strip of paper, which was called the Morse Code. One year later, Morse changed the telegraph to put dots and dashes.  However, in 1837, Samuel Morse independently made and patented the first the first electric telegraph in the United States.  Morse and an assistant named Alfred Vail created an alphabet to send signals called the Morse Code.  

On January 11, 1838, Samuel Morse sent the first telegram over the system at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey.  By October 24, 1861, the telegraph replaced the Pony Express for delivering messages and connected the west coast to the east coast.  

The telegraph  was used to send messages and news throughout and was used by the military for secret codes.

7. Television

In 1927, Philo Farnsworth was the first person to invent an electronic television that was capable of transmitting an image with (60) horizontal lines.  The first image transmitted was a dollar sign. Farnsworth created the image dissector tube, which was the foundation of all current electronic televisions. In 1927, Farnsworth filed for his first television patent, but later lost a battle for the patent to RCA.  Afterwards, Philo Farnsworth invented more than (165) different televison devices including equipment for converting an optical image into an electrical signal, amplifier, cathode-ray, vacuum tubes, electrical scanners, electron multipliers and photoelectric materials.  Today, the television, has been perfected and is a major source of communication and entertainment in everyones homes throughout the world.

8. Steam Engine - Locomotive

On June 9, 1781, George Stephenson was born in the coal mining village of Wylam, England.  George Stephenson found out that two individuals, William Hedley and Timothy Hackworth were designing a locomotive to be used for the Wylam coal mine.  At the early age of twenty, George Stephenson began building his first locomotive, which had to be built by hand because all the parts needed to be hammered into shape like horseshoes.  As a result,Stephenson had a main assistant named John Thorswall who was a coal mine blacksmith.  

On July 25, 1814, after working for (10) months, George Stephenson built and tested the first locomotive, which he named "Blucher"

After ten months' labor, George Stephenson's locomotive "Blucher" was completed and tested on the Cillingwood Railway on July 25, 1814. The track was an uphill trek of four hundred and fifty feet. George Stephenson's engine hauled eight loaded coal wagons weighing thirty tons, at about four miles an hour. This was the first steam engined powered locomotive to run on a railroad and it was the most successful working steam engine that had ever been constructed up to this period, this encouraged the inventor make further experiments. In all, Stephenson built sixteen different engines.

Wagons loaded with coal passed through Wylam several times a day. These wagons were drawn by horses -- locomotives had not yet been invented. George Stephenson's first job was to watch over a few cows owned by a neighbor which were allowed to feed along the road; George was paid two cents a day to keep the cows out of the way of the coal-wagons; and also, to close the gates after the day's work of the wagons was over.

9. Automobile

The first self-powered car, which was run by steam engine was supposed to have been built by Joseph Cugtnot, who was born in France, in 1725 and died 1804.  His first automobile was made in 1769. However, there are many historians who say that Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler both invented the first gasoline powered automobiles.  Benz built his in 1885.  It was powered by internal combustion, was three wheeled, four cycles and a single chassis.  Daimler built his in 1886.  Both of their vehicles resembled the cars we ride in today.

10. Interchangeable Parts

In 1798, Eli Whittney decided to create a new invention.  Whittney had a machine shop in New Haven, Connecticut where he worked out the interchanging of parts of a gun and other machines. People could buy parts that were worn out or broken and fit it into their machines so that it still worked. It was called standardization. Eli Whittney went to Washington to speak to the Secretary of War about parts for muskets.  Whittney and another inventor named Simeon North were both instrumental in making the United States Arsenals.

11. Assembly LineIt was difficult to keep up with making cars fast enough so Ransom E. Olds created the assembly line in 1901.  Ransom Olds was born on June 3, 1864, in Geneva, Ohio, and died August 1950.  He became known as the Father of automotive assembly line and was able to make more cars by having people make the same part, while others made different ones.  Henry Ford then improved the assembly line by inventing conveyor belts that moved the parts.  It cut the making of Model T from a day and a half to 90 minutes.

12. PC Computer

With regard to the personal computer and who invented them, the answer is difficult because of the many different types and classifications of computers. Charles Babbage created the first computer, but not what most people would consider a computer today. There were a lot of early inventions that helped lead up to the creation of the personal computer. Charles Babbage proposed the first general mechanical computer in 1837, which was called the Analytical Engine.

The first electric computer was introduced in 1953 by IBM, which introduced the first personal computer in 1981. The computer was called the “Acorn” and is still sometimes referred to it today, which had a 8088 processor, 16 KB of memory and utilized an MS-DOS platform. Today, computers are in are everyday life and have expanded to windows and Apple and numerous processors, operating systems and programs have developed since this period.

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