1960s Inventions

The Sixties have been described by historians as the ten years having the most significant changes in history. By the end of the 60’s humanity had entered the spaceage by putting a man on the moon. The 1960’s were influenced by the youth of the post-war baby boom – a generation with a fondness for change and far-out gadgets.


The Laser. They had no idea that it would someday be used to remove tattoos.
Halogen Lamp
Implantable Heart Pacemaker. The actual Pacemaker was invented in 1950 it was however an external device.
Weather Satellite. USA Tiros I.
Etch A Sketch Not an artist, just shake it and start over..


Valium Anti-Anxiety Drug. Mothers Little Helper!!
Non dairy Creamer. News flash – Cows revolt all over the world
Cochlear Implants. What did you say?
Human Spaceflight. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth one time aboard Vostok 1.


Audio Cassette. The Philips Company named it “Compact Cassette”
Fiber-Tip Pen Otherwise known as a felt tipped pen or “Flair”
Spacewar – the first Computer Video Game.
Silicone Breast Implants. by Dow Corp, – was Pamala Anderson the first to try them?
The LED – Light Emitting DiodeSpace Observatories, by Ball Brothers Aerospace Corp.- they were looking for the crew of “Lost in Space”


Touch-tone Telephone. It had 10 buttons, * and # were added later
Computer Mouse.invented by Douglas Engelbar it would not be used with personal computers until 1980
Zip Codes. Ever wonder what “ZIP” stands for – Zoning Improvement Plan – now you know!
Pull Tab for soda cans. Actually Patented in ’63 but invented in ’62 by Ermal Cleon Fraze
Easy-Bake Oven. A learning toy, molding young Martha Stewarts.
Astro Lamp (Later called the Lava Lamp)


BASIC, computer programming language. I know that you’re dying to know – Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
Wonderbra. It didn’t gain any popularity until the 1990’s. Why Not!!
Smiley Face. Originally drawn to put a good spin on the merger between two Insurance Companies.     Smiley face
Picturephone Introduced at the 1964 World’s Fair in NY, it allowed you to see the caller and them to see you.
The Ford Mustang. No it wasn’t really an invention but I liked them so it’s listed here!


Astroturf. Originally called “Chemgrass” the name was changed in ’66 when it was used in the Houston Astrodome.
Smoke detector for home use. First invented in the ’40’s but those were quite large and quite expensive.
Aspartame, the chemical compound found in NutraSweet. It took the FDA 15 years to approve this for human consumption.
Compact Disc. Invented and patented in ’65 it wouldn’t be used commercially until ’81 (why change, we had eight-tracks right.)
Super Ball. By Wham-O Manufacturing Co the fine folks who brought us the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee.


Kevlar. Best known for its use in bullet proof vests.
Fiber Optics. A new way of fusing glass strands together paved the way for long distance fiber communications.
Video Game. Video games wouldn’t be commercially available until ’72 and wouldn’t be popular until ’75.
Star Trek the original series. I know this wasn’t an invention either but it sure was important!


Hand held Calculator. Developed by Texas Instruments it was made possible by their invention of the integrated circuit in 1958.
Countertop microwave oven. Named “Radarange” it was made by Amana and later became my best friend!
ATM (Automated Teller Machine) First used in the UK this machine changed banking forever.
Heart Transplant. The first successful human donor heart transplant by Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town South Africa the patient lived for eighteen days.


DRAM Computer Memory. (Dynamic Random Access Memory) on a single circuit chip
The First 911 call. the system implemented in Haleyville, AL. beating AT&T to the punch by six months
First Supersonic Airliner. Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 achieves supersonic speed
The First Manned Lunar Orbit. Apollo 8 successfully orbits the moon with three astronauts on board


ARPA Net. (Advanced Research Projects Agency). This is the precursor to the Internet
Honda CB750. more horsepower than the biggest Harley-Davidson (thanks to Dave Bramsen)
UNIX. a computer operating system developed by Bell Labs
The Single-Chip Microprocessor. The Intel 4004 was as powerful as any complete computer available at that time
Man Lands on the Moon. Not so much an invention but for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin it was
certainly “One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind”