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What has innovation looked like over the last century?

1939 New York  World's Fair

Courtesy of dok1 via Flickr

Here at Daily Grommet, we see innovation every day. Whether it's when we receive Grommet submissions through our Citizens Gallery, or when we're discussing big ideas for the company, there isn't a point of innovation that we don't touch. It's amazing to watch how quickly the world changes and what's cutting edge one day is considered old news the next. Anyone who owns any type of personal technology device can attest to this. We often joke that "Grommet time" is faster than regular time. Things happen quickly around here and trends come and go at a rapid pace. Yet one thing always stays the same: the desire to create products that make people's lives easier. We've seen it since the dawn of time.

Recently, we happened upon an article that showed us what "big innovation" looked like back in the 1930's. Oh, how far we've come. This got us thinking. What have been the biggest technological milestones over the last century? Some of the big advancements below might appear very commonplace, yet not the case at the time.


Mannheim's pride: The world’s first automobile, built in Mannheim by Carl Benz in 1885

Courtesy of Jun Seita via Flickr

The Automobile: Mass production of automobiles began in the late 1800's, yet creation of various prototypes began far earlier.

Fun Fact: The first car's used levers instead of steering wheels.


Wright Brothers Memorial Visitor's Glider A

Courtesy of edcleve via Flickr

The Airplane: Early 1900's

Fun Fact: The Wright Brothers modeled their first "glider" plane after, you guessed it - birds!  They noticed the way birds flew and how the air flowing over their curved wing surface created lift.


Apple Lisa

Courtesy of atmasphere via Flickr

Computer: First commercial PC was released in 1965.

Fun Fact: The first electronic digital computer (not even a Personal computer yet) called "ENIAC" (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was introduced in 1945 in Philadelphia and consumed so much electricity that lights in a nearby town dimmed every time it was switched on!


First German radio build in 1898 (replica)

Courtesy of gynti_46 via Flickr

Radio: Early 1900's

Fun Fact: On Nov. 2, 1920, radio station KDKA was the first station to broadcast news. It was Election Day, and they broadcasted the results of the presidential race between Republican Warren G. Harding and Democrat James Cox. (Harding won) Even though this was a momentus event for radio, only 1,000 people got the chance to listen as radio's weren't yet affordable for a wide audience.


NYC - Queens - Astoria: Museum of the Moving Image - RCA Model 630-TS

Courtesy of wallyg via Flickr

Television: First created in early 1900's yet weren't widely available and affordable until the 1940's.

Fun Fact: The World's Faire, which inspired this blog post, is also the first place where a television was demonstrated to the public in 1939. At that time, televisions were being sold for $600.00.


Brownie 3

Image courtesy of Upright_Animal via Twitter

Camera: The first camera, which he called the "Kodak," was first offered for sale in 1888. The company, Eastman Kodak, went on to become the biggest photography company in the world.

Fun Fact: In 1900,  the first camera that was affordable, available and easy to use for the typical consumer was called "The Brownie" developed by Eastman Kodak. Even though it was deemed easy to use, a 44 page instruction booklet came with each camera!



Image courtesy of Science Museum London via Flickr

Mobile Phones: The first mobile phone was presented in 1973, yet as most of us know, they became widely used in the 1990's. Today they are firmly attached to everyone's hands.

Fun Fact: In 1984, one of the first cell phones was nicknamed "the brick" because it weighed in at about 2 lbs and cost over $3,000. Not to mention that you could only use it for 30 minutes before it needed to be recharged.


WE'RE CURIOUS: Do you have any favorite Grommets that you think could stand the test of time like these? Tell us in the comments! 


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