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Are you aware of how impressively technology has escalated?

The following is a small timeline of popular modern day technology based on the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries – that’s 300 years worth of tech; looking into cars, cameras, computers and more.

Perhaps you sometimes wonder how we could live without our mobile phones or computers – would we even survive without such luxuries!? You’re about to find out.


Music has always meant a great deal in everybody’s lives whether it was to listen and dance to or to go and watch your favorite band. Let’s face it, without music our lives would be pretty pointless – as Friedrich Nietzsche quoted: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” And he is right!


When it came to technology and music, the 1800s introduced us to the Jukebox. Arriving in 1889 and invented by Louis Glass, who received help from pal William S Arnold, recordings had become popular primarily through coin-in-the-slot phonographs in public places such as restaurants and diners.

Further enhancements were made in early 1900s with Lee Deforest inventing AM radio that allowed for a multitude of radio stations. He was also the first person who used the word ‘radio. In 1933 radio technology was progressed by Edwin Armstrong who invented FM radio with super heterodyne tuner that allowed radios to tune into different radio stations.


Fast forward to the 21st century and, in 2001, Apple announced the iPod, which was a portable music digital player invented by Steve Jobs. The iPod was announced months shortly after the release of iTunes. A program that converts audio CDs into compressed digital audio files, iTunes could organise your digital music collection. iTunes also allows you to buy online music files which you can simply add to your iPod.



A car is the well known way of getting around – the preferred mode of transport for getting from ‘A to B’. Without cars, just imagine how busy public transport would be! 1700 marked the beginning of automobile which took many decades worth of planning by several inventors.

Sometime around 1833, Robert Anderson invented the first crude electric-powered carriage powered by non-rechargeable primary cells. Further improvements were made in 1835 when a small scale electric car was invented by Thomas Davenport, the inventor of the first American-built DC electric motor.

The Ford Model T produced by Henry Ford was regarded as the first affordable automobile and was named the world’s most influential car of the 20th century. The Model T was set as the historic year that the automobile became popular in 1908.


Moving swiftly on to the current century, Ettore Bugatti invented the Bugatti which was awarded car of the decade in 2005.


sliding wooden box camera

Photographs are a great way of capturing memories throughout your life. It’s something to look back on and remember that chapter in your life. Cameras are everywhere now, and the quality is only getting better!

Before the terms “megapixels” and “HD” were ever likely to become commonplace, back in the 1800s Joseph Nicephore Niepce used a sliding wooden box to take photographs.

As our thirst for capturing a moment intensified, Edwin H. Land Invented the Polaroid Instant Cameras were developed and first sold from 1948.

Nikon D5000 DSLR

Produced by Nikon in early 2009, a DSLR was released, which was the first DSLR to feature video recording. Nowadays though, cameras are everywhere. Heck, you can even take high resolution images with your mobile phone.


Computers have come a long way in the last three centuries. Now everyone has access to a computer that is hooked up to the web – ah the possibilities!

Analytical Engine

Believe it or not, the computers and technical PCB designs we know today can be traced back to 1837 where Charles Babbage proposed the first general mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. The Analytical Engine contained an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), basic flow control, and integrated memory and was the first general-purpose computer concept.

the Programma 101,

Produced by Italian manufacturer Olivetti, the Programma 101, released in 1965, was the first commercial desktop computer and helped to pave the way for the office environments we’re privy to today.

In 2011, IBM announced the Smart Cloud framework to support Smarter Planet. Among the various components of the Smarter Computing foundation, cloud computing is a critical piece.

The Telephone

1870s telephone

Without the telephone there would be no way of getting in contact with people unless we meet them face to face. What did we ever do if we had an emergency? You can’t imagine what it was like before telephones become a way of communication. The popularity of telephones has soared to an extreme amount – with over 999 billion phone users worldwide!

In the 1870s, the telephone was invented by Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically.


Dr. Martin Cooper invented the first portable handset and was the first person to make a call on the portable cell phone in 1973. The Motorola Dyna-Tac was the first commercial mobile phone invented.

Touch screen mobile devices – or smartphones – have become wildly popular in the 21st century after Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. What started out as a means of communication between one voice and another is now so much more than that.

Hoover/Vacuum Cleaner

The hoover – or the Vacuum Cleaner – was, and probably still is, the main key to cleaning. The vacuum cleaner evolved from the carpet sweeper which was dedicated to cleaning up carpet, but now carpet is becoming less popular with laminate flooring taking over.

The Hoover, or what is often referred to as the Vacuum Cleaner, was the first hand pumped Vacuum Cleaner, and was invented in 1860 by Daniel Hess.


In 1901, H. Cecil Booth introduced the first powered vacuum cleaner model that used the technology of the vacuum tube.

Dr. Helen Greiner at iRobot invented the Roomba vacuum cleaner, which entered the market in 2002. These small vacuums can be placed on the floor and roam around freely without the manual hardship of pushing it around.

Public Transport


Unless everybody drove – public transport is our only way of getting about! There is so many ways of getting to places now with the help from trains, buses, ferries, trams, aeroplanes – the lot!

Before anyone bemoaned about the unreliability of public transport, the horse drawn omnibus originated in Paris and was brought to England by the coachbuilder George Shillibeer in 1829 and was used to take members of the community from place to place – albeit slowly.

In 1909 the engineer Thomas Clarkson started the National Steam Car Company to run steam buses in London.


As public transport has become a staple method of arriving at a pre-defined destination, more than 6.3m hybrid buses have been sold worldwide through March 2013 led by the Toyota Motor Company.

As Technology continues to grow we would expect Technology to become more reliable and progress even further! I wonder what the future hold?

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Posted by Emma Parkinson

Emma Parkinsonhas contributed this guest post article on behalf of Concept CAD who offer printed circuit board design to businesses while being one of the only bureaus in the UK.

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