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Lifestyle Innovations in Australia

Just as the younger generation who live in the big cities could be forgiven for not knowing that milk comes from out of a cow before it comes out of a bottle, we could all be excused for thinking that the things that surround us in our homes have always been around. Such is not the case, of course - products have to be invented, day to day items that are commonplace around our homes were once just an idea in someone's mind, either invented to make a task easier or in the case of food products, to give the consumer a new taste to savour.

Many of the household items we take for granted and can't even begin to imagine what life would be like without them have not only not always been around, but the majority were only introduced during the lifetimes of our Baby Boomer generation, that is, the people who were born in 1946 and after. Here are just some of the inventions and innovations that were introduced to Australian consumers last century.

The Box Brownie Camera
The Kodak Box Brownie was a long-running popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made by Eastman Kodak. Introduced in 1900, it introduced the snapshot to the masses. It was a basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2 1/4-inch square pictures on 117 roll film. It was conceived and marketed for sales of Kodak roll films. Because of its simple controls and initial price of $1 (equivalent to $30 in 2018) along with the low price of Kodak roll film and processing, The Brownie camera surpassed its marketing goal.

It was invented by Frank A. Brownell. The name comes from the brownies (spirits in folklore) in Palmer Cox cartoons. Brownies were extensively marketed to children, with Kodak using them to popularise photography. They were also taken to war by soldiers. The Boy Scout edition in the 1930s was a top seller. In 1940, Kodak released the Six-20 Flash Brownie, Kodak's first internally synchronized flash camera, using General Electric bulbs. In 1957, Kodak produced the Brownie Starflash, Kodak's first camera with a built-in flash.

The Instamatic Camera
In 1963 Kodak introduced a new range of inexpensive cameras which they named Instamatic. Unlike other cameras which had to have the film loaded manually in the dark, the film for Instamatic cameras was supplied in a sealed cartridge; to load the film, all that had to be done was open the back of the camera, pop in the cartridge, close the camera and start shooting. The film was a new size, 26 mm wide, instead of the regular 35 mm. It was designated 126. During its heyday, the range was so ubiquitous that the Instamatic name is still frequently used (erroneously) to refer to any inexpensive point and shoot camera. The Instamatic name was also used by Kodak on some Super 8-based home-cine cameras. The Instamatic was an instant success; more than 50 million Instamatic cameras were produced between 1963 and 1970. Many other manufacturers attempted to capitalize on the popularity of the Instamatic with their own 126 cameras, including Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Ricoh, and even Rollei.

Agfamatic 2000 pocket 110 camera

During the 1970s, the operational principles of the Instamatic camera were utilised by other manufacturers in a variety of novel applications, including the pocket-sized Pocket 110 camera. Because of its size, the 110 camera was particularly suitable to adaptation. In the mid 1970s, the major soft drink manufacturers released a new, narrow can for their drinks, and the cans were copied and used in a variety of novel applications, one of which was the can camera. Eiko's can camera was essentially a soft drink can with a 110 camera inside. These were often sold or given away as promotions by soft drink and beer manufacturers. Various models were made from 1977 to 1983, but they all included a 110 camera hidden inside a can with a variety of nameplates. Many came from countries other than the US, all were awkward to use and were always seen as a novelty item rather than a legitimate camera.

The Mickey Mouse Fun Camera was released in 1965. Containing the mechanicals of a 110 camera, the first version used the right ear as a shutter release. Later versions had the shutter release on the side of the head. The Kodak Partytime II Kodamatic Instant Camera - released in 1982 - was designed for 'instant' photography. It was produced to be given away free at Tupperware parties. Kodak began to manufacture instant cameras in 1977. Polaroid, who had pioneered instant photography in 1948, took legal action. In 1985, after prolonged litigation, judgment went against Kodak who had to discontinue the production of instant cameras and film.

Photographic transparencies (slides)
Traditionally, photographic film recorded a nagative image, from which a positive print could be created. Reversal film is a type of photographic film that produces a positive image on a transparent base. The film is processed to produce transparencies or diapositives (abbreviated as "diafilm" in many countries) instead of negatives and prints. Reversal film was produced in various sizes, from 35 mm roll film to 8x10 inch sheet film. A slide is a specially mounted individual transparency intended for projection onto a screen using a slide projector. This allows the photograph to be viewed by a large audience at once.

The most common form is the 35 mm slide, with the image framed in a 2x2 inch cardboard or plastic mount. Some specialized labs produce photographic slides from digital camera images in formats such as JPEG, from computer-generated presentation graphics, and from a wide variety of physical source material such as fingerprints, microscopic sections, paper documents, astronomical images, etc.

The Kodak Carousel
There have been many types of slide projectors produced over the years, but the space-efficient rotating design of the slide tray made the Kodak Carousel the most popular among consumers. For individual viewing of slides a small battery lit viewer such as the GAF Pana-Vue can be used. The Kodak Carousel first went on sale in 1967.

Polaroid Instant Camera
The Polaroid SX-70 Land camera - the first fully automatic, motorized, folding, single lens reflex camera - was developed by Edwin Land (above) and released in 1970. Many consider the SX-70, which ejected self-developing, self-timing instant color prints, to be Dr. Land's masterpiece. A very limited-edition gold-plated version of this camera was also produced. Some other limited-production color combinations may exist of the original SX-70, but beware that some may have been altered by the end-user, and were not produced that way at the factory.

Polaroid SX 70 camera

In October 1985, after nine years of patent litigation with Polaroid, Kodak was banned from making and selling instant cameras and film. The ban took effect January 1986, at which time Kodak announced a trade-in programme. The owners of 16.5 million cameras were given the chance to trade in their cameras for a share of Kodak common stock, a new camera, or $50 worth of Kodak merchandise. By June of 1986, several class action lawsuits had been filed against Kodak by instant camera owners. The final settlement called for owners to return the camera's nameplate for a refund of cash and credits.

Polaroid Portable Print Copier
The Polaroid print copiers were designed for use with various Polaroid cameras. Released in 1958, the printer copiers were accessories for making copies of Polaroid prints. When unfolded, they somewhat resembled a slide projector. Prints were loaded into a holder in the back of the device. The camera was positioned on a rail at the front of the Copier - the lens of the camera mated with a close-up lens built into the Copier. Two small 120-volt bayonet-base light bulbs in the Copier served as a fixed source of illumination for the print to be copied. The camera's exposure was set for this constant exposure source (via a chart supplied with the copier), and the picture was taken and developed in the usual way. The Copier was supplied with a cable release (for the camera) and had a built-in electric exposure/development timer (which was powered whenever the light bulbs are switched on), and (starting in 1959) came with a set of neutral-density filters for the light bulbs for use when 3000-speed film was used in the camera.

Disc Cameras
Kodak began marketing disc photography in 1982 with a line of compact cameras built around a rotating disc of film. A variety of disc-based cameras were produced between 1982 and 1990. The Disc 4000 (1982) and the Disc 4100 (1984) are shown above along with a disc cartridge and interior film disc. The disc camera remained in production until the introduction of the digital camera.

Digital Cameras
Texas Instruments patented a film-less electronic camera in 1972. Its inventor was Willis A. Adcock, of Dallas, Texas. The abstract from the patent application read: "A completely electronic system for recording and subsequently displaying still life pictures includes an optical-electronic transducer for generating electronic signals responsive to an optical image. The signals are stored and subsequently applied to a visual display. Means are provided for applying the signals at a scan rate synchronized with the scan rate of the display to effect a stationary display of the optical image. Preferably, the display is a conventional television set. In 1975 Steven J. Sasson (b. 1950), an electrical engineer, was given a very broad assignment from his supervisor at Eastman Kodak Company, Gareth A. Lloyd: could a camera be built using solid state electronics, solid state imagers, an electronic sensor known as a charge coupled device (CCD) that gathers optical information? In other words, can you invent the digital camera. More ...

In 1981, the University of Calgary Canada ASI Science Team constructed the first operational digital camera. The All-Sky camera used the first commercially available CCD, the Fairchild 100 x 100 pixel CCD of 1973 (see 1970s page), thus the name, Fairchild All-Sky Camera. Unlike other early electronic cameras, the All-Sky Camera provided digital data rather than analog data, thus making it the first documented operational digital camera. It was used to photograph auroras. Shown above left to right: camera exterior, camera interior, camera on location.

The Hitachi VK-C1000, released in 1981, was the first consumer video camera with solid state (MOS - metal oxide semiconductor) image pickup device rather than an image pickup tube. The viewfinder was a small color CRT rather than an LCD. The recording device was basically a table-top VTR with a shoulder strap attached. The battery was very large and was usable for about 45 minutes of recording. A separate power supply was required to operate the VTR when not on battery power.

The Credit Card
The inventor of the first bank issued credit card was John Biggins of the Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn in New York. In 1946, Biggins invented the "Charge-It" program between bank customers and local merchants. Merchants could deposit sales slips into the bank and the bank billed the customer who used the card. In 1950, the Diners Club issued their credit card in the United States. The Diners Club credit card was invented by Diners' Club founder Frank McNamara and it was intended to pay restaurant bills. A customer could eat without cash at any restaurant that would accept Diners' Club credit cards. Diners' Club would pay the restaurant and the credit card holder would repay Diners' Club. The Diners Club card was at first technically a charge card rather than a credit card since the customer had to repay the entire amount when billed by Diners Club.

American Express issued their first credit card in 1958. Bank of America issued the BankAmericard (now Visa) bank credit card later in 1958. Credit cards were first promoted to traveling salesmen (more common in that era) for use on the road. By the early 1960s, more companies offered credit cards, advertising them as a time-saving device rather than a form of credit. American Express and MasterCard became huge successes overnight.

ATM's (Automatic Teller Machines)
Before Automatic Teller Machines were everywhere you could only withdraw your cash from a bank building with human tellers and queues (OK, so we still have the queues but at least they're outside) that was only open during business hours. People went there on payday, waited in a queue and made a deposit (keeping some cash for the weekend). Sure, some people had cheques and credit cards, but you couldn't buy beer at the local pub with those! The world's first ATM cash dispenser was installed on June 27th 1967 at Barclay's Bank in Church Street, Enfield in England. It was opened by Reg Varney who was infinitely more famous as Stan Butler the bus driver in the British comedy "On The Buses". By the way - It's not an "ATM Machine", because ATM actually stands for Automatic Teller Machine . . . so that would make it an Automatic Teller Machine Machine!

The Black Box Flight Recorder
The first prototype FDR was produced in 1957 by Dr. David Warren of the then Aeronautical Research Laboratories of Australia in Melbourne. In 1953 and 1954, a series of fatal mishaps on the de Havilland DH106 Comet prompted the grounding of the entire fleet pending an investigation. Dr. Warren, a chemist specializing in aircraft fuels, was involved in a professional committee discussing the possible causes. Since there had been no witnesses, and no survivors, Dr. Warren began to conceive of a crash survivable method to record the flight crew's conversation, reasoning they would likely know the cause.

Initially, aviation authorities from around the world were largely uninterested in Dr Warren's invention. This changed in 1958 when Sir Robert Hardingham, the Secretary of the UK Air Registration Board, became interested and asked Dr. Warren to create a pre-production model which culminated into the "Red Egg", the world's first commercial FDR by the British firm, S. Davall & Son. The "Red Egg" got its name from the shape and bright red color. Incidentally, the term "Black Box" came from a meeting about the "Red Egg", when afterwards a journalist told Dr. Warren, "This is a wonderful black box".

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
The first published suggestion for using liquid crystal materials for display came in 1963 from Richard Williams and George Heilmeier at the David Sarnoff Research Center, RCA's laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey. Heilmeier (1936-) went on to head a group at the lab to investigate the use of liquid crystal displays for a "TV-on-a-wall" concept, a dream of David Sarnoff himself. The challenge was to find a liquid crystal that would provide a display at room temperature, and by 1968 the RCA group had a display based on the dynamic scattering mode (DSM) of liquid crystals. But at the same time it was clear that large-screen LCD TVs were many years off, and the group set its sights on displays that could be incorporated more immediately in commercial products. A number of the RCA pioneers left to form Optel Corporation, in Princeton, New Jersey, where they perfected techniques for the manufacture of LCD displays and digital watches. Beginning in 1970, Optel designed and produced LCD watches for several watch companies. Optel later marketed LCD watches under its own name.

The Laser
The first operable laser was constructed by Theodore Maiman. While employed at Hughes Research Laboratories as a section head in 1960, he developed, demonstrated, and patented the laser using a pink ruby medium. Maiman made design innovations that greatly increased the practicability of the solid-state maser. He then set out to develop an optical maser, or laser, which is based on the maser principle but produces visible light rather than microwaves. He operated the first successful laser in 1960 and two years later established Korad Corporation for research, development, and manufacture of lasers. Maiman later sold Korad and worked as a consultant at TRW, a technology corporation.

Standard Driving Position
The Cadillac Type 53 was the first car to use the same control layout as modern automobiles- with the gear lever and hand brake in the middle of the front two seats, a key started ignition, and three pedals for the clutch, brake and throttle in the modern order. Introduced in 1916, the Type 53 remained in production for one year only, When this car debuted in 1916 it succeeded the Cadillac Type 51. The following year the Cadillac Type 55 replaced the Type 53. It was built at the Cass Street and Amsterdam Avenue factory in Detroit, with the body provided by a number of coachbuilders, including Fleetwood Metal Body in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.

Although the Cadillac Type 53 did not gain great popularity, it created the modern layout of an automobile that is still used today. This layout became popular with the Austin 7, which copied the control layout from the Cadillac Type 53.

Traffic Lights
Before traffic lights, traffic police controlled the flow of traffic. Taffic Lights were in use long before the arrival of the motor car, but came into their own with the latter's popularity. The world's first traffic light was short lived. It was a manually operated gas-lit signal installed in London in December 1868. It exploded less than a month after it was implemented, injuring its policeman operator. Traffic control started to seem necessary in the late 1890s and Earnest Sirrine from Chicago patented the first automated traffic control system in 1910. It used the words "STOP" and "PROCEED", although neither word lit up.

The traffic pole (UK) or tower (US) was the first innovation that used the three-coloured traffic signal and appeared first in the City of Detroit, where the first three-coloured traffic light was built at the intersection of Michigan and Woodward Avenues in 1920. The tower was the first innovation that used the three-coloured traffic signal and appeared first in the City of Detroit, where the first three-coloured traffic light was built at the intersection of Michigan and Woodward Avenues in 1920. Australia's first traffic lights began operating in Sydney on 13th October 1933. The lights were installed at the intersection of Market and Kent Streets in Sydney's CBD. They were switched on by the then Minister for Transport, Colonel Michael Bruxner at 11am.

Parking Meters
Holger George Thuesen and Gerald A. Hale designed the first working parking meter, the Black Maria, in 1935. The world's first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City on 16th July 1935. Magee received a patent for the apparatus on 24th May 1938. Industrial production started in 1936 and expanded until the mid-1980s. The first models were based on a coin acceptor, a dial to engage the mechanism and a visible pointer and flag to indicate expiration of paid period. This configuration lasted for more than 40 years, with only a few changes in the exterior design, such as a double-headed design (to cover two adjacent parking spaces), and the incorporation of new materials and production techniques. Hobart City Council installed Australia s first parking meter on 1st April 1955. The going rate was sixpence (about 5 cents) for 30 minutes. The rest of the country soon followed.

Radial Ply Tyres
The radial ply tyre was originally developed by French vehicle manufacturer Michelin in 1946 but, because of its advantages, has now become the standard design for essentially all automotive tyres. In the past, the fabric was built up on a flat steel drum, with the cords at an angle of about +60 and -60 degrees from the direction of travel, so they criss-crossed over each other. They were called cross ply or bias ply tires. By comparison, radial ply tyres lay all of the cord plies at 90 degrees to the direction of travel (that is, across the tire from lip to lip). This design avoids having the plies rub against each other as the tire flexes, reducing the rolling friction of the tyre. This allows vehicles with radial tires to achieve better fuel economy than vehicles with bias-ply tires. It also accounts for the slightly "low on air" (bulging) look that radial tyre sidewalls have, especially when compared to bias-ply tyres.

Radial tyres have different characteristics of springiness from those of cross-ply tyres, and a different degree of slip while steering. They ride differently, hence there was both a reluctance by consumers to use them and a need for vehicle manufacturers to modify car suspensions to make the suspension and the tyre compatable. US Ford Motor Company engineer Jack Bajer experimented in the 1960s on a Ford Falcon, by giving it less tight steering, and adding both isolators to the drive shaft and bushings to the suspension, the latter being to absorb the thump of riding over asphalt expansion joints in a concrete roadway. Cars could now be made lighter because they would not have to make up for the deficiences of cross-ply tyres. The results of Bajer's work filtered through the automotive industry and in the 1970s, vehicles began to be manufactured with suspensions tuned to the radial ply tyre's handling characteristics. The first car available in Australia that was designed to use radial ply tyres exclusively was BMC's Austin 1800 (1964).

Permanent Crease Trousers
The salvation of travelling salesman everywhere, the ability to create trousers with a permanent crease in this was developed by Dr Arthur Farnworth of the CSIRO in Canberra in 1957. After much experimentation, Dr Farnsworth found that by adding a special resin to the wool fibres, the chemical structure of the wool changed, thereby allowing a permenant crease to be placed into the fibres during manufacture.

Liquid Paper
Dallas mother Bette Nesmith Graham never intended to be an inventor; she wanted to be an artist. However, shortly after World War II ended, she found herself divorced with a small child to support. She learned shorthand and typing and found employment as an executive secretary. An efficient employee who took pride in her work, Graham sought a better way to correct typing errors. She remembered that artists painted over their mistakes on canvas, so why couldn t typists paint over their mistakes? Ms Graham put some tempera waterbased paint, coloured to match the stationery she used, in a bottle and took her watercolor brush to the office. Soon another secretary saw the new invention and asked for some of the correcting fluid. Ms Graham found a green bottle at home, wrote "Mistake Out" on a label, and gave it to her friend. Soon all the secretaries in the building were asking for some, too.

In 1956, Ms Graham started the Mistake Out Company (later renamed Liquid Paper) from her North Dallas home. She turned her kitchen into a laboratory, mixing up an improved product with her electric mixer. Graham s son, Michael Nesmith (later of The Monkees fame), and his friends filled bottles for her customers. Nevertheless, she made little money despite working nights and weekends to fill orders. One day, opportunity came knocking in disguise when Ms Graham made a mistake at work that she couldn t correct, and her boss fired her. She now had time to devote to selling Liquid Paper, and the business boomed. In 1968, she established her own plant and corporate headquarters, to house her automated operations and 19 employees. In that year they sold one million bottles. In 1976, the Liquid Paper Corporation turned out 25 million bottles.

The Crash Test Dummy
On 31st August 1869, Mary Ward became what is believed to be the first recorded victim of an automobile accident when she was thrown out of a steam powered motor vehicle and killed in Parsonstown, Ireland. Since that time, in excess of 20 million people worldwide have lost their lives to motor vehicle accidents, and politicians, scientists, engineers and designers have been working on ways to reduce motor vehicle accidents and the personal injury caused by them. Detroit's Wayne State University was the first to begin serious work on collecting data on the effects of high-speed collisions on the human body. In the late 1930s, there were no reliable data on the response of the human body to extreme physical injury, and no effective tools existed to measure such responses. Biomechanics was a field barely in its infancy. It was therefore necessary to employ two types of test subjects in order to develop initial data sets.

The first test subjects were human cadavers. They were used to obtain fundamental information about the human body's ability to withstand the crushing and tearing forces typically experienced in a high-speed accident. To such an end, steel ball bearings were dropped on skulls, and bodies were dumped down unused elevator shafts onto steel plates. Cadavers fitted with crude accelerometers were strapped into automobiles and subjected to head-on collisions and vehicle rollovers. Human volunteers were first used in the late 1930s and in the 1950s, animals began to be used in tests.

The information gleaned from cadaver research and animal studies had already been put to some use in the construction of human simulacra as early as 1949, when "Sierra Sam" was created by Samuel W. Alderson at his Alderson Research Labs (ARL) and Sierra Engineering Co. to test aircraft ejection seats and pilot restraint harnesses. This testing involved the use of high acceleration to 1000 km/h (600 mph) rocket sleds, beyond the capability of human volunteers to tolerate. In the early 1950s, Alderson and Grumman produced a dummy which was used to conduct crash tests in both motor vehicles and aircraft. The mass production of dummies afforded their use in many more applications. Alderson went on to produce what it called the VIP-50 series, built specifically for General Motors and Ford, but which was also adopted by the US National Bureau of Standards. Sierra followed up with a competitor dummy, a model it called "Sierra Stan," but GM, who had taken over the impetus in developing a reliable and durable dummy, found neither model satisfied its needs. GM engineers decided to combine the best features of the VIP series and Sierra Stan, and so in 1971 Hybrid I was born.

Hybrid II

Hybrid I was what is known as a "50th percentile male" dummy. That is to say, it modeled an average male in height, mass, and proportion. Since then, considerable work has gone into creating more and more sophisticated dummies. Hybrid II was introduced in 1972, with improved shoulder, spine, and knee responses, and more rigorous documentation. Hybrid II became the first dummy to comply with the American Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) for testing of automotive lap and shoulder belts.

Hybrid III, the 50th percentile male dummy which made its first appearance in 1976, and is the familiar crash test dummy of today. If he could stand upright, he would be 168 cm tall and would have a mass of 77 kg . He occupies the driver's seat in crash tests around the world. He is joined by a "big brother", a female dummy and three child dummies that represent a ten year old, a six year old, and a three year old. The child models are very recent additions to the crash test dummy family; because so little hard data are available on the effects of accidents on children, and such data are very difficult to obtain, these models are based in large part on estimates and approximations.

Marker Pens
The first marker was probably the felt tip marker, created in the 1940s. It was mainly used for labeling and artistic applications. In 1952, Sidney Rosenthal began marketing his "Magic Marker" which consisted of a glass bottle that held ink and a wool felt wick. By 1958, marker use was becoming common, and people used them widely for lettering, labelling, marking packages, and creating posters.

Hi-Liter Marker Pens

According to the now defunct Magic Marker website: "In 1952, inventor Sidney Rosenthal developed and began marketing the first felt tip marking device. A chubby, squat glass bottle to hold ink with a wool felt wick and writing tip [this describes the unusual appearance of the first magic markers], Rosenthal named his new marking device Magic Marker because of its ability to mark on almost every surface... In 1989, Binney & Smith, best known for its Crayola products, and the leading children's marker manufacturer, enters into a licensing agreement for exclusive rights to the Magic Marker brand name... In 1991, after three years of product development, Binney & Smith introduces a revamped, redesigned and improved Magic Marker line that includes highlighters and permanent markers [magic markers become thinner]... !n 1996, fine point Magic Marker II DryErase markers are introduced for detailed writing and drawing on white boards, dry erase boards and glass surfaces."

Highlighters and fine-line markers were first seen in the 1970s. Permanent markers also became available around this time. Superfine-points and dry erase markers gained popularity in the 1990's. The modern fiber tip pen was invented by Yukio Horie of the Tokyo Stationery Company, Japan in 1962. The Avery Dennison Corporation trademarked Hi-Liter and Marks-A-Lot in the early '90s. The Hi-Liter pen, commonly known as a highlighter, is a marking pen which overlays a printed word with a transparent color leaving it legible and emphasized.

Post-It Notes
In the early 1970s, Arthur (Art) Fry was in search of a bookmark for his church hymnal that would neither fall out nor damage the book. Fry noticed that a colleague at 3M, Dr. Spencer Silver, had developed an adhesive that was strong enough to stick to surfaces, but left no residue after removal and could be repositioned. Fry took some of Dr. Silver s adhesive and applied it along the edge of a piece of paper. His church hymnal problem was solved! Fry soon realized that his "bookmark" had other potential functions when he used it to leave a note on a work file, and co-workers kept dropping by, seeking "bookmarks" for their offices. This "bookmark" became a new way to communicate and to organize. 3M Corporation crafted the name Post-it note for Fry s bookmarks and began commercial production in the late 1970s. In 1977, test-markets failed to show consumer interest. However in 1979, 3M implemented a massive consumer sampling strategy, and the Post-it note took off. Today, we see Post-it notes peppered across files, computers, desks, and doors in offices and homes throughout the world.

The Shipping Container
On 26th April 1956, Malcolm McLean, a truck driver from rural North Carolina, hired a crane to hoist 58 trailer-sized steel cargo boxes onto a refitted oil tanker. From that modest experimental beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. But the container didn't just happen. Its adoption required huge sums of money, both from private investors and from ports that aspired to be on the leading edge of a new technology. It required years of high-stakes bargaining as well as delicate negotiations on standards that made it possible for almost any container to travel on any truck or train or ship. The bulk of the discussions occurred in the late 1960s and the first draft of the resulting ISO standards were prepared for publication in 1970.

Ultimately, it took McLean's success in supplying U.S. forces in Vietnam to persuade the world of the container's potential. The container transformed economic geography, devastating traditional ports such as New York and London and fueling the growth of previously obscure ones. By making shipping so cheap that industry could locate factories far from its customers, the container paved the way for Asia to become the world's workshop and brought consumers a previously unimaginable variety of low-cost products from around the globe. Information on containerisation

The Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill was introduced to the public in the early 1960s. Birth control pills are synthetic hormones that mimic the way real estrogen and progestin works in a women's body. The pill prevents ovulation - no new eggs are released by a women on the pill since her body is tricked into believing she is already pregnant. Margaret Sanger was a lifelong advocate of women's rights and the use of birth control. During the 1930s, it was discovered that hormones prevented ovulation in rabbits. In 1950, while in her 80s, Sanger underwrote the research necessary to create the first human birth control pill. Sanger raised $150,000 for the project.

Heart Pacemaker
Canadian, John Hopps invented the first cardiac pacemaker. Hopps was trained as an electrical engineer at the University of Manitoba and joined the National Research Council in 1941, where he conducted research on hypothermia. While experimenting with radio frequency heating to restore body temperature, Hopps made an unexpected discovery: if a heart stopped beating due to cooling, it could be started again by artificial stimulation using mechanical or electric means. This lead to Hopps' invention of the world's first cardiac pacemaker in 1950. His device was far too large to be implanted inside of the human body. It was an external pacemaker.

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