After a drought that ran from 1908 to 2016, the Chicago Cubs have finally won a World Series. Forget the goat, forget Bartman – the Cubbies’ “curse” is over.
The planet’s changed a lot since that early-20th-century Cubs club hoisted the trophy – we’ve seen space travel, the internet, the computer mouse, the smart phone – all of that’s been developed in the intervening 108 years.
But there’s a pretty surprising list of tech we now take for granted that was introduced AFTER the ’08 Classic. Some examples:
- Sliced bread. Machine-sliced commercially-packaged bread was first produced by the Chillicothe Baking Co. (MO) in 1928. The machine itself had been invented in 1912.
- The pop-up toaster. Charles Strite came up this ubiquitous kitchen gadget in 1919.
- Incandescent bulbs filled with inert gas. This efficient trick made the bulb vastly brighter, and was discovered in 1913 by Irving Langmuir.
- The commercial radio station. Experimental stations had popped up across the globe after Guglielmo Marconi invented the device in the late 1800s, but Pittsburgh’s KDKA was the first call-sign set up for a business application: Westinghouse wanted to sell the radios it had begun producing, and what better way than to provide actual content?
- The zipper and the bra. Both were invented (the zipper by a man, the bra by a woman) in 1913.
- The talkies. Edison introduced the first motion picture with synchronized sound in 1910. “Talkies” wouldn’t be commercially viable for nearly two more decades.
- The Model T assembly line. The first Model Ts – built in 1908 – were constructed by hand. Henry Ford would perfect his assembly-line construction over the next few years after the introduction of the first Lizzie.
- The automobile ignition system. Farewell to the crank! Charles Ketterling gave us the system that would lead to “car keys” in 1911.
- Traffic lights. Garrett A. Morgan came up with the first signal in 1923.
- Commercial airlines. A firm known by the acronym DELAG began flying Zeppelins in 1909, and the first commercial flight was a 23-minute hop from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida on January 1, 1914. Tony Jannus piloted a flying boat. His single passenger was the mayor of St. Pete, Abram C. Pheil.
One can only imagine what the world will be like when the Browns win a Super Bowl.