A motor scooter and 10 other great gadgets from the last 100 years

A motor scooter and 10 other great gadgets from the last 100 years

The image that presides over this article has been the subject of a meme in the main messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger in recent days. Beyond the humorous content of the photograph, what is true is that the first scooter considered motorized was invented in 1916 , 102 years ago today. Specifically, it is the Autoped, a scooter that was used in delivery tasks at the New York post office.

This and many other inventions were a revolution at the time. Gadgets like the color television, the electric shaver, and even the hair dryer arrived much earlier than most mortals think . That is why today we have made a compilation of nine pots released over the last 100 years. Some will surely surprise you!

Color TV


Television is surely one of the most important devices in society over the past 50 years. The first black and white models date back to 1925 thanks to Scottish inventor John Logie Baird. In fact, it was in 1927 under the English channel of the BBC that the first public television signal was broadcast, but what do you know when color television was invented?

13 years later. Specifically in 1940 . Its author was the Mexican Guillermo González Camarena, and he recorded what is known today as color television. This technology would not arrive in Spain after the 70s.

Plasma television


Yes, that television that became fashionable a few years ago is older than the majority of Tuexperto editors. If the first version of color television arrived in 1940, the first model of plasma television arrived in 1964 under a team of students from the University of Illinois. Specifically Donald Bitzer, Gene Slottow and Robert Wilson. It was not until 1983 when IBM launched its first plasma screen on the market, although it was monochrome, that is, one color (orange in this case).

Remarkable is that the first patent for a plasma television was developed in 1936 under the Hungarian inventor Kalman Tihanyi.

The electric drill

Black & Decker electric drill

Advertising leaflet for the first Black & Decker electric drill model.

One of the most important gadgets for construction and DIY. The electric drill is, to this day, more than 100 years old.

The first model, how could it be otherwise, was launched by the Black & Decker company in 1916 . Although its appearance has nothing to do with current electric drills, the truth is that its mechanism is practically the same as that of a 2018 model, with a handle and a pistol trigger that activate the rotation of the motor. It was not until 1921 when its distribution became popular, as it cost only $ 16, less even than drills sold today.

The portable hair dryer

antique dryer

So were the static dryers of the time.

Another extremely important device for our day to day: the hair dryer. In the past, the only models launched on the market were found in specialized hairdressers or in houses with wealthy accounts. Today the price of these has been reduced in such a way that they can be purchased by anyone after ... 98 years. Yes yes, you have read correctly.

The first commercial portable hair dryer was, in fact, launched in 1920 by the Universal Motor Company and Hamilton Beach. If we refer to static or non-portable hair dryers, we have to go back 30 years. Specifically in 1890 , the year in which the first hair dryer was created, although it was more like a vacuum cleaner.

The electric shaver

electric razors

Advertising space for one of the first electric razors in history.

Don't tell me that this invention is also 100 years old ... Well, almost. In fact, it didn't come much later than the conventional razor, which dates back to 1890 . The first electric shaver launched on the market dates back to 1931 , almost 90 years ago today. Its inventor was the American Jacob Schick, and such was its success that companies like Philips invented their own shaving system, albeit 9 years late. Later other companies developed similar razors.

The Casio digital watch

Casio W-59

The Casio W-59, one of the brand's most popular watches.

Casio was the first brand in the world to introduce a digital watch to use. The specific model was the Casiotron, a battery-powered wristwatch that not only gave the time, but also the month, the year, and leaps. Guess what year it was released… 1974. Yes, 44 years ago today .

Later the company launched more advanced models that included light and different calculation functions.

The laptop


This was the Epson HX-20, the first laptop in history.

The first laptop is almost 40 years old today. Yes, 40 years. And it was not released by Apple, nor by IBM, nor by HP, nor by Microsoft. Epson was the first company to put a laptop on the market.

Specifically, it was the Epson HX-20 , a device that not only included a screen and keyboard, but also a small printer that allowed printing small sheets of text. It also had a portable battery and weighed only 1.6 kg, less than some current laptops.

Regarding the power of this small device, it had a 0.6 Mhz Hitachi processor, a 16 Kb RAM memory expandable up to 32 Kb and a thankless cassette to store all the information.

The discman or portable CD player

Sony D-5

The Sony D-5, one of the first Sony discman.

Music was a cause of revolution in the 80s. Groups like Pink Floyd were already established at the time, and ACDC had already released a few albums. Yes, we are talking about records and not cassettes, because the first discman or portable CD player dates back to 1984 .

Released by Sony , the brand's first portable player was the D-5 / D-50 . Its success was such that following its launch, the company created a whole range of products for the reproduction of music.

The MP3 player

mp3 player

We are approaching the year 2000. Specifically, the year 1996 . Two years after the founder of Nirvana blew his head off in his home garage, what we now know as an MP3 player is released.

The specific device was presented by the Audio Highway company, and today it is priced at more than $ 75,000 due to its limited distribution in the market. Remember that in the 90s the format that prevailed over the rest was the cassette and later, the CD.

The smartphone

Original Apple Newton

Original Apple Newton.

Today the concept of smartphone has nothing to do with that of a few years ago. If we go back to history, the iPhone was not the first smartphone to use. In fact we have to go back more than 30 years to find what was already a revolution at the time.

We are talking about the Apple Newton , a PDA that was developed in 1987 and presented in 1993. This curious device incorporated a good number of functions that today are considered basic, such as office automation and drawing applications. In fact, it had compatibility with some Microsoft applications such as the Office suite.

Despite the novelty at the time, the popularization of brands like Palm caused Apple to temporarily stop developing this type of device.