It was an Atari world back in the late 70s and early 80s, but Mattel’s Intellivison staged a pretty good coup. The Atari VCS (aka the 2600) was the untouchable juggernaut of the home video game world, with hundreds of titles under its championship belt, but Intellivision banked on an old truth: Make it better, and the(...)

Internet, The

Originally based on the ARPAnet military network launched in 1969 to link only universities, government bodies and defence agencies, the Internet quickly evolved into thousands of linked networks. 1990 witnessed the introduction of America Online, which competed with the already established Prodigy and CompuServe networks by specialising in chat folders and offering an easy-to-use interface.(...)

Juke Box

The Seeburg company produced the first juke boxes to play 45 rpm singles, and they soon became regular fixtures in bars, bowling alleys and coffee shops.                  


K-Tel were famous for their TV commercials pitching their mass-market compilation LPs and tapes and their household 'gadgets'. Everything they sold was labelled "As advertised on TV" as if that were a big selling point. K-Tel compilation albums had groovy titles like Dynamite, Soul Motion and Super Bad. . . all with "20 Original Hits(...)

Liquid Paper

Bette Nesmith Graham never set out to be an inventor, believing her vocation in life was to be an artist. However, shortly after the Second World War ended she found herself divorced and a single parent (the child Michael Nesmith, later went on to become a member of 60’s pop group, The Monkees) living in Dallas(...)


Microwave Ovens

Looking back, It is almost impossible to convey the wonder and awe these devices inspired when they were first introduced. Cooking food on paper plates was the stuff of sci-fi. Yet here was the proof, right in your mouth. In an age when nuclear power and DDT were held as modern miracles, a small glass-lined(...)

Mobile Telephones (Cell Phones)


Moog Synthesizer

The Moog Synthesizer was originated by Dr Robert Moog in the mid-sixties and launched commercially in 1970. The synthesizer used electronically modulated oscillators to produce a wide range of artificial sounds. Ostensibly a keyboard, the instrument was capable of making a vast range of electronically generated sounds, which opened the door for many aspiring groups to(...)

Moon Landing (1969)

It seemed the whole world had stopped. Then, clear as crystal, came those immortal words . . . "That's one small step for man - one giant leap for mankind". The speaker: American astronaut Neil Armstrong. The place: The Moon. It was July 20, 1969, and Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 mission, had just become the first(...)



Before there was Atari, before there was even Pong, there was the Odyssey. We take it for granted now, of course, but try to remember there was once a time when nobody even thought about playing games on a home television screen. Computer labs had been buzzing with prototype video games since the 1960s, but(...)

Phone Cards

It used to be the case that if you wanted to telephone somebody while walking down the street you would go into a phone box, get some change out of your pocket and make a call. Easy. But then BT came to the conclusion that it was losing too much money through vandalism and suchlike,(...)

Pill, The

In the 1960s, the scientific advances and upheavals in post-industrial society collided to create the sexual revolution. From its roots in Britain and the US this rebellious wave swept around the world and greatly undermined the ability of governments or the church to dictate sexual behaviour. Perhaps the single most important development to affect the(...)

Polaroid Land Camera

Quadraphonic Sound

Most of those responsible for the European development of the Quadraphonic stereo system would probably rather forget that they were involved. To say that it was a dismal failure would be kind, to say that it was an absolute sales stinker would be fair. But to say that it didn't work would be wrong .(...)

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