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Timeline of United States inventions (1946–1991)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A timeline of United States inventions (1946–1991) encompasses the ingenuity and innovative advancements of the United States within a historical context, dating from the era of the Cold War, which have been achieved by inventors who are either native-born or naturalized citizens of the United States. Copyright protection secures a person's right to his or her first-to-invent claim of the original invention in question, highlighted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution which gives the following enumerated power to the United States Congress:

In 1641, the first patent in North America was issued to Samuel Winslow by the General Court of Massachusetts for a new method of making salt.[1][2][3] On April 10, 1790, President George Washington signed the Patent Act of 1790 (1 Stat. 109) into law which proclaimed that patents were to be authorized for "any useful art, manufacture, engine, machine, or device, or any improvement therein not before known or used."[4] On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins of Pittsford, Vermont became the first person in the United States to file and to be granted a patent for an improved method of "Making Pot and Pearl Ashes."[5] The Patent Act of 1836 (Ch. 357, 5 Stat. 117) further clarified United States patent law to the extent of establishing a patent office where patent applications are filed, processed, and granted, contingent upon the language and scope of the claimant's invention, for a patent term of 14 years with an extension of up to an additional 7 years.[4] However, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 (URAA) changed the patent term in the United States to a total of 20 years, effective for patent applications filed on or after June 8, 1995, thus bringing United States patent law further into conformity with international patent law.[6] The modern-day provisions of the law applied to inventions are laid out in Title 35 of the United States Code (Ch. 950, sec. 1, 66 Stat. 792).

From 1836 to 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a total of 7,861,317 patents[7] relating to several well-known inventions appearing throughout the timeline below. Some examples of patented inventions between the years 1946 and 1991 include William Shockley's transistor (1947),[8] John Blankenbaker's personal computer (1971),[9] Vinton Cerf's and Robert Kahn's Internet protocol/TCP (1973),[10] and Martin Cooper's mobile phone (1973).[11]

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  • ✪ Saving the Web: Ethics & Challenges of Preserving the Internet (morning)
  • ✪ USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course World History #39


>> From the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. >> JANICE HYDE: Good morning. And welcome to the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. I'm Janice Hyde, Intern Director of the Kluge Center, which is delighted to serve as the host for today's symposium, Saving the Web, the Ethics and Challenges of Preserving What's on the Internet. Before we begin, please take a moment to silence your cellphones and other electronic devices. Thank you. Today's program is being recorded for the Library of Congress and Kluge Center websites. As well as for future placement on the library's YouTube and iTunes channels. We're also living Tweeting this event. So if you would like to tweet, retweet, or just follow the Twitter conversation please do so using hashtag save the web. The Kluge Center brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to exchange ideas and energize one another. To distill wisdom from the library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers and the public. It also administers the Kluge Prize, periodically conferred by the Librarian of Congress to recognize lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. To learn more about it's programs and opportunities, please visit the center's website at For the past few months, the Kluge Center has been privileged to have in residence Dame Wendy Hall, who has served as the Kluge chair in technology and society. The chair in technology and society is a senior scholar position, focusing on the impact of fast changing technology on human societies. The scholar makes use of rapidly growing digital resources of the Library of Congress, augmented by science and technology data and documentation from around the world. Today's symposium helps mark the culmination of Wendy's research and reflection while at the center. And we are honored to have served as her host. It is now my pleasure to welcome to the podium, someone who is intimately familiar with the management of vast amounts of information on a daily basis. David Mao currently leads the institution as the acting Librarian of Congress. He previously served as the Deputy Librarian of Congress. And prior to that he was the 23rd Law Librarian of Congress. In that position, he expanded the Law Library's collections, especially its rare books, supported efforts to make US public domain legal materials accessible online and brought to the library a 1215 Magna Carta for an historic exhibition to commemorate the great charter's 800th anniversary. Please join me in welcoming David Mao. [ Applause ] >> DAVID S. MAO: Thank you so much Janice and good morning to all of you. As Janice said, I have the privilege as serving as the acting Library of Congress. And one of the joys of being the acting Librarian of Congress is I get to welcome groups. And I'm really excited to be able to welcome all of you to the library today. I understand over the last two days many of you here have participated in a datathon here, which Dame Wendy Hall, along with her colleagues, Ian Milligan who is here and Matt Weber, and Jimmy Lynn have helped coordinate and all of you have participated in this exciting event here at the library. And it was developed with the generous support from the National Science Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Internet Archive, Rutgers University, and the University of Waterloo. So, we thank all of them for helping to support this program here at the library. We, at the library are cohosting this event along; I'm sorry I should say the library is hosting this event with several cohosts from within the library. Janice mentioned the John W. Kluge Center, but I would like also to mention a couple of other entities here at the library that have participated. The Law Library of Congress, Library's National Digital Initiative Office and the Web Archiving Program. Now, web archiving is nothing new to the library. In fact, we've had a program here since about 2000. And over the last 15 or 16 years we've unmasked quite a bit of data, as you can imagine, a lot. And we're not exactly sure what we're doing with it, in the sense that there is just a lot of challenges, and so it's particularly timely that we have this datathon, and in fact this symposium today to talk about the issues associated with web archiving. The datathon yesterday and the day before provided an opportunity to explore our cutting-edge research tools and also the development of a broad-based consensus on how we can approach this issue. And so today you will hear the culmination of those two days of talking and discussing. And you also hear from a panel of experts on some additional ideas. And so hopefully this will just generate some good thoughts moving forward and continue moving us forward. And we would not be able to do this of course without Dame Wendy Hall And so it is my pleasure now to be able to provide a brief introduction, although I know she doesn't need an introduction to any of you. We are just very, very honored that she was able to be in residence here at the library for the last couple of months. She's brought with her terrific energy, intellect, good will. And we are very, very grateful that she has spent the time and helped us to coordinate this event. So, the datathon and today's events I think are a testament to your expertise. Because she's been able to gather a group of high profile thinkers from various disciplines across the world to talk about saving the web. And that's really what we really need to talk about. And it's a pressing challenge for us here at the library, institutions around the world, cultural institutions as we try and think about how we are going to preserve all of this information. Just a brief snapshot of her background. She's a professor of a computer science at the University of Southampton in England. She's a pioneer in research and an early collaborator with Tim Berners-Lee on the development of the web, which build on the work of Vint Cerf, who we're very, very delighted to be able to welcome to the Library today. Her work as been at the forefront of computer science, multimedia and hypermedia. The semantic web, and digital libraries. And she's done this for quite some time. Almost 30 years I think. [ Laughter ] So, here at the Library she has been working on a project titled Internet Histories and Futures. And on that project, she's been using the library's collections to explore the economic, social and technical dimensions that have contributed to the development of the web as a social technical system. She's been the Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, a founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council, a fellow of the Royal Society, and most importantly she is a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. So please join me in welcoming Dame Wendy. [ Applause ] >> DAME WENDY HALL: Thank you very much. Thank you so much, David. I don't want to take a lot of your time I want to thank David and everyone at the Library of Congress and the Kluge Center for making me so welcome. For really helping with this event, which we hope will be sentinel in the development of this world, this new world. And I've had a wonderful time and there will always be a special place in my heart now for the Library of Congress and I hope to come back many times and visit. It's my, you'll hear a bit more from me later. But it's my privilege now to not stand very long between you and your first keynote speaker, Vint Cerf, who doesn't need an introduction, you have all our bios for the speakers today on the, well except one, Abbie. But, you have the bio of Vint. Now, here, we wouldn't be here today talking about this if it wasn't for people like Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn. And I don't think people realize how unbelievably seminal their work was in creating the open and free internet. And it's always in parallel with the different forces on it. And we have to continue to support the efforts of the people. Still led by Vint and Bob, who work hard to keep the internet alive for us. It's a very short time in the period of history. When you look at what's happened, you know what's here in the library and other institution libraries around the world, you know we are, it's only decades since we've had this. This is a blink of the eye in terms of civilization, and we really, really have to make sure that we preserve its openness and its freedom for the future of humanity. Now, Vint has, because of his work, is very well honored. He has received many awards and metals. He's met every president, every head of state, I think. He can outdo me on name dropping [laugther] and that's; I've never met the Emperor of Japan. But, the wonderful thing about Vint is he's still giving back. The fact that he's here today, he's been on the west coast, we were out there, we've both recently been presidents of the ACM. We were out there for the big ACM Council and Awards Banquet. He only flew back yesterday, and tomorrow he goes to Barcelona, and yet he's found time to come here this morning to talk to us, because I know on everything else he does, he's absolutely passionate about preserving the content that is being put onto this amazing system that he and others created. So, without further ado, it's my pleasure to introduce Vint Cerf. [ Applause ] >> VINT CERF: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. And thank you very much Wendy for a very friendly introduction. I always get nervous when people clap before you've said anything. It makes me feel like I should just sit down because it won't get any better than that. I have the sad duty to tell you that Bob Kahn is not going to be able to join us today. His sister passed away on Monday and he is in Cleveland seeing to all of the things associated with that. He passes along his regrets and hopes that there'll be another opportunity for him to join us. I will try to offer some information that Bob would have given. I won't do it with nearly the same panache that bob does, but I'll do my best. So, let me start, assuming I can get this thing to behave properly. All right for our next trick ladies and gentlemen. Let's see. There we go. So, I want to introduce a term digital vellum. And I want to explain that it isn't just about the physical median. This is an environment that I would like to see become real. And it has a great deal to do with the preservation of information associated with online and digital content. So, let me begin by observing, oh maybe it doesn't want to. What does that mean? It has frozen. So, that's the end of my talk. I guess that's it [laugther]. Let's try. Wow, this, oh here we go. Now it's waking up. All right I don't know why the other little arrows didn't work. But anyway. So, let me first of all draw your attention to something you already know and you've spent 2 days talking about. And I'm sorry I wasn't here to participate. And that's, this is a huge problem, and the scope is quite dramatic. For one thing, we have all these digital structures and they're complex, they have many representations. We need vocabulary in order to talk about this stuff. We need identifier spaces in order to make reference to these digital objects that we're trying to hang on to. And we have to resolve those references to the actual object themselves. The irony of the Worldwide Web is that the domain name system and the URLs that are derived from the domain names are not necessarily stable. As you know if you fail to pay your annual fee for registration that domain name may go away, and all the URLs associated with it may also become unreachable. Everybody here has experienced 404, you know site not found. So, we need to do something about that. Bob Kahn has this digital object architecture, which I will talk about later, has the unfortunate acronym of DOA. I thought maybe he ought to come out with something else. But in any case, it's a very thoughtful mechanism for preserving identifiers over long periods of time that are not changing, that are not reassigned, they're stable. We plainly need standards in order to preserve this digital content. And the ingestion process to bring in digital objects needs to be pretty rigorous, because we have to capture a great deal of metadata associated with this to acquisition. There are also these really interesting legal questions that arise having to do with copyright, not only on the objects themselves or patents on the software used to render the objects and licensing and other kinds of things. I think that the copyright laws should be amended in order to give rights to agencies like the Library of Congress that are in the business of digital preservation. We have this fair use notion here in the US and I think a preservation arrangement also ought to be incorporated into our thinking. And finally, we need business models to retain this vast and increasing amount of digital content over long periods of time. And here I'm not talking about decades, I'm talking about centuries. And business models for centuries are hard to come by. I can think of a few, there are some breweries that have been around for about 4 or 500 hundred years. And of course, there's always the Catholic Church so, anyway. The other thing which I find very interesting is that the OAIS definitions that I'm sure you're all familiar with have this interesting recursive property that you know you have these digital representations of the objects that you're preserving and there are recursive references to this until you get down to the point where there's some specific group whose domain knowledge is sufficient to correctly interpret the content that's being preserved and at that point has to stop somewhere. But the problem is the groups that understand the details may eventually die out, in which case we may have to recur once more in order to make sure that subsequent users have enough information to correctly interpret the content. So, there's a lot of formality hiding in here, but it's going to be necessary. And of course, we'll have to have all kinds of specializations for representations for particular kinds of data and I include not simply documents that you would typically find here in this library, but also scientific data, data collection from space missions at NASA and data coming from the large hadron collider. All of that stuff is digital content worthy of preservation. So, it needs to by systematic. I'm not necessarily arguing that the OAIS concepts are the only ones that can be applied here. But, they certainly are representative of the style that I think is necessary. And within our own research organizations here in the United States, PCAST and the OSTP have strongly recommended that research sponsored by the US government should incorporate saving of the data, software and metadata associated with that research so that it can be made available in perpetuity to the future researchers. I also think that if we're going to build archives, we better build more than one for the possibility that only one goes away and then everything is lost. So, distributing the information across multiple archives strikes me as a wise move. And finally, we need policy frameworks that will provide incentives for people to build and operate these archives. So, let me switch gears for a moment. Move into some of the more substantive questions. One of them has to do with how we archive static content. Some of you will notice that there are certain media that are blasted for quite a long time. By accident in some cases like these cuneiform tablets that were, you know essentially made on clay. Most of them were intended to be reused, except the fires burned down some of the archives and baked the clay into its permanent form. Which is why we still have some of them. Now, what I don't like about this is preservation by accident [laugther]. I think that those of us in this room should be paying attention to preservation on purpose and we should have ways of doing that. Now, we've also seen other documents. Vellum for example is quite a resilient material. Which is why I thought the term digital vellum captured a little bit of that notion. Unfortunately, I think that to preserve all the digital information on real vellum, it would require a lot of goats and sheep. And more than exist even in New Zealand. So, we need to do something comparable with different media. And we've all seen the accidental preservation of [inaudible] for example, because it happened to have been stored in a cave in a dessert where it was dry. But, again, I don't want preservation by accident. Now, when digital technologies emerged over the past 70 years, people got very excited because bits seemed to have this ethereal ability to just live forever. After all, they're just logical bits, right? But they actually have physical manifestations. And I will tell you showing up here at the Library of Congress a decade and a half ago with some CD-ROMs, thinking look at all the data we can store on such a small amount of space. I'm so proud of myself. And one of the librarians here came back with a vellum manuscript. It was 1000 years old, and still as readable today as it was then. And if you happen to speak, you know in ancient Greek, etcetera. And she said to me, and how long will your polycarbonate CD-ROM last? And of course, I didn't have a very good answer for that. It might only be 20 years before it delaminates. But the more severe problem is that the reader for it might not be available for it either. Not even in the Smithsonian, or if it is it might not be in workable form. So, you see all these examples of media that have come and gone. If you buy Macintosh equipment like I do, you might have regretted discovering that the latest versions don't have a CD-ROM reader in them at all to save space I guess. But it means that my stack of media that I carefully accumulated is no longer useful because I can't read it. So, that's a serious problem. And it gets worse. I mean we have all these other media, like YouTube, and Flickr and Picasa and so on. All these online media. So, what I tell other audiences, you know this as well as anyone, but I try to give them a sense for why this is important. So, those of you, I hope who have read, "A Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin will have noticed how well she reproduced the conversations of the time. It felt like she had been a fly on the wall, although we knew she wasn't there in the 1860s. So, how did she do that? Well she ran around to I don't know how many libraries. I put 100 down here just as a placeholder. But she got the correspondence of the principles in this story. So, she knew what they were talking about and how they expressed themselves, and what positions they took. And she was able to reproduce the conversations in what I thought was a very credible way. So, imagine that you're a 22nd century Doris Kearns Goodwin and you're trying to reproduce the tenner of the times in the 21st century. What will she find. You know will the National Archives have anything useful to share with us? What about all the emails and the Tweets, and the blogs and everything else. Will any of that be render-able in the 22nd century. And the answer is we don't know. And I think that we don't have very good answers at this point. And it gets even more complicated. When you think about executable content, this is not static stuff. This requires interpretation by software. People are interacting with it. It's not just games. I mean there are other kinds of applications too. Things like spreadsheets and so on, which are things you interact with. A static version of the spreadsheet is typically a snapshot of its current values. But the value of the spreadsheet is the ability to put different values in and have software run. So, we have this executable content that we have to think about in the archival context. So, there are a bunch of challenges. And I suppose over the last few days, you've been talking about these and others, but I will remind you of the ones that come to my mind. One is figuring out what the bits mean at all. The second one is the metadata capture. The third is hanging on to executable code or source code if we can get it and then it's this question of how do I figure out how to run old code. And I've been using kind of sort of a metaphor here. If you could take a digital x-ray of a computer when it has the operating system, the application, the actual files that its working on plus the hardware, and you could take a snapshot of all that and then re-instantiate it by emulating the hardware and running the old operating system and putting the application on it. You might actually be able to preserve the capability to run all this old software over long periods of time. Of course, you also have to have a place to store all of this stuff. So, we have to have affordable large scale memory. Now, unfortunately, we live in a world which is filled with change. And one of the things is that companies don't necessarily last forever. So, they go bankrupt. And some of their assets turn out to be things that get sold to other people. So, if a company goes bankrupt that made the application software that you use to produce new content, and you say after the company goes bankrupt, can I have a copy of the program, can I have the source code? And the bankruptcy judge says no unless you want to pay $6 million for this asset. So, or you have companies that just say I can't support this anymore. I'm not going to make it run. It, being an application, run on the current day's operating systems, or next year's operating systems. And now you're stuck, because either you have to keep using the old operating system to use the old application, or you have to hope somebody can translate the documents that you've produced, or the object you produced into something that het new software will interpret. And we know that not everybody is going to pay attention to backward compatibility. So, there are really tough problems. So, there's questions about who owns the software in addition to who owns the digital objects. And under which circumstances you have access to that software. And so again I keep thinking we need legal frameworks that provide exceptions for preservation purposes. So, there is a project at Carnegie Mellon, which I hope some of you may already know about, called Olive, which is like the thing you put in your cocktail glass. This is being run, or was run under in a self-support by Mahadev Satyanarayanan. We call him Satya for obvious reasons. And this was a very successful effort to essentially emulate old hardware and run old operating systems on the system. Now, this is not easy. It might sound like it's easy, but it's not. There's a whole lot of thing that have to be emulated or correctly identified in order to make it work. One of them is making sure you understand exactly how the old hardware works so you can emulate exactly how that hardware executes instructions on a virtual environment. Then you have to be able to bring in the operating system and the applications and so on. And that includes all the library's executable libraries that are needed to make the applications work. So, it just goes on and on. Language settings have to be known I mean like what if this is an application that was you know written for Bulgarian instead of English or French, or something else. So, there's a whole lot of details that have to be remembered and replicated in order to make this stuff work. And that's why this term digital x-ray seemed so attractive. Now, what was very interesting is that he said well, all right. So, I'm going ingest into this space of preservation all of the description of hardware, all of the operating system, all the executable libraries, all of the application. Plus, the actual object that's being interpreted and incorporate that into a great big bundle and run it as a virtual, in a virtual machine environment. And in his first work he did this on laptop, that was capable of emulating other hardware. But he had an idea that this is so, these virtual machines are so big, that he ought to find some alternative way of running the software and then having to draw it all into one box all at once. So, he got this idea about using this streaming video, which all of us see on YouTube and other applications as a metaphor for pulling only that which is needed from this gigantic virtual machine into the executing environment. And so, it's sort of like a paging system in a time-shared machine. So, it's actually not too easy though. In the case of streaming video, it's pretty well ordered. You just pull in the next frame. And if you want to get a little ahead of the game, you pull in a few more frames ahead of time so that if there's some stuttering in the network you don't see a flicker in the video or a stutter in the audio. But in the case of a virtual machine execution, if you're taking pages of software in, the program jumps around. And so, the pages that are needed are not necessarily just in simple sequential order. So, you have to be pretty clever about drawing in pieces of the virtual machine as needed in order to execute that. So, he basically uses demand paging, which is to say if you're executing a piece of code and it needs to get to another part of the executable program, you just pull the page in when it's needed, but then you try to watch what the patterns are and you pre-fetch pages to avoid delay in order to make this work. So, I know that you don't want to dive, I assume you don't want to dive too deep into all this. So, I'm not going to talk about every single layer in this architecture, except to say that it's like any other conventional machine, except you run a virtual machine kernel so that it can emulate the hardware of machines that are no longer available, and then you run the operating system inside of that environment and then run the application so the virtual machine image has all of this stuff that's needed and it's expressed in XML so this looks like a web application. So, you can imagine simply running on a computer connected to the internet something that looks like it's connected to a server on the Worldwide Web and it's pulling in XML pages, but in fact what it's doing is running this virtual machine. So, this is sort of an image of what it looks like. He's using the QEMU, QEMU KVM kernel virtual machine. And then, for example, he was running Microsoft Windows and he was running an app on top of that. He has a cache which is the clean cache, which hasn't experienced any execution. And then as the program runs, he has to keep track of what's changed. And he goes out and pulls stuff in. So, the way this tends to work is that you can even run this in such a way that the virtual machine is not even on your desktop or laptop. It's actually running in the cloud. And the only thing that you present to the client is the image. Some of you may even remember something called X Windows that was developed at MIT, which had a similar kind of notion, you just displayed the bits that were appropriate on the screen. And all the other execution, including the generation of the display was done back in the server. So, we can certainly consider doing that as well, in order to limit was is needed on the client side. So, we still have a long way before we're done with all of this. For one thing, actually handling this increasingly large virtual machine structure is not so easy, and yet we are expanding, those of us who build cloud systems, Google and Microsoft, and IBM, and elsewhere, Amazon, are building larger, and larger capacity systems with multicore processors and more and more memory. But the hardest part seems to be getting precession in the emulation of the hardware, including mistakes that have been made I the hardware that the application actually relied on, even though it was a bug in the hardware design. And so, getting that accurately is tricky. And not all machine designers are necessarily willing to hand out to you the details of their hardware instruction set. And so, here's another example of a kind of exception one would look for for preservation purposes. I think just I won't go through this list completely but the idea here is for us to recognize that we're going to need expertise in the hardware space and the operating system space. And if we're going to make this a general-purpose notion, we have to ask ourselves will people who write operating systems be willing to part with the source code? Will they be willing to make available executable object code? Will they be willing to do this on a regular basis for purposes of preservation? Will they allow execution of the emulated hardware and the emulated operating system for thousands of people and not necessarily get paid for that. At some point the patents expire, the other rights expire and the general public needs to have access to these executables if they're going to be able to reference material which doesn't run in any other environment. This should be of personal concern to those of you who produce content. Because if you experience, like I have material produced 20 years ago, that no longer is accessible. I have PowerPoint slides from 1997 that don't run on today's PowerPoint. And this is not a gratuitous dig at Microsoft, I'm not expecting them to be able to run backward compatibility for 20 years. But it's really a shock when you pull up something that you worked hard on and realize that it's not available anymore. And its content has been lost. And so, I actually kept an old IBM ThinkPad around running Windows XP and an old version of Microsoft, that just happens to reach far enough back to pick up those pages, but I've had to reproduce the pages. So, I want to turn now, so this is one part of the story. And it's using virtual machine technology in order to preserve executability over a long period of time. But I want to turn now to the self-archiving web idea. This notion was first introduced to me last year by Tim Berners-Lee and David Reid and Brewster Kahle. And their idea was that the web is this femoral thing. We all realize that the web is what it is in the instant. It doesn't automatically archive itself, it doesn't remember previous pages. And so, all we see when we go online is today's web. We don't see yesterday's web or yester year's web. And that's a pity. Because seeing things over a period of time can often be extremely illuminating. I've been told more than once that content that might be very important to understanding our history may not appear to be important for quite a long time. A hundred years, two hundred years. Until finally we realize looking back, this document, that decisions, this website marked an important moment in our history, but we didn't know that at the time because we didn't have enough perspective. And so, preservation of this content is really important. So, I've been thinking a lot about this. And I think the success of the internet might teach us a few lessons about how to approach a self-archiving web design. One of them is that collaboration and cooperation were essential to the internet's evolution. Bob Kahn and I may have started all this. But believe me it took millions of people and still does to keep the network going, and growing, and changing, and evolving. And the atmosphere around its creation invited that. It's a very open design. Anyone with an idea was free to express that idea and try to persuade others that they should adopt those ideas. And in the internet engineering task force where the standards are made, that process continues. Arguments are based on merit not based on anything else. And if your ideas are accepted they get implemented. And if they aren't they don't. But the other thing that was important is that we published the design openly, without any restrictions, which is kind of amazing when you consider this was done in 1973 in the middle of the Cold War. And we just published the details of the architecture and the protocols. People have asked us how did you get permission to do that? And the answer is, well we didn't ask. But we had a rationale for it. We said, okay we want this to be available to the American Defense Department so they don't have to buy a particular brand of machine in order to network them. Because back then we had SNA for IBM, we had DECnet for digital. But we didn't think the Defense Department should be forced into buying only one brand of machine to have network. So, we said let's do a nonproprietary design. And then we said, our allies will probably need access to this too, because we'll want them to be able to interwork in a command and control system built on top. Then we said, well okay, so who are our allies? And well, we could answer that question in 1973. But we said, well who will they be 25 years from now? And we weren't sure. We looked back 25 years and realized that the allies of today, that is '73, were different from the ones, you know 25 years ago. So, we assumed that we would not know who our allies were 25 years from now and since this needed to work, we said everybody has to be able to do it. So, we just published openly and said, if you can build stuff that works this way and find somebody to connect to, it should work. And so, the internet grew in a very organic way precisely for that reason. We also said, we didn't care what the business model was. And so, we said just, it has to work this way, but we don't care what your business model is. So, we have nonprofit networks and we have for profit networks, government operated networks, private networks like the ones you run at home with your Wi-Fi service that connect into the rest of the internet. We were also very conscious of hiding information among the layers of the architecture, so that the IT packets or the internet protocol packets didn't have to know how they were being carried. So, new technology could be swept in without changing that protocol. We also said that the little internet package should be pretty stupid. They don't know what they're carrying. All they know is they're carrying bits. They don't know what the bits mean. And that was good because if you added a new application, all you had to do was reinterpret the bits at the edges of the net. You didn't have to change the network, because the network didn't know and it didn't care. And so, this kind of modularity and information hiding has been vastly helpful in allowing new applications to be built on the network. And so of course out of many one that is the internet. So, I gave a version of this talk out at the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle's operation, which you should visit because it's an old Christian Science Church, and he even has the pews are still there. And in the back, he has all the petabytes of memory that are stored away with the flashing lights. And he has a whole bunch of mannequins that are sitting on the pews. He moved them off to the right and left so that we had our meeting, you know live people could be sitting in the pews. I only accepted questions from the mannequins on the left and the right. Safety measure. So, I've been thinking a little bit about what kinds of technology we have to incorporate into our thinking for our digital preservation. Compression schemes, in order to use the, you know, lease amount of space, tarball thing like that, which are common. And we need to store and recover, up until now, this notion of compression and everything else involves particular objects that get stored and then fully recovered. But the Worldwide Web is a much more complex thing, because it's got pages that point to other pages. It's a complex, it's a web. And so, figuring out how to retain that part in addition to the particular objects is important. So just preserving the webpage with this HTML without the ability to go where the links went, or to go to a place that replicates where the links went, means what we have a very static representation of the net, we don't understand its connectivity. And we obviously have to think about webpages that change over time. So, how do we keep track of which versions we're looking at? The programmers do this all the time with programmers' workbench and things of that sorts. So, this Worldwide Web is a really complex reference structure so we have to deal with that. So, Brewster, Brewster Kahle has been running the Internet Archive for at least 15 years, maybe more, 20? And it's taking snapshots of the Worldwide Web and storing them away. It's indexed in time. So, he has a way back machine that lets you see what the web looked like at a certain year, or a certain month. He also has to do something with the hyperlinks. Because it's pretty clear that if you just copy the page and its hyperlinks, 10 years from now, or maybe even tomorrow clicking on the link might fail because the destination isn't available anymore. So, he has to convert the hyperlinks into something that he can point to inside the space of his internet archive. So, he has to essentially virtualize all of that. So, it's a self-contained system. And he has to be crawling the web constantly, just like we do at Google to create the index. And then there's this question of when is a page new? And you certainly wouldn't want pages to be snapshot every time you change one character. So, we have to have some kind of a notion about publishing of a page, saying I know what this page version to be seen by everybody. So, that's an instant in time that should mark when you want to capture the web, that webpage. And then I keep thinking about trying to capture everything that's on the web, and I thought about that philosophical problem do the set of all sets contain itself, and I decided not to think about that anymore, because it gave me a headache. So, I'm sorry you might want to get a cup of coffee. So, I worry also about the amount of space required to retain the evolving web, it's history, because it can barely contain itself as it is. I mean there's you know all this space is taken up by all these webpages. And so, there's this idea of lots of copies keep things safe, but I'm kind of worried about how much storage we actually can afford to retain over long periods of time. So, we have to be thoughtful about that. I'll come back to digital object identifiers when I give me Vint Cerf version of outcomes talk. And then there is this other question about HTML, which itself has been evolving, it's gone from the original HTML to various versions, to XML, to HTML 5 and so on. It's going to keep changing too. And so, whatever we do in terms of archiving is going to have to take that into account because the HTML of the webpage is just going to change over time and our ability to interpret that is going to have to keep up with that evolutions, and then I relay it back to permissions and access control. Some contents may be access controlled now for copyright reasons, or for monetary reasons. And yet 100 years from now those constraints may no longer be valid and we have to understand when it's going to be okay to make access open. And so, this creates a fairly complex environment, where we literally have to keep track of the access controls and rights of every one of the objects pointed to in the archive. So, I keep thinking about how to make this more automatic. And one possibility is that while you're creating webpages, and launching them by saying I want to publish, is that the environment that we use to say, oh and by the way this page now needs to be archived. And can we make that kind of a standard and cooperative practice? I keep thinking about Google Docs and one of the interesting things about Google Docs is that we replicate these across our multiple data centers to keep from losing anything. We actually also allow multiple parties to edit these documents at the same time, which is absolutely amazing. We don't get confused and lose things. But the idea of replicating over multiple storage environments is going to have to be part of this archival process as well. Then, we have this problem of making references to the various objects. And so, the web archiving entities whoever they are may need to have some common reference space so that each of them can ingest and correctly regurgitate pages on demand. So, if they don't have a common reference frame, reference terminology, and reference space, that won't work. And so, I keep thinking, that Google, you know does this sharding thing where we take objects and we break them all up and spread them across multiple sites in the Google Drive and I'm hoping that I can convince some of the Google executives that we should be a party to this as well. So, here's some more thinking out loud. Some of you will be familiar with publish and subscribe protocol regimes. And this feels to me like it might be a place where, that notion could be used as part of the archiving process. You know I declare this webpage now archivable. And so please publish that fact to the archiving community. Some of them may ingest the pages, some may not. They may choose to ingest pages of certain type or certain content. We want that to be flexible so that we don't force every archive to archive everything, but we want it to be rich enough that we can archive almost everything over the sum of all of the archiving processes. Plainly, we need a lot of metadata and so we'll have to have a way to express that. We'll have to have agreements about how that gets captured and how it gets interpreted. And then there's this rending of the digital objects. And whether it's just presenting them or interacting with them, we have to have all the software that's needed in order to do that. And that has to be preserved over a period of time again, and back to the virtual machine notion. And then there's this permission to use question. How do we represent that? How do we validate parties who are accessing the content? At which point can we say the content is no longer controlled and protected because its copyrights have expired or other rights are no longer valid? So, if we're trying to surf the self-archiving web, one question is which of the archives do we go to when we make a page reference. And figuring out how to resolve to multiple targets is another part of this problem. Because there should be multiple targets. If I go to a particular webpage that I'm trying to get to, I should have, the resolution system should give me different choices because there should be multiple places where I can go to get that content, otherwise we're back at risk that that one place goes away. This, you know how newspapers, and magazines and books are snapshots of a particular work in time. We have editions of newspapers; we have editions of magazines. I kind of wonder at what rate we should be snapshotting the Worldwide Web. And I don't know the answer to that. Probably part of it is the rate at which things are changing determine how often we should snapshot. But I'd really rather have a clue that something is worth snapshotting, as opposed to simply taking a million pictures and hoping some of them are appropriate. So, what else? Well, properties that would be attractive, automatic archiving when you declare that you're publishing. Is it a service that you sign up for? How is that funded? What about registering the software that's needed to interpret the webpages, and a permission system that goes with it. And now what do we do about stuff that turns out to be malware? Do we want to archive that and if we do, if we archive it, do we have a way to mark it so that if you're going in the archive, you don't accidentally ingest a serious virus or something because you were out there in the digital stacks? So, we may want that, you know for history purposes to understand what the threats were in this online environment, but we also have to protect people. So, we have to recognize what we're going. And then there's this fidelity of the experience in the online environment. You know, one thing is just to look at the webpage itself without actually being able to execute any of the links. But something deeper than that is the ability to actually exercise the webpage as it would have been when it was running. So, what happens once a page is archived? Do we make sure that it's indelible? Do we do digital signatures on it to make sure that it can't be changed? That might turn out to be important because in a court case you don't want somebody to say, my webpage had the following things on it in 1997, or 2005. But you can change it in order to, you know modify the court's decisions. You don't want that to happen if you're going to attribute to the storage system legal validity. What about if we make the self-archiving web work, will some of the records be considered official records like the ones that go into the National Archive? What happens if the content's encrypted? So, now we have some problem because we can't see it unless we have the keys, but where do we store the keys? And who's responsible for key management, and you know, anybody who's ever forgotten their password, will appreciate how hard it is to keep keys around for decrypting content. And then there's this access control question that keeps coming up all the time. So, some of you will have some familiarity with the notion of containers that's starting to come along in online cloud environment. Containers are actually kind of interesting because they are a way of boxing together everything you need in order to execute something. So, this is very much like the digital realm environment that I imagine. And so, it could be that we have in our hands some technology that will help us do this automatic archiving and rendering of the web over time because the container has everything in it that we need to do that. There are some other projects that you all know about and we've already mentioned some of them anyway, that the internet archive being obvious. The Library of Alexandria in Alexandria Egypt is one of the backup sites for the internet archive. And I think there's something delicious about that. It seems very appropriate. Ismail Serageldin is the librarian there. Soon to retire he says. A big lose in my view. But it's important that whatever we do that we have multiple archives for this content. The Computer History Museum has been saving the software as well as computing artifacts, software is being saved in the internet archive. Google has been scanning books and the cultural institute has been capturing images from many, many museums around the world. And then finally, there's the digital object architecture that Bob Kahn's worked on. And with permission, I'd like to give you a brief rendering of that process, because I believe it can play a very important role in the implementation of the self-archiving web. So, in order to do that, I need to go pick up these slides. Now, I should warn you that this is me trying to channel Bob Kahn. And so, I'm not sure that I will do this beautifully, but I will try. So, the first thing is that this digital object architecture uses the term handle system. Its handles are kind of like domain names. They're references to digital objects. And once you have this handle, when you resolve it, it takes you to, or points you to that digital object. So, the handle is a permanent thing. That's a sign, it doesn't get changed. Never gets reassigned to anything else. And in theory doesn't disappear. This stuff is in use. So, I am not speculating at this point, I am telling you about something which is actually functioning and in use and you can see a list here, which I won't read to you. So, the important part here is that stuff that works is really important. I mean it's sort of like the internet. Things that work persist. And I'm hoping that the handle system will have that property as well. So, there's pieces in this architecture. There's the client that's trying to get access to an object by way of a handle. There is discovering what resources are available down in the lower left. You know where can I go? In order to get things. Where, how do I find something? So, I need a resolution system in the lower right for you. And then finally, you want to go to a place where the objects are located. And so, this very simple, conceptual architecture made up of these four components. So, here's an object. It's in the architecture. The digital object is in the architecture as a first-class citizen in the internet. So, the notion of digital object becomes a first-class concept. So, we want to be able to take these objects as objects, move them around, store them away, recover them, interpret them, and so on. These things could be quite complex. They can have all different kinds of content in them. Could be video, could be audio, could be a mix of that. Could be executables. Virtually anything you can digitize should be, you know implementable as a digital object. And the whole idea behind the handle system is that it helps you find where is it and what am I allowed to do with it. So, here's the digital object. It has information in it. It has the type of content. It has the unique identifier and it responds to requests to render itself, for example, or to deliver some content and it gets distributed. So, here's an example, here's "Hamlet" which is a work. And it's got data elements in it. It's got content types. And they're all interconnected with each other. They could be rendered as print, they could be rendered as, well I guess Bob intended, scrolls? I don't know, can you imagine reading "Hamlet" on a scroll? Okay. Doing somebody else's slides is sort of like delving into their psychology. That's why I never let anybody read my code, right because they can tell everything about my head by looking at how I write software. So, we have this unique identifier, they reference sequences of typed bytes. So, there's types associated with the digital content of the objects. And it might have more than one content type. So, there's an identifier. An identifier has a bunch of content in it. The handle service helps us find it in a repository somewhere. And that's basically all there is to it. Well, there's more. This is theorem number 206, which reads everything is more complicated. And the closer you look at anything, the more complicated it gets. So, this is sort of the full rendering of the handle service, which is helping you find the objects, and maybe even search by type. You know you might only want to look for video, you might only want to look for print material and so on. So, here's the kind of, that's probably not even readable it's so small, but the idea here is to take that webpage for example and capture all of its data and metadata and store it away as a digital object. So, when the publisher produces content, it gets stored away. Oh, it is presented to the collection service along with its metadata. Handle data is generated and stored away in the handle system so you can find it again. Metadata gets stored away elsewhere and the handle system can help you find it after that. So, a repository is where you store this stuff. It provides for dynamic acquisitions and things can come into the repository and an execution capability. So, the code that implements the different kinds of content rendering can be executed in that environment. And it has an access protocol called repository access protocol surprisingly. And that's a standard. And so, this allows multiple repositories to be created and to be part of the environment. So, there's the client rapping with the repository so to speak. So, the handle system itself is distributed. So, this is the thing that takes the handle resolves it and tells you where to go and what to do. And there are a variety of different transformations. A handle could turn into a domain name for example, or it could turn into something that points directly into a repository. It's all well-define and so, the client goes to the handle services, there's a global handle resolution system and local handle resolution system. So, you can have handles resolve locally. And if they don't know what to do locally then they go to the global handle resolution systems in order to get further data, it's a little bit like the root system in the domain name environment. So, you can see these things distributed. Local handle resolution system can also be replicated in multiple sites. And finally, you know we get actual objects that are part of that system. So, here's an example of a handle might contain information in that's of URL type. And the data is familiar URL, but there are lots of other possibilities here. One of them might be the digital library system type of data which has a reference which is different from domain names or URLs. Our handle system administration system. So, you have a variety of possibilities here, including extensions. So, it could be x, y, z handle type. And it has a certain binary representation, and it gets interpreted on a basis of what that handle type is. So, some libraries that actually implement this stuff will be reachable through the web for example, or more directly from digital library services using the repository access protocol. So, the library could be first-class object in this repository system, or it might be reached through the Worldwide Web, through a webserver, which knows how to talk to a repository. And then the repository responds with content. And that actually was the last slide believe it or not. So, I'm happy to just stop here. I realize that I may have even overstayed my welcome, because it's after 10 o'clock. What does one mean? I can have one question? No. [ Inaudible Comment ] Oh, okay well I'll tell you what if you have questions, I will do my best to answer them. Do we have roving microphones, or do I run around? Okay. So, let me warn you that I'm hearing impaired and what that means, I'm not the guy that came to talk and wouldn't listen, that's not my problem [laugther]. But I may have to run around to lipread if necessary. So, let's try and if I'm having trouble hearing the question I may leap off the stage, in which case the guys who are videotaping this will have a great time trying to figure out how to find me hiding behind the columns here in this perfectly structured room for lectures. Okay. So, are there? There's a question over here, but the microphone is over that way. So, we'll get you. You're number 2, just remember your number. First question. >> SPEAKER 1: Thank you. That was very interesting. I was going to ask about portable data in the role of that. I mean right now you can't dump everything you've ever posted on Facebook, or like all your emails from Gmail into a folder, or perhaps transfer to another service. >> VINT CERF: Wait, wait let's stop. Because I'm getting about 40% of this. Hold on. I'm sorry. Yeah, yeah go ahead. >> SPEAKER 1: Portable data, what's the word of portable data and basically transferring your data from one service to another and backing it up on hard drive. [ Laughter ] >> VINT CERF: Somehow this isn't working the way I was expecting it to work. Okay, this is part of my health plan. I think everybody understands that. So, you know storing all of the data that you have, first of all we don't have common standards across all of those various services, which is a pity. I mean, I think we should. But we don't. And so, pulling all that stuff into your own hard drive gives you the problem that you don't have enough room to store it. So, this leaves you with a couple of possibilities. One is you ingest all these stuff. And then you push it in opaque form into some, you know cloud based storage system, whether it's you know AWS, or Google, or something else. That has to be the worst possible outcome. Because it's not structured. It's not properly curated. It's just there in an opaque form. And only you can retrieve it. That might be great for privacy, but it's not a good thing for historical purposes. And so, now we could argue whether all that stuff is worth saving or not. And some people will say, it isn't worth saving and so stop worry about it. But I would argue two things; one, if you think it's important to save, you should have mechanisms for saving it in a way that's useful, possibly for historians. And second observation, again is that we don't always know what's important and what isn't. So, again though I think if you're the creator of content in a sense you should have the choice of whether it gets saved or not. Once you publish it though in an environment which is open, which is true of much of the web today, and I hope it stays that way, you've sort of committed yourself to history whether you like it or not. And I think that has to be thought about. Once we demonstrate the capability to archive this, people who produce content should be well aware that it might be archived. And maybe that will cause people to think twice about what they put up on the net. Okay. We have time for one more? Do you think? Okay, this gentleman over here, no actually the guy behind you. Yeah, I'm sorry he was number two. He had his hand up first. I'll take a third question whether Wendy wants me to or not. Yes? Okay, go ahead. >> SPEAKER 2: Thank you very much. So, you made a really, really nice point is that we need; I'll wait for him to do the mic [laughter]. So, we need multiple. I just have a one to one. >> VINT CERF: I need a microphone. >> SPEAKER 3: All right here's another microphone. >> SPEAKER 2: Okay so, we need multiple, like you said, archives. And that's the kind of future potentially. We're going to be doing it. Everyone's going to be archiving. But what's the kind of mech? Do you perceive a mechanism to emerge from these multiple archives to allow the kind of distributive approach to discover them? Is this something that is going to be organic? Or is this something that is going to be a top down kind of layer that's going to be enforced by someone. >> VINT CERF: It would be. I guess I can do it this way now, okay. Except I'm hiding from the camera. Okay, all right [laughter]. So, first of all, it would be a pity if we were to rely on some top down thing. It works so much better when you have an architecture and a set of protocols and design that allows people who wish to commit to this, to be able to do so. And so, I'm must more interested in getting the technology into people's hands, maybe build in as part of the web environment. That's why this self-archiving web notion is so appealing to me. You don't think about it, it just archives itself automatically. But you need to say whether you are turning on or turning off the archiving mechanism. Business models are going to be really important here. I have an acquaintance who is starting a company called emortal and it's all about trying to preserve digital content for families in the future. And he was trying to figure out a business model for this. And he came up with a very interesting idea. You all know about life insurance, right? You know how this works, you pay until you're dead. I don't know of any other product that has that property, maybe some of the drug companies have that. So, what if you had a kind of data life insurance thing, where you pay to save your data over a period of time and you accumulate what is needed in order to, what's the right word for this? Endow the archival process. So, that it can be paid for over a period of time. Now, I have no idea if that idea is actually going to work or not. But, this notion of providing a business model is pretty important. Again, I don't think we want to save information by accident. We want to have mechanisms that are self-supporting over the long term. Okay, maybe one more and that's it. Yeah? Okay. Okay go for it. >> SPEAKER 4: So, you talked a lot about technologies of preservation and yet, they would really depend on kind of a social infrastructure to organizations, institutions that care about preservation. You have a few of them here, the Library of Congress, the British Library. And yet there's too thin on the ground perhaps for us to do the job. And it seems to me that on the whole society cares about preservation after we've lost something. Instead we ought to prevent it. And I just wonder where that conundrum comes, because where we have a prime institution that attempts to resurrect information to preserve it, I take example of the Google Books for example, then other stakeholders who see value, potentially, start to fight back against the preservation of it. So how do we address this conundrum, that we care, but not care enough to [inaudible]. >> VINT CERF: So, in fact the answer may very well be that we don't do that. Let me explain. Let's imagine for the sake of argument, that the Worldwide Web becomes a self-archiving system. What is the implication of that? The implication is that the same parties that provide you with the method for producing your, you know Twitter pages and your blogs and all these other things are also engaged in the archiving process. You know think for a minute, they have a business model, that whether it's advertising, or you pay, or something else. And so, the question is whether we could induce into the system, the archiving process as the normal part of the way it works, as opposed to separating it as an act that's distinct. And you know the more we keep thinking about it's an act that's distinct, the harder we make the problem. But if we incorporate this into the normal process and replication becomes part of the normal process, we may actually end up with a self-archiving environment that works and is supported. Because there's already a business model for the generation of the data, why not incorporate into that this preservation as well. Now, I just said something that might be really hard to implement, but it's not crazy. Because if you think about it, none of the things that are on the web today were there before until somebody decided they wanted to make a business of doing it. And so, let's see if we can't build preservation into the norm, as opposed to making it a special action of only a few parties. End of story. Okay. [ Applause ] >> DAME WENDY HALL: I wanted to say, I wanted to lead the applause here. But, before we let Vint go, we're going to have a coffee break now. We'll be back here at 10:45 to start the panels and presentations. And there is, if you're standing at the back, there's a room downstairs with the webcast going with seats. So, feel free to use that if you want to. I just want to say a big thank you to Vint for making the effort to come here today. And as ever, I'm blown over by some of the things he says. He, I mean I think I'm immersed in this world. And he just has so much insight. Digital vellum is now my favorite phrase, you haven't trademarked it, have you? No. >> VINT CERF: No. >> DAME WENDY HALL: And I'm not going to, it's all right. It's just and also the idea of the self-archiving web. I think this is an amazing way of capturing everything that we're trying to talk about. And the fact that Vint is still coming up with all these new ideas that leave the rest of us just completely gob smacked is quite amazing. So, let's once more thank Vint very much for just being Vint. [ Applause ] >> VINT CERF: Thank you. >> DAME WENDY HALL: Now is the time to hear about what happened at the hack-a-thon, or I like to called them datathons. Doesn't really matter. Well they're now forever called Archives Unleased in this context. And we had a wonderful two days with people from all over the world actually who came to work with the data. I'm not going to tell you about it. I'm going to introduce you to the team who run it. You've got their bios in the pack to Ian Milligan, Jimmy Lin and Matt Weber, my co-host for today as well. So, Ian I think you're first up. Ian, over to you. Round of applause for Ian. [ Applause ] >> IAN MILLIGAN: I'll just start by, could we get our four other speakers up, we'll just make them sit in these bright lights at the front of the stage [laughter]. And that way we can be a bit quicker. I think we'll need Dan as well up here. Hi. My name is Ian Milligan, I'm an assistant professor of history at the University of Waterloo. And Jimmy, Matt, myself, and a few other organizers, I'll show you, just spent the last few days running a datathon here at the Library of Congress. The first question I want to do, before we get into the nitty gritty is just rhetorically talk a little bit about why I think these sorts of events are important. And the question I like to ask is why is a historian helping to organize a datathon around web archives. And I think it's because in short, as we've heard earlier today from Vint and we'll be hearing today, we have a problem facing our collective cultural heritage. This is a big issue that we need to be involved in. And when I go on talks and try to sum it up to audiences, I like to encapsulate the problem and the opportunity facing us in something as innocuous as this, a page from, founded in 1994, deleted in 2009; saved thanks to web archivists, was the kind of place where you could go and create your own website about anything that you so desire. You'd go to, type in your email address, get your free megabyte, two megabytes, eventually ten megabytes of content. Whippy. And it was a big deal. And you could create a site about anything that you wanted. You could create your love site to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," your lamentation about the Toronto Maple Leaf, your family tree, your love of Winnie the Pooh if you're a 12-year-old child. And people took that to an extreme. And people jumped on board with such aplomb. And I love this visualization because it shows just how quickly people took to creating content and leaving it behind on the Worldwide Web. had its first 10,000 users in October of 1995, 100,000 in August of 1996. A million in October 1997. And by its deletion in 2009, some 7 million people had created webpages on And when today we want to go through and see how many URL exist, it's something like 186 million URLs., a tiny slice of the web of the nineties and the two thousands accounts for this much information. And as a historian, that fascinates me. It boggles the mind. It means that we are operating on a different scale of the preservation of everyday people. The example I like to make just to bug my colleagues who do British history mostly, is to say let's take your golden, you know your treasure trove of historical information, if you want to study the 19th century or the 18th century and see what it was like to be an everyday person say in London, you have almost no information. You only have information when people come into contact with the state, or the church, or if an accident happens and something is left behind. And so, for many historians, they reconstruct that sort of life through court transcripts, like the "Old Bailey Online" which between 1674 and 1913 collected 197,000 trials. They just, the describe their site as quote, unquote, "the largest body of sources ever created by nonelite people." And that's true until something like GeoCities. In short, historians are moving from scarcity, where we used to have no information about the past, to abundance where we have too much. That I like to present this as the problem with the "Old Bailey" was that you always wished you had more information and the problem with GeoCities is that you wish you had less. And so, that's why we do these datathons. Our animating statement is that web archives are great, they present a tremendous opportunity just, it makes my skin chilled when I think about them, but access and usage of web archived content remains a very considerable problem. And so, we bring people together to run these datathons. Over the last few days we brought together and introduced plenary team to bring together international participants here. And it's a team of a historian, a communications study scholar, Natalie who you'll hear from shortly. A computer scientist, Jimmy who's in this room, Matt Weber, who you'll be hearing from this afternoon, and Nicholas Worby, a librarian who, selfishly is getting married tomorrow and had to go back to Toronto. But we'll send him our congratulations from afar. What did we aim to accomplish over the last three days? Well, we wanted to build community. Community of people who could use web archives to answer interesting questions about the past and today. We wanted to articulate a common vision of web archiving development and tool development. We wanted to avoid the black boxes of search engines that we don't understand. We don't want to design search engines where I type in a keyword, and it goes through billions of files and gives me 10 and I don't know why I got those 10. And most importantly we want to equip us as a collective, and that's the people in the room datathoning, and also I think our society. To deal and work with born digital, cultural resources. So, datathons are tricky. And we call them datathons, it's a bit less scary than hack-a-thon. But, we really try to bring together diverse perspectives. We try to bring together people who can hack, who have the technical chops to write code, make dreams a reality, but also those with theoretical ideas. They want to talk, have conversations, think about the ethics, the standards, etcetera. And so, a datathon really tries to balance the perspectives of humanists, like myself, and computer scientists, and social scientists who are also in the room. What did we do, in a very quick nutshell? Well, on Monday, it's hard to believe that was Monday, we gathered at George Washington University Library to form teams. A great Sticky Note exercise thinking about datasets people wanted to use, questions they might have. We framed the problem, we socialized. We do a lot of socializing if you come to our hackathons. Then, in this room on Tuesday at the Library of Congress we had quick presentations, we solidified our teams, and really we just started datathoning. It was just a buzz of activity as people worked away. We had incredible catering. If you want to run an event, this is a plug for the Library of Congress, the are the best event staff ever. You've got like a bucket of M&M's here. I don't know if that's healthy, but it was good. Mostly it was just quiet work. Hacking, data flowing, and some awesome results that I'm really happy to be able to share with you in a just a minute. And then of course, today we're here wrapping it all up. The projects, we had basically eight major projects, which I'll talk about. We didn't have time to bring all eight teams up here to share their results, unfortunately due to time constraints. So, I'm going to talk about four and then we have these four pour people in the hot seats who are going to share their projects with very strict three-minute time limits. But I have the pleasure to talk about a few quick projects. So, one team here looked at Twitter and they took a large data dump of Twitter and asked, what is the source of the narratives in election related Tweets. And so, here we're seeing they took 327,000 Tweets hashtag with election 2016. The real Donald Trump of Hillary Clinton account, 7,000 URLs. And we can see topics relating to the Russian DNC hack, the Trump revoking "The Washington Post" credentials, and the case of Omar Mateen's wife after the Orlando shooting. And we're just seeing those surges of activities over time. The team took the IMLS museum datasets, this monumental sort of terabytes or terabytes of American museums and tried to figure out what you could do with [inaudible] files that drive it, the CDX files that give context to web archives. And it was amazing. I mean here we're seeing a domain map of the American museum space, and we also saw interesting things looking at which different file formats speak to different types of content. There was a team called the Supremes, it was a great name. And they used the Library of Congress web archiving collection. They used websites collected around the nomination of Alito, and the nomination of Justice Roberts. Took those websites and did things like extracted the links and seeing which websites link to other websites. Who do discussions on the senate link to where do discussions on the house link to. And also, did quite a bit of content analysis taking the text and visualizing in new ways. Their take-home they wanted me to emphasize was know your data. What are your assumptions? They generated this great graph, it shows yea, that's about Roberts. I told them to lie, that's a great visualization because he was confirmed, and they tell me it was actually, they were scraping in the Library of congress tons and tons of yeas and nays roll calls. So, their message was you have to know your data. And then finally there was a team Campaign Origins, the research question, where do the topics in election-related Twitter conversations originate? And they grabbed, they topic modelled in this case Donald Trump's information and we saw that it was his birthday a few days ago. And, those were our quick little teams. I might be missing one. And then, I'm just going to turn us over here to our four lightening talks. So, we have them in order, Team Mojitos, Team I Know What You Hid Last Summer, Team Turtle, and then Team Counter Terrorism. So, we'll go in that order. And I'll get my little timer out. So, thank you very much. [ Applause ] >> SPEAKER 5: Good morning everybody. Our team worked with a dataset of websites collected from the Cuban domain by the internet archive, we studied with big expectations. We wanted to work on a period of 14 months, and detect all media events in this dataset. In the end, we worked on one day, one event. But we had lots of fun solving the problem, the many problems that we were confronted with. So, we decided to work on understanding how Barrack Obama's visit to Cuba last March was covered in the news in Cuba. And compare pro-Cuban regime media with Cuban media in exile. So, we decided to also narrow down our sample to the major Cuban newspaper called "Granma" which is the official voice of the communist party assuming that, in the context of freedom of the press in Cuba, the other news outlets would likely repeat the same arguments as "Granma." And the other news source that we used is a newspaper called "el Nuevo Herald" which is based in Miami. So, we started to work with WARC files, which are very heavy files and we encountered technical problems doing that, so we find another solution which is that we scraped from the web all of the webpages that we wanted from these two sources, and we organized them in a database that allowed us to do some text processing analysis. Except it didn't work so well, of course. We had problem with collecting dates. So, for "Granma" it was very easy because the date was in the URL, so that was very plain and simple. But with "el Nuevo Herald" the date was not in the URL, so we thought we were going to crawl the text and, oops sorry, and then find the, and then assume that the date will be always on top of the title. But it was not the case, the date was moving on the page, so we had to find a way to find the pattern of the date in the HTML that we extracted. So, okay. So, then we worked on entity linking to find semantic similarities. Text processing to find mentions and co-occurrences of words, such as US, Cuba, Obama, and Castro. And we used Gephi to visualize the results in the form of a graph. And then we managed to produce one graph that is a final graph on the left here. And instead of taking a top down approach of trying to impose a set at least of words that we wanted to find, we favored an adaptive bottom-up approach, because we wanted to let the data talk to us. So, we defined the event of the visit as a co-occurrence graph centered around prominent entities. And one of the other challenge. One minute? Okay. Huh? Zero. Okay. And this is what we would have liked to do, which is a timeline, and we wanted to detect similarities in events over a period of time. Thank you very much. [ Applause ] >> IAN MILLIGAN: It's incredible what they can do in two days and what they can do in three minutes. So, our next team here, I Know What You Hid Last Summer. >> SPEAKER 6: Well, so for our project we came together around sort of the nebulous concept of what are the ethical implications of using web archives and working with web archives, and then we realized we had two days, and we realized that we also wanted to work with data. So, our story is as much about the process and the interdisciplinary work, and what happens when an information scientist, communications, web sciences, computer science comes together and tries to make a project. So, instead of sort of having a more of a theoretical expression of our project we decided to sort of express the ethics and sort of our approach to our project. So, what we started, we used the UK elections, 2015 Twitter dataset with the hashtags GE 2015 and GE from February 27th to May 8 of 2015. And we limited the dataset specifically to members of parliament in the UK who were tweeting during that time, because we felt that this concept of publicness of a public official and the publicness of their content, right? And believing that sort of an appropriate place to look. And we're taking an ethical stance, a clear ethical stance here, in that the general population, are we allowed to use their data, what are the ethical implications of that? So, we're actually specifically making that choice. So, what we did was we grabbed these, we had this collection of tweets. We sort of, we went through and parsed them. We extracted all the URLs that were linked. Because what we wanted to do is see what happens when we take a Twitter dataset and then we layer on top of that a web archive. How do those connect, what's the sort of flow on top of that? So, then once we grabbed those URLs we looked at the current status, are those currently available? Not currently available? And then we searched the internet archive for these URLs to see were these actually archived? So, you can think of this as kind of the process the sort of top line, you'll see from the 27th to the 8th of May, that sort of green line with the floating tweet flag, that's when the tweet happened, but you'll see that some of these pages were archived. And you'll see that there are various archives, which are those red dots. So, a tweet happened and the URL might have been archived 20 days before that. It might have been archived two days after that, another three or four days, another five days, right? So, we have multiple copies of that archive. So, we had, of the tweets, we started with 2.9 million, and we ended up with 12,357 tweets by members of Parliament. Of that, 7,818 tweets had URLs. We de-duplicated and that's about 6700. There are lots of get out to vote tweets. Come out and vote, right? Of those, about 1335 were currently accessible. About 113 of those were 404'd and so, what that sort of means in our work, is that while linking is a pervasive practice on Twitter, and it's a pervasive practice within UK MPs. Also, we did a qualitative analysis, about 10% of that content, and what MPs are linking to are the part page, the party Twitter account, or pages supporting a specific agenda. So, part of this sort of documentation of as that agenda changes, that's one of the cases where archives could become very important. And we felt that a URL is an integral part of a social media post. So, if you read the social media post without the link, that's problematic. I'm done [laughter]. All right. [ Applause ] >> IAN MILLIGAN: So, now we have Team Turtle to share their results. >> SPEAKER 7: All right so there's a couple of jokes for why we're named Team Turtle. We work slow. But we're steady. And we also work in the shell, as my colleague mentioned. That's a programming joke. So, but I'll just dive right into it. So, we actually received 145 arc files from the Library of Congress. And they told us right away that this was really messy data. And that we're going to have a lot of trouble, so good luck with that. The research question that we wanted to tackle was which places and topics the two candidates in the 2004 election talk about most. And did this actually correlate with the election results. So, our methodology was first we cleaned up these messy arc files, using the WARC-based platforms and then we extracted the named entities through the candidate names and the state names. And then we applied the topic modelling, LDA, TF-IDF. And we also had a semantic web extension using the Google knowledge graph API and also further applications to Wiki data. So, this is kind of our result. The size of the circles represent how often the candidate would talk about this state or this locale. And actually, if you hoover over it you can actually see the topics that were talked about most often. So, hovering over there, it shows Iraq was talked about very frequently by that candidate. And extended this further, because we're using topic modelling, we can actually hook into all the knowledge in the knowledge graph and the related semantic web data. So, what we created was a Python CLI where we could query the Google knowledge graph and then what we got back was actually this unique identifier, which is the free-based nid. And this is actually the same graph database that powers all those queries you can send to Google, such as where is the Library of Congress and it can tell you. This is the same data that we're querying and because free base is shut down and we can't access it anymore, the best alternative right now is to access wiki data and query the graph database there. So, this is our project in three minutes. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> IAN MILLIGAN: That was actually two minutes, which is outstanding. So, and don't worry we're going to put this up on the web and I'll let you all know soon. So, then last, but not least we have our winning team, Team Counterterrorism. >> SPEAKER 8: Thanks. So, as Vint Cerf told us, the internet was designed in 1973 to be able to allow anybody who can follow the protocols to play whether they're a future friend or foe. So, it's basically viewpoint neutral. So, packets don't really care, you know, what your intent is with that data. And you could argue maybe preservation should also be viewpoint neutral and I assume is. So, everyone in here is obviously using the internet for the good. But there are folks out there who are using it to try to recruit for violent extremist groups across the globe. So, when I discovered a shared interest with another collaborator here. So, this is what you get when you put together a political scientist, a software developer and a librarian, only in two people. So, what we did was, so my collaborator, Emily from University of Washington brought her great archives as well as an ideology classifier that had been used to try to categorize all the cacophony of different groups in Syria based on text from their web and radio transcripts. And I had a set of tweets that we'd been collecting at GW using a social feed manager, on behalf of the program on extremism that is following 300 American and US based, suspected ISIS sympathizers. So, it's a pretty large body of tweets. There are a lot more accounts than people, because these folks tend to jump around. So, that presents its own challenges in doing analysis. So, what we did was we tried to apply the ideology scoring methodology to this body of data of tweets. And we were able to get that to work on a small set, but I think we need a little more power to crunch through more data. So, the other thing we did was we used some basic, just Python scripting to extract the user mentions from those tweets and output that as CSV of edges based on graph theory. So, if somebody is mentioning in their tweets a couple other people, so you have two edges right there. And what we wanted to do was see if similarity of ideology is related to the likelihood that they'll interact. And that can help us understand the relationships between these people and how they're using Twitter to try to recruit. So, we fed those through some R scripts. And what we were hoping to do was get to be able to evolve the network over time. I had a little fight with Gephi it was just there's too much data for one afternoon, we had about a half a million edges in a graph. And there's also the issue that one account is not one person. So, what we did was we fed it into R and took at least one snapshot to show you. And it actually validated what our colleagues on the program extremism have noticed anecdotally, which is that there are really two types of users involved in these networks. Which are, there are a few data who are originating content and a lot of basically amplifiers. So, we'd like to follow up and do this on a larger scale. And you can see some of the other things we'd like to do. But we feel there's a lot of potential here. [ Applause ] >> IAN MILLIGAN: More importantly, this is just a flavor. So, we're going to put all the projects up at, but that in your notes. We're going to have all those projects up very shortly and you can get to know the people who were involved in the projects, what they were able to achieve and I was thinking there's someone from Wiki Media taking photos in there. Because he said, you know you don't have a photo of young Einstein. Well, there's a bunch of young Einsteins here at this datathon. So, if you're looking for great people, you know where to find them. Just before we turn it over we might have time for one question, I just have to do some very important thanks. So, none of this would have been possible without the Library of Congress for their logistical support, for their beautiful facilities and room. For their data, for everything basically. The National Science Foundation generously supported and made it possible for us to bring in graduate students from all over the United States to come and attend the datathon. Very important to develop the junior scholars. And the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada provided travel funding and food for graduate students and post doctorial fellows to come from Canada and from places that are not the United States. So, it really takes a whole Army. You can see it on this slide here, you know internet archive, George Washington University, Computer Canada, The Web Science Trust, Rutgers, the University of Waterloo. It really did take a village to make this possible. So, thank you very much. Do keep your eye on these scholars it's going to be an incredible few years ahead, I know. So, thank you. [ Applause ] Yeah, I think we have five minutes until I get kicked off stage. So, questions for me, but also questions for our friends on stage. So many mics. >> VINT CERF: This is partly a question and partly a kind of statement for your reaction. I am so impressed by what you are able to do with information in digital form. I know that sounds kind of stupid coming from me. But it's so different from picking up a book and reading it. And your ability to process this information differently from any other way we've done in the past seems almost dramatic. And so, I'm actually curious to know whether you feel the same way, that this is a completely new way of understanding our knowledge. >> IAN MILLIGAN: Any of you want to take that? Yeah [laughter]. Yeah, I mean I'm blown away by what we can do and what we can uncover about the past. And you know to me it underscores the importance of the message that you bring, that we need to preserve this information because if we have it we can do incredible things with it. So, complete agreement. I think we have one over here. >> SPEAKER 2: So, Les Carr [assumed spelling] again. I run a doctoral training center with lots of, you know with about 50 PhD students, and we're trying to train them up in these methods with access to data. What role, how can a body like the Library of Congress be useful, or the British Library, how can they help us to train students. How can they help students to research? What do you see their role as being? >> IAN MILLIGAN: Yeah, that's a great question. Yeah, so I thought they were going to answer all the questions, but now I am. I think, I mean the role I think that they can provide is really I've become a proponent of in-person training. So, there's lots of stuff online, lots of training sites. And you can run through scripts. But nothing replaces the ability to go to a place like the British Library, which has data onsite, has, you know, British Library has incredible staff who can help, you know bring these things together. Provide computing resources, provide people together and let these sort of interdisciplinary hubs form. I think you have that at Southampton, but most of us historians are stuck talking to other historians. Computer scientists are talking to other computer scientists. Librarians are talking to other librarians. And by doing things onsite, bringing together excellence, we can do things. I mean the checklist to make these events successful has really been, you know food is always important [laughter], socializing is always important. But you know really having machines, like virtual machines to spin up. Someone has a question, they don't have to flux around with Amazon, we can like, here's the keys to a machine, you know don't let that limit your dream. They're having a problem with Gaphi getting a network going. Here's a network scholar. And just having that ability for them to watch someone do it. And you just see the gears click in their mind. And they can go back to their home campus, and eventually they'll run their own datathon. And it's like this virus that will spread around the world. So, that's my dream. Yeah. Go ahead. >> SPEAKER 6: I think also, there's part of, institutions provide sort of indorsement in some ways of our work and legitimize some of the exploratory work that we're doing that some chunks of our field might see as unimportant or legitimate. I also think that the view that institutions like the Library of Congress and the British Library and such bring the long view of contextualizing, provenance, preservation, the connectedness and also maybe help decrease some of the sort of fetishizing of the technical and also help us sort of contextualize and center, so I think there's a grounding that these institutions can provide that I think is really helpful that as we innovate, it's also important for us to get some of the grounding from the institutions. >> SPEAKER 8: I think one of the other things that institutions like the Library of Congress and your institution can do are to take the lead in helping to resolve some of the gray areas of the ethical and legal issues in preservation, or sharing this type of data. So, I that role, you know these institutions can do it. A good example is what internet archive also has done in some of the areas that a few years ago were gray areas and they've just done it in terms of taking lead and going ahead and preserving it. So, I think that's a role that also the LOC and British Library can do. >> IAN MILLIGAN: Well, I think we're at 11:15. And we're going to be on time today. So, thank you very much give them all a round of applause. [ Applause ] >> DAME WENDY HALL: You're not taking this down? You're leaving this here? Yeah. Okay. Okay then. So, we move seamlessly onto our first panel of the day. Do you need? Okay. We move seamlessly onto our first, I want to thank Ian and Jimmy and Matt for that. I think this is, we were really pleased that we could run the datathon back to back with this event. It's worked so well. And I think it's so important that as well as hearing from the wise ones, we get the next generation. These are the future. And these are the people that will actually carry the banner forward and do the most amazing things with the data that's coming out of these archives. And that's so, so important. And as we keep saying, it is institutions like the libraries that will be here, and the universities that will be here for many years to come. When we were at George Washington University on Monday, they made the point of how difficult it is to do interdisciplinary work and you know we've really forged ahead with this at Southampton and it's really difficult in universities to get to bring different disciplines together and this type of event can do that. So, without further ado, I'm doing to introduce one of my co-hosts for the day, David Lazer from Northeastern University, who's going to chair this panel. David. [ Applause ] >> DAVID LAZER: Thank you Wendy and thank you to the library, I think this is truly an awesome place, by which I mean it truly does inspire awe about the possibilities of human knowledge. And, I'm just going to say a few words. I'm going to keep it short and sweet and then I'll introduce our panel, or I'll introduce panelist by panelist. You know, I think a motivating example might be the election of 2016, right, which is an extraordinary election and if one were to write up what has happened, I think you would just say it was implausible as a piece of fiction. And you know that there will be a best-selling book in 2116 when everyone has forgotten this election to say, you're not going to believe what the election of 2016 was like, right? And it is inconceivable that one could write such a history without extensive use of what is happening on the web, what has manifested, what is recorded. And indeed, the amount of information and possibilities that you have access to are incredibly more than one would have access to in let's say the election of 1860, today. And so, in part, the interesting challenge then becomes that we can't really save everything, in fact in some sense we can only save a timely fraction of everything. And you know I think because I'm a political scientist, so I'm not the historian, and I'll be long forgotten come 2116, but for me as a political scientist, I think, wow we can watch, literally in principle watch things spread real time, but we can watch snippets of texts of ideas spread through the internet. And so, but that's not something necessarily that can be done if you don't record the right kinds of information in the right places, at the right temporal granularity. And so, part of the question and part of why I hope we engage today in some fashion is the need for preservation, but the preservation of what, for what questions, which is an incredibly impossible question really in a way. Because we can't even anticipate what the conceptual questions will be two years from now, ten years from now, 100 years from now. We can't anticipate the analytic machinery that will be available, the development of theory. I think that to address Cerf's question earlier, you know how does the digitization of things change things, it changes everything right? Because and I don't think we can even imagine, for example, for me as a social scientist, what the social sciences of a decade will look like because we can see different things, we will be able to imagine different things. And imagine and construct theories in a way that's so removed from social sciences before the present. And so, that's really the intellectual possibilities. I think I do want to throw out just one more notion of archiving, just while we're throwing out just sort of the notion of capturing what is out there on the web is how do we capture the experiences of individuals. And I think that there is the opportunity, perhaps for what one might call citizen archiving. And we've touched a little bit on this. But you know, what are people reading online that is if you capture what is online, doesn't actually capture what people are looking at, and who is looking at that. And so, part of what I'd like to throw out there is the notion of a couple of notions, one is how do we interrogate people's experiences of the web in a way that is then captured in doing fashion. And some of that may literally be asking people about their experiences, but a lot of that may be also capturing just the digital traces of individuals' experiences on the internet. You know do the people who look at "The New York Times" are the same people who watch "Fox News?" Probably not, right? But how do we know that. And how do we separate and sift through everything in a way that captures our contemporary understanding of where's the noise and where the signal is. Because we know, like with Twitter. I'm a big fan of Twitter as a resource. But it's mostly garbage. I mean, you know, it's you know is bots, it's heterogenous. It's a lot of the analysis that look out there, basically pools together, you know humans; regular people, journalists, politicians, and tons and tons of bots, some of many, most of whom you don't know are bots, right? And then just sort of aggregating the analysis like those are all comparable things, right? It's a problem. Right? And so there maybe things we can do today in terms of sorting through this, that will be impossible to do tomorrow. And so, how do we build the tools that allows us to separate the read from the chat, when there's you know such a bad ratio to begin with. So, I sort of like the notion of someway of interactively capturing people's experiences and saving that. Of asking people about their experiences, and a lot of this is sort of a mashup of archiving old school social science methods. And so, I'm just going to throw that out as something to contemplate. But, you know I'm going to now shift to introducing, well, I'll introduce our first panelist, Jeff Bailey. I think Jeff represents the internet. >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: Jefferson. >> DAVID LAZER: Jefferson. I'm sorry. >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: It's on the program. >> DAVID LAZER: I realized that, as soon as I said that but. And now that it's been taped, and will be put up on the internet, it will be archived. >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: It's in the historical records. >> DAVID LAZER: That's right. So, this goes to the point of noise being recorded. So, Jefferson Bailey and I knew that as soon as I said it to my apologies. Since my last name is always mispronounced, even by friends of decades. But Wendy did pronounce it correctly. So, thank you. But Nasha always gets it wrong so. Jefferson flew out here from California, from the Internet Archive, where he's been working since 2014, and as has already been mentioned, our legion archive is one of the leading institutions for doing this. It was way ahead of the curve. And his work involves managing numerous web archiving services. And before that he was involved in many initiatives around digital preservation in a variety of institutions and libraries which is enumerated in the biographies here. So, I'm going to shift the mic to Jefferson. So, thank you. [ Applause ] >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: All right. Thanks, David. Okay cool. It works. So, hi everyone. I am Jefferson Bailey director of web archives and programs and internet archives. And first, obviously, I just want to thank Wendy for putting on this awesome event. Kluge and LOC for hosting. And also, of course, Ian and Matt and the whole Archives Unleased team for doing the datathon, actually the second one we've done and it was really amazing over the course of the datathon to see researchers actually using these web archives that often, some of them I have crawled myself entirely on a whim. So, the historical record often is determined by areas of interest and I was like, let's crawl every museum site and people did some awesome stuff with the museum data. So, Wendy sort of challenged us to do a little history, a little method, and then a little big picture stuff in a very short time frame. So, I'm going to try to run through it pretty quickly. So, folks that don't know the Internet Archive, we are a nonprofit library. We are in a church in San Francisco. It's open to the public. Please come by if you're in town. And we have been around, this is our 20-year anniversary. So, there will be some big events later in the year. And our mission is universal access to all knowledge. So, we are not just an archive of web material. We actually have lots of digital content. You'll see all the stats there. The one, of course, most relevant to our talk today is our web archive which is about to hit 50 billion captures. So, we've been doing it since the beginning in 1996. We get about a billion captures, a capture is just a web resource, per week, and a little over a petabyte per year in web data specifically. So, we do have 25 petabytes of unique information of all variety, and a little over a half of that is the web material. So, here's sort of how our crawling and capture for web content has gone over the years. Obviously scaled up. I didn't actually put YouTube on there, but YouTube should be on this slide somewhere since it of course, audio video, it's migration to the web has really expanded storage needs for all web archives. So, our crawling I think sometimes strikes people as being, it's one big crawl, and the internet archive just crawls everything. And it's actually much more dynamic. It's much more, I have this sort of constellation metaphor in my talk. And I'll cover a couple of the different methods, but it's actually, I call it multimodal crawling strategy. So, we capture in many different ways, not just ourselves, but also working directly with partners. We do run big global crawls, both at a very wide and shallow level, and at a very deep and sort of well-scoped level. So, there are global crawls. But, other things we do are work with national libraries to capture country level domains, so, CCTLDs. So, we worked over the years with at least a dozen national libraries to get dot something, something. To get sort of a big capture of a specific country's web domain. We have collaborative collections, a couple of which I mentioned here. End of Term Web Archive, that we do with LC and a number of others, which is capturing a snapshot of the entire US Federal Government web domain at every, before and after every presidential transition. We capture things like orphan domains. People talked about the Cuba collection, we just decided to crawl .cu, just because we could. Spontaneous events, of course, we're doing crawling around the pulse event and have done it for all sorts of global events. And the of course we work directly with researchers, K12 institutes and partnerships with educational programs. And those are both to get subject experts to contribute seeds and URLs for us to crawl and also of course to work with them I use of our archives. Another thing I was really enamored events talk about the need for business models, and especially sustainability around web archiving programs, internet archive does have a quite possible web archiving subscription service that's used by almost 500 institutions, mostly libraries and archives, in the academic realm to create curated special collection of archives that they can then of course store and preserve locally themselves, as well as provide access through IA. So, those are capture methods, access methods. Of course, most people are going to be familiar with the Wayback Machine. You can enter a URL and see its capture rate over time. Of course, the obvious example is an early capture of the Library of Congress website from 1999. It actually holds up in this sort of web design way. So, props to LC. Of course, there's other types of collections too. So, not just websites, but type of web content that you can then aggregate. So, this is of course, we just extracted a bunch of animated GIFs of puppies. Because I really truly believe that the web would not be what it is without the ability to share dog photos. But it also, sort of is indicative of the creative expression that's also on the web, that we sometimes forget about when focusing on the scholarly record. Other access models like the hack-a-thon, or research partnerships to get our data out there and get people using it in different ways. So, that's access methods. And then sort of technology and infrastructure methods, we are of course dedicated to open source software. Heritrix as a crawler, Wayback as the piece of software. And we are developing new methods of crawling technology to deal with the dynamic web in java script as well as more API based infrastructure for interoperability of cross systems. And so, when thinking about opportunities and challenges, we have this thing called the do we have it at API. And it's basically just a big dump of all sorts of identifiers from catalogs and ISBNs and things. And we can just hit it and see whether we have it in the archive. And I thought that was an interesting model for thinking about what we have and what we sort of accomplished in web archiving. And what we don't have and what are the current challenges. So, we are content agnostic for acquisition of web material. It's print, it's audio video, it's code, it's CSS all kind of thing. The web has consumed basically all methods of digital information delivery. So, things that were not ever on the web, printed in digital form and now just going straight to the web. The legal issues, I think they still exist a little bit, but have been, I think we've made incredible progress, the whole community over the years on this when internet archives started, before my time, but people were like, 'oh my God, you can't capture it.' And, 'oh my God, you can't even replay it, how could you do that, it's not yours.' But it is of course a public publishing platform. And I think advocacy around access has really grown over the years. Time travels. Obviously, we have been building time travel into the web. There are lots of browser plugins and methods for looking at archival replays of web content over time in a way that is very familiar to browsing the live web. Collaborative models, some technical stuff. We do de-duplicate content in cases. We do actually do and crawl RSS feeds, every link added to Wikipedia, every blogger entry. Lots of other methods that we get automatic URL feeds that go right into the crawlers. And lots of automation around crawling activities. So, the web has become much more dynamic, interactive, scrolling, clicking, and we're of course trying to build bots to do that behavior at scale. And then emulation which Vint also talked about. What have we not been doing so great? The web has been moving of course more and more to a programming environment. It's not static documents. It's interactions, it's replay, it's behaviors. And those are very challenging to capture with our traditional archival methods. APIfication, Wild Gardens, Cloud Computing. These are all mostly inaccessible except for with human intermediation, or passwords or other methods. So, that could really limit the amount of content we're able to capture. Interoperability, we're getting there, but a lot of web archiving systems don't necessarily talk to each other very well, or require very centralized infrastructure to operate. And then bulk access is challenging at the scale in which we operate, which is the multi petabyte scale. And making resources available for training and education, and how things were captured or how you can work with them. So, in looking at these sorts of areas of archival activity. So, I come from an archiving background, and I always try to think of web archiving within the traditional archival endeavor. And you sort of have these three modes of Selection, capture and management, and access which have not just code and technology involved, but of course communities as well. And so, when you sort of think about networking between these different areas of operation, and maybe prescript your slide with a certain model, it actually starts to look quite similar to the original technical diagram of TCP. So, I've been thinking a lot as a web history nerd, of sort of the successes of the internet and Vint spoke much more eloquently to this than I will. But what made the internet such the incredible amazing thing that has just sort of conquered the world. And what can we, when building web archiving, web organic programs and technologies take some of those key themes out. And so, Vint talked about the modulization, the distributed nature, the portability and flexibility of a lot of the technical systems and protocols. I think the social construction of the internet's evolution was very important. It was not just producers creating for users, the producers were users. And that innovation was dispersed around a social community that was both informal and you know very feedback driven. And of course, it was built for scalability for gateway between networks. And for great fault tolerance. And we can sort of adapt some of these to web archiving. We are trying to modularize crawling, not just in the global and little special, and domain style, but also the methods of capture. Proxy browsing, traditional crawling, user interaction, archival replay, and capture while you actually browse. Making WARCs and metadata more portable between systems. The work is something of a heterogenous format. But then also building on the lessons of the early net for social construction, community models, coordinated collecting, collaborations with K through 12 programs as well as academic researchers, and then systems of interoperability and multiplicity of access models. And so, I always try to close talks with sort of what are the big preservation imperatives. I think we wanted to go big and keep in mind for this conference at least, if we're going to work to save the web at scale, what are sort of our motivating factors. And I do think, obviously, I think as most of us do, the web is the most significant communication platform of our era, so we are living in a very unique historical moment that has a piece of technology that has changed a lot of how, not just how we buy things and interact and socialize, but really the whole sort of landscape of society. It also marks an unprecedented confluence of ease of publication and ease of archival acquisition. So, archives used to have to go out and get things, or pay for them, or work with donors to get them, and it was very action driven. And things were published and they were sort of in some remote world. But we're in this unique moment where you can both make a blog and you can archive it within seconds essentially. So, that's a very unique characteristic of our moment of time. It also, I think as David and Ian both spoke to, allows for this unprecedented plurality of representation within the historical record. You know, traditionally, archives were very much motivated by power, or wealth. So, the folks captured in the archives were often people that were of power and wealth and of a certain class. And it was very difficult to necessarily capture the day to day lives of average citizens and that's really changed with the web. And then the last one is just the sort of great motivating factor, that as Wendy also mentioned are our moment in time, where we can archive its scale and get this amazing diverse record will be very, very brief in the soft of technological arc. And that's it. Thanks, everyone. [ Applause ] >> DAVID LAZER: Just trying to get it right this time, so. It's my pleasure to introduce Richard Marciano of the University of Maryland who has been leader, a thinker, and doer in developing models for the preservation and dissemination of human records on the internet. And thinking about developing proper cyber infrastructures for that. And in his current role, he wears the hat of a center dedicated to exactly those questions. The newly formed digital curation innovation center. So, looking forward to hearing about those efforts and his thoughts on the subject. [ Applause ] >> RICHARD MARCIANO: Can you hear me? Okay. And I'll put my timer on because we're I think there's a crunch here as well. We don't have three minutes, but we have a little more. Oh, I forgot the clicker. Thank you. Okay. So, can't see it on this screen. Can I also see the slides on the laptop, or? Just over here. Okay. So, my name is Richard Marciano. I've been at the University of Maryland for a little over a year and a half. And in my prior life I spent over a decade at the San Diego Super Computer Centers. I'm a computational type person, working on interdisciplinary projects and had a stent of five or six years at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in the I school. So, the theme I wanted to tease a little bit relates to almost everything we've heard so far, the notion of scale, and size, and plenty, and the challenges, and opportunities that result from that. So, I'm going to talk a little bit about what it means to preserve in the age of big data. So, don't know if I can pull all these things off in the few minutes I have but this is a little flow here, looking down. So, I'll give you a little bit of background on a little context on this new center, collaborative center we created, what its goals are, what we're trying to achieve in terms of preservation, what some of the connections are with web archiving. I'll talk next about a particular project that's driving a lot of the cyber infrastructure development, which is National Science Foundation Project. It's one of these new big data programs. This one's called DIBBs. Data Information Building Blocks. So, it's a software development effort that tries to build preservation services in the cloud. And I'll say a little bit about that. And then since we're part of this session that's worded as the need for preservation, I wasn't sure if there was a question mark or if it was a given [laughter], or if we had to challenge the audience. So, I'll say a few things about how I've tackled that and what's been funded, at least in my spaces in the past. I'll talk about a recent workshop that was held in April that captures a lot of this energy and an upcoming future workshop in December if any of you are interested in the DC area. And we'll end with just an exploration of some of the federal research, federal R&D guidance and sort of future directions that were recently formulated through several documents. They don't directly address these notions out of visual curation, but if we deconstruct that and try to pull it apart a little bit, I think we'll find a lot of really exciting terminology that we can pull back and claim and use to drive some of these agendas. So, it's kind of looking at the past, looking at the future and formulating a few questions for the audience, research questions. So, the goal is to get to those questions and depending on how we're doing with time, I'll zip through this thing and we'll get to that. So, this is a new center we started at the University of Maryland it's called Digital Curation Innovation Center. It looks at big records and archival analytics. There's some 50 people involved so far. Lots of students, lots of colleagues interested in these issues. External researchers with former colleagues from the Library of Congress, National Archives, NEH, IMLS. Several of whom are in the room, who are all contributing to this visual curation network we're trying to build, which is both educational, research, and also has an infrastructure dimension. So, one of the pieces of infrastructure I wanted to highlight is something we're calling the dataCave. Not as big as the Internet Archive, just a small thing, but it's a peta scale archival storage and analytics facility. It's powered by MetOp storage, Dell computing. And one of the innovations there is we're building. It's part of commercial start up. We're building an open source archival piece of software, it's brand new it's something called Indigo. It leverages no SQL platform called Apache Cassandra. And it's being explored for long term archival storage and preservation purposes. So, the connection with web archives is that we're using that platform testing and building it. And we have some really interesting collections, about 100 million files, some 72 terabytes of data. This is work that was largely done with the National Archives and continues in other directions. But, we've collected records from over 150 federal agencies. So, records of all ILC, historical records, contemporary records. A lot of these were collected through crawling processes. Very often very targeted crawling processes. We can come back to that later. So, that's our test bed. And the idea is that it's highly un-curated, it's structured, it's hierarchical, but it's highly un-curated and it's extremely heterogenous and diverse. So, it's a big bag of miscellaneous things with thousands of file formats from obviously textual stuff, satellite imagery, data bases, desktop, photos. Name it, it's all in there. So, that's kind of our reference collection and we're using that as a pretext to develop computational archival approaches and do some of the things you heard about in the hack-a-thon that have to do with automation and doing that at scale. So, a couple of words on Indigo [siren]. Let me look at my clock here. Hope that siren is not related. So, built on Apache Cassandra, it was originally developed by Facebook, it's used by a plethora of companies from Adobe to Travelocity, T-Mobile, etcetera. Highly scalable so it scales to petabytes of hundreds of petabytes. Of note, it's actually used to manage distributed data centers so that's our platform. There's no external file system, there's no single point of failure. Data's automatically replicated and compressed. And you can store arbitrary data objects and tag them with metadata and create hierarchies and containers, and all kinds of things. So, it allows organizations to deposit data objects in a direct retreat. And then there's a whole mechanism based on, sorry I'm looking down here. There's a whole mechanism based on triggers, and actions, and so there's a whole philosophy behind this of sort of not self-archiving archives, but sort of self-cleaning archives and things that can do a lot of automation, so self-managing repositories. So, very quickly, so number two, so we're using this, all these layers to design, this is part of NSF collaboration with the National Center for Super Computing Applications in Illinois. So, we're developing essentially a series of cloud based digital preservation services. There are two classes of services, legacy format converters and then there's a slew of information extraction mechanisms. All right. So, what's been funded? I did a little walk back through time. This is just for reference. Polls, titles of all kinds of projects I've been involved with. I was more interested in looking sort of at the signature of funding in which agencies have been involved over the last few decades. And just in my own projects, some of my own projects listed here, obviously, it's The National Archives, Library of Congress, NSF, NHBRC, IMLS, Canadian Shark, Homeland Security, Mellon Foundation, Darpa, and one of the themes here is preservation of digital data, self-validating archives, notions of automation. If I place all these projects and I try to pull out sort of themes, I do a little topic modeling inside that bubble, you see the complexity of all this. You have thousands of data types, representative of what you find on the web. All of these different categories of preservation from geospatial data to digital humanities with ethical considerations, scale, looking at work flows. On and on. And a lot of what you have with big data is represented here. So, you might make a claim that all the Vs are in there, but you also have another calling which is all the Vs for eternity. So, how do you deal with volume, variety, veracity, velocity at times, not always. And how do you keep that around for a long, long time. So, very quickly these are references that will be in the slides. So, we had a recent workshop if any of you are interested in this. There's slides and videos in April, looking at computational archival science, and positing that we need to sort of contribute to moving this space in this field toward what colleagues are doing in other spaces, computational social science, computational journalism. And that there's a place for computational archival science. And we're forming a new community if any of you are interested. Contact us, come and join us, this is kind of building a social network. There's an upcoming workshop in December at the IEEE big data conference in DC, where we'll be looking at these issues of digital records in the age of big data, including web records. Last couple of comments, there's some really interesting documents, federal documents that were just released. So, I've put a few notes in here. I'm not going to paraphrase, but I invite you to take a look at those. While the funding agendas don't directly talk about digital preservation or archival curation and digital curation or archival science per se, there's a lot to build on. And these are two documented from the NITRD Group. So, this is out of the office of Science, Technology and policy of the White House, there's an April document which is the federal R&D supplementary budget for 2017. So, if you actually; NITRD is the organization that coordinates all of the federal R&D investments and makes recommendations of what the research priorities are for the following year. NARA is on here, NSF is on here, a lot of people in the room are involved with this. So, if you look at the very latest document, I highlighted sections 5 and 6. These have been completely reworked. And even 6 is brand new. There's a whole section on information management, and large-scale data management and analysis. And these are really worth looking at. And I highlighted in red all of those areas that are congruent to the themes of the workshop and research topics today. And these are highlighted as growth areas, funding areas, futuristic areas. And this is an opportunity for all of us to work together to see if we can tap into these recommendations and make a mark. And voice our voices. So, a lot of interesting stuff here. Last document and I'll wrap up after that. This just came out a few weeks ago. Maria would probably know about this. This is federal big data research development strategic plan. Extremely interesting. All these considerations on authenticity. So, a lot of the issues that are referenced here have to do with trust, which is a fundamental issue for all of us. What is trust, there are issues of ethics. There are issues of training. There are issues of developing the right kind of systems in cyber infrastructure and what that means. Lots of references to trustworthy digital repositories, which came out of OAIS and conversations, etcetera where many of you have been involved. So, a few questions and we'll end on this. So, looking at that kind of landscape and the things we're trying to start here are a few questions, maybe for the panel, maybe for later on in the day. So, do we really need to preserve the web? Don't laugh, yes. How much of it? All of it? Do we use archival appraisal mechanisms, or how selective do we want to be? What's the scale? What does it look like? Who decides what gets preserved? Those aren't obvious questions for me. You may have deeper insights. How do we get at the Deep Web? And our first speaker talked about some of those issues. What are we missing? What technologies do we need to develop further? Do people have the right to be forgotten? That's a big theme. What are the ethics of remembering? How do we leverage those things? How do we actually preserve the web as a sociotechnical system and from a technological standpoint? What are the strategies? Are there things we haven't thought of? Who are we preserving the web for, so the chair of the panel talked about, well, we don't know who the future users are. So, one of my former colleagues actually defines preservation as this sort of act of faith, this time travel machine where you're communicating with unborn historians, and future citizens, and you have no idea how to get there. All you know is the present. And sort of you're navigating and you're trying to move forward the very, sort of it's the shadows on the cave. You're seeing shadows and you're trying to device what this glorious future might look like and you're impeded by all the limitations of the moment. So, one of the themes I've actually gotten funding for and look at is this notion of what does software independent mean? How do you characterize that and how do you create virtualization logical environments. So, a few more questions and we're done? How do we leverage the preserved web? So, what do we do with that? What kinds of analytics are we going to look at? What can we do right now? What could we do in the future? Who will be paying for this? So, you heard several comments on this. What's the business model. And then a more technological theme that comes out of some of the slides I shared with you is how do we move toward building systems of trust? So, trustworthy complex highly scalable distributive systems. And what are all the implications there? So, there's a slew of issues, and I've been working in this field for over 15 years. I would venture to say, this is a contentious statement, that we've made some progress, but that we really don't know how to solve most of these issues, so this is still a research questions, and it's wide open. And it's why it's so exciting and it's why we need to develop networks and communities to continue to tackle all these problems. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> RICHARD PRICE: Just to introduce Contemporary British Collections which is essentially the British Library sound archive, contemporary manuscripts from 1950 onwards, and published works from about 2000 on and by published, we included the UK Web Archive, and we include the newspaper collections. What I thought I would do is not tell you too much about the library, but take this opportunity to think hopefully philosophically, hopefully not ponderously a little bit about the advocacy of preservation. And the question I posed myself was why are we still talking about advocacy. Why is that after in one way so long, years and years, in terms of published output not very long. Then Wendy's complete right it's actually just a blink in some ways. And to characterize that from a national library point of view, legal deposit as a French invention in modern times, 16th century and it comes into England with effect in legal terms from the 17th century, but really enforced by Antonio Panizzi the Librarian of the British Museum Library in the 19th century. So, we're talking about centuries of, in theory, legal deposit, which is to bring every copy in the land into one or multiple places really. The idea of positive implication is very important to legal deposit in the same way it is very important to having modes of digit content. So, I'm briefly going to call this talk, goes without saying' it's about advocacy, goes without saying. And so, I'm turning that phrase on its head because there's so much implicit in what we say that we believe in the web and we want to preserve it, that goes without saying, but if you don't say it, it's going to go. There has to be an advocacy element is actually really complicated. And you come across mixed messages that you have to tell to deal with expectation, anxiety, fear, idealism. They're not all the same story that we tell, or that users and potential influencers can here. So, for any category of collecting, it's good practice to pause a little and think why you're doing it. Why you're spending this money, and but for new technology, it's particularly important because you can make future proof less decisions that can be very expensive. Thinking about why we need to advocate for preservation also immediately gets you into the kind of nexus of complexity. The web is certainly a layered network, a kind of ecosystem. And the way you cut it culturally, it's an intellectual artistic, social, political, economic system. And that's before you even get to the complexity of the technical detail, which is not detail in the sense of something you can brush off. It's absolutely fundamental to the preservation challenge. Within each of those cultural challenges, there's a different kind of advocacy piece. We've talked about general elections. And that was a selection priority. We also collect the general elections in our country. But that's, already you have made a decision to prioritize essentially the way an established political system works. So, you haven't been collecting in the same detail other kinds of ideas, political ideas which don't reach the mainstream. So, it's very, very difficult not to prioritize by accident, or by things that go without saying. It's important we keep on interrogating our own assumptions. I also want to share some of the National Library difficulties and pay tribute to The Internet Archive for actually beating the digital library so quickly off the ground. National libraries can seem, and are in many ways slow. And there are good reasons for that and I wanted to explain some of those I terms of advocacy. It's not just that we're trying to win over external and stakeholders and people that are going to fund us and support us. We're also having internal debates about the importance of digital and how we can fund this. One of the fantastic myths, of course, about digital is it's somehow free, it's somehow free and we internalize that even as information professionals. We internalize that. And the actual fact, it's very expensive to build that infrastructure and to bring those curators and those technical people in. And guess what? Our budgets are not booming to accommodate this thirsty, thirsty, rightly thirsty wish to take in more. It's actually much more tricky than that. I think there's also, in bold terms there's also a kind of competition. I mean we're friends within the library, but there's a kind of competition between the old kind of heritage, some of which is actually in my collection as well. I'm talking about ordinary books and ordinary magazines and journals. And the new kind of what we think of as heritage, but is not a given. It doesn't go without saying. There is a case for making our work, heritage, a kind of new heritage. And that's quite a complicated argument. We can say it's like the heritage we're so glad we got. It's just the same, sort of thing. And in some cases, that's sort of true. So, newspapers which only appear online are a bit like the newspapers that we've got. So, the Bernie Collection is a Civil War, English Civil War collection. Great, we've got those. And now we can collect news about Brexit E referendum, not saying that's an English Civil War. Maybe it is. Maybe it is. So, we can do those kind of equivalent. And that's quite a good way of advocating. We can also say to our heritage colleagues, you know that stuff you're a bit embarrassed about getting and you've not done anything with, it's sort of un-cataloged, we've got the same sort of equivalent. Those kind of flyers, those posters that you've never really had the resource to catalog, we've got those and we're going to catalog them in a completely different way because we have the data. Well, the advocacy piece needs public access. Public access is the best advocate. And because of our legal deposit commitment, although we have a whole lot of stuff now in British Library, it's very difficult for us to share that. And even when you get into the reading room, the render can be surprisingly poor, and that's because web archiving is like that. You're not getting a look and feel translation all the time. But I've got tentative solutions and there are really sort of two or three. One is for us to occupy the old spaces. And by that, I mean meet each other, you know, meet each other just like this. It's really, really important that we behave non-virtually. And lastly. [ Laugther ] Of course, occupy the new spaces. I have lots of other kind of subheadings for these things and maybe I can squeeze them I a little bit later in the discussion. So, occupy the old spaces, don't neglect those. Have websites on exhibition alongside physical objects. Don't forget about that. It sends fantastic and really strong messages about the peril on each of them. Last thing, be poetic. Poetry-like time traveling with the web archive, that's an incredibly strong message. It's much, much stronger than more water-tight theory and mathematical understanding for a general population. So, be poetic [laughter]. [ Applause ] >> DAVID LAZER: A lovely note to end on. And now, finally, Abigail Grotke of the library who's been working on these issues for a long time and leads the, well, it's a long committee name. The National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program. >> ABBIE GROTKE: Actually, we've been reorganized. >> DAVID LAZER: Oh, you've been reorganized. Well, you know. >> ABBIE GROTKE: Web Archiving Team. >> DAVID LAZER: I'm looking in archived version of. >> ABBIE GROTKE: Just Google me, you can find me. >> DAVID LAZER: In any case, well thank you Abigail. >> ABBIE GROTKE: With a last name of Grotke that's very easily Google-able. So, if you can spell it. So, welcome everybody, we're thrilled to have you in our home turf today, we don't often get to host web archiving events since I've been doing this. I've been involved with the web archiving program since 2002 I think along with my colleague Gina Jones, over here. David talked a little bit about the program, but 'll give you a little bit more of our history and how we got to where we are and the things that still keep us up at night, because there are many. We started in 2000 as a pilot program to explore collecting web content. There was an interdisciplinary team including some folks that are actually in this room, I think Jane was on that team. Looking at issues around technical approaches, cataloging of data, selection of content and of course the ever-present legal issues. We started with our election archives as many organizations who do this work do, the election 2000 and we were happily starting to plan the election 2002 archive as another pilot with some collaborations with the internet archive, in those early days as well, when September 11th happened. And we quickly realized that this was something real and we had to make it not a pilot anymore. So, we went quickly into production without really sorting out what that actually meant. And I can safely say that all these years later we're still grappling with all these same issues. We haven't really solved all of the concerns that were even brought up in those early days. So, our approach here is a curated, selective collecting activity. We select content in various events and themes to archive. We do not have the luxury of an easily defined US domain to crawl like our colleagues in the UK, or Iceland. We're very envious of Iceland. So, we also have a lack of copyright laws that really support the activity so we, and no legal mandate to do this work. So, we actually, we have a pretty intensive and labor intensive and complicated permissions process that I don't have time to go into today, but I can spend hours talking about it. We're very good friends with the lawyers in the library. The program is, we have a very small core team that works full time on the activity, but there are people scattered around the library that work on this and it's kind of reflective of the collaborations that we've all undertaken with other institutions, which his so critical to this work. We really can't do it alone and we need all sorts of people and it's reflective in the research projects that happen this week that you need selectors selecting the content, you need technical experts. You need the lawyers to tell you how to do this work. You need developers that are supporting other infrastructure aspects. You need the storage experts that can help manage all this data. So, we really couldn't do it without these different types of people. And as Jefferson talked about we collaborate quite a bit with the broader community, like the International Internet Preservation Consortium, we were a founding member with the Internet Archive in that organization. And things like the end of term government web archive and working with some of our federal colleagues who are here in the room on issues around collecting the Federal Government Domain. So, again the permissions process I won't go into hugely but we do have to notify almost every site that we crawl. So, we have built tools around this to help process all of these things and send out permission letters, and we get responses. Mostly people like what we do, but we do have a lack of response issue, which I think is reflective in other archives as well. Most people don't say no they just don't ever respond to us. So, we do, that creates unbalanced collections when you are trying to, when there are types of sites that you must ask permission for and then they don't respond. So, there are gaps in the collection because of that. Luckily the permissions policies have evolved over time and they keep evolving, and are becoming a little bit more lenient so we can do more, but we still have to notify everybody, which is a lot of work. So, we have Internet Archive does most of our crawling under contract for the Library of Congress. We don't really have the technical infrastructure here to do that work. But we do do some in-house crawling using the same open source tools that they are using. We schedule our crawls under a variety of frequencies depending on topics and managing all of that and trying to sort through all the content that we're trying to schedule, and crawl and make sure we have is complex. I'll talk a little bit alter about some of the crawling strategies that we've employed in recent years to try to capture some of that frequently changing content. Our search is pretty basic at this point. My one visual here is our public access website, which allows you to search some meta data records, that take you to our instance of the Wayback Machine. We are very excited about the use of our data this week and the possibilities that we can now see for using our data in other ways. So, we look forward to the future, working with researchers. Some statistics about our archives, we have about 90 total web archive collections, in a variety of themes that we're managing. Again, government sites, law content. We have things like, obviously, our US elections, don't worry we're getting all those campaign sites. We do things like collecting web comics. Some of our curators here in the room who have selected that content. So, we're trying to get a broad view, but it really is those people in the library that are interested in web archives, who kind of get it. So, there are gaps in the collection. We don't cover all subjects that the library collects in other materials. We have 22 websites available through our public access website. So, that's about 1/3 of our collections, which we're hoping to improve. We seem to get ahead in some areas and then fall behind in others. It's one of the things that keeps us up at night. We have about 25 active collections that we're managing right now. Mostly ongoing crawls. So, we're getting sort of, in the early days we had a lot of collections that started and stopped and now we have things that go on, and on, and on sort of with these long-term things, rather than time-bounded. We're bringing in about 15 to 20 terabytes per month these days. And I like to, I have charts that are similar to Jefferson's showing the amount of data. We are much smaller scale we have about a petabyte of data of web archive content, but really it's YouTube's fault. I mean they really ruined everything for us in 2005. And you can see the numbers just went crazy after that. We're expecting to get about 290 terabytes this year alone. And in the early days we were, I don't know it was about half a terabyte in the first year. In all of those collections we manage about 6000 seed URLs. At, again varying frequencies. So, we're trying to use our tools and our brains to manage all of them, juggle all that collecting activity. And as one of my colleagues likes to say, it's basically the scale of domain crawling, but at a selective level, which is very complex to manage, particularly when you're thinking about asking permission for all of those sites. And we are very lucky here, the management of the Library of Congress is very supportive and there's definitely they understand the need for preservation. We have a steady budget at this point, for crawling, it does not cover other aspects of the workflow right now, which is one of our challenges. But we are a more formal, established program. And I think we have job security. I don't think we're going away, no matter how many reorganizations we participate in. And the great news is I know longer have to explain what web archiving is to many of my colleagues across the library. In the early days, it was the first half hour of the presentation was, here's what a web archive is. It is not downloading to your desktop. So, some of the bigger challenges that we face, it really gets at some of what you've heard already with the selective archiving. What do we actually select? We have, there's just so much out there. And what topics do we cover? We have selection policies that cover some of what might be the things that we do, but there's also trying to figure out what our space is and what, to avoid duplication with shat other libraries are doing, particularly in the US when we have hundreds of organizations that are collecting content. How do we know what we should be taking responsibility for? And there's just so much, so much data. It's so big. And we are so little. There are so few of us. So, we there's also this desire in all of this massive data to get everything. So, to get quality, complete captures of websites. Think about how large some of these sites are. Some of these government sites that we're crawling and hoping we get that PDF that might be useful to the Congressional Research Service someday, or the one document that somebody might need in the future. We can't guarantee it. We can't, we can't do it. So, trying to grapple with those issues and make the case that what we're getting is good enough and good. And the crawl, Jefferson's already has talked about this a little bit there's been advancements in how the crawler tools are being developed. Keeping up with all of the changes in the web. It's very difficult. We often joke in the IAPC that we're about 10 years behind what's happening on the web now with crawler tools. So, little changes that Facebook can make can just mess us up forever. So, it's a big challenge. So, let's see, jumping ahead here. So, some of the things we're doing to tackle some of these scale problems and get deeper crawls of some of the sites that are of interest to our recommending officers are doing deeper quarterly crawls of some of these really large, like that's a huge site and trying to get that in a monthly crawl, where you're just getting a little bit along with all the other sites that we're crawling has been a challenge. So, we're now doing like really deep focus crawls on that content. We're also employing some RSS feed crawling modelled after what some folks I Iceland are doing for some news content that changes so rapidly that we can't get it in a weekly crawl even. So, we're doing crawling feeds and being able to fill out the gaps in the collection that way. So, we think that's, we've been doing that about six months or a year maybe, and that's been going pretty well. I have a few minutes left. Some of the other issues, again, around the permissions policies. We keep hoping for changes and that the site owners will respond favorably, but we can't rely on that. So, again that unbalanced collections is a big issue for us. And it also creates a dataset that has a mixture of permissions in it. So, we find it difficult to share our datasets with researchers because we have some content that's restricted to on-site only and some that isn't. And others that are perfectly free to use no matter where you are. So, all of that is stored together in one archive and how do we share that. And again, our staff is limited. We can only do so much and our focus is really in acquiring the data. We don't have the resources to really work to help make our collections more accessible which is a really, we hope to do that in the future and that we can make progress in those areas. And we are truly inspired by all of you here and all the people that worked with the data this week. It's very exciting to see. So, I think I'll close there, because I see the zero coming. And I guess move on to questions. >> DAVID LAZER: Thank you. [ Applause ] So is the mic circulating for questions. In the back. And if you can just say who you are, and that will be great. >> JOHN WIN: Hi. There we go. Hi. I'm John Win, I actually work under Abbie here at the library, but I kind of had a question for the rest of the panel. Just in terms of like the threshold between automation and human curation of this content, just in my own experiences knowing I've made certain mistakes, and screwing up an entire collection because of it [laughter], where do we really find the sort of point where we can hand this off to an automated program, or what are your sort of thoughts on where we can find that point in the future? >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: I guess I'll talk. That's a great question. I think there are efforts to do, so I talked a little bit about browser automation. But browser automation will never get to the scale of human action. There are efforts to, and I don't, this is not really scalable, but I do think it's a potential approach for transactional browsing. So, if you are a person and you can essentially flip a switch in your browser, and it will record to a preservation format as you browse. So, you obviously need some self-awareness about what you're browsing to make sure that it doesn't go into the archival records, but I think that has potential, but it obviously won't scale to the extent to which the web grows. So, I think it's probably not an automation human question it's more a multi-institutional question. So, the more institutions that are doing even small scale web archiving will contribute to this greater pool of archival data. >> DAVID LAZER: Is there room for harnessing the crowd for this? Like getting people looking, saying, well you know you're messing up this collection and having like bug reports. I mean there's you know that kind of thing? >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: Yeah, there are tools sort of in the browser where you can, you know report a bad capture, or tell it, if there are images missing in an archival copy it can try to find whether those URLs still exist, they could have been not captured for various technical reasons, and then could be scoped in during the browsing. So, there's a little automated QA that could be done. >> RICHARD PRICE: I think public intervention also builds advocacy. So, you don't really want to get rid of public selectors, or curatorial selectors. It's very good to have fan-based selectors who are actually going to bring a kind of loyalty and enthusiasm to a wider project, even though it may be niche, the fact is that that is a very, enthusiasm is leaky in a very good way. And it goes over to a general populous. And so, it's very important that some things, although they could be fully automatable, are still personalized. >> DAVID LAZER: Question will go to the middle. Will go number two and number three so. If we're going to archive this [laughter]. >> MARIA ZEMANKOVA: Maria Zemankova, National Science Foundation. And I think it's about three years ago when we had a workshop. Richard Marciano was really chairing it on curation. The reason why we held it because we wanted to find out what techniques would be developed with what we had called as painless curation. Because without curation, if we store it all, I don't think it's very useful. Okay. The report has been published at ACM Communications and I think there is a lot to be learned from that workshop. But I think one point that we did not quite touch upon is archiving, or evolving of the curations across the centuries. We've been talking here about preserving the cultural heritage and this and that, and what not. We all of us know about the concept drifts. What about the curation drifts? >> DAVID LAZER: You can pass it back and then we'll ask the next question later, so reactions? It's just one you've got to chew on a little bit. >> JEFFERSON BAILEY: I do think there's more potential for crowd sourcing, as we mentioned, we do a lot of spontaneous event collections, which are community's submitted URLs, our sites. And I do think that's much different than the traditional, archival appraisal or acquisition model, which is driven by an institution, or by, university, or. So, I think the curation aspect has drifted into the public a bit. But you do sort of have that separation between the act of nominating something and the act of actually acquiring it and preserving it. So, it would be interesting to think about how the sort of curation drift could also move into the preservation drift. >> RICHARD PRICE: I suppose I like the idea of there being curation drift across the older heritage and the newer heritage across the disciplines. So, social scientists, computational people linguistic corpus people looking at 19th century. Those techniques, very useful to contemporary. We want to have a text and data mining community that crosses all that. And again, occupying the old space, scholars meeting up across the divide, we librarians are very, very important for that, particularly at this stage. >> DAVID LAZER: Okay, I think I promised to, yes, thank you. And then, yes, you can be on line. I just want to make sure I'm not neglecting the peripheries here. So. >> MEGAN HALSBAND: My name's Megan Halsband. I'm a reference librarian here at the Library of Congress and actually I work on some of the web archiving collections. And kind of from a, I guess curatorial point of view going along with what everyone else has been talking about, what are some ways that you might see that those of us who are, you know maybe selecting content can help more formally broaden the conversation between institutions, and between disciplines, and between you know professional societies? Because it seems like there's a lot of conversation that happens on the same topics between, you know historians, and between art historians, and between computer scientists. But there's the cross pollination of it and kind of that cross discussion doesn't really seem to happen very much on a very formal platform, or a formal way that I'm aware of. I could be very out of it though. And so, just some thoughts on what, you know future planning might be for that so that you know to help librarians and to help those of us who are working on these types of collections make sure that we are making responsible curatorial decisions. >> DAVID LAZER: Thoughts? I mean I think part of what my reaction is, it's an interesting question of how to engage the relevant communities and get them in the room talking about this. And so, is there a space, you know for example going to the political science meetings and saying, what do you need archived on campaign 2016? Right? I'd be happy to facilitate that, but that's just more of a model of how one might engage a community that is going to want to chew on these collections like tomorrow. But of course, that's not necessarily representing the unborn historians that well. So. >> RICHARD MARCIANO: I'd like to believe that perhaps as part of your arsenal in moving forward, you'll be fully weaponized, that's a terrible expression, but that there'll be other paradigms and these are things that are being funded, and they're being explored that are part of interdisciplinary conversations. There are probably not enough of them. So, this is my shameless cue to the folks from the funding agencies to help us create these spaces where we can bring these communities together to continue to explore these topics, such as the meeting you mentioned several years ago. But, I don't know the reference, sort of selector of the future will have a dashboard and will be able to do, hopefully analytics on the fly and you'll be able to examine some of the collections yourself and perform elements of machine learning, and discovery, and visualization. And make more, even more informed decisions at scale. Looking at collections and across collections. And mixing, you know multimedia, and historical records and other things. So, there's all kinds of human computer interface issues that build on these conversations and would benefit from these conversations, and build on the integration of a lot of the frameworks and technologies that are also very siloed. That are funded through all these different agencies and programs, etcetera. So, I'd love to see that happen and there's some interesting examples of what that might look like in terms of future finding aids, so futuristic finding aids, and how to build those. And what curatorial support you might have in moving forward. >> DAVID LAZER: Why don't I collect just a few questions, because we're nearing the end and I see that, and I hate to leave questions unasked, but there's also that curatorial role I have. So, why don't we collect a few questions and then people can react to whatever questions they want to react to. Yes? >> MARY FRAKER: My name is Mary Fraker and I've probably been watching too many reruns of "Law and Order SVU" but I'm wondering what is sort of the ethics, the philosophy, the policy, and the practice regarding really repugnant things like child pornography. >> DAVID LAZER: And I think, like I said I just want to collect a few questions. >> ROSEMARY SEGEROS: Yes, good morning ladies and gentlemen, I don't know, thank you so much Mr. David, I didn't know we were coming to the same event for your cutesy this morning. Bless you. Thank you so much for your presentation, my name is Rosemary Segeros, I'm the president of an organization called Hope for Tomorrow, and Segeros International Group. Looking at your presentations, after the gentleman for counter terrorism spoke. I will see, I will talk later, how do you look at engaging international people? IT people? Groups? All you are talking goes international, the website, the election observation. I do election observations in Africa using my own applications I share with you. So how do we put this content and what you are discussing into the international level so that we are talking internationally. Because all you are talking is used out there, but many people don't know how, even if they have that thing, you want to make it universal so that what you are talking here at the Congress is talked in Africa, is talked somewhere else so that we are on the same page, so that we don't blame each other one day somebody did somebody, because those smart guys are not here who do the hacking, or do bad stuff. They're out there. So, they need to get the message and getting this knowledge is very important. So, how do we collaborate with you all to make sure we bring them for India and you go to Africa for a conference like this one and talk to people. So, thank you so much. >> DAVID LAZER: And any other questions on the left that we want to collect? Anyone here want to get a lot shot of questions? How about on the right I think I saw, any hands there? Okay so we're left with the ethical issues, and the sort of more global international perspective to put it really short. So, reaction? >> ABBIE GROTKE: I can speak a little bit to the global efforts. I think part of this because it's still very new, the early group that formed around the international community, I mean there's a big European focus, but there is an effort to expand that community, work globally together on these issues. We all understand that the web is not the US domain and the Icelandic domain or the British domain. It's a global internet. So even though we're all collecting in different areas, we all are aware that our archives, and we all struggle with trying to make this happen, to link those archives and connect them so that researchers will know that we have all this data gathered around. There are efforts within the IAPC to reach other communities that we're not currently engaging with and try to expand our membership, or collect in areas where archiving may not be happening, such as the Cuban domain. So, I think it's definitely a concern of all of ours. The Library of Congress, also, I didn't mention, we have offices overseas. So, we have a number of international collections. So, we are not just collecting US content, we are collecting across the globe in areas that the library traditionally has collected in so. >> RICHARD PRICE: From and ethical point of view. Well I suppose there's also a practical element to this. Child pornography's probably on the deep web, we probably won't be able to get it in the first place if we do get it, it wouldn't have been actively. We certainly wouldn't actively select that. It would come in through a domain crawl. And because it comes in that way, we're protected legally until we notice we've got it and then we will take it out of public access. It would be illegal for us to knowingly maintain it. So, that's never happened to my knowledge. I'm sure in the long, long view that the legal deposit libraries and national libraries think it will happen at some point, but that's how we would approach it. >> RICHARD MARCIANO: I think there are all kinds of other aspects of ethics when it comes to collecting large content and distributed content. Very much like the credit card companies and all the social media companies that classify our actions, identify what we do, derive knowledge from what we browse, what we look at. We're reaching the point where you can take several cultural, historical archival sources and start to find and reveal really interesting things that may need to problematic ethical findings in the data. So, you can reveal sort of the, you know, the hidden information, correlate it, bring it back together, de-identify people, places, events that were not meant to be shared. So, this is a side effect I guess of the technology of crawling. It may not happen in one swoop, but it's not that hard to do. One of the collections in the DCIC lab we were looking at, which included conversations with former inmates and survivors was, for example was looking at Second World War, Japanese American internment camp data. And one of our computational interventions was precisely to link all the people, the events. These were stazi-like accusations of alleged misdeeds while people were prisoners. Many of them invented or imaginary. So, you start putting these things together and you use modern analytics, or commercial style analytics and you're rebuilding as we saw in some of the student hack-a-thon projects, you're revealing social networks, and occurrences of individuals and peoples in the context of accusations. It is very, very problematic. So, there's this whole other layer of how you very quickly stumble into all kinds of ethical dilemmas and implications when you're harvesting a large distributed archives and bringing all this information together. And I think that's a really important theme, National Science Foundation has a whole number of discussions on the ethics of big data and archival collections in moving forward. >> DAVID LAZER: Perfect note to end on. I want to thank our panelist and our audience. [ Applause ] >> DAME WENDY HALL: Thank you very much, panel that was a really good debate. Vint asked to point that as he was going that it's really important that we're focusing a lot on archiving what's already on the web, but we need to add more, by adding the context, the political, the economic, the historical context to help people in the future understand what's going on today. Right. Now's the time for a break. Looks like it's lovely. It's not pouring with rain. This room will be locked for lunch. Please be back here for two. There are suggestions if you don't know the area. There's some lovely little cafes just over the road. Get some fresh air and please be back here before two. And come back and see us don't disappear. >> This has been a presentation of the Library of Congress. Visit us as


Cold War (1946–1991)

Post-war and the late 1940s (1946–1949)

1946 Space observatory

The Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope

A space observatory is any instrument, such as a telescope, in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. In 1946, American theoretical astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer was proposed the idea of a telescope in outer space, a decade before the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik into orbit. However, German scientist Hermann Oberth had first conceived the idea of a space based telescope.[12] Spitzer's proposal called for a large telescope that would not be hindered by Earth's atmosphere.[12] After lobbying in the 1960s and 1970s for such a system to be built, Spitzer's vision ultimately materialized into the world's first space-based optical telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched on April 20, 1990 by the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31).[13][14]

1946 Blowout preventer (annular)

An annular blowout preventer is a large valve that uses a wedge to seal off a wellhead. It has a donut-like rubber seal, known as an elastomeric packing unit, reinforced with steel ribs. During drilling or well interventions, the valve may be closed if overpressure from an underground zone causes formation fluids such as oil or natural gas to enter the wellbore and threaten the rig. The annular blowout preventer was invented by Granville Sloan Knox in 1946 who received a patent on September 9, 1952.[15]

1946 Tupperware


Tupperware is airtight plastic containers used for the preparation, storage, containment, and serving of perishable food in the kitchen and home. Tupperware was invented in 1946 by American chemist Earl Silas Tupper who devised a method of purifying black polyethylene slag, a waste product produced in oil refinement, into a molded substance that was flexible, tough, non-porous, non-greasy and translucent.[16] Available in many colors, the plastic containers with "burp seal" did not become a commercial success until Brownie Wise, a Florida housewife, began throwing Tupperware parties in 1951 in order to demonstrate the product and explain the features.[17][18]

1946 Spoonplug

A spoonplug is a form of fishing lure. The spoonplug was invented by Elwood L. "Buck" Perry, then a physics and math teacher in Hickory, North Carolina. Elwood Perry combined science with a logical approach to fishing to create a "total fishing system." He is credited as being the father of structure fishing and was later inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.[19]

1946 Chipper teeth

An example of chipper teeth
An example of chipper teeth

A chipper teeth is a variant of a saw chain used on a chainsaw. Using a tooth that is curled over the top of the chain, there are alternate teeth which point left and right. In 1946, American logger Joseph Buford Cox of Portland, Oregon invented chipper teeth, which is still widely used today and represents one of the biggest influences in the history of timber harvesting.[20]

1946 Filament tape

Filament tape or strapping tape is a pressure-sensitive tape used for several packaging functions such as closing corrugated fiberboard boxes, reinforcing packages, bundling items, pallet utilizing, etc. It consists of a pressure-sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material which is usually a polypropylene or polyester film and fiberglass filaments embedded to add high tensile strength. Filament tape was invented in 1946 by Cyrus Woodrow Bemmels. In 1949, it was placed on the market and was an immediate success.[21]

1946 Credit card

  • A credit card is part of a system of payments named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. The issuer of the card grants a line of credit to the consumer from which the user can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance to the user. In 1946, American banker John C. Biggins of the Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn invented the first bank-issued credit card.[22][23][24]

1946 Diaper (waterproof)

  • A diaper or nappy is an absorbent garment for incontinent people. The dampless or waterproof diaper was invented in 1946 when Marion Donovan used a shower curtain from her bathroom to create the "Boater", the first re-usable and leak-proof diaper that contained plastic-lined cloth. Donovan's other innovation was replacing safety pins with plastic snaps on the sides of diapers. First sold in 1949 at Saks Fifth Avenue's flagship store in New York City, patents were later issued in 1951 to Donovan who later sold the rights to the waterproof diaper for $1 million.[25]

1947 Transistor

A replica of the first working transistor.
A replica of the first working transistor.

In electronics, a transistor is a semiconductor device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals. Because the controlled output power can be much larger than the controlling input power, the transistor provides amplification of a signal. The transistor is the fundamental building block of all modern electronic devices, and is used in radio, telephone, computer, and other electronic systems. From November 17, 1947 to December 23, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at AT&T Bell Labs, underwent experimentations and finally observed that when two gold point contacts were applied to a crystal of germanium, a signal was produced whereby the output power was larger than the input.[26] The manager of the Bell Labs semiconductor research group, William Shockley, saw the potential in this and worked over the next few months greatly expanding the knowledge of semiconductors in order to construct the first point-contact transistor. Shockley is considered by many to be the "father" of the transistor.[8] Hence, in recognition of his work, the transistor is widely, yet not universally acknowledged as the most important invention of the entire 20th century since it forms today's building blocks of processors found and used in almost every modern computing and electronics device.[27] In recognition of their invention of the transistor, Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.[28]

1947 Defibrillator

Defibrillation is the definitive treatment for the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected heart. Dr. Claude Beck invented the defibrillator in 1947.[29]

1947 Supersonic aircraft

The Bell X-1
The Bell X-1

In aerodynamics, the sound barrier usually refers to the point at which an aircraft moves from transonic to supersonic speed. On October 14, 1947, just under a month after the United States Air Force had been created as a separate service, tests culminated in the first manned supersonic flight where the sound barrier was broken, piloted by Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1.[30]

1947 Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is fast-drying paint containing pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. The first acrylic paint was invented by Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden in 1947 under the brand Magna paint.[31]

1947 Magnetic particle clutch

A magnetic particle clutch is a special type of electromagnetic clutch which does not use friction plates. Instead, it uses a fine powder of magnetically susceptible material (typically stainless steel) to mechanically link an otherwise free wheeling disc attached to one shaft, to a rotor attached to the other shaft. The magnetic particle clutch was invented in 1947 by Ukrainian-American Jacob Rabinow.[32]

1948 Windsurfing

Windsurfing in Maui
Windsurfing in Maui

Windsurfing, or sailboarding, is a surface water sport using a windsurf board, also commonly called a sailboard, usually two to five meters long and powered by wind pushing a sail. In 1948, 20-year-old Newman Darby was the first to conceive the idea of using a handheld sail and rig mounted on a universal joint so that he could control his small catamaran—the first rudderless sailboard ever built that allowed a person to steer by shifting his or her weight in order to tilt the sail fore and aft.[33] Darby did not file for a patent for his invention. However, he is widely recognized as the inventor of the first sailboard.[34]

1948 Hair spray

Hair spray is a beauty aqueous solution that is used to keep hair stiff or in a certain style. Weaker than hair gel, hair wax, or glue, it is sprayed to hold styles for a long period. Using a pump or aerosol spray nozzle, it sprays evenly over the hair. Hair spray was first invented and manufactured in 1948 by Chase Products Company, based in Broadview, Illinois.

1948 Cat litter

  • Cat litter is one of any of a number of materials used in litter boxes to absorb moisture from cat feces and urine, which reduces foul odors such as ammonia and renders them more tolerable within the home. The first commercially available cat litter was Kitty Litter, available in 1948 and invented by Ed Lowe.[35]

1948 Halligan bar

  • A Halligan bar is a special forcible entry tool commonly used by firefighters and law enforcement. It was designed by and named after Hugh Halligan, a First Deputy Fire Chief in the New York City Fire Department, in 1948. While the tool was developed by a Deputy Chief of the New York City Fire Department, the department did not initially purchase it because of a perceived conflict of interest in buying from a member of the department.[36]

1948 Hand dryer

  • A hand dryer is an electric device found in a public restroom and are used to dry hands. It may either operate with a button, or more recently, automatically using an infrared sensor. The hand dryer was invented in 1948 by George Clemens.[37]

1948 Rogallo wing

Rogallo's flexible wing, which was tested by NASA as a steerable parachute to retrieve Gemini space capsules and retrieve used rocket stages.
Rogallo's flexible wing, which was tested by NASA as a steerable parachute to retrieve Gemini space capsules and retrieve used rocket stages.

The Rogallo wing is a flexible type of airfoil composed of two partial conic surfaces with both cones pointing forward. Neither a kite, glider, or a type of aircraft, the Rogallo wing is most often seen in toy kites, but has been used to construct spacecraft parachutes during preliminary testing for NASA's Gemini program in the early 1960s, dirigible parachutes, ultralight powered aircraft like the trike, as well as hang gliders. Before the end of 1948, American aeronautical engineer Francis Rogallo had succeeded in inventing the first fully successful flexible-wing kite that he called the 'Flexi-Kite'. A patent was applied for in 1948 and granted in 1951. His wife, Gertrude Rogallo, also made a significant impact upon the invention, having sewed the fabric into the required dimensions that used household items like kitchen curtains. Rogallo believed that flexible wings provided more stability than fixed surfaces, leading to an elimination of rigid spars during flight. Because of this, Rogallo's concepts are seen as classics examples of purity and efficiency in aviation.[38][39]

1948 Cable television

Cable television provides television to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through fixed optical fibers or coaxial cables as opposed to the over-the-air method used in traditional television broadcasting. First known as Community Antenna Television or CATV, cable television was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania in 1948 by John Walson and Margaret Walson.[40]

1948 Flying disc

Flying discs are disc-shaped objects thrown and caught for recreation, which are generally plastic and roughly 20 to 25 centimeters (8–10 inches) in diameter, with a lip. The shape of the disc, an airfoil in cross-section, allows it to fly by generating lift as it moves through the air while rotating. First known as the "Whirlo-Way", the flying disc was invented in 1949 by Walter Frederick Morrison who combined his fascination with invention and his interest in flight. Carved from a solid block of a plastic compound known as "Tenite," Morrison sold his flying disc invention to WHAM–O, which introduced it in 1957 as the "Pluto Platter." In 1958, WHAM–O modified the "Pluto Platter" and rebranded it as a Frisbee flying disc to the world. It became an instant sensation.[41]

1948 Video game

U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus playing an interactive round of Wii golf
U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus playing an interactive round of Wii golf

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. In 1948, ten years before William Higinbotham's Tennis for Two was developed, Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle R. Mann co-patented the "Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device," making it the earliest documented video game. Primitive by modern standards in video gaming, the amusement device, however, required players to overlay pictures or illustrations of targets such as airplanes in front of the screen, dovetailing the game's action.[42]

1949 Radiocarbon dating

Radiocarbon dating is a dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years. In 1949, Willard F. Libby invented the procedure for carbon-14 dating.[43]

1949 Airsickness bag

An airsickness bag, also known as a barf bag, airsick bag, sick bag, or motion sickness bag, is a small bag commonly provided to passengers on board airplanes and boats to collect and contain vomit in the event of motion sickness. The airsickness bag was invented by Gilmore Schjeldahl in 1949 for Northwest Orient Airlines.[44]

1949 Ice resurfacer

An ice resurfacer on an indoor ice rink
An ice resurfacer on an indoor ice rink

An ice resurfacer is a truck-like vehicle used to clean and smooth the surface of an ice rink. Frank J. Zamboni of Paramount, California invented the first ice resurfacer, which he called a Zamboni, in 1949.[45]

1949 Atomic clock

An atomic clock uses an atomic resonance frequency standard as its timekeeping element. The first atomic clock was an ammonia maser device built in 1949 at the United States National Bureau of Standards.[46]

1949 Holter monitor

A Holter monitor is a portable device for continuously monitoring the electrical activity of the heart for 24 hours or more. Sticky patches (electrodes) on the chest are connected to wires from the Holter monitor. The functions of a Holter monitor captures and records information such as heart rates during day and night, abnormal heart beats, and normal and abnormal heart rhythms. The Holter monitor was invented by Norman Holter.[47]

1949 Crash test dummy

Head, neck, and thoracic spine of a crash test dummy
Head, neck, and thoracic spine of a crash test dummy

A crash test dummy is a full-scale anthropomorphic test device that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body, and is usually instrumented to record data about the dynamic behavior of the ATD in simulated vehicle impacts. Using human and animal cadaver research from earlier studies, the first artificial crash test dummy was an anthropomorphic dummy named "Sierra Sam". It was invented in 1949 by Samuel W. Alderson at his Alderson Research Labs (ARL) And Sierra Engineering Co. for the United States Air Force while conducting tests on aircraft ejection seats, pilot restraint harnesses, and aviation helmets.[48][49] Alderson's early dummies and those of his competitors were fairly primitive, with no pelvic structure and little spinal articulation. With American automakers interested in durable crash test dummies that could be tested and retested while yielding back a broad spectrum of data during simulated automobile crashes, the first crash test dummy used for automative testing was again invented by Samuel Alderson in 1968. It was called the V.I.P. (Very Important Person) and it was built with dimensions of an average adult man coupled with a steel rib cage, articulated joints, a flexible neck, and a lumbar spine.[50]

1949 Compiler

A compiler is a computer program or set of programs that transforms source code written in a computerized source language into another computer language often having a binary form known as an object code. The most common reason for wanting to transform source code is to create an executable program. The first compiler written for the A-0 programming language is attributed to its inventor, Grace Hopper in 1949.[51]

1949 Aerosol paint

  • Aerosol paint, also called spray paint, is a type of paint that comes in a sealed pressurized container and is released in a fine spray mist when depressing a valve button. A form of spray painting, aerosol paint leaves a smooth, evenly coated surface, unlike many rolled or brushed paints. In 1949, Ed Seymour of Sycamore, Illinois invented aerosol paint, which he based on the same principle as spray deodorizers and insecticides. The conveyance featured a small can of paint packaged with an aerosol propellant and fitted with a spray head.[52]


1950 Artificial snowmaking

A rear view of a snow cannon with its fan showing
A rear view of a snow cannon with its fan showing

Snowmaking is the artificial production of snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a "snow gun" or "snow cannon", on ski slopes. Snowmaking is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow. This allows ski resorts to improve the reliability of their snow cover and to extend their ski seasons. The costly production of snowmaking requires low temperatures. The threshold temperature for snowmaking decreases as humidity decreases. Machine-made snow was first co-invented by three engineers—Art Hunt, Dave Richey and Wayne Pierce of Milford, Connecticut on March 14, 1950. Their patented invention of the first "snow cannon" used a garden hose, a 10-horsepower compressor, and a spray-gun nozzle, which produced about 20 inches of snow.[53]

1950 Leaf blower

A leaf blower is a gardening tool that propels air out of a nozzle to move yard debris such as leaves. Leaf blowers are usually powered by two-stroke engine or an electric motor, but four-stroke engines were recently introduced to partially address air pollution concerns. Leaf blowers are typically self-contained handheld units, or backpack mounted units with a handheld wand. The leaf blower was invented by Dom Quinto in 1950.[54]

1950 Hamming code

  • In telecommunication, a Hamming code is a linear error-correcting code. Hamming codes can detect up to two simultaneous bit errors, and correct single-bit errors; thus, reliable communication is possible when the Hamming distance between the transmitted and received bit patterns is less than or equal to one. By contrast, the simple parity code cannot correct errors, and can only detect an odd number of errors. Hamming codes are of fundamental importance in coding theory and remain of practical use in modern computer design. Hamming codes were invented in 1950 by Richard Hamming at Bell Labs.[55]

1950 Teleprompter

A set of three teleprompters displaying text in the Japanese language
A set of three teleprompters displaying text in the Japanese language

A teleprompter is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to the practice of using cue cards. The screen is in front of and usually below the lens of the camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the performer using a sheet of clear glass or specially prepared beam splitter. The teleprompter was invented in 1950 by Hubert Schlafly, who was working at 20th Century Fox film studios in Los Angeles.[56]

1950 Sengstaken-Blakemore tube

A Sengstaken-Blakemore tube is an oro or nasogastric tube used occasionally in the management of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to bleeding from esophageal varices which are distended veins in the esophageal wall, usually as a result of cirrhosis. It consists of a gastric balloon, an esophageal balloon, and a gastric suction port. The Sengstaken-Blakemore tube was invented by Dr. Robert W. Sengstaken and Dr. Arthur H. Blakemore in 1950.[57]

1951 Stellarator

  • A stellarator is a device used to confine a hot plasma with magnetic fields in order to sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction. It is the earliest controlled fusion device. In 1951, American astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer recommended that the United States Atomic Energy Commission commence containing and harnessing nuclear fusion of hydrogen at temperatures exceeding those at the Sun's surface. To do this, Spitzer invented a plasma confinement configuration device called the stellarator.[58]

1951 Cooler

  • A cool box, cooler, portable ice chest, chilly bin, or esky most commonly is an insulated box used to keep perishable food or beverages cool. Ice cubes, which are very cold, are most commonly placed in it to make the things inside stay cool. Ice packs are sometimes used, as they either contain the melting water inside, or have a gel sealed inside that also stays cold longer than plain water. The cooler was invented in 1951 by Richard C. Laramy of Joliet, Illinois. Laramy filed a patent for the cooler on February 24, 1951 and was issued U.S. patent #2,663,157 on December 22, 1953.[59]

1951 Wetsuit

  • A wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed neoprene, which is worn by divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports, providing thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. The insulation properties depend on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability to conduct heat. The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water. The wetsuit was invented in 1951 by the University of California at Berkeley physicist named Hugh Bradner.[60]

1951 Correction fluid

  • Correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid applied to paper to mask errors in text. It was very important when material was typed with a typewriter, but has become less so since the advent of the word processor. Correction fluid was invented by Bette Nesmith Graham in 1951. Originally called by the brand name "Mistake Out", Graham began selling correction fluid in 1956.[61]

1951 Well counter

  • A well counter is a device used for measuring radioactivity in small samples. It usually employs a sodium iodide crystal detector. It was invented in 1951 by American electrical engineer and biophysicist Hal Anger.[62] Anger filed U.S. patent #2,779,876 on March 3, 1953 for his "Radio-Activity Distribution Detector" which was later issued on January 29, 1957.[63]

1952 Airbag

A deflated airbag on a steering wheel after a traffic accident
A deflated airbag on a steering wheel after a traffic accident

An air bag is a safety feature designed to protect automobile passengers in a head-on collision. Most cars today have driver's side airbags and many have one on the passenger side as well. Located in the steering wheel assembly on the driver's side and in the dashboard on the passenger side, the air bag device responds within milliseconds of a crash. The original safety cushion was first created by John W. Hetrick in 1952. After a car accident that his family was involved in, Hetrick drew sketches of compressed air stored in a container. When a spring-loaded weight senses the car decelerating at a rapid enough rate, it opens a valve that allows the pressure in the container to fill a bag. With this knowledge, he developed his design until he was able to obtain a patent on the device on August 5, 1952.[64] Later in 1967, Dr. Allen S. Breed invented and developed a key component for automotive use in 1967, the ball-in-tube inertial sensor for crash detection. Breed Corporation then marketed this innovation to Chrysler.[65]

1952 Bread clip

A bread clip is a device used to hold plastic bags, such as the ones pre-sliced bread is commonly packaged in, closed. They are also commonly called bread tags, bread tabs, bread ties, bread crimps, or bread-bag clips. By sealing a bag more securely than tying or folding over its open end, the clip or tie may preserve its contents longer. The bread clip was invented in 1952 by Floyd Paxton of Yakima, Washington. Paxton never patented the device.[66]

1952 Barcode

A UPC-A barcode symbol
A UPC-A barcode symbol

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data, which shows certain data on certain products. Originally, barcodes represented data in the widths (lines) and the spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional barcodes or symbologies. They also come in patterns of squares, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns within images termed two-dimensional matrix codes or symbologies. Norman Joseph Woodland is best known for inventing the barcode for which he received a patent in October 1952.[67]

1952 Artificial heart

An artificial heart is implanted into the body to replace the biological heart. On July 3, 1952, 41-year-old Henry Opitek suffering from shortness of breath made medical history at Harper University Hospital at Wayne State University in Michigan. The Dodrill-GMR heart, considered to be the first operational mechanical heart, was invented by Dr. Forest Dewey Dodrill and successfully inserted into Henry Opitek while performing open heart surgery.[68] In 1981, Dr. Robert Jarvik implanted the world's first permanent artificial heart,[69] the Jarvik 7, into Dr. Barney Clark. The heart, powered by an external compressor, kept Clark alive for 112 days. The Jarvik heart was not banned for permanent use. Since 1982, more than 350 people have received the Jarvik heart as a bridge to transplantation.[70]

1953 Heart-lung machine

  • Dr. John Heysham Gibbon performed the first successful cardiopulmonary bypass surgery in which the blood was artificially circulated and oxygenated by using his invention, a pump known as the heart-lung machine. This new medical technology, which allowed the surgeon to operate on a dry and motionless heart by maintaining the circulation of blood and the oxygen content of the body, greatly increased surgical treatment options for heart defects and disease.[71]

1953 Voltmeter (digital)

  • A voltmeter is an instrument used for measuring electrical potential difference between two points in an electric circuit. Analog voltmeters move a pointer across a scale in proportion to the voltage of the circuit; digital voltmeters give a numerical display of voltage by use of an analog to digital converter. The digital voltmeter was invented in 1953 by Andrew Kay, founder of Kaypro.[72]

1953 Marker pen

  • A marker pen, marking pen, felt-tip pen, or marker, is a pen which has its own colored ink-source, and usually a tip made of a porous material, such as felt or nylon. Sidney Rosenthal, from Richmond Hill, New York, is credited with inventing the marker in 1953.[73]

1953 WD-40

  • WD-40 is a widely available water-displacing spray that is useful in both home and commercial fields; lubricating and loosening joints and hinges, removing dirt and residue, and extricating stuck screws and bolts are common usages. The product also may be useful in displacing moisture, as this is its original purpose and design intent. WD-40 was invented in 1953 by Norm Larsen and two other employees at the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, California.[74]

1953 Apgar scale

  • The Apgar scale is used to determine the physical status of an infant at birth. The Apgar scale is administered to a newborn at one minute after birth and five minutes after birth. It scores the baby's heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, reflex response, and color. This test quickly alerts medical personnel that the newborn needs assistance. This simple, easy-to-perform test was invented in 1953 by Dr. Virginia Apgar, a professor of anesthesia at the New York Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.[75]

1953 Gilhoolie

  • A gilhoolie is a kitchen appliance that opens jars and bottles. It was invented by Dr. C. W. Fuller in 1953.[76]

1953 Wheel clamp

  • A wheel clamp, also known as a Denver boot or wheel boot, is a device that is designed to prevent vehicles from moving. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp which surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel. Wheel clamps are used in order to enforce laws against unauthorized or illegal parking, in lieu of towing the offending vehicle, and for security purposes such as a deterrent against stolen vehicles by thieves. Originally known as the auto immobilizer, the wheel clamp or Denver boot was invented in 1953 by Frank Marugg of Denver Colorado. A patent was filed on May 7, 1955 and issued three years later on July 28, 1958.[77]

1953 Wiffle ball

  • Wiffleball is a variation of the sport of baseball designed for indoor or outdoor play in confined areas. The game is played using a perforated, light-weight, hollow, rubbery plastic ball and a long, hollow, plastic and typically a yellow bat. The Wiffle ball was invented by David N. Mullany of Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953 when he designed a ball that curved easily for his 12-year-old son. It was named when his son and his friends would refer to a strikeout as a "whiff".[78]

1953 MASER

  • A maser is produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification due to stimulated emission. Historically the term came from the acronym "Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". Charles H. Townes, J. P. Gordon, and H. J. Zeiger built the first maser at Columbia University in 1953.[79]

1953 Carbonless copy paper

  • Carbonless copy paper is an alternative to carbon paper, used to make a copy of an original, handwritten document without the use of any electronics. Carbonless copy paper was invented by chemists Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green, working for the NCR Corporation, as a biodegradable, stain-free alternative to carbon paper.[80]

1953 Crossed-field amplifier

  • A crossed-field amplifier (CFA) is a specialized vacuum tube frequently used as a microwave amplifier in very-high-power transmitters. A CFA has lower gain and bandwidth than other microwave amplifier tubes, but it is more efficient and capable of much higher output power. William C. Brown is considered to have invented the first crossed-field amplifier in 1953 which he called an Amplitron.[81]

1954 Zipper storage bag

A zipper storage bag with the brand name Ziploc labeled
A zipper storage bag with the brand name Ziploc labeled

A zipper storage bag is a plastic bag with a sealed or zipped opening that allows for transparent viewing of stored items inside the bag. Better known under the brand name and genericized trademark Ziploc, zipper storage bags are commonly used to hold perishable foods and snacks. Zipper storage bags were patented by Robert W. Vergobbi on May 18, 1954. However, they would not be introduced to consumers until 1968, when Dow Chemical introduced the Ziploc bags.[82]

1954 TV dinner

A TV dinner is a prepackaged, frozen or chilled meal generally in an individual package. It requires little preparation, oven baked or microwaveable, and contains all the elements for a single-serving meal in a tray with compartments for the food. Carl A. Swanson of C.A. Swanson & Sons is generally credited for inventing the TV dinner. Retired Swanson executive Gerry Thomas said he conceived the idea after the company found itself with a huge surplus of frozen turkeys because of poor Thanksgiving sales.[83]

1954 Acoustic suspension loudspeaker

  • The acoustic suspension woofer is a type of loudspeaker that reduces bass distortion caused by non-linear, stiff mechanical suspensions in conventional loudspeakers. The acoustic suspension loudspeaker was invented in 1954 by Edgar Villchur, and brought to commercial production by Villchur and Henry Kloss with the founding of Acoustic Research in Cambridge Massachusetts.[84]

1954 Model rocketry

  • A model rocket is a small rocket that is commonly advertised as being able to be launched by anybody, to generally low altitudes, usually to around 300–1500 feet, and recovered by a variety of means. Popular among children and amateurs, model rocketry is considered a hobby. In 1954, licensed pyrotechnics expert Orville Carlisle along with his brother Robert, designed the first model rocket and model rocket motor.[85]

1954 Door (automatic sliding)

  • Automatic sliding doors are open and closed either by power, spring, or by a sensor. This eliminates the need for a person to open or close a door by turning a doorknob or pressing up against a bar on the door itself. Automatic sliding doors are commonly found at entrance and exits of supermarkets, department stores, and airport terminals. In 1954, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt co-invented the automatic sliding door.[86]

1954 Mogen clamp

  • The Mogen clamp is a surgical tool used to circumcise a human male's penis. The device is designed to remove the foreskin, while protecting the glans. The Mogen clamp was invented in 1954 by Rabbi Harry Bronstein, a Brooklyn, New York mohel. For many years it was used only in Jewish ritual circumcision in a ceremony called a bris. In more recent years though, American physicians are using the clamp more frequently in medical settings for newborn circumcision.[87]

1954 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an important life saving first aid skill, practiced throughout the world. It is the only known effective method of keeping someone who has suffered cardiac arrest alive long enough for definitive treatment to be delivered. In 1954, James Elam was the first to demonstrate experimentally that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was a sound technique, and together with Dr. Peter Safar he demonstrated its superiority to previous methods.[88]

1954 Active noise control

  • Active noise control, also known as noise cancellation, is a method for reducing unwanted sound through the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first. Active noise cancelling headphones were invented by Lawrence J. Fogel, an aerospace engineer working to improve communication in helicopter cockpits, with a patent filed April 2, 1954.[89] His research led to the first five patents in noise cancellation for headphones between 1954-1961.

1954 Synthetic diamond

  • Synthetic diamonds are diamonds produced in a technological process as opposed to natural diamonds, which are created in geological processes. Synthetic diamonds are also widely known as HPHT diamonds or CVD diamonds, HPHT and CVD being the production methods, high-pressure high-temperature synthesis and chemical vapor deposition, respectively. Although the concept of producing high quality artificial diamonds is an old one, the reproducible synthesis of diamonds is not. In 1954, Howard Tracy Hall at the GE Research Laboratory invented a belt press in the shape of a doughnut, which confined the sample chamber and two curved, tapered pistons to apply pressure on the chamber in order to produce the first commercially successful and reproducible synthesis of a diamond.[90]

1954 Radar gun

  • A radar gun or speed gun is a small Doppler radar used to detect the speed of objects. It relies on the Doppler Effect applied to a radar beam to measure the speed of objects at which it is pointed. Radar guns may be hand-held or vehicle-mounted. Bryce K. Brown invented the radar gun in March 1954.[91]

1955 Sling lift

A sling lift is an assistive device that allows patients in hospitals and nursing homes and those receiving home health care to be transferred between a bed and a chair or other similar resting places, using hydraulic power. Sling lifts are used for patients whose mobility is limited. The sling lift was patented on April 12, 1955 by Ronald R. Stratton in what he called a "floor crane with adjustable legs".[92]

1955 Crosby-Kugler capsule

A Crosby-Kugler capsule is a device used for obtaining biopsies of small bowel mucosa, necessary for the diagnosis of various small bowel diseases. It was invented by Dr. William Holmes Crosby, Jr. in 1955.[93]

1955 Nuclear submarine

The USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, revolutionized naval warfare. Conventional submarines need two engines: a diesel engine to travel on the surface and an electric engine to travel submerged, where oxygen for a diesel engine is not available. By relying on nuclear capability, the USS Nautilus could travel uninterrupted for thousands of miles below the surface with a single fuel charge. Beginning in 1951, Admiral Hyman Rickover can be credited for the design of the world's first nuclear submarine who led and oversaw a group of scientists and engineers at the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission. After sea trials were conducted and testing was completed, the USS Nautilus became fully operational in January 1955.[94]

1955 Hard disk drive

  • A hard disk drive, or hard drive, hard disk, or fixed disk drive, is a non-volatile storage device which stores digitally encoded data on rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces. The hard disk drive was invented by Reynold Johnson and commercially introduced in 1956 with the IBM 305 RAMAC computer.[95]

1955 Harmonic drive

  • A harmonic drive is a special type of mechanical gear system that can improve certain characteristics compared to traditional gearing systems. The harmonic drive was invented in 1955 by Walton Musser.[96] U.S. patent #2,906,143 was filed on March 21, 1955 and issued to Musser on September 29, 1959.[97]

1955 Vibrating sample magnetometer

  • A vibrating sample magnetometer or VSM is a scientific instrument that measures magnetic properties where the sample is then physically vibrated sinusoidally, typically through the use of a piezoelectric material. It was invented in 1955 by American physicist Simon Foner at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[98][99] Foner filed U.S. patent #2,946,948 on June 20, 1957. It was issued on July 26, 1960.[100]

1956 Lint roller

A lint roller in use
A lint roller in use

A lint roller or lint remover is a roll of one-sided adhesive paper on a cardboard or plastic barrel that is mounted on a central spindle, with an attached handle. The device facilitates the removal of lint or other small fibers from most materials such as clothing, upholstery and linen. The lint roller was co-invented in 1956 by American electrical engineer Nicholas McKay and his wife Helen.[101]

1956 Kart racing

Kart racing or karting is a variant of an open-wheel motor sport with simple, small four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts, or gearbox karts depending on the design. Karts vary widely in speed and some can reach speeds exceeding 160 mph, while go-karts intended for the general public in amusement parks may be limited to speeds of no more than 15 mph. In the summer of 1956, hot rod veteran Art Ingels built the first go-kart out of old car frame tubing, welding beads, and a lawnmower motor, not realizing that he had invented a new sport and form of auto racing.[102]

1956 Industrial robot

An industrial robot is an automatically controlled, re-programmable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. The first to invent an industrial robot was George Devol and Joseph F. Engelberger.[103]

1956 Operating system (batch processing)

An operating system (OS) is software (programs and data) that runs on computers and manages the computer hardware and provides common services for efficient execution of various application software. For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between application programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware, but will frequently call the OS or be interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on almost any device that contains a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers. The GM-NAA I/O, created by Owen Mock and Bob Patrick of General Motors Research Laboratories in early 1956 (or late 1955) for their IBM 701 mainframe computer is generally considered to be the first "batch processing" operating system and possibly the first "real" operating system. Rudimentary forms of operating systems existed before batch processing, the Input/Output Control System (IOCS) being one example. However, what specifically differentiated and made the GM-NAA I/O as the first of its kind was that instead of having a human operator manually load each program as what previous systems were only capable of doing, computerized software as used on GM-NAA I/O, thereafter handled the scheduling, management, and multi-tasking of all computer applications.[104]

1956 Fortran

  • Fortran is a general-purpose, procedural, and imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. Fortran came to dominate this area of programming early on and has been in continual use for over half a century in computationally intensive areas such as numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computational physics, and computational chemistry. It is one of the most popular languages in the area of High-performance computing and programs to benchmark and rank the world's fastest supercomputers are written in Fortran. In 1956, John Backus and a team of researchers at IBM invented the Fortran programming language for the IBM 704 mainframe computer.[105]

1956 Videotape

  • Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. The first practical professional videotape machines were the Quadruplex videotape machines introduced by Ampex on April 14, 1956. Invented by Charles Ginsburg and Ray Dolby, Quad employed a transverse four-head system on a two-inch (5.08 cm) tape, and linear heads for the soundtrack.[106]

1956 Particle storage ring

  • A storage ring is a type of circular particle accelerator in which a continuous or pulsed particle beam may be kept circulating for a long period of time, up to many hours. Gerard K. O'Neill invented the first particle storage ring in 1956.[107]

1957 Skid-steer loader

A Bobcat skid-steer loader
A Bobcat skid-steer loader

A skid loader or skid steer loader is a small rigid frame, engine-powered machine with lift arms used to attach a wide variety of labor-saving tools or attachments. Though sometimes they are equipped with tracks, skid-steer loaders are typically four-wheel drive vehicles that can push material from one location to another, carry material in its bucket, or load material into a truck or trailer. Brothers Louis and Cyrill Keller co-invented the first skid-steer loader, which was based around a three-wheeled loader they developed in 1957 for a turkey farmer near Rothsay, Minnesota. In September 1958, they were hired by the Melroe brothers at Melroe Manufacturing Company in Gwinner, North Dakota, which was later to become Bobcat Company. Using the brothers' design, Melroe introduced the M60 Self-Propelled Loader and, in 1960, Louis added a rear drive axle, resulting in the M400 model, the world's first true skid-steer loader.[108]

1957 Laser

An experiment with a laser
An experiment with a laser

A laser is a device that emits electromagnetic radiation through a process called stimulated emission. Laser light is usually spatially coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam, or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. Lasers are used to read compact discs and bar codes, guide missiles, remove ulcers, fabricate steel, precisely measure the distance from Earth to the Moon, record ultradefined images of brain tissue, entertain people in light shows and do thousands of other things. In 1957, American physicist Gordon Gould first theorized the idea and use of laser technology. Despite a 20-year battle with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Gould is now widely associated as the original inventor of laser.[109] In addition, Charles H. Townes and Arthur L. Schawlow, scientists at Bell Laboratories, wrote a paper, Infrared and Optical Masers in 1958 that was enormously influential on the theory of lasers. Ironically, Gould, Townes, or Schawlow never built the first working laser. On July 7, 1960, American physicist Theodore H. Maiman created and built the first laser. The core of his laser consisted of a man-made ruby as the active medium, a material that had been judged unsuitable by other scientists who rejected crystal cores in favor of various gases.[110]

1957 Confocal microscopy

  • Confocal microscopy is an optical imaging technique used to increase micrograph contrast and to reconstruct three-dimensional images by using a spatial pinhole to eliminate out-of-focus light or flare in specimens that are thicker than the focal plane. This technique has gained popularity in the scientific and industrial communities. Typical applications include life sciences and semiconductor inspection. The principle of confocal imaging was invented and patented by Marvin Minsky in 1957.[111]

1957 Sugar packet

  • A sugar packet is a delivery method for one 'serving' of sugar. Sugar packets are commonly supplied in restaurants and coffee bars in preference to sugar bowls or sugar dispensers for reasons of neatness, spill control, and to some extent portion control. In 1957, the sugar packet that consisted of a granulated low-calorie sugar substitute, was invented by Benjamin Eisenstadt, the founder of Cumberland Packing or better known today as the Sweet 'N Low company.[112]

1957 Air-bubble packing

Air-bubble packing, popularly known by the brand name Bubble Wrap
Air-bubble packing, popularly known by the brand name Bubble Wrap

Better known by the brand name of Bubble Wrap, air-bubble packing is a pliable transparent plastic material commonly used for the cushioning of fragile, breakable items in order to absorb or minimize shock and vibration. Regularly spaced, the protruding air-filled hemispheres are known as "bubbles" which are 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) in diameter, to as large as an inch (26 millimeters) or more. Air-bubble packing was co-invented by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957.[113]

1957 Borazon

Borazon, a boron nitride allotrope, is the fourth hardest substance, after aggregated diamond nanorods, ultrahard fullerite, and diamond, and the third hardest artificial material. Borazon is a crystal created by heating equal quantities of boron and nitrogen at temperatures greater than 1800 °Celsius, 3300 °Fahrenheit at 7 gigapascal 1 millionpound-force per square inch. Borazon was first invented in 1957 by Robert H. Wentorf, Jr., a physical chemist working for the General Electric Company. In 1969, General Electric adopted the name Borazon as its trademark for the crystal.[114]

1957 Gamma camera

A gamma camera is a device used to image gamma radiation emitting radioisotopes, a technique known as scintigraphy. The applications of scintigraphy include early drug development and nuclear medical imaging to view and analyse images of the human body of the distribution of medically injected, inhaled, or ingested radionuclides emitting gamma rays. The gamma camera was invented by Hal Anger in 1957.[115]

1957 Cryotron

  • The cryotron is a switch that operates using superconductivity. The cryotron works on the principle that magnetic fields destroy superconductivity. The cryotron was invented by Dudley Allen Buck in 1957.[116]

1958 Doppler fetal monitor

  • A heartbeat doppler, also called a doppler fetal monitor or doppler fetal heartbeat monitor, is a handheld device which uses ultrasound to identify fetal heartbeat as part of the prenatal health care measures. The doppler fetal monitor was invented in 1958 by American obstetrician Dr. Edward H. Hon.[117][118]

1958 Cable tie

  • A cable tie, also known as a zip tie or tie-wrap, is a type of fastener, especially for binding several electronic cables or wires together and to organize cables and wires. They have also been commonly used as makeshift handcuffs, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Panama. The cable tie, originally known as the Ty-Rap, was invented in 1958 by Maurus C. Logan, who worked for many years at Thomas & Betts.[119] Logan filed U.S. patent #3,022,557 on June 24, 1958 which was issued to him on February 27, 1962.[120]

1958 Lisp programming language

  • Lisp is a family of computer programming languages with a long history and a distinctive, fully parenthesized syntax. Originally specified in 1958, Lisp is the second-oldest high-level programming language in widespread use today where Fortran is the oldest. It was invented by John McCarthy in 1958.[121]

1958 Carbon fiber

  • Carbon fiber is a material consisting of extremely thin fibers about 0.005–0.010 mm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. In 1958, Dr. Roger Bacon invented the first high-performance carbon fibers at the Union Carbide Parma Technical Center, located outside of Cleveland, Ohio.[122]

1958 Integrated circuit

The integrated circuit
The integrated circuit

An integrated circuit is a miniaturized electronic circuit that has been manufactured in the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material. Integrated circuits are used in almost all electronic equipment in use today and have revolutionized the world of electronics. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip was an enormous improvement over the manual assembly of circuits using discrete electronic components. On September 12, 1958, Jack Kilby developed a piece of germanium with an oscilloscope attached. While pressing a switch, the oscilloscope showed a continuous sine wave, proving that his integrated circuit worked. A patent for a "Solid Circuit made of Germanium", the first integrated circuit, was filed by its inventor, Jack Kilby on February 6, 1959.[123]

1959 Fusor

The fusor is an apparatus invented by Philo T. Farnsworth in 1959 to create nuclear fusion. Unlike most controlled fusion systems, which slowly heat a magnetically confined plasma, the fusor injects "high temperature" ions directly into a reaction chamber, thereby avoiding a considerable amount of complexity. The approach is known as inertial electrostatic confinement.[124]

1959 Weather satellite

  • A weather satellite is a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. The first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, was launched on February 17, 1959, although the first weather satellite to be considered a success was TIROS-1, launched by NASA on April 1, 1960.[125]

1959 Spandex

  • Spandex is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity that is typically worn as apparel for exercising and in gymnastics. Spandex is stronger and more durable than rubber, its major non-synthetic competitor. Spandex was invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers.[126]


1960 Child safety seat

  • A child safety seat (sometimes referred to as an infant safety seat, a child restraint system, a restraint car seat, or ambiguously as car seats), are seats designed specifically to protect children from injury or death during collisions. They are commonly used by children when riding in a vehicle. In 1960, Leonard Rivkin of Denver, Colorado invented the first child safe car seat for use in vehicles equipped with bucket seats.[127] A patent was filed on March 5, 1962 and was issued on October 22, 1963.[128]

1960 Artificial turf

  • Artificial turf, or synthetic turf, is a man-made surface made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. In 1960, David Chaney is the man long credited with inventing the first generation of artificial grass turfs. Artificial turf then had its commercial birth in 1965 when it was installed at the Reliant Astrodome, a stadium in Houston, Texas.[129]

1960 Magnetic stripe card

  • A magnetic stripe card is a type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card. The magnetic stripe, sometimes called a magstripe, is read by physical contact and swiping past a reading head. Magnetic stripe cards are commonly used in credit cards, identity cards such as a driver's license, and transportation tickets. The magnetic stripe card was invented in 1960 by IBM engineer Forrest Parry, who conceived the idea of incorporating a piece of magnetic tape in order to store secured information and data to a plastic card base.[130]

1960 Global navigation satellite system

NASA's Transit seen orbiting the earth, was the first operational GNSS in the world
NASA's Transit seen orbiting the earth, was the first operational GNSS in the world

A global navigation satellite system (GNSS) provides autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. A GNSS allows small electronic receivers to determine their location such as longitude, latitude, and altitude to within a few meters using time signals transmitted along a line of sight by radio from satellites in outer space. Receivers on the ground with a fixed position can also be used to calculate the precise time as a reference for scientific experiments. The first such system was Transit, developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory under the leadership of Richard Kershner. Development of the system for the United States Navy began in 1958, and a prototype satellite,Transit 1A, was launched in September 1959. That satellite failed to reach orbit. A second satellite, Transit 1B, was successfully launched April 13, 1960 by a Thor-Ablestar rocket. The last Transit satellite launch was in August 1988.[131]

1960 Combined oral contraceptive pill

The combined oral contraceptive pill, or birth-control pill, or simply "the Pill", is a combination of an estrogen and a progestin taken orally to inhibit normal female fertility. On May 9, 1960, the FDA announced it would approve Enovid 10 mg for contraceptive use. By the time Enovid 10 mg had been in general use for three years, at least a half a million women had used it. Beginning his research and studies in the feasibility of women's fertility in 1950, Dr. Gregory Pincus invented the combined oral contraceptive pill in 1960.[132]

1960 Obsidian hydration dating

Obsidian hydration dating is a geochemical method of determining age in either absolute or relative terms of an artifact made of obsidian. Obsidian hydration dating was introduced in 1960 by Irving Friedman and Robert Smith of the United States Geological Survey.[133]

1960 Gas laser

A gas laser is a laser in which an electric current is discharged through a gas to produce light. The first gas laser, the Helium-neon, was invented by William R. Bennett, Don Herriott, and Ali Javan in 1960.[134] The first continuous visible gas laser, operating at 632.8 nm in the red, was invented by A. D. White and J. D. Rigden in 1962.[135]

1961 Spreadsheet (electronic)

  • An electronic spreadsheet organizes data information into computerized software defined columns and rows. Primarily used for business and accounting purposes, the data can then be "added up" by a formula to give a total or sum. The spreadsheet program summarizes information from many paper sources in one place and presents the information in a format to help a decision maker see the financial "big picture" of a company. Spreadsheets in paper format have been used by accountants for hundreds of years. However, computerized, electronic spreadsheets are of much more recent origin. In 1961, Richard Mattessich, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, pioneered the concept of electronic spreadsheets for use in business accounting. In the autumn of 1978, Harvard Business School student, Dan Bricklin, came up with the idea for an interactive visible calculator. Bricklin and Bob Frankston then co-invented the software program VisiCalc, the world's first "killer application" and electronic spreadsheet for use on personal computers.[136][137]

1961 Wearable computer

  • Wearable computers are computers which can be worn on the body. Wearable computers are especially useful for applications that require computational support while the user's hands, voice, eyes or attention are actively engaged with the physical environment. The wearable computer was first conceived by American mathematician Edward O. Thorp in 1955 and co-invented with American electronic engineer Claude Shannon.[138]

1961 Frozen carbonated beverage

  • A frozen carbonated beverage is a mixture of flavored sugar syrup, carbon dioxide, and water that is frozen by a custom machine creating a drink consisting of a fine slush of suspended ice crystals, with very little liquid. In 1961, Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville, Kansas invented the first frozen carbonated drink machine and is thus recognized as the inventor of the frozen carbonated beverage. In 1965, 7-Eleven licensed the machine, and began selling Knedlik's invention by the brand name popularly known as Slurpee.[139]

1961 Biofeedback

  • Biofeedback is a form of alternative medicine that involves measuring a subject's quantifiable bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension, conveying the information to the patient in real-time. This raises the patient's awareness and conscious control of his or her unconscious physiological activities. Neal Miller is generally considered the father of modern-day biofeedback. Miller theorized the basic principles of biofeedback by applying his theory that classical and operant conditioning were both the result of a common learning principle in 1961. Miller hypothesized that any measurable physiological behavior within the human body would respond in some way to voluntary control.[140]

1962 Communications satellite

  • A communications satellite is an artificial satellite stationed in space for the purposes of telecommunications. Modern communications satellites use a variety of orbits. For fixed point-to-point services, communications satellites provide a microwave radio relay technology complementary to that of submarine communication cables. Invented in 1962 by the American aerospace engineer John Robinson Pierce, NASA launched Telstar, the world's first active communications satellite, and the first satellite designed to transmit telephone and high-speed data communications. Its name is still used to this day for a number of television broadcasting satellites.[141]

1962 Chimney starter

  • A chimney starter, also called a charcoal chimney, is a device that is used to start either lump charcoal or stacked charcoal briquettes on a grate. Although the chimney starter is now sometimes considered a "traditional" method of starting charcoal, a basic device used for barbecue grills was co-invented in 1962 by Hugh King, Lavaughn Johnson, and Garner Byars of Corinth, Mississippi and marketed under the "Auto Fire" label. A patent for the chimney starter was filed by its inventors on July 6, 1962 and issued in January 1965.[142]

1962 Light-emitting diode

Blue, green, and red LEDs can be combined to produce most perceptible colors, including white.
Blue, green, and red LEDs can be combined to produce most perceptible colors, including white.

A light-emitting-diode (LED) is a semiconductor diode that emits light when an electric current is applied in the forward direction of the device, as in the simple LED circuit. The effect is a form of electroluminescence where incoherent and narrow-spectrum light is emitted from the p-n junction in a solid state material. The first practical visible-spectrum LED was invented in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr.[143][144][145]

1962 Electret microphone

An electret microphone is a type of condenser microphone, which eliminates the need for a power supply by using a permanently charged material. Electret materials have been known since the 1920s, and were proposed as condenser microphone elements several times, but were considered impractical until the foil electret type was invented at Bell Laboratories in 1962 by Jim West, using a thin metallized Teflon foil. This became the most common type, used in many applications from high-quality recording and lavalier use to built-in microphones in small sound recording devices and telephones.[146]

1962 Jet injector

A jet injector is a type of medical injecting syringe that uses a high-pressure narrow jet of the injection liquid instead of a hypodermic needle to penetrate the epidermis. The jet injector was invented by Aaron Ismach in 1962.[147]

1962 Laser diode

  • A laser diode is a laser where the active medium is a semiconductor similar to that found in a light-emitting diode. The most common and practical type of laser diode is formed from a p-n junction and powered by injected electric current. These devices are sometimes referred to as injection laser diodes to distinguish them from optically pumped laser diodes, which are more easily manufactured in the laboratory. The laser diode was invented in 1962 by Robert N. Hall.[148]

1962 Glucose meter

  • A glucose meter is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. The first glucose meter was invented by Leland Clark and Ann Lyons at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital which was first known as a glucose enzyme electrode. The sensor worked by measuring the amount of oxygen consumed by the enzyme.[149]

1963 Kicktail

  • Kicktails are the upwards bent tips of a skateboard deck, today considered vital to a skateboard. The front kicktail is usually called the nose while the back kicktail is referred to as the tail. The kicktail was invented in 1963 by Larry Stevenson.[150] U.S. patent #3,565,454 was filed on June 12, 1969 and issued to Stevenson on February 2, 1971.[151]

1963 Computer mouse

The first computer mouse
The first computer mouse

In computing, a mouse is a pointing device that functions by detecting two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface. The mouse's motion typically translates into the motion of a pointer on a display, which allows for fine control of a Graphical User Interface. Douglas Engelbart invented the computer mouse at the Augmentation Research Center, funded by the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (now DARPA) in 1963. The first mouse was carved from wood and tracked motion via two wheels mounted on the bottom. Later on, a ball instead of two wheels was employed. The concept was soon overtaken by a modern and more technologically advanced optical mouse.[152]

1963 BASIC

In computer programming, BASIC is a family of high-level programming languages. The original BASIC was invented in 1963 by John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to provide computer access to non-science students. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to be able to do. The language and its variants became widespread on microcomputers in the late 1970s and 1980s.[153]

1963 Balloon catheter

  • A balloon catheter is a type of "soft" catheter with an inflatable "balloon" at its tip which is used during a catheterization procedure to enlarge a narrow opening or passage within the body. The deflated balloon catheter is positioned, then inflated to perform the necessary procedure, and deflated again in order to be removed. A common use includes angioplasty. In 1963, Dr. Thomas Fogarty invented and patented the balloon catheter.[154]

1963 Geosynchronous satellite

  • A geosynchronous satellite is a satellite whose orbital track on the Earth repeats regularly over points on the Earth over time. The world's first geosynchronous satellite, the Syncom II which was launched on a Delta rocket at NASA in 1963, was invented by Harold Rosen.[155]

1964 Buffalo wings

Buffalo Wings, coated in Italian bread crumbs, deep fried, with butter, vinegar, and Tabasco hot sauce and chunky bleu cheese dressing dipping sauce
Buffalo Wings, coated in Italian bread crumbs, deep fried, with butter, vinegar, and Tabasco hot sauce and chunky bleu cheese dressing dipping sauce

A Buffalo wing, hot wing or wing is a chicken wing section (drumette or flat) that is traditionally fried unbreaded and then coated in sauce. Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. They are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. Buffalo wings get their name from where they were invented, at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. In 1964, Teresa Bellissimo at the family-owned Anchor Bar, covered chicken wings in her own special sauce and served them with a side of blue cheese and celery. In 1980, Frank Bellissimo, the husband of Teresa, told The New Yorker that her buffalo wings were invented out of necessity because the restaurant had gotten an overstock of chicken wings instead of other chicken parts that the couple didn't know what to do with. On the other hand, Dominic Bellissimo, the son of Frank and Teresa, disputed this story. Dominic claimed that the wings were an impromptu midnight snack that his mother created on his request while drinking with friends. Whatever the story, all of the Bellissimos have since died so there is no way to verify how buffalo wings were invented.[156]

1964 Plasma display

A plasma display panel is a flat panel display common to large TV displays. Many tiny cells between two panels of glass hold an inert mixture of noble gases. The gas in the cells is electrically turned into a plasma which then excites phosphors to emit light. The monochrome plasma video display was co-invented in July 1964 at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign by Donald Bitzer, H. Gene Slottow, and graduate student Robert Willson for the PLATO Computer System.[157][158]

1964 Moog synthesizer

  • The Moog synthesizer is an analog synthesizer without the use of a vacuum tube. A Moog synthesizer uses analog circuits and analog computer techniques to generate sound electronically. In 1964, Dr. Robert Moog invented the Moog synthesizer that has been used by recording artists such as Mick Jagger, The Beatles, The Monkees, and Stevie Wonder.[159]

1964 8-track cartridge

  • Stereo 8, commonly known as the eight-track cartridge or eight-track, is a magnetic tape sound recording technology. In 1964, William Lear invented the eight-track, which went on to become the most popular musical medium from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s.[160]

1964 Permanent press

  • A permanent press is a characteristic of fabric that has been chemically processed to resist wrinkles and hold its shape. This treatment has a lasting effect on the fabric, namely in shirts, trousers, and slacks. Permanent press was invented in 1964 by Ruth Rogan Benerito, research leader of the Physical Chemistry Research Group of the Cotton Chemical Reactions Laboratory.[161][162]

1964 Carbon dioxide laser

  • The carbon dioxide laser was one of the earliest gas lasers to be developed and is still one of the most useful. The carbon dioxide laser was invented by C. Kumar N. Patel of Bell Labs in 1964.[163]

1964 Liquid crystal display (dynamic scattering mode)

  • A liquid crystal display (LCD) is an electronically modulated optical device shaped into a thin, flat panel made up of any number of color or monochrome pixels filled with liquid crystals and arrayed in front of a light source or reflector. In 1964, George H. Heilmeier invented the dynamic scattering mode found in liquid crystal displays, wherein an electrical charge is applied which rearranges the molecules so that they scatter light.[164]

1964 SQUID

  • Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices are very sensitive magnetometers used to measure extremely small magnetic fields based on superconducting loops containing Josephson junctions. The DC SQUID was invented in 1964 by Arnold Silver, Robert Jaklevic, John Lambe, and James Mercereau of Ford Research Labs.[165]

1964 Argon laser

  • The argon laser is one of a family of ion lasers that use a noble gas as the active medium. The argon laser was invented by William Bridges in 1964.[166]

1965 Adaptive equalizer (automatic)

  • An automatic adaptive equalizer corrects distorted signals, greatly improving data performance and speed. All computer modems use equalizers. The automatic adaptive equalizer was invented in 1965 by Bell Laboratories electrical engineer Robert Lucky.[167]

1965 Snowboarding

Snowboarders at a ski resort
Snowboarders at a ski resort

Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is either partially or fully covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set into a mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, surfing and skiing. The first snowboard, the Snurfer, was invented by Sherman Poppen in 1965. Snowboarding became a Winter Olympic Sport in 1998.[168]

1965 Kevlar

Kevlar is the registered trademark for a light, strong para-aramid synthetic fiber. Typically it is spun into ropes or fabric sheets that can be used as such or as an ingredient in composite material components. Currently, Kevlar has many applications, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor because of its high strength-to-weight ratio. Invented at DuPont in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek, Kevlar was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires.[169]

1965 Hypertext

Hypertext most often refers to text on a computer that will lead the user to other, related information on demand. It is a relatively recent innovation to user interfaces, which overcomes some of the limitations of written text. Rather than remaining static like traditional text, hypertext makes possible a dynamic organization of information through links and connections called hyperlinks. Ted Nelson coined the words "hypertext" and "hypermedia" in 1965 and invented the Hypertext Editing System in 1968 at Brown University.[170]

1965 Cordless telephone

  • A cordless telephone is a telephone with a wireless handset that communicates via radio waves with a base station connected to a fixed telephone line, usually within a limited range of its base station. The base station is on the subscriber premises, and attaches to the telephone network the same way a corded telephone does. In 1965, an American woman named Teri Pall invented the cordless telephone. Due to difficulties of marketing, Pall never patented her invention. George Sweigert of Euclid, Ohio had more success, thus receiving a patent for the cordless telephone in 1969.[171]

1965 Space pen

  • The Space Pen, also known as the Zero Gravity Pen, is a pen that uses pressurized ink cartridges and is claimed to write in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, over wet and greasy paper, at any angle, and in extreme temperature ranges. The ballpoint is made from tungsten carbide and is precisely fitted in order to avoid leaks. A sliding float separates the ink from the pressurized gas. The thixotropic ink in the hermetically sealed and pressurized reservoir is claimed to write for three times longer than a standard ballpoint pen. In 1965, the space pen was invented and patented by Paul C. Fisher. After two years of testing at NASA, the space pen was first used during the Apollo 7 mission in 1968.[172]

1965 Minicomputer

  • A minicomputer is a class of multi-user computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems and the smallest single-user systems. Wesley A. Clark and Charles Molnar co-invented the PDP-8 in 1965, the world's first minicomputer, using integrated circuit technology. Because of its relatively small size and its $18,000 price tag, Digital Equipment only sold several hundred units.[173]

1965 Compact Disc

  • The Compact Disc, or CD, is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. In 1965, James Russell acted upon his idea that the music industry needed a new medium whereby a gramophone record and the needle on a phonograph would no longer come into contact with one another. With an interest in lasers, Russell soon began his research in an optical system that would replace a phonograph's needle and replace it with a laser that would read codes in order to record and playback sound.[174][175] At 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, Russell in 1970 had successfully invented and built the world's first compact disc that contained digitized codes etched onto the disc that could be read from a laser.[176][177][178][179] After partnering with Digital Recording which was later acquired by Optical Recording Corporation, Russell and the parent company that he worked for, found it increasingly difficult to enforce and protect his patents from infringement by competitors such as Sony, Philips, and Time Warner who all profited from Russell's invention. The belief that Dutch and Japanese scientists "invented" the compact disc is a misconception in the sense that Philips and Sony used Russell's underlying technology in order to develop a disc more refined, practical, smaller and sophisticated. In 1982, Sony and Philips had commercially introduced the compact disc, twelve years after Russell had already created a working prototype in 1970. By 1986, Optical Recording decided to legally act by suing Sony, Phillips, and Time Warner. Two years later, the company came to a licensing settlement with Sony and soon thereafter, agreements with Phillips and others soon followed, including a June 1992 court ruling that required Time Warner to pay Optical Recording $30 million due to patent infringement.[180][181]

1965 Chemical laser

  • A chemical laser is a laser that obtains its energy from a chemical reaction. Chemical lasers can achieve continuous wave output with power reaching to megawatt levels. They are used in industry for cutting and drilling, and in military as directed-energy weapons. The first chemical laser was co-invented by Jerome V. V. Kasper and George C. Pimentel in 1965.[182]

1966 Dynamic random access memory

  • Dynamic random access memory is a type of random access memory that stores each bit of data in a separate capacitor within an integrated circuit. Since real capacitors leak charge, the information eventually fades unless the capacitor charge is refreshed periodically. Because of this refresh requirement, it is a dynamic memory as opposed to static random access memory and other static memory. In 1966 DRAM was invented by Robert Dennard at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.[183]

1966 Thermosonic bonding

1967 Backpack (Internal frame)

  • The internal frame backpack consists of strips of either metal or plastic that mold to one's back to provide a good fit, sometimes with additional metal stays to reinforce the frame. Usually a complex series of straps works with the frame to distribute the weight and hold it in place. The close fitting of the back section to the wearer's back allows the pack to be closely attached to the body, and gives a predictable movement of the load. The internal frame backpack was invented in 1967 by Greg Lowe, the founder of Lowepro.[187]

1967 Light beer

1967 Calculator (hand-held)

  • Invented by Jack Kilby in 1967,[167][188] the hand-held calculator is a device for performing mathematical calculations, distinguished from a computer by having a limited problem solving ability and an interface optimized for interactive calculation rather than programming. Calculators can be hardware or software, and mechanical or electronic, and are often built into devices such as PDAs or mobile phones.

1968 Racquetball

A typical racquetball racquet and ball
A typical racquetball racquet and ball

Racquetball is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball in an indoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek is credited with inventing the sport of racquetball in the Greenwich YMCA, though not with naming it. A professional tennis player and handball player, Sobek sought a fast-paced sport that was easy to learn and play. He designed the first strung paddle, devised a set of codified rules, and named his game "paddle rackets."[189]

1968 Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment. Most current virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through special or stereoscopic displays, but some simulations include additional sensory information, such as sound through speakers or headphones. In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, with the help of his student Bob Sproull, invented what is widely considered to be the first virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) head mounted display (HMD) system.[190] It was primitive both in terms of user interface and realism, and the HMD to be worn by the user was so heavy it had to be suspended from the ceiling, and the graphics comprising the virtual environment were simple wireframe model rooms. In 1989, Jaron Lanier, the founder of VPL Research popularized the concept of virtual reality with his "google n' gloves" system.[191]

1968 Turtle Excluder Device

  • A turtle excluder device is a specialized device that allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman's net. They are used to catch sea turtles when bottom trawling is used by the commercial shrimp fishing industry. The first turtle excluder device was called the Georgia Jumper. It was invented in 1968 by American fisherman Sinkey Boone.[192]

1968 Zipper (ride)

  • Not to be confused with the 1893 invention with the same name, the "Zipper" is an amusement-thrill ride popular at carnivals and amusement parks in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It features strong vertical G-forces, numerous spins, and a noted sense of unpredictability. The ride's basic format is a long, rotating, oval boom with a cable around its edge that pulls 12 cars around the ride. The Zipper is designed to be transportable and assembled from site to site. The Zipper was invented in 1968 by Joseph Brown of Chance Morgan. Since this time, more than 200 rides have been built and distributed all over the world, making it one of the most mass-produced and modern-day rides of all time.[193]

1969 Lunar Module

Apollo Lunar Module
Apollo Lunar Module

The Lunar Module was the lander portion of spacecraft built for the Apollo program by Grumman in order to achieve the transit from cislunar orbit to the surface and back. The module was also known as the LM from the manufacturer designation. NASA achieved the first test flight on January 22, 1968 using a Saturn V rocket. Six successful missions carried twelve astronauts, the first being Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969, to the moon surface and safely back home to earth. Tom Kelly as a project engineer at Grumman, invented and successfully designed the Lunar Module.[194][195]

1969 Electromagnetic lock

  • An electromagnetic lock is a simple locking device that consists of an electromagnet and armature plate. By attaching the electromagnet to the door frame and the armature plate to the door, a current passing through the electromagnet attracts the armature plate holding the door shut. The first modern direct-pull electromagnetic lock was designed by Sumner "Irving" Saphirstein in 1969.[196]

1969 Laser printer

A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics on plain paper. The laser printer was invented at Xerox in 1969 by researcher Gary Starkweather, who had an improved printer working by 1971 and incorporated into a fully functional networked printer system by about a year later.[197]

1969 Bioactive glass

Bioactive glasses are a group of surface reactive glass-ceramics. The biocompatibility of these glasses has led them to be investigated extensively for use as implant materials in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. Bioactive glass was invented in 1969 by Larry Hench and his colleagues at the University of Florida.[198]

1969 Wide-body aircraft

Boeing 747: Queen of the Skies
Boeing 747: Queen of the Skies

A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a twin-aisle aircraft. As the world's first wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 747, also referred to as a jumbo jet, revolutionized international travel around the globe by making non-stop and long distance travel accessible for all. Joe Sutter, the chief engineer of the jumbo jet program at The Boeing Company designed the world's first wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 747, with its first test flight on February 9, 1969.[199]

1969 Taser

A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) technology to cause neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI) and strong muscle contractions through the involuntary stimulation of both the sensory nerves and the motor nerves. The Taser is not dependent on pain compliance, making it highly effective on subjects with high pain tolerance. For this reason it is preferred by law enforcement over traditional stun guns and other electronic control weapons. Jack Cover, a NASA researcher, invented the Taser in 1969.[200]

1969 Charge coupled device

A specially developed charge coupled device used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package
A specially developed charge coupled device used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package

A charge-coupled device (CCD) is a device for the movement of electrical charge, usually from within the device to an area where the charge can be manipulated. This is achieved by "shifting" the signals between stages within the device one at a time. CCDs move charge between capacitive bins in the device, with the shift allowing for the transfer of charge between bins. Often the device is integrated with an image sensor, such as a photoelectric device to produce the charge that is being read, thus making the CCD a major technology for digital imaging. First conceived in its usefulness for computer memory, the charge coupled device was co-invented in 1969 by American physicist George E. Smith and Canadian physicist Willard Boyle at AT&T Bell Laboratories.[201]

1969 Mousepad

A mousepad is a hard surface, square-shaped and rubberized mat for enhancing the usability of a computer mouse. Jack Kelley invented the mousepad in 1969.[202]

1969 Chapman Stick

A polyphonic member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick is an electric musical instrument used for music recordings to play various parts such as bass, lead, chords, and textures. The Chapman Stick looks like a wide version of the fretboard of an electric guitar, but having 8, 10 or 12 strings. The player will use both hands to sound notes by striking the strings against the fingerboard just behind the appropriate frets for the desired notes. The Chapman Stick was invented in 1969 by American jazz musician Emmett Chapman.[203]

1969 Markup language

  • A markup language is a modern system for annotating a text in a way that is syntactically distinguishable from that text. The idea and terminology evolved from the "marking up" of manuscripts. For example, the revision instructions by editors, traditionally written with a blue pencil on authors' manuscripts. A well-known example of a markup language in widespread use today is HyperText Markup Language (HTML), one of the key document formats of the World Wide Web. The origins of markup languages can be traced to a formatting language called RUNOFF, developed in the 1960s by Jerome H. Saltzer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. However, the very first markup language was called the Generalized Markup Language (GML) co-invented by IBM engineers Charles Goldfarb, Ed Mosher, and Ray Lorie.[204]


1970 Wireless local area network

  • A wireless local area network is the linking of two or more computers or devices using spread-spectrum or OFDM modulation technology based to enable communication between devices in a limited area. In 1970, the University of Hawaii, under the leadership of Norman Abramson, invented the world's first computer communication network using low-cost ham-like radios, named ALOHAnet. The bidirectional star topology of the system included seven computers deployed over four islands to communicate with the central computer on the Oahu Island without using phone lines.[205]

1970 Surf leash

  • A surfboard leash or leg rope is the cord that attaches a surfboard to the surfer. It prevents the surfboard from being swept away by waves and prevents a runaway surfboard from hitting other surfers and swimmers. Modern leashes comprise a urethane cord where one end has a band with a velcro strap attached to the surfer's trailing foot, and the opposite has a velcro strap attached to the tail end of the surfboard. The surfboard leash was invented in 1970 by Santa Cruz, California resident Pat O'Neill, son of wetsuit innovator Jack O'Neill, who fastened surgical tubing to the nose of his surfboard with a suction cup looped to the end of his wrist in order to leverage turns and cutbacks in the water. However, modifications in 1971 by O'Neill made the surf leash attached to the ankle and to a surfboard's tail, a practice still in use today.[206]

1971 Uno (card game)

  • Uno is a card game played with a specially printed deck. Using colored playing cards, he game involves playing the legal card with the highest point value. This is a simple way to minimize points held in the hand at the end of the round, but fails to account for the utility of holding wilds and draw fours near the end of the game. Uno was co-invented by father-son duo Merle and Ray Robbins in 1971 as a twist to the card game called Crazy Eights. The name of the game, "Uno", Spanish for one, was thought up by Merle's son Ray.[207]

1971 Personal computer

An early personal computer
An early personal computer

The personal computer (PC) is any computer whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator. The Kenbak-1 is officially credited by the Computer History Museum to be the world's first personal computer which was invented in 1971 by John Blankenbaker.[208][209] With a price tag of $750 and after selling only 40 machines, Kenbak Corporation closed its doors in 1973.[208]

1971 Fuzzball router

Fuzzball routers were the first modern routers on the Internet. They were DEC LSI-11 computers loaded with router software. First conceptualized by its inventor, David L. Mills, fuzzball routers evolved as a virtual machine supporting the DEC RT-11 operating system and early developmental versions of the TCP/IP protocol and applications suite. Prototype versions of popular Internet tools, including Telnet, FTP, DNS, EGP and SMTP were first implemented and tested on fuzzball routers.[210]

1971 Supercritical airfoil

A supercritical airfoil is an airfoil designed, primarily, to delay the onset of wave drag on aircraft in the transonic speed range. Supercritical airfoils are characterized by their flattened upper surface, highly cambered aft section, and greater leading edge radius as compared to traditional airfoil shapes. The supercritical airfoil was invented and designed by NASA aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb in the 1960s. Testing successfully commenced on a United States Navy Vought F-8U fighter through wind tunnel results in 1971.[211]

1971 Microprocessor

The microprocessor
The microprocessor

The microprocessor is a computer chip that processes instructions and communicates with outside devices, controlling most of the operations of a computer through the central processing unit on a single integrated circuit. The first commercially available microprocessor was a silicon-based chip, the Intel 4004, co-invented in 1971 by Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin, and Stanley Mazor for a calculator company named Busicom, and produced by Intel.[212]

1971 Floppy disk

A floppy disk is a data storage medium that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible "floppy" magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. In 1971 while working at IBM, David L. Noble invented the 8-inch floppy disk. Floppy disks in 8-inch, 5¼-inch, and 3½-inch formats enjoyed many years as a popular and ubiquitous form of data storage and exchange, from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s.[213]

1971 String trimmer

A string trimmer is a powered handheld device that uses a flexible monofilament line instead of a blade for cutting grass and trimming other plants near objects. It consists of a cutting head at the end of a long shaft with a handle or handles and sometimes a shoulder strap. String trimmers powered by an internal combustion engine have the engine on the opposite end of the shaft from the cutting head while electric string trimmers typically have an electric motor in the cutting head. Used frequently in lawn and garden care, the string trimmer is more popularly known by the brandnames Weedeater or Weedwhacker. The string trimmer was invented in 1971 by George Ballas of Houston, Texas.[214]

1971 Memristor

  • A memristor is a passive two-terminal electronic device that is built to express only the property of memristance. However, in practice it may be difficult to build a 'pure memristor,' since a real device may also have a small amount of some other property, such as capacitance. In 1971, American engineer and computer scientist Leon Chua first postulated the memristor that could be used to implement computer memory. Almost four decades after Chua's research, a team of engineers at Hewlett Packard under the direction of R. Stanley Williams constructed a working memristor using a thin film of titanium dioxide in April 2008.[215]

1971 E-mail

The interface of an e-mail client
The interface of an e-mail client

Electronic mail, often shortened to e-mail, is a method of creating, transmitting, or storing primarily text-based human communications with digital communications systems. Ray Tomlinson as a programmer while working on the United States Department of Defense's ARPANET, invented and sent the first electronic mail on a time-sharing computer in 1971. Previously, e-mail could only be sent to users on the same computer. Tomlinson is regarded as having sent the first e-mail on a network and for making the "@" sign the mainstream of e-mail communications.[216]

1972 C (programming language)

C is a general-purpose computer programming language originally invented in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in order to implement the Unix operating system. Although C was designed for writing architecturally independent system software, it is also widely used for developing application software.[217]

1972 Video game console

A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or electronic device that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device such as a television to display a video game. A joystick or control pad is often used to simulate and play the video game. It was not until 1972 that Magnavox released the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, invented by Ralph H. Baer.[218]

1972 Global Positioning System

A GPS receiver for civilian use
A GPS receiver for civilian use

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides reliable, three-dimensional positioning, navigation, and timing services to worldwide users on a continuous basis in all weather, day and night, anywhere on or near the Earth. 24 satellites orbit around the Earth twice a day, transmitting signaled information to GPS receivers that take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. Ultimately, the GPS is the descendant of the United States Navy's Timation satellite program and the United States Air Force's 621-B satellite program. The invention of GPS was a collaborative and team effort. The basic architecture of GPS was devised in less than a month in 1972 by Colonel Bradford Parkinson, Mel Birnbaum, Bob Rennard, and Jim Spilker. However, Richard Easton, a son of Roger Easton who was the head of the U.S. Navy's Timation program, claims that his father invented GPS and filed U.S. patent #3,789,409 in 1974. Other names listed by Richard Easton are James Buisson, Thomas McCaskill, Don Lynch, Charles Bartholomew, Randolph Zwirn and, "an important outsider," Robert Kern. Ivan Getting, while working at Raytheon, envisioned a satellite system similar to MOSAIC, a railroad mobile ballistic missile guidance system, but working more like LORAN.[219] The GPS program was approved in December 1973, the first GPS satellite was launched in 1978, and by August 1993, 24 GPS satellites were in orbit. Initial operational capability was established in December of that same year while in February 1994, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) declared GPS ready for use.[220]

1972 PET scanner

  • A PET scanner is a commonly used medical device which scans the whole human body for detecting diseases such cancer. The PET scanner was invented in 1972 by Edward J. Hoffman and fellow scientist Michael Phelps.[221]

1972 Magnetic resonance imaging

1973 Personal watercraft

A derivative of a personal water craft
A derivative of a personal water craft

A personal watercraft (PWC) is a recreational watercraft that the rider sits or stands on, rather than inside of, as in a boat. Models have an inboard engine driving a pump jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create thrust for propulsion and steering. Clayton Jacobson II is credited with inventing the personal watercraft, including both the sit-down and stand-up models in 1973.[226]

1973 E-paper

Electronic paper, also called e-paper, is a display technology designed to mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Electronic paper reflects light like ordinary paper and is capable of holding text and images indefinitely without drawing electricity, while allowing the image to be changed later. Applications of e-paper technology include e-book readers capable of displaying digital versions of books, magazines and newspapers, electronic pricing labels in retail shops, time tables at bus stations, and electronic billboards. Electronic paper was invented in 1973 by Nick Sheridon at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. The first electronic paper, called Gyricon, consisted of polyethylene spheres between 75 and 106 micrometres across.[227]

1973 Recombinant DNA

  • Recombinant DNA is a form of synthetic DNA that is engineered through the combination or insertion of one or more DNA strands, thereby combining DNA sequences that would not normally occur together. The Recombinant DNA technique was engineered by Stanley Norman Cohen and Herbert Boyer in 1973. They published their findings in a 1974 paper entitled "Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids in vitro", which described a technique to isolate and amplify genes or DNA segments and insert them into another cell with precision, creating a transgenic bacterium.[228]

1973 Catalytic converter (three-way)

  • A catalytic converter provides an environment for a chemical reaction wherein toxic combustion by-products are converted to less-toxic substances. First used on cars in 1975 to lower emission standards, catalytic converters are also used on generator sets, forklifts, mining equipment, trucks, buses, trains, and other engine-equipped machines. The three-way catalytic converter was co-invented by John J. Mooney and Carl D. Keith at the Engelhard Corporation in 1973.[229]

1973 Mobile phone

The mobile phone
The mobile phone

A mobile phone, or cell phone, is a long-range, electronic device used for mobile voice or data communication over a network of specialized base stations known as cell sites. Early mobile FM radio telephones were in use for many years, but since the number of radio frequencies were very limited in any area, the number of phone calls were also very limited. To solve this problem, there could be many small areas called cells which share the same frequencies. When users moved from one area to another while calling, the call would have to be switched over automatically without losing the call. In this system, a small number of radio frequencies could accommodate a huge number of calls. The first mobile call was made from a car phone in St. Louis, Missouri on June 17, 1946, but the system was impractical from what is considered a portable handset today. The equipment weighed 80 lbs, and the AT&T service, basically a massive party line, cost $30 per month plus 30 to 40 cents per local call.[230] The basic network and supporting infrastructure of hexagonal cells used to support a mobile telephony system while remaining on the same channel were devised by Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young at AT&T Bell Labs in 1947. Finally in 1973, Martin Cooper invented the first handheld cellular/mobile phone. His first mobile phone call was made to Joel S. Engel in April 1973.[11][231]

1973 Voicemail

  • Voicemail is the managing of telephone messages from a centralized data storing system. Voicemail is stored on hard disk drives, media generally used by computers in order to store other forms of data. Messages are recorded in digitized natural human voice similar to how music is stored on a compact disc. To retrieve and to play back messages, a user calls the system from any phone, and his or her messages can be retrieved immediately. The first voicemail system, known as the Speech Filing System (SFS), was invented by Stephen J. Boies in 1973. What started as a research project at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, the first working prototype became available to telephone users in 1975.[232]

1974 Heimlich maneuver

  • Performing abdominal thrusts, better known as the Heimlich Maneuver, involves a rescuer standing behind a patient and using their hands to exert pressure on the bottom of the diaphragm. This compresses the lungs and exerts pressure on any object lodged in the trachea, hopefully expelling it. This amounts to an artificial cough. Henry Heimlich, as the inventor of his abdominal thrust technique, first published his findings about the maneuver in a June 1974 informal article in Emergency Medicine entitled, "Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary". On June 19, 1974, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that retired restaurant-owner Isaac Piha used the procedure to rescue choking victim Irene Bogachus in Bellevue, Washington.[233]

1974 Post-it note

  • The Post-it note is a piece of stationery with a re-adherable strip of adhesive on the back, designed for temporarily attaching notes to documents and to other surfaces such as walls, desks and table-tops, computer displays, and so forth. Post-it notes were co-invented by 3M employees Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver in 1974.[234]

1974 Scanning acoustic microscope

  • A Scanning Acoustic Microscope (SAM) is a device which uses focused sound to investigate, measure, or image an object. It is commonly used in failure analysis and non-destructive evaluation. The first scanning acoustic microscope was co-invented in 1974 by C. F. Lemons and R. A. Quate at the Microwave Laboratory of Stanford University.[235]

1974 Quantum well laser

  • A quantum well laser is a laser diode in which the active region of the device is so narrow that quantum confinement occurs. The wavelength of the light emitted by a quantum well laser is determined by the width of the active region rather than just the bandgap of the material from which it is constructed. The quantum well laser was invented by Charles H. Henry, a physicist at Bell Labs, in 1974 and was granted a patent for it in 1976.[236]

1974 Universal Product Code

  • The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology that scans 12-digits numbers along the bar in order to track trade items and to encode information such as pricing to a product on a store's shelf. The Universal Product Code, invented by George Laurer at IBM, was used on a marked item scanned at a retail checkout, Marsh's supermarket in Troy, Ohio, at 8:01 a.m. on June 26, 1974.[237]

1975 Digital camera

A typical DSLR camera
A typical DSLR camera

The digital camera is a camera that takes video or still photographs, digitally by recording images via an electronic image sensor. Steven Sasson as an engineer at Eastman Kodak invented and built the first digital camera using a CCD image sensor in 1975.[238][239]

1975 Ethernet

The ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the Physical Layer of the OSI networking model, through means of network access at the Media Access Control (MAC)/Data Link Layer, and a common addressing format. Robert Metcalfe, while at Xerox invented the ethernet in 1975.[240]

1975 Breakaway rim

A breakaway rim is a basketball hoop that can bend slightly when a player dunks a basketball, and then instantly snap back into its original shape when the player releases it. It allows players to dunk the ball without shattering the backboard, and it reduces the possibility of wrist injuries. According to the Lemelson Center, an affiliation of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the breakaway rim was invented by Arthur Ehrat. After six years, from July 1976 to December 1982, Ehrat received a patent (U.S. Patent No. 4,365,802). His application was rejected twice, with patent examiner Paul Shapiro noting that Frederick C. Tyner held a patent for a similar device (U.S. Patent No. 4,111,420). However, a court appeal finally ruled in favor of Ehrat, as he proved through notarized copies of canceled checks and a rough sketch of his invention, that he was working on his breakaway basketball goal in 1975 before Frederick Tyner conceived of his.[241]

1976 Gore-Tex

  • Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric and is made using an emulsion polymerization process with the fluorosurfactant perfluorooctanoic acid. Gore-Tex was co-invented by Wilbert L. Gore, Rowena Taylor, and Gore's son, Robert W. Gore for use in space. Robert Gore was granted a patent on April 27, 1976, for a porous form of polytetrafluoroethylene with a micro-structure characterized by nodes interconnected by fibrils. Robert Gore, Rowena Taylor, and Samuel Allen were granted a patent on March 18, 1980 for a "waterproof laminate."[242]

1977 Human-powered aircraft

  • A human-powered aircraft (HPA) is an aircraft powered by direct human energy and the force of gravity. The thrust provided by the human may be the only source. However, a hang glider that is partially powered by pilot power is a human-powered aircraft where the flight path can be enhanced more than if the hang glider had not been assisted by human power. Invented by designer Paul MacCready and constructed of mylar, polystyrene, and carbon-fiber rods, the Gossamer Condor was the world's first practical and successful human-powered aircraft, staying in the air for 7.5 uninterrupted minutes. By 1979, a cyclist named Byron Allen used McCready's successive model known as the Gossamer Albatross, and won British industrialist Henry Kremer's prize of $214,000 for crossing the 22-mile English Channel.[243]

1977 Chemical oxygen iodine laser

  • A chemical oxygen iodine laser is an infrared chemical laser. The chemical oxygen iodine laser was invented by the United States Air Force's Phillips Laboratory in 1977 for military purposes. Its properties make it useful for industrial processing as well; the beam is focusable and can be transferred by an optical fiber, as its wavelength is not absorbed much by fused silica but is very well absorbed by metals, making it suitable for laser cutting and drilling. COIL is the main weapon laser for the military airborne laser and advanced tactical laser programs.[244]

1978 Slide Away Bed

  • A Slide Away Bed is a type of sofa bed that slides to the wall to form a sofa. The mattress is hinged to form a seating surface and back support. The bed frame support is a telescoping frame that allows the bed platform to recess below the seating cushion. The primitive version of the slide away bed was co-invented by Manning Lane, Warren J. Hauck and Roy O. Sweeney of Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S. patent #4,204,287 was filed on September 5, 1978 and issued on May 27, 1980.[245]

1978 Popcorn bag

  • A popcorn bag is a specially designed, microwaveable bag that contains popcorn, along with oil, spices and seasoning. The bag is typically partially folded when it is placed in a microwave oven, and inflates as a result of steam pressure from the heated kernels. The earliest patent for the popcorn bag, U.S. patent #4,267,420 was filed on October 12, 1978 by William A. Brastad of Minneapolis and issued on May 12, 1981.[246]

1978 Bulletin board system

  • A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log into the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users, either through electronic mail or in public message boards. Many BBSes also offer on-line games, in which users can compete with each other, and BBSes with multiple phone lines often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other. CBBS, the first Bulletin Board System, was invented by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess in Chicago, becoming fully operational on February 16, 1978.[247]

1979 Winglets

A winglet attached to the tip of a Continental Airlines Boeing 757 wing
A winglet attached to the tip of a Continental Airlines Boeing 757 wing

Wingtip devices or winglets are usually intended to improve the efficiency of fixed-wing aircraft. The concept of winglets originated in the late 19th century, but the idea remained on the drawing board. Throughout the 1970s when the price of aviation fuel started spiraling upward, NASA aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb began investigating and studying the feasibility of winglets in order to improve overall aerodynamics and reduce drag on aircraft. Whitcomb's tests finally culminated with the first successful test flight of his attached winglets on a KC-135 Stratotanker on July 24, 1979.[248]

1979 Polar fleece

Polar fleece, or "fleece", is a soft napped insulating synthetic wool fabric made from polyethylene terephthalate or other synthetic fibers. Found in jackets, hoodies, and casual wear, fleece has some of wool's finest qualities but weighs a fraction of the lightest available woolens. The first form of polar fleece was invented in 1979 by Malden Mills, now Polartec LLC., which was a new, light, and strong pile fabric meant to mimic and in some ways surpass wool.[249]

1980s and the early 1990s (1980–1991)

F-117 Nighthawk flying over mountains in Nevada in 2002
F-117 Nighthawk flying over mountains in Nevada in 2002

1981 Stealth-aircraft

1981 Control-Alt-Delete

  • Control-Alt-Delete, often abbreviated as Ctrl-Alt-Del, is a computer keyboard command on PC compatible systems that can be used to reboot a computer, and summon the task manager or operating system. It is invoked by pressing the Delete key while holding the Control and Alt keys: Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Thus, it forces a soft reboot, brings up the task manager (on Windows and BeOS) or a jump to ROM monitor. Control-Alt-Delete was invented in 1981 by David Bradley while working at IBM.[250]

1981 Total internal reflection fluorescence microscope

  • A total internal reflection fluorescence microscope is a type of microscope with which a thin region of a specimen, usually less than 200 nm, can be observed. It can also be used to observe the fluorescence of a single molecule, making it an important tool of biophysics and quantitative biology. Daniel Axelrod invented the first total internal reflection fluorescence microscope in 1981.[251]

1981 Space shuttle

The Space Shuttle: World's most complex machine
The Space Shuttle: World's most complex machine

The Space Shuttle, part of the Space Transportation System (STS), is a spacecraft operated by NASA for orbital human spaceflight missions. It carries payloads to low Earth orbit, provides crew rotation for the International Space Station (ISS), and performs servicing missions. The orbiter can also recover satellites and other payloads from orbit and return them to Earth. In 1981, NASA successfully launched its reusable spacecraft called the Space Shuttle. George Mueller, an American from St. Louis, Missouri is widely credited for jump starting, designing, and overseeing the Space Shuttle program after the demise of the Apollo program in 1972.[252]

1981 Paintball

Paintball is a game in which players eliminate opponents by hitting them with pellets containing paint usually shot from a carbon dioxide or compressed-gas, HPA or N20, in a powered paintball gun. The idea of the game was first conceived and co-invented in 1976 by Hayes Noel, Bob Gurnsey, and Charles Gaines. However, the game of paintball was not first played until June 27, 1981.[253]

1981 Graphic User Interface

Short for Graphic User Interface, the GUI uses windows, icons, and menus to carry out commands such as opening files, deleting files, moving files, etc. and although many GUI Operating Systems are operated by using a mouse, the keyboard can also be used by using keyboard shortcuts or arrow keys. The GUI was co-invented at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay and Douglas Engelbart in 1981.[254]

1983 Internet

ARPANET logical map, 1977
ARPANET logical map, 1977

Not to be confused with a separate application known as the World wide web which was invented much later in the early 1990s (see article on the English inventor Tim Berners-Lee), the Internet is the global system of overall interconnected computer networks that use the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies. The concept of packet switching of a network was first explored by Paul Baran in the early 1960s,[255] and the mathematical formulations behind packet switching were later devised by Leonard Kleinrock.[256] On October 29, 1969, the world's first electronic computer network, the ARPANET, was established between nodes at Leonard Kleinrock's lab at UCLA and Douglas Engelbart's lab at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International).[257] Another milestone occurred in 1973 when Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf co-invented Internet Protocol and Transmission Control Protocol while working on ARPANET at the United States Department of Defense.[10] The first TCP/IP-wide area network was operational on January 1, 1983, when the United States' National Science Foundation (NSF) constructed the university network backbone that would later become the NSFNet. This date is held as the "birth" of the Internet.[258][259]

1983 Blind signature

  • In cryptography, a blind signature, as invented by David Chaum in 1983, is a form of digital signature in which the content of a message is disguised before it is signed. The resulting blind signature can be publicly verified against the original, unblinded message in the manner of a regular digital signature. Blind signatures are typically employed in privacy-related protocols where the signer and message author are different parties. Examples include cryptographic election systems and digital cash schemes.[260]

1983 Laser turntable

  • A laser turntable is a phonograph that plays gramophone records using a laser beam as the pickup instead of a conventional diamond-tipped stylus. This playback system has the unique advantage of avoiding physical contact with the record during playback; instead, a focused beam of light traces the signal undulations in the vinyl, with zero friction, mass and record wear. The laser turntable was first conceived by Robert S. Reis, while working as a consultant of analog signal processing for the United States Air Force and the United States Department of Defense.[261]

1984 LCD projector

  • An LCD projector is a type of video projector for displaying video, images or computer data on a screen or other flat surface. It is a modern equivalent of the slide projector or overhead projector. To display images, LCD (liquid-crystal display) projectors typically send light from a metal-halide lamp through a prism or series of dichroic filters that separates light to three polysilicon panels – one each for the red, green and blue components of the video signal. The LCD projector was invented in 1984 by Gene Dolgoff.[262]

1984 Pointing stick

  • The pointing stick is an isometric joystick operated by applied force and is used as a pointing device on laptop computers. It takes the form of a rubber cap located on top of the keyboard embedded between the 'G', 'H' and 'B' keys. The pointing stick was invented by American computer scientist Ted Selker in 1984.[263]

1984 Polymerase chain reaction

  • The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique widely used in molecular biology. It derives its name from one of its key components, a DNA polymerase used to amplify a piece of DNA by in vitro enzymatic DNA replication. As PCR progresses, the DNA generated is used as a template for replication. The polymerase chain reaction was invented in 1984 by Kary Mullis.[264]

1986 Atomic force microscope

  • An atomic force microscope is a type of microscope that is used for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. The information is gathered by "feeling" the surface with a mechanical probe. Piezoelectric elements that facilitate tiny but accurate and precise movements on (electronic) command enable the very precise scanning. The atomic force microscope was co-invented in 1986 by Christoph Gerber, Gerd Binning, and Calvin Quate.[265] On April 20, 1987, Gerber, Binning, and Quate filed U.S. patent #4,762,996 for the device which was later issued to them on August 9, 1988.[266]

1986 Stereolithography

  • Stereolithography is a common rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping technology for producing parts with high accuracy and good surface finish by utilizing a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer "resin" and a UV laser to build parts a layer at a time. Stereolithography was invented by Chuck Hull in 1986.[267]

1987 Digital Micromirror Device

  • The Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) is a silicon chip of up to 2 million hinged microscopic aluminum mirrors all under digital control that tilt thousands of times per second in order to create an image by directing digital pulses through a projection lens and onto a television or movie theatre screen. The Digital Micromirror Device was invented by Dr. Larry Hornbeck while working at Texas Instruments, also holding several patents relating to DMD technology.[268]

1987 Perl

  • Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. It was originally invented by Larry Wall, a linguist working as a systems administrator for NASA, in 1987, as a general purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Perl is also used for text processing, system administration, web application development, bioinformatics, network programming, applications that require database access, graphics programming etc.[269]

1988 Luggage (tilt-and-roll)

Airline passengers rolling their luggage in an airport terminal
Airline passengers rolling their luggage in an airport terminal

Tilt-and-roll luggage or wheeled luggage, is a variant of luggage for travelers which typically contains two-fixed wheels on one end and a telescoping handle on the opposite end for vertical movement. Tilt-and-roll luggage is pulled and thus eliminates a traveler from directly carrying his or her luggage. In 1988, Northwest Airlines pilot Robert Plath invented tilt-and-roll luggage as travelers beforehand had to carry suitcases in their hands, toss garment bags over their shoulders, or strap luggage on top of metal carts.[270][271]

1988 Fused deposition modeling Fused deposition modeling, which is often referred to by its initials FDM, is a type of additive fabrication or technology commonly used within engineering design. FDM works on an "additive" principle by laying down material in layers. Fusion deposition modeling was invented by S. Scott Crump in 1988.[272]

1988 Tcl Tcl, known as "Tool Command Language", is a scripting language most commonly used for rapid prototyping, scripted applications, GUIs and testing. Tcl is used extensively on embedded systems platforms, both in its full form and in several other small-footprinted versions. Tcl is also used for CGI scripting. Tcl was invented in the spring of 1988 by John Ousterhout while working at the University of California, Berkeley.[273]

1988 Ballistic electron emission microscopy Ballistic electron emission microscopy or BEEM is a technique for studying ballistic electron transport through variety of materials and material interfaces. BEEM is a three terminal scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique that was co-invented in 1988 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California by L. Douglas Bell and William Kaiser.[274]

1988 Electron beam ion trap

  • The electron beam ion trap is used in physics to denote an electromagnetic bottle that produces and confines highly charged ions. The electron beam ion trap was co-invented by M. Levine and R. Marrs in 1988.[275]

1988 Nicotine patch

  • A nicotine patch is a transdermal patch that releases nicotine into the body through the skin. It is usually used as a method to quit smoking. The nicotine patch was invented in 1988 by Murray Jarvik, Jed Rose and Daniel Rose.[276]

1988 Firewall

  • A firewall is an integrated collection of security measures designed to prevent unauthorized electronic access to a networked computer system. At AT&T Bell Labs, William Cheswick and Steven M. Bellovin were continuing their research in packet filtering and co-invented a working model for their own company based upon their original first generation architecture of a firewall.[277]

1988 Resin identification code

  • The SPI resin identification coding system is a set of symbols placed on plastics to identify the polymer type. The resin identification code was developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988.[278]

1989 ZIP file format

  • The ZIP file format is a data compression and file archiver. A ZIP file contains one or more files that have been compressed to reduce file size, or stored as-is. The zip file format was originally invented in 1989 by Phil Katz for PKZIP, and evolved from the previous ARC compression format by Thom Henderson.[279]

1989 Selective laser sintering

  • Selective laser sintering is an additive rapid manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser to fuse small particles of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass powders into a mass representing a desired 3-dimensional object. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital description of the part on the surface of a powder bed. Selective laser sintering was invented and patented by Dr. Carl Deckard at the University of Texas at Austin in 1989.[280]

1990 Self-wringing mop

  • The self-wringing mop is a type of mop designed to be wrung out without getting a user's hands wet. The first self-wringing mop was invented in 1990 by Joy Mangano. The mop head was created from 300 feet of cotton and was developed so that it was possible to be wrung out by turning a plastic handle above the mop head itself. It became widely used in America by the mid 1990s.[281][282]

1990 Sulfur lamp

  • The sulfur lamp is a highly efficient full-spectrumelectrodeless lighting system whose light is generated by sulfur plasma that has been excited by microwave radiation. The sulfur lamp consists of a golf ball-sized (30 mm) fused-quartz bulb containing several milligrams of sulfur powder and argon gas at the end of a thin glass spindle. The bulb is enclosed in a microwave-resonant wire-mesh cage. The technology was conceived by engineer Michael Ury, physicist Charles Wood and their colleagues in 1990. With support from the United States Department of Energy, it was further developed in 1994 by Fusion Lighting of Rockville, Maryland, a spinoff of the Fusion UV division of Fusion Systems Corporation.[283]

1991 Ant robotics

  • Ant robotics is a special case of swarm robotics. Swarm robots are simple and cheap robots with limited sensing and computational capabilities. This makes it feasible to deploy teams of swarm robots and take advantage of the resulting fault tolerance and parallelism. In 1991, American electrical engineer James McLurkin was the first to conceptualize the idea of "robot ants" while working at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The robots consisted of sensors, infrared emitters, and communication systems capable of detecting objects in their path. McLurkin's invention was through studying the behavior of real ants in ant colonies and keeping ant farms as a basis for his programming. Through this examination, he could better understand how insects structured their workloads in order to produce a viable and working prototype of robotic ants.[284]

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Further reading

External links

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