The Old “Brand New” – New Products of the 1950s
While you’re cozied up on your couch this evening drinking a diet coke and watching last week’s DVR episodes of American Idol , think back to a time when even television stations couldn’t record programs … or when a soft drink was just as fattening as a large order of French Fries.
The First Video Tape Recorder: The Ampex Mark IV video tape recorder may appear massive at first glance; however, in 1951 this was a revolutionary invention and the first of its kind. With it, inventor, Charles Ginsburg forever changed the broadcasting industry.
The First Diet Soft Drink: Today, you may prefer Coke Zero, Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, or plain old Diet Coke. Prior to the 50s, diet wasn’t even an option when it came to soft drinks. In 1952, Kirsch created the first-ever “No-Cal Beverage”, offering 7 flavors of tangy ginger ale.
The First Micro-Chip: The creation of the first microchip is credited to two pioneers, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation (also the co-founder of Intel). Kilby designed the original model in 1958 and Noyce expanded on it, transforming it into an integrated circuit. For computer engineer aficionados, the specs of this archaic artifact, which in fact changed computing forever, consisted of one transistor, three resistors and one capacitor, a far cry from the tiny chip of today that can hold 125 million transistors.
The First Barbie: Given her hourglass slim figure and perfect blond hair, it’s hard to believe that Barbie is 53 years old. First introduced in 1959, Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts and her very first job was teenage fashion model. She first came available in brunette or blond – in this fashionable swimsuit of the times.
The First Barcode:You may cringe at the long lines at your local grocery store, but back in the early 50s, your trip would have taken significantly longer. The men responsible for easier shopping check out are Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver, inventors of the bar code. Their original 1958 “bull’s eye” model, which consisted of a series of concentric circles, came with the invention of the bar code scanner technology to match.
We owe a lot to the 1950’s, which produced many products and technologies that we have come to take for granted. While these were just a few – trust that we’ll be back soon with more of the “Old, Brand New”! Have any recommendations? Share below!