Everyday Marvels: The 20th Century Inventions We Can't Imagine Life Without

By Sarah Norman | May 7, 2024

Farrah Fawcett goes street style on a groovy skateboard

Today we're surrounded by technology that would have sent our brains buzzing in the middle of the 20th century. Whether you were born in the post-war boom or on the edge of the new millennium everyone has become so used to modern technology that we've lost the wonder that makes it so special.

A lot of the amazing concepts that we're surrounded with today, from smartphones to blockbuster franchises, come from the 1960s and '70s. At the time, each new thing that found its way to consumers felt like a breath of fresh air. It's a shame that they're taken for granted today. Let's look back at some of the most mind-blowing inventions of the groovy era and see how they're still making waves today.

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source: pinterest

When young people began skateboarding after the Second World War it was seen as a kind of recreation for young children in Southern California. Initially created in the early 20th century, the '60s were the first decade where companies manufactured parts for actual skateboards that held up under scrutiny. This was a huge deal to young skaters everywhere.

Today, skateboarding is a multi-billion dollar industry and the sport's biggest stars are household names. We don't even think it's all that strange that one of the most exciting sports in the modern era got its start as a children's toy. With time everything becomes normal.

We take soft contact lenses for granted now, but in the '60s they were something to marvel at

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source: Reddit

Contact lenses have been around since the 19th century, but it took nearly one hundred years before they were anything other than hard pieces of glass that you had to precariously shove in your eye. Ouch. In 1971, soft contact lenses were brought to the masses by Bausch & Lomb, Incorporated. This was a huge game changer for people who didn't want to wear glasses but also didn't want to have a giant piece of glass stuck to their eyes.

It's hard to comprehend how exciting this invention must have been for people now that we regularly have laser surgery performed on our corneas and toss contacts after every use.