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

By Sarah Norman | May 11, 2024

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

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: 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.

Color TV allowed viewers to see life in all its glory

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source: Reddt

Color TV is so ubiquitous today that it's hard to imagine a time when everything was broadcast in black and white, but up until 1979, there were still a few stations broadcasting super gray versions of everyone's favorite television shows. That just wouldn't fly today.

RCA and CBS were both working towards color tv in the late '40s, with CBS boasting color programming by 1951, but color television sets were rare for the first few years of this technology that we take for granted today. In 1961, the premiere of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color finally convinced consumers to go out and pick up brand new televisions.