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

By Sarah Norman | March 12, 2024

Sophia Loren makes a long distance phonecall

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.

test article image
source: reddit

Today, through the help of chat apps, social media, and affordable cellphone plans that keep the world connected, long distance phone calls aren't as exciting or as expensive as they used to be. In 1963, international direct dialing from London to Paris became a thing, with calls to Amsterdam coming shortly afterwards.

By 1968, folks across the westernized world were able to reach out and touch on another with their voices on demand. This was a completely mind-blowing advancement in technology that remained a must-have until the 2000s when coast to coast calling became the norm.

Supermodels were one of the greatest inventions of the 1960s

test article image
source: pinterest

Today there are models literally everywhere - on magazine covers, on Instagram, and on reality TV. There's such a glut of over-the-top and glammed-out models that they almost blend in with everyone else. That wasn't the case in the '60s and '70s when models like Twiggy and Janice Dickinson hit the scene.

Twiggy and Dickinson were plastered all over magazines and bus stops, but that's as close as the populous at large would ever get to them. These women seemed like they were from another world, not from a suburb of California. These models were absolutely mind-blowing in the 1960s, but today they're just totally normal.