Thursday, February 2, 2012

Q: What are the most impactful inventions created in Boston?

I think the telephone is probably the all-time top Boston invention, but also these:

1802 -- Modern navigation -- Bowditch

1886 -- Management consulting -- Little

1901 -- Disposable safety razor -- Gillette et al.

1914 -- "Tech"nicolor -- Founded in Boston by Kalmus et al.

1919 -- Trans-Atlantic aircraft -- Hunsaker et al.

1929- -- Instant photography (Polaroid) -- Land

1931 -- Stroboscopy -- Edgerton, Germeshausen et al.

1937 -- Use of Boolean logic to design "digital" circuits -- Shannon

1940-45 -- Practical radar -- Anglo-American military collaboration at MIT

1944 -- Mark I/II computers and first computer "bug" -- Aiken, Hopper et al.

1945 -- Hypertext -- Vannevar Bush

1951 -- Huffman code

1951 -- Random access memory ("core")-- Project Whirlwind

1953 -- PET scan -- Brownell

1953- -- Doppler radar -- Gordon

1956- -- Chomsky hierarchy

1957- -- Generative grammar -- Chomsky

1957 -- Confocal microscope -- MInsky

1957-61 -- Time-sharing (and some of what we now call virtualization) -- Project MAC

1958 -- LISP -- McCarthy

1961 -- Chaos theory -- Lorenz (and many others)

1961-2 -- Digital videogame (Spacewar!) -- Graetz, Russel, Wiitanen, Kotok 

1963 -- CAD -- Sutherland

1964 -- Minicomputer -- DEC

1964-5 -- Electronic mail -- Van Vleck / Morris on CTSS (also network email, Tomlinson in 1971)

1969 -- Apollo guidance computer that navigated to and landed on moon -- Instrumentation (now Draper) Laboratory

1970-90 -- Object-oriented programming and data hiding -- Liskov (and many others)

1972 -- Packet-switching and ARPANET -- Kahn, BBN, etc.

1973 -- Black-Scholes option pricing model -- Black, Scholes, Merton

1978 -- Practical public-key cryptography (RSA) -- Rivest, Shamir, Adelman

1979 -- Spreadsheet -- Bricklin and Frankston

1981-89 -- Copyleft/sharealike, GNU and free software movement -- Stallman

1995- - E-ink -- Jacobsen et al.

2000 -- Zipcar -- Danielson, Chase

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