12 Innovations From The 1950s That We Still Use Today

While we tend to associate the ’50s with sock hops, Elvis, and the Golden Age of Television, it also happened to be a decade that greatly improved our lives.

1. Credit cards (1950)

Diner’s Club introduced the first credit card in 1950.

2. Diet Soda (1952)

The first diet soda, No-Cal, was introduced by the Kirsch Bottling in 1952. Its inventors Hyman and Morris Kirsch created the sugar-free soda for hospitalized diabetic patients at the Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Disease (now known as Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center).

In 1958, Royal Crown Cola introduced the second sugar-free soda, Diet Rite.

3. Roll-on deodorant (1952)

Prior to the invention of Ban Roll-On, the most common deodorant was Everdry, a aluminum chloride solution that was applied with cotton swabs. Besides being messy and taking forever to dry, Everdry also had the nice side effect of eating through clothes.

Source: Mental Floss

4. TV dinners (1953)

Swanson changed our world when they introduced the first TV dinner back in 1953. They were such a huge success that they ended up selling more than 10 million during the first year of production.

5. Color television (1953)

Color TV was the HD TV of its time; introduced in the U.S. in 1953, it took a while to catch on (more than a decade) due high prices and lack of color broadcasts.

The first national color cast was the 1954 Tournament of Roses Parade.

6. Microwave oven (1954)

The Raytheon Corporation produced the first microwaves for commercial use.

Source: Smeec.org

7. Automatic doors (1954)

Inventors Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt created the sliding automatic door after witnessing the difficultly people had with opening swing doors in the wind.

Source: About.com

8. Velcro (1955)

Without Velcro I would have never been able to rock some seriously badass sneakers — actually I might not have worn shoes for the first six years of my life.

9. Three-point seat belts

Volvo introduced the first three-point belt in 1959, and made them a standard item in the Volvo 122, that same year.

10. Ultrasound (1956)

Ultrasounds were first used for clinical purposes in 1956 in Glasgow. But, it wouldn’t become common until the 1970s, when hospitals in Britain and the U.S. adopted the machines.

Source: Live Science

11. Bubble Wrap (1957)

Could you imagine living in a world without the pleasure of popping bubble wrap? I couldn’t live in that world.

It was actually created by accident; its inventors, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, were attempting to create a 3-D plastic wallpaper, not packing material.

12. Birth control pill (1957)

Although the Pill is associated with the sexual revolution of the 1960s, it was actually created in the ‘50s.

The FDA approved the Pill in 1957, but only for cases of severe menstrual disorders and not as a contraceptive. Large numbers of women all of a sudden developed severe menstrual disorders.

It wouldn’t be until 1960 that the pill would be approved for contraceptive use.

Source: PBS.org

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