Top 10 inventions dating from the 80s

When the 1980’s arrived they brought many things with it, including MTV, big hair styles and many superb technology gadgets. Here we have our top 10 inventions dating back to the 80’s.

10- The Disposable Camera


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During the 1980’s disposable cameras became the in-thing from such as Canon, Nikon and Kodak. The disposable camera was cheap and came with one roll of film and a flash built in, some even offered manual zoom. They were perfect for traveling and very easy to use but digital photography saw the popularity drop.

9- The Nicotine Patch

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The nicotine patch was offered to people who wanted to stop smoking. The nicotine patch became available on the shelves in the US in 1992 although the patch was invented during the 80’s when Dr Murray E. Jarvik studied nicotine effects back in the 60’s and 70’s and discovered that it was the addictive part in tobacco. He recognized the fact that harvesters of tobacco suffered from what was known as green tobacco illness, nicotine poisoning from tobacco leaves having contact with the skin. From here the nicotine patch was born. In 1985 he put in a patent request. They were eventually offered freely over the counter without the need to have a prescription.

8- Prozac

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Prozac, also known as Fluoxetine, is a drug taken by millions of people around the world to overcome clinical depression. It became available in 1987 after being discovered in the 70’s. It was patented by Eli Lilly and Company and the name Prozac has been one of the most popular and most well-known drugs associated with antidepressants.

7- Disposable Contact Lenses

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During the 1970’s contact lenses became a popular alternative to wearing spectacles and during 1987 disposable contact lenses were introduced onto the market. The disposable lenses were made of soft materials and are worn for short periods of time. Before the disposable lenses people worn the same contact lenses and had to take them out to clean them. Today people can get disposable contact lenses in daily, weekly and monthly types.

6- The Space Shuttle

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NASA focused on developing a different type of vehicle following the lunar missions in the 60’s and 70’s, so that astronauts could go into space and come back home safely. Their dedication saw the development of the Space Shuttle. The Space Shuttle had an important role to play when it came to deployment and maintenance of equipment in space. The first launch of the Space Shuttle was the Columbia in 1981, lasting for two days. Since this time there have been more than 130 missions.

5 The IMB and Macintosh Computers

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The computing revolution started during the 1970’s but the computers that came out were large machines, often taking up the whole floor of the room in which they were in. While the machines were big they only offered around the same processing power as a phone of today offers. In 1981 the IBM 5150 Personal computer came out with an Intel 8088 processor and had the 1.0 PC-DOS OS with the BASIC programming language. IBM was the most well-known name among computers at this time and it sparked off the Windows computers that we know today. Apple revealed the Macintosh computer in 1984 and was the first to offer a user interface that is graphics based.

4- Compact Discs

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Vinyl records were common during the 1980’s but the downside to them is that they took up a lot of space. While 8 track tapes and cassettes took less space they degraded over time and then the compact disc was born from Sony and Philips. During the mid-1980’s engineers wrote books which set the standards for the format of compact discs, five in total. The books expanded the standards and this gave way for the introduction of data storage to the CDs and then the CD-ROM and CD-RW. This was something that revolutionized the music industry and saw the end of the vinyl and cassette market. CDs stored information in an optical format and so they held a lot more data than magnetic discs. During the 1990’s compact disc players were in domination for both computer storage and music.

3- The HDTV

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The first HD TV broadcasts took place in the US during the late 90’s, however HDTV does go further back to the late 70’s when the Japan Broadcasting Corporation worked on a new standard for TVs. During 1980 the first prototype offered clearer pictures than ever before. It wasn’t until the latter half of the 1990’s that HDTV sets became readily available on the market in the US.

2- DNA Fingerprinting

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In 1984 science was changed forever when Alec Jeffreys, a British geneticist stumbled on the fact that people all had their own unique DNA profile. He found that genetic profiles come from our parent’s profiles and that lineage could be traced back generations thanks to DNA testing. Jeffreys came up with the term DNA fingerprinting and this gave him a knighthood. The world of forensic science owes its development due to DNA profiling.

1- The Permanent Artificial Heart

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The first surgical implant of an artificial heart in a human was during 1969, however the early artificial hearts were just a temporary measure as they were made to ensure that the person could be kept alive long enough until a heart transplant could be performed. Things changed with the introduction of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart. This was made as a permanent heart transplant. The first operation of a Jarvik-7 heart was in 1982 with the implant undertaken by William DeVries on patient Barney Clark. Clark managed to survive for 112 days following his surgery and then passed away.

Via [Howstuffworks]