Friday, November 11, 2011

Satellite TV brought to you by the War

Wars have always been fought and we are saddened by the loss of life and injuries to both soldiers and civilians.  Wars do, however, foster advances in science and technology.  War inventions that make their way into our everyday lives.

Things we take for granted today like the weather forecast (Francis Beaufort and Robert FitzRoy) which was possible due to the invention of the telegraph system back in 1835.  The wrist watch (1880) was found to be more battle friendly than it's predecessor the pocket watch.

World War I  saw the invention of tinned food, preserved food had previously been stored in glass jars which weren't  all that portable.  The necessity for swift communications saw the advent of the radio.  Sonar - echo location was invented by Paul Langevin just prior to the end of World War i it put to use in later years.
Self absorbent wood pulp dressings and tissues  (cellucotton) was invented to replace cotton bandages and is still used in sanitary products and surgical dressings.

World War 2 brought us the mass manufacture of synthetics like rubber and nylon and the first microwave ovens (Percy Spencer) were major breakthroughs.

Penicillin and antibiotics, Pepto Bismol, Chloroquine (anti malaria tables) and bug spray in aerosol cans were the latest medical marvels.  

Children were entertained by the Frisbie (aka Pluto Platter), Silly Putty (James Wright,) and the much loved Slinky (Richard James). 
Top secret Inventions that are common place now were; Radar - radio detection (Robert Watson-Watt,), the Jet Engine, Night Vision and of course the computer to help with code breaking.

More recently 
Thermal Imaging, GPS (Ivan Getting) used in iPhones and other electronics that are Satellite Navigation system enabled, wireless communication,  The Chemical Laser now used for precision cutting  and sculpting of many materials.  Video games, game consoles and the internet (1969).

Image Credit: Commander James McDivit, NASA

The Space Race during the cold war demanded better communications. Innovative information gathering and transmitting satellite.   Television, video, rockets, astronauts, remote control and navigation systems. Miniature cameras, robots, satellite signals, global broadcasting and satellite tv.

Most of these products are worthy of being on a top 10 inventions list and are still used everyday by millions of people around the world.

Computer Image Credit: Image: Exsodus /

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