Inventions Between 1900 and 1930
the time period between 1900 and 1930 saw many technological innovations, from the air conditioner to the disposable razor blade.From the tank to the cruise missile.Many of these inventions made our lives easier while others made them more deadly.
the first of these inventions is the air conditioner. While many inventers beforehand had made crude means of cooling the air, but all proved to be ineffective. the earliest method of cooling the air was putting bowls of ice in front of a fan and the resulting cool air cooled the room.
On July 17th 1902 a young college graduate, Willis Havilland Carrier drew the plans for his first “Apparatus for treating air” which was granted its first patent in 1906. this great leap forward in human comfort was actually first made for a printing press where when it got humid it would cause the ink to smear. Carrier’s method of cooling the air involved using coiled copper tubing filled with liquid ammonia, which when air was blown over the coils would cause the moister to condensate giving him cool dry air.
Cooling for human comfort, rather than industrial use, began in 1924, displayed by the three Carrier air conditioners installed in the J. L. Hudson Department Store in Michigan. in order to escape the heat the shoppers of Detroit all went to the “air conditioned” store. The rise in human cooling spread from the department stores to the movie theaters. It was a cool oasis in an other wise hot world. One of the more deadly inventions of the early 1900’s is the tank.
The tank got its name because early in WW1 while it was under development the British didn’t want the Germans to find out what they were making so they shipped them as water tanks. While no one person can be credited with the invention of the tank it was the British who first used the tank in WW1. To come up with ideas for the tank, the Landship Committee was formed and their recommendations were that a vehicle firing a explosive shell should be made that could cross a standard German trench of 8 feet wide, and a 4 foot hill.
Various designs were tried ranging from vehicles that “walked” to gigantic powered tires, but none were really successful, or strategically sound. then came the little Willie. the little Willie was the first modern version of a “tank” it was based on the tracks of farm equipment and earth moving machines. even though the little Willie was the first modern version of a tank it never saw combat as it was surpassed by an improved tank named “big Willie”. Big Willie was the first practical example of a tank as it was the first to be used on the battle field.
With a top speed of 3 mph and armor up to 3 inches thick it was not the fastest nor best looking war machine out there but it did its job of providing cover for soldiers storming enemy trenches. Although Little Willie never saw combat and was redundant almost as soon as it was made, it represented a major step forward in early 1900’s technology. In contrast to the tank you have the Band Aid. Earle Dickson was employed as a bulk buyer of cotton for Johnson & Johnson when he invented the band-aid in 1921.
The reason that Earle invented the band aid was that his wife kept cutting her fingers in the kitchen while preparing food. The precursor to the band aid consisted of gauze and adhesive that the user applied themselves. Earle took a piece of gauze and stuck it to the middle of a piece of tape, and then covered the adhesive and gauze with a strip of crinoline, to keep it sterile. His boss, James Johnson, saw Earle Dickson’s invention and decided to manufacture band aids to the public and make Earle Dickson vice-president of Johnson & Johnson.
However ingenious his invention was it was slow to start. Until Jonson and Johnson started to give them to the boy scouts for free as a P. R. stunt and by 1924 band aids were machine made and sold in individually wrapped bandages, it wasn’t until 1934 that they switched to the vinyl tape we know today. The thirty years that followed the turn of the century saw some of the most technological advancements ever seen. From the air conditioner to the band aid, without the inventers of the early 1900s the world would still be stuck in a hot bloody band aid free world.