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20th Century Timeline

The 80s - the technology, science, and inventions


Apple Lisa

80s Invention Apple Lisa

Many of the most popular consumer products still around today were invented in the 80s for example: cell phones and home computers.

The 80s saw the rise of the multi-national corporations, while the growth rate during the 80s was 3.2% per year, the highest 9 year rate in American history, a complex combination of causes (economic, financial, legislative and regulatory) led to the extraordinary number of bank failures in the 80s. And a new definition of the expression "corporate greed" was found.




  • Human growth hormone genetically engineered.


  • The Apple Lisa invented.
  • Soft bifocal contact lens invented.
  • First Cabbage Patch Kids sold.
  • Programmer Jaron Lanier first coins the term "virtual reality".



  • Windows program invented by Microsoft.


  • A high-temperature super-conductor invented by J. Georg Bednorz and Karl A. Muller.
  • Synthetic skin invented by G. Gregory Gallico, III.
  • Fuji introduced the disposable camera.


  • The first 3-D video game invented.
  • Disposable contact lenses invented.


  • Digital cellular phones invented.
  • The RU-486 (abortion pill) invented.
  • Doppler radar invented by Christian Andreas Doppler.
  • Prozac invented at the Eli Lilly Company by inventor Ray Fuller.
  • The first patent for a genetically engineered animal is issued to Harvard University researchers Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart.
  • Ralph Alessio and Fredrik Olsen received a patent for the Indiglo nightlight. The bluish green light is used to illuminate the entire face of a watch.


  • High-definition television invented.
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