Top American Inventions

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2009 5:06 PM CDT
In this handout picture released by the U.S. Army, a mushroom cloud billows about one hour after a nuclear bomb was detonated above Hiroshima, Japan on Aug. 6, 1945.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, HO)
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(Newser) – President Obama has called on Americans to innovate their way to a speedy economic recovery. In that spirit, Live Science rounds up the top 10 US innovations:

  1. Flight. The Wright Brothers’ 12-second flight in 1903 ushered the world into the age of aviation.
  2. Atomic bomb. The Manhattan project left a dubious legacy, perhaps, but achieved a critical scientific feat nonetheless.
  3. Moon travel. The Apollo program captivated the world by making space travel a reality in 1969.
  4. Laser technology. Scientists at the Hughes Research lab in California first demonstrated the laser, now used in CDs, DVDs, eye surgery, bar codes, etc.
  5. The Internet. The ARPAnet connected computers at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah in the late 1960s—and the rest is history.

  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The MRI can find disease without harming the patient.
  2. Communications satellites. The Army launched the first such satellite in 1958, clearing the way for the thousands now orbiting Earth.
  3. Transistors. A three-man American team won the 1956 Nobel prize for developing the transistor and shaping the electronic age.
  4. Assembly line. Henry Ford’s method for mass production made manufactured goods more affordable.
  5. Light bulb. Thomas Edison perfected the design for the light bulb, and so started a technological revolution that changed civilization itself.