Inventions

Inventing the Sweatshirt

Russell Athletic, the company that created the sweatshirt, began life as The Russell Manufacturing Company on 3rd March, 1902 in Alexander City, Alabama. Its founder was entrepreneurial polymath Benjamin Russell, and they specialized in women’s undershirts. It wasn’t until decades later – when Russell’s son returned from college with a concept for college-based sportswear – […]

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Russell Athletic, the company that created the sweatshirt, began life as The Russell Manufacturing Company on 3rd March, 1902 in Alexander City, Alabama. Its founder was entrepreneurial polymath Benjamin Russell, and they specialized in women’s undershirts. It wasn’t until decades later – when Russell’s son returned from college with a concept for college-based sportswear –

The Dress That Launched Google Images

When Jennifer Lopez turned up on the Grammys’ red carpet wearing a green Versace dress on February 23rd, 2000, there was such a rush from the public to see the image that it became the most searched-for term in Google’s history.  As a result – Eric Schmidt later confessed – Google Images was developed and

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RETRO

When Jennifer Lopez turned up on the Grammys’ red carpet wearing a green Versace dress on February 23rd, 2000, there was such a rush from the public to see the image that it became the most searched-for term in Google’s history.  As a result – Eric Schmidt later confessed – Google Images was developed and

Britain Goes To School

The 1870 Education Act was the first to deal specifically with the provision of British schools. Speaking in the House of Commons, William Edward Forster MP proposed: “I believe that the country demands from us that we should… cover the country with good schools, and get parents to send their children to those schools.” But

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RETRO

The 1870 Education Act was the first to deal specifically with the provision of British schools. Speaking in the House of Commons, William Edward Forster MP proposed: “I believe that the country demands from us that we should… cover the country with good schools, and get parents to send their children to those schools.” But

The Urinary Leash

The first women’s public toilets in London opened on Bedford St on 11th February, 1852 – attempting to capitalize on the success of George Jennings’ ‘monkey closets’, used by over 800,000 visitors to the 1851 Great Exhibition. Unfortunately, even though the facility had been fought for by campaigning women’s sanitary organizations, middle and upper class

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RETRO

The first women’s public toilets in London opened on Bedford St on 11th February, 1852 – attempting to capitalize on the success of George Jennings’ ‘monkey closets’, used by over 800,000 visitors to the 1851 Great Exhibition. Unfortunately, even though the facility had been fought for by campaigning women’s sanitary organizations, middle and upper class

Inventing The Credit Card

Diners Club, the world’s first credit card, was used for the first time at Major’s Cabin Grill in New York City on February 8th, 1950. Perhaps at odds with the debonair image the company went on to cultivate, the first iteration was made of cardboard, and required three signatories.  Frank X McNamara claimed to have

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RETRO

Diners Club, the world’s first credit card, was used for the first time at Major’s Cabin Grill in New York City on February 8th, 1950. Perhaps at odds with the debonair image the company went on to cultivate, the first iteration was made of cardboard, and required three signatories.  Frank X McNamara claimed to have

Preventing Technological Surprise

Inventing the internet and pioneering satellite navigation, U.S. government agency DARPA has had an illustrious history since being founded by President Eisenhower (as the Advanced Research Projects Agency) on February 7th, 1958.  Created in response to the Soviets launching Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, its mission, which continues to this day, is ‘to prevent

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Inventing the internet and pioneering satellite navigation, U.S. government agency DARPA has had an illustrious history since being founded by President Eisenhower (as the Advanced Research Projects Agency) on February 7th, 1958.  Created in response to the Soviets launching Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, its mission, which continues to this day, is ‘to prevent

Lego Shifts To Plastic

Stud-and-tube bricks, which paved the way for Lego to become one of the most successful companies in Denmark, were patented on 28th January, 1958. But this family business had already been in existence for 26 years, mostly making wooden toys. It later emerged, however, that the plastic self-locking bricks that brought them so much success

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RETRO

Stud-and-tube bricks, which paved the way for Lego to become one of the most successful companies in Denmark, were patented on 28th January, 1958. But this family business had already been in existence for 26 years, mostly making wooden toys. It later emerged, however, that the plastic self-locking bricks that brought them so much success

Introducing the BlackBerry

Research In Motion were once the world’s most popular maker of smartphones, but when they launched the BlackBerry 850 on 19th January, 1999, the device had no phone functionality: it was marketed as a two-way pager. However, the gadget’s ability to bounce emails from a desktop server to its users on the move, and its

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Research In Motion were once the world’s most popular maker of smartphones, but when they launched the BlackBerry 850 on 19th January, 1999, the device had no phone functionality: it was marketed as a two-way pager. However, the gadget’s ability to bounce emails from a desktop server to its users on the move, and its

New York meets Snow White

Disney’s long-awaited feature ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ was rapturously received at Radio City, New York, inspiring three-hour queues for tickets. The reviews that America woke up to on 14th January 1938 were euphoric: a masterpiece had landed. “It is a classic as important cinematically as The Birth Of A Nation”, Frank Nugent wrote

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RETRO

Disney’s long-awaited feature ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ was rapturously received at Radio City, New York, inspiring three-hour queues for tickets. The reviews that America woke up to on 14th January 1938 were euphoric: a masterpiece had landed. “It is a classic as important cinematically as The Birth Of A Nation”, Frank Nugent wrote

England’s First Lottery

With a top prize of £5,000 and a celebrity backer in the form of Queen Elizabeth I, England embarked on its first ever national lottery draw at St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th January, 1569. The results continued to be announced, day and night, for four months; a particularly prolonged process due to the fact that

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RETRO

With a top prize of £5,000 and a celebrity backer in the form of Queen Elizabeth I, England embarked on its first ever national lottery draw at St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th January, 1569. The results continued to be announced, day and night, for four months; a particularly prolonged process due to the fact that