Technology

Sony’s Betamax Blunder

VHS won the so-called ‘format wars’ of the 1980s – but before JVC unveiled their VCR system, Sony created the market, with their innovative Japanese launch of Betamax on 7th June, 1975.  For the first time, consumers could tape shows at home, rewind and fast-forward the best bits, and share cassettes with friends. But Betamax […]

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RETRO

VHS won the so-called ‘format wars’ of the 1980s – but before JVC unveiled their VCR system, Sony created the market, with their innovative Japanese launch of Betamax on 7th June, 1975.  For the first time, consumers could tape shows at home, rewind and fast-forward the best bits, and share cassettes with friends. But Betamax

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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RETRO

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

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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RETRO

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

Sinclair’s Electric Dream

The Sinclair C5, Sir Clive Sinclair’s disastrous entry into the EV market, launched at Alexandra Palace on 10th January, 1985.  Looking like a cross between a mobility scooter and a child’s pedal car, it had no on-board storage, was too heavy to climb uphill, and a top speed of 15km per hour. But Sinclair had

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RETRO

The Sinclair C5, Sir Clive Sinclair’s disastrous entry into the EV market, launched at Alexandra Palace on 10th January, 1985.  Looking like a cross between a mobility scooter and a child’s pedal car, it had no on-board storage, was too heavy to climb uphill, and a top speed of 15km per hour. But Sinclair had

Edison’s Christmas Lights

The first string of lights to be festooned upon a tree dazzled visitors to the New York home of Edward Johnson, Vice President of the Edison Electric Light Company, on 22nd December, 1882. Lit patriotic red, white and blue, the tree also revolved; wowing a reporter from The Detroit Post and Tribune. “At the rear

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RETRO

The first string of lights to be festooned upon a tree dazzled visitors to the New York home of Edward Johnson, Vice President of the Edison Electric Light Company, on 22nd December, 1882. Lit patriotic red, white and blue, the tree also revolved; wowing a reporter from The Detroit Post and Tribune. “At the rear

Concorde – The Future of Flight

Supersonic aircraft took a giant leap forward when the French and British governments signed a treaty to join forces on designing Concorde on 29th November, 1962. Up until this point, the two countries had been developing their aircraft separately – which had already cost the United Kingdom £150 million. Technologically superior and far more luxurious

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RETRO

Supersonic aircraft took a giant leap forward when the French and British governments signed a treaty to join forces on designing Concorde on 29th November, 1962. Up until this point, the two countries had been developing their aircraft separately – which had already cost the United Kingdom £150 million. Technologically superior and far more luxurious

We ❤️Emoji

The first ever emoji set, including the earliest incarnations of 🍷, ❤️, and 💩, was released in Japan on 1st November, 1997. But the only users could send and receive them were owners of a now-forgotten ‘SkyWalker’ handset made by J-Phone. ☹️ Emoji didn’t truly transform written communication in the West until some fourteen years later, when

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RETRO

The first ever emoji set, including the earliest incarnations of 🍷, ❤️, and 💩, was released in Japan on 1st November, 1997. But the only users could send and receive them were owners of a now-forgotten ‘SkyWalker’ handset made by J-Phone. ☹️ Emoji didn’t truly transform written communication in the West until some fourteen years later, when