Timeline of electrical and electronic engineering

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The following timeline tables list the discoveries and inventions in the history of electrical and electronic engineering . [1] [2]


History of discoveries timeline

600 BC Ancient Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus described static electricity by rubbing fur on substances such as amber
1600English scientist William Gilbert coined the word electricus after careful experiments. He also explained the magnetism of Earth.
1660German scientist Otto von Guericke invented a device that creates static electricity. This is the first ever electric generator.
1705English scientist Francis Hauksbee made a glass ball that glowed when spun and rubbed with the hand
1720English scientist Stephen Gray made the distinction between insulators and conductors
1745German physicist Ewald Georg von Kleist and Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek invented Leyden jars
1752American scientist Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning was electrical by flying a kite and explained how Leyden jars work
1780Italian scientist Luigi Galvani discovered Galvanic action in living tissue
1785French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb formulated and published Coulomb's law in his paper Premier Mémoire sur l’Électricité et le Magnétisme
1785French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace developed the Laplace transform to transform a linear differential equation into an algebraic equation. Later, his transform became a tool in circuit analysis.
1800Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the battery
1804 Thomas Young: Wave theory of light, Vision and color theory
1808Atomic theory by John Dalton
1816English inventor Francis Ronalds built the first working electric telegraph
1820Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted accidentally discovered that an electric field creates a magnetic field
1820One week after Ørsted's discovery, French physicist André-Marie Ampère published his law. He also proposed the right-hand screw rule
1821German scientist Thomas Johann Seebeck discovered thermoelectricity
1825English physicist William Sturgeon developed the first electromagnet
1827German physicist Georg Ohm introduced the concept of electrical resistance
1831English physicist Michael Faraday published the law of induction (Joseph Henry developed the same law independently)
1831American scientist Joseph Henry in the United States developed a prototype DC motor
1832French instrument maker Hippolyte Pixii in France developed a prototype DC generator
1833Michael Faraday developed the laws of electrolysis
1833Michael Faraday invented the thermistor
1833English physicist Samuel Hunter Christie invented the Wheatstone bridge (It is named after Charles Wheatstone who popularized it)
1836Irish priest (and later scientist) Nicholas Callan invented the transformer in Ireland
1837English scientist Edward Davy invented the electric relay
1839French scientist Edmond Becquerel discovered the Photovoltaic Effect
1844American inventor Samuel Morse developed telegraphy and the Morse code
1844 Woolrich Generator, the earliest electrical generator used in an industrial process. [3]
1845German physicist Gustav Kirchhoff developed the two laws now known as Kirchhoff's Circuit laws
1850Belgian engineer Floris Nollet invented (and patented) a practical AC generator
1851 Heinrich Daniel Ruhmkorff developed the first coil, which he patented in 1851
1855First utilization of AC (in electrotherapy) by French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne
1856Belgian engineer Charles Bourseul proposed telephony
1856First electrically powered lighthouse in England
1860German scientist Johann Philipp Reis invented the Microphone
1862Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell published the four equations bearing his name
1866The Transatlantic telegraph cable
1873Belgian engineer Zenobe Gramme who developed the DC generator accidentally discovered that a DC generator also works as a DC motor during an exhibit in Vienna.
1876 Paper capacitor manufacturing started
1876Russian engineer Pavel Yablochkov invented the electric carbon arc lamp
1876Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone
1877American inventor Thomas Edison invented the phonograph
1877German industrialist Werner von Siemens developed a primitive loudspeaker
1878First electric street lighting in Paris, France
1878First hydroelectric plant in Cragside, England
1878 William Crookes invents the Crookes tube, a prototype of Vacuum tubes
1878English engineer Joseph Swan invented the Incandescent light bulb
1879American physicist Edwin Herbert Hall discovered the Hall Effect
1879Thomas Alva Edison introduced a long-lasting filament for the incandescent lamp.
1880French physicists Pierre Curie and Jacques Curie discovered Piezoelectricity
1882First thermal power stations in London and New York
1883English physicist J. J. Thomson invented waveguides
1887German American inventor Emile Berliner invented the gramophone record
1888German physicist Heinrich Hertz proves the existence of electromagnetic waves, including what would come to be called radio waves.
1888Italian physicist and electrical engineer Galileo Ferraris publishes a paper on the induction motor, and Serbian-American engineer Nikola Tesla gets a US patent on the same device [4] [5]
1890Thomas Alva Edison invents the fuse
1893During the Fourth International Conference of Electricians in Chicago, electrical units were defined
1894Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi begins developing the first radio wave based wireless telegraphy communication system [6] [7]
1895Indian physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose conducts experiments in extremely high frequency millimetre waves using a semiconductor junction to detect radio waves [8] [9]
1895In a series of field experiments, Marconi finds that he could transmit radio waves at much greater range than the half-mile maximum physicist of the time were predicting, achieving ranges up to 2 miles (3.2 km) and transmitting over hills [10] [11]
1895Russian physicist Alexander Popov finds a use for radio waves, building a radio receiver that can detect lightning strikes [12]
1895Discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Röntgen
1896 Electrolytic capacitor patent was granted to Charles Pollak
1897German inventor Karl Ferdinand Braun invented cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO)
1901First transatlantic radio transmission by Guglielmo Marconi
1901American engineer Peter Cooper Hewitt invented the Fluorescent lamp
1904English engineer John Ambrose Fleming invented the diode
1906American inventor Lee de Forest invented the triode
1908Scottish engineer Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton, laid out the principles of Television.
1909 Mica capacitor was invented by William Dubilier
1911Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered Superconductivity
1912American engineer Edwin Howard Armstrong developed the Electronic oscillator
1915French physicist Paul Langevin and Russian engineer Constantin Chilowsky invented sonar
1917American engineer Alexander M. Nicholson invented the crystal oscillator
1918French physicist Henri Abraham and Eugene Bloch invented the multivibrator
1919Edwin Howard Armstrong developed the standard AM radio receiver
1921 Metre Convention was extended to include the electrical units
1921 Edith Clarke invents the "Clarke calculator", a graphical calculator for solving line equations involving hyperbolic function, allowing electrical engineers to simplify calculations for inductance and capacity in power transmission lines [13]
1924 Japanese engineer Kenjiro Takayanagi began a research program on electronic television [14]
1925Austrian American engineer Julius Edgar Lilienfeld patented the first FET (which became popular much later)
1926 Yagi–Uda antenna was developed by the Japanese engineers Hidetsugu Yagi and Shintaro Uda
1926Japanese engineer Kenjiro Takayanagi demonstrated CRT television with 40-line resolution, [15] the first working example of a fully electronic television receiver. [14]
1927Japanese engineer Kenjiro Takayanagi increased television resolution to 100 lines, unrivaled until 1931 [16]
1927American engineer Harold Stephen Black invented negative feedback amplifier
1927German Physicist Max Dieckmann invented Video camera tube
1928 Raman scattering discovered by Indian physicist C. V. Raman and Indian physicist Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan, [17] providing basis for later Raman laser
1928Japanese engineer Kenjiro Takayanagi was the first to transmit human faces in half-tones on television, influencing the later work of Vladimir K. Zworykin [18]
1928First experimental Television broadcast in the U.S.
1929First public TV broadcast in Germany
1931First wind energy plant in the Soviet Union
1934 Akira Nakashima, Claude Shannon and Viktor Shetakov switching circuit theory lays the foundation for digital electronics [19]
1936 Dudley E. Foster and Stuart William Seeley developed the FM detector circuit.
1936Austrian engineer Paul Eisler invented the Printed circuit board
1936Scottish Scientist Robert Watson-Watt developed the Radar concept which was proposed earlier.
1938Russian-American engineer Vladimir K. Zworykin developed the Iconoscope
1939Edwin Howard Armstrong developed the FM radio receiver
1939 Russell and Sigurd Varian developed the first Klystron tube in the US.
1941German engineer Konrad Zuse developed the first programmable computer in Berlin
1944Scottish Engineer John Logie Baird developed the first color picture tube
1945 Transatlantic telephone cable
1947American engineers John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain together with their group leader William Shockley invented the transistor.
1948Hungarian-British physicist Dennis Gabor invented Holography
1950sSolid electrolyte tantalum capacitor was invented by Bell Laboratories
1950French physicist Alfred Kastler invented the MASER
1951First nuclear power plant in the US
1952Japanese engineer Jun-ichi Nishizawa invented the avalanche photodiode [20]
1953First fully transistorized computer in the U.S.
1958American engineer Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit (IC)
1960American engineer Theodore Maiman develops the first laser
1962 Nick Holonyak invented the LED
1963First home Videocassette recorder (VCR)
1963 Electronic calculator
1966 Fiber-optic communication by Kao and Hockham
2008American scientist R. Stanley Williams invented the memristor which was proposed by Leon O. Chua in 1971

History of associated inventions timeline

Brief History of Electronics Timeline
1900 Old quantum theory Planck
1905 Theory of relativity Einstein
1918 Atomic transmutation Rutherford
1932 Neutron Chadwick
1932 Particle accelerator Cockcroft and Walton
1935 Scanning electron microscope Knoll
1937 Xerography Carlson
1937 Oscilloscope Von Ardenne, Dowling, and Bullen
1950 Modem MIT and Bell Labs
1950 Karnaugh mapping technique (digital logic)Karnaugh
1952Digital voltmeter Kay
1954Solar batteryChapin, Fuller, and Pearson
1956 Transatlantic telephone cable UK and U.S.
1957 Sputnik I satellite Soviet Union
1957 Nuclear Missile Kurchatov / Soviet Union
1957 FORTRAN programming language Watson Scientific
1959First one-piece plain paper photocopier (Xerox 914) Xerox
1959 Veroboard (Stripboard)Terry Fitzpatrick
1961 Electronic clock Vogel and Cie, patented by Alexander Bain, a Scottish clockmaker in 1840.
1963First commercially successful audio compact cassette Philips Corporation
1964 BASIC programming language Kemeny and Kurtz
1964 Liquid-crystal display George H. Heilmeier
late 1960sFirst digital fax machine Dacom
1969 UNIX operating systemAT&T's Bell Labs
1970First microprocessor (4004, 60,000 oper/s)Intel
1970First commercially available DRAM memoryIBM
1971 EPROM N/A
1971 PASCAL programming language Niklaus Wirth
1971First microcomputer-on-a-chip Intel
1971 Laser printer Xerox
1972 8008 processor (200 kHz, 16 kB) Intel
1972First programmable word processor Automatic Electronic Systems
19725¼-inch disketteN/A
1972First modern ATM (IBM 2984) IBM
1973 Josephson junction IBM
1973 Tunable continuous-wave laser Bell Labs
1973 Ethernet Robert Metcalfe at Xerox PARC
1973 Mobile phone John F. Mitchell and Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola
1974 C (programming language) Kernighan, Ritchie
1974 Programmable pocket calculator Hewlett-Packard
1975 BASIC for personal computers Allen
1975First personal computer (Altair 8800)Roberts
1975 Digital camera Steven Sasson of Eastman Kodak
1975 Integrated optical circuits Reinhart and Logan
1975Omni-font optical character recognition system Nuance Communications
1975 CCD flatbed scanner Kurzweil Computer Products
1975Text-to-speech synthesis Kurzweil Computer Products
1975First commercial reading machine for the blind (Kurzweil Reading Machine) Kurzweil Computer Products
1976 Apple I computer Wozniak, Jobs
1977Launch of the "1977 trinity computers" expanding home computing, the Apple II, Commodore PET and the TRS-80 Apple, Tandy Corporation, Commodore Business Machines
1977First handheld electronic game (Auto Race) Mattel
1978 WordPerfect 1.0Satellite Software
19803½-inch floppy (2-sided, 875 kB)N/A
1980 VIC-20 Commodore Business Machines
1981 IBM Personal Computer (8088 processor) IBM
1981 MS-DOS 1.0 Microsoft
1981"Wet" solar cell Bayer AG
1982 Commodore 64 Commodore Business Machines
1982First commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition Kurzweil Applied Intelligence and Dragon Systems
1983 Satellite television U.S. Satellite Communications, Inc.
1983First built-in hard drive (IBM PC XT) IBM
1983 C++ (programming language)Stroustrup
1984 Macintosh computer (introduced)Apple Computer
1984 CD-ROM player for personal computersPhilips
1984First music synthesizer (Kurzweil K250) capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments Kurzweil Music Systems
1984 Amiga computer (introduced)Commodore
1985300,000 simultaneous telephone conversations over single optical fiber AT&T, Bell Labs
1987Warmer superconductivity Karl Alex Mueller
1987 80386 microprocessor (25 MHz) Intel
1989First commercial handheld GPS receiver (Magellan NAV 1000) Magellan Navigation Inc.
1989 Silicon–germanium transistorsIBM fellow Bernie Meyerson
1990 486 microprocessor (33 MHz) Intel
1993 HAARP U.S.
1994 Pentium processor, P5-based (60/90 MHz, 166.2 MIPS)Intel
1994 Bluetooth Ericsson
1994First DVD player ever madeTatung Company
1996 Alpha 21164 processor (550 MHz)Digital Equipment
1996 P2SC processor (15 million transistors) IBM

Innovations in consumer electronics

1843–1923: From electromechanics to electronics

Thomas Edison's phonograph Phonograph Meyers.jpg
Thomas Edison's phonograph
Cinematographe camera by the Lumiere brothers in 1895 (ref 86.5822) at the French Museum of Photography in Bievres, Essonne, France Musee francais de la photographie de Bievres 2011 29.jpg
Cinématographe camera by the Lumière brothers in 1895 (ref 86.5822) at the French Museum of Photography in Bièvres, Essonne, France

1924–1959: From cathode ray tube to stereo audio and TV

Daylygraph wire recorder Dailygraph.jpg
Daylygraph wire recorder

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Television</span> Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment, news, and sports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Logie Baird</span> Scottish inventor, known for first demonstrating television

John Logie Baird was a Scottish inventor, electrical engineer, and innovator who demonstrated the world's first live working television system on 26 January 1926. He went on to invent the first publicly demonstrated colour television system and the first viable purely electronic colour television picture tube.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philo Farnsworth</span> American inventor (1906–1971)

Philo Taylor Farnsworth was an American inventor and television pioneer. He made many crucial contributions to the early development of all-electronic television. He is best known for his 1927 invention of the first fully functional all-electronic image pickup device, the image dissector, as well as the first fully functional and complete all-electronic television system. Farnsworth developed a television system complete with receiver and camera—which he produced commercially through the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation from 1938 to 1951, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transmitter</span> Electronic device that emits radio waves

In electronics and telecommunications, a radio transmitter or just transmitter is an electronic device which produces radio waves with an antenna. The transmitter itself generates a radio frequency alternating current, which is applied to the antenna. When excited by this alternating current, the antenna radiates radio waves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tape recorder</span> Machine for recording sound

An audio tape recorder, also known as a tape deck, tape player or tape machine or simply a tape recorder, is a sound recording and reproduction device that records and plays back sounds usually using magnetic tape for storage. In its present-day form, it records a fluctuating signal by moving the tape across a tape head that polarizes the magnetic domains in the tape in proportion to the audio signal. Tape-recording devices include the reel-to-reel tape deck and the cassette deck, which uses a cassette for storage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ampex</span> American company that pioneered the use of videotape

Ampex Data Systems Corporation is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff as a spin-off of Dalmo-Victor. The name AMPEX is a portmanteau, created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence. Ampex operates as Ampex Data Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Delta Information Systems, and consists of two business units. The Silicon Valley unit, known internally as Ampex Data Systems (ADS), manufactures digital data storage systems capable of functioning in harsh environments. The Colorado Springs, Colorado, unit, referred to as Ampex Intelligent Systems (AIS), serves as a laboratory and hub for the company's line of industrial control systems, cyber security products and services and its artificial intelligence/machine learning technology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Radio receiver</span> Device for receiving radio broadcasts

In radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is an electronic device that receives radio waves and converts the information carried by them to a usable form. It is used with an antenna. The antenna intercepts radio waves and converts them to tiny alternating currents which are applied to the receiver, and the receiver extracts the desired information. The receiver uses electronic filters to separate the desired radio frequency signal from all the other signals picked up by the antenna, an electronic amplifier to increase the power of the signal for further processing, and finally recovers the desired information through demodulation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Video camera tube</span> Device used in television cameras

Video camera tubes were devices based on the cathode-ray tube that were used in television cameras to capture television images, prior to the introduction of charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensors in the 1980s. Several different types of tubes were in use from the early 1930s, and as late as the 1990s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Valdemar Poulsen</span> Danish engineer

Valdemar Poulsen was a Danish engineer who developed a magnetic wire recorder called the telegraphone in 1898. He also made significant contributions to early radio technology, including the first continuous wave radio transmitter, the Poulsen arc, which was used for a majority of the earliest audio radio transmissions, before being supplanted by the development of vacuum-tube transmitters.

Telefunken was a German radio and television producer, founded in Berlin in 1903 as a joint venture between Siemens & Halske and the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) . Prior to World War I the company set up the first world wide network of communications and was the first in the world to sell electronic televisions with cathode ray tubes, in Germany in 1934.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mechanical television</span> Television that relies on a scanning device to display images

Mechanical television or mechanical scan television is an obsolete television system that relies on a mechanical scanning device, such as a rotating disk with holes in it or a rotating mirror drum, to scan the scene and generate the video signal, and a similar mechanical device at the receiver to display the picture. This contrasts with vacuum tube electronic television technology, using electron beam scanning methods, for example in cathode-ray tube (CRT) televisions. Subsequently, modern solid-state liquid-crystal displays (LCD) and LED displays are now used to create and display television pictures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stereophonic sound</span> Method of sound reproduction using two audio channels

Stereophonic sound, or more commonly stereo, is a method of sound reproduction that recreates a multi-directional, 3-dimensional audible perspective. This is usually achieved by using two independent audio channels through a configuration of two loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electronic media</span> Media that require electronics or electromechanical means to be accessed by the audience

Electronic media are media that use electronics or electromechanical means for the audience to access the content. This is in contrast to static media, which today are most often created digitally, but do not require electronics to be accessed by the end user in the printed form. The primary electronic media sources familiar to the general public are video recordings, audio recordings, multimedia presentations, slide presentations, CD-ROM and online content. Most new media are in the form of digital media. However, electronic media may be in either analogue electronics data or digital electronic data format.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sound recording and reproduction</span> Recording of sound and playing it back

Sound recording and reproduction is the electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Intermediate film system</span>

The intermediate film system was a television process in which motion picture film was processed almost immediately after it was exposed in a camera, then scanned by a television scanner, and transmitted over the air. This system was used principally in Britain and Germany where television cameras were not sensitive enough to use reflected light, but could transmit a suitable image when a bright light was shone through motion picture film directly into the camera lens. John Logie Baird began developing the process in 1932, borrowing the idea of Georg Oskar Schubert from his licensees in Germany, where it was demonstrated by Fernseh AG in 1932 and used for broadcasting in 1934. The BBC used Baird's version of the process during the first three months of its then-"high-definition" television service from November 1936 through January 1937, and German television used it during broadcasts of the 1936 Summer Olympics. In both cases, intermediate film cameras alternated with newly introduced direct television cameras.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of television</span> Development of television

The concept of television is the work of many individuals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The first practical transmissions of moving images over a radio system used mechanical rotating perforated disks to scan a scene into a time-varying signal that could be reconstructed at a receiver back into an approximation of the original image. Development of television was interrupted by the Second World War. After the end of the war, all-electronic methods of scanning and displaying images became standard. Several different standards for addition of color to transmitted images were developed with different regions using technically incompatible signal standards. Television broadcasting expanded rapidly after World War II, becoming an important mass medium for advertising, propaganda, and entertainment.

The history of sound recording - which has progressed in waves, driven by the invention and commercial introduction of new technologies — can be roughly divided into four main periods:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dictation machine</span> Device for recording human speech

A dictation machine is a sound recording device most commonly used to record speech for playback or to be typed into print. It includes digital voice recorders and tape recorder.

A field-sequential color system (FSC) is a color television system in which the primary color information is transmitted in successive images and which relies on the human vision system to fuse the successive images into a color picture. One field-sequential system was developed by Peter Goldmark for CBS, which was its sole user in commercial broadcasting. It was first demonstrated to the press on September 4, 1940, and first shown to the general public on January 12, 1950. The Federal Communications Commission adopted it on October 11, 1950, as the standard for color television in the United States, but it was later withdrawn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Music technology (electric)</span> Musical instruments and recording devices that use electrical circuits

Electric music technology refers to musical instruments and recording devices that use electrical circuits, which are often combined with mechanical technologies. Examples of electric musical instruments include the electro-mechanical electric piano, the electric guitar, the electro-mechanical Hammond organ and the electric bass. All of these electric instruments do not produce a sound that is audible by the performer or audience in a performance setting unless they are connected to instrument amplifiers and loudspeaker cabinets, which made them sound loud enough for performers and the audience to hear. Amplifiers and loudspeakers are separate from the instrument in the case of the electric guitar, electric bass and some electric organs and most electric pianos. Some electric organs and electric pianos include the amplifier and speaker cabinet within the main housing for the instrument.


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