What Were Some Popular 1960s Inventions?

Some popular 1960s inventions include the first video game, cordless tools, the smoke detector and the LED, or light-emitting diode. While not all of these inventions were commercially available in the 1960s, they all became popular.

The first video game was invented in 1962 by a group of programmers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. The video game was called "Spacewar." In 2015, 89 percent of school-age children have at least one video game.

Cordless tools changed the world of people who enjoyed doing odd jobs around the home in the 1960s and beyond. In 1961, Black and Decker released the first cordless drill to the public. Problems with the battery caused the company to modify gear ratios and efficiency in later models. The company even earned a contract with NASA to supply cordless tools to astronauts.

In 1969, Randolph Smith and Kenneth House created the battery-operated smoke detector for a home application. Inside this smoke detector and later models is a small piece of americium-241 with radioactive properties that create a tiny electric current that smoke disrupts if it enters the detector, sounding the alarm.

At the time of its invention in 1962, the LED filled the need of computers to send information. Invented by Nick Holonyak of General Electric, the LED continued to grow in usefulness to calculators, coffee pot lights and television sets.