1970s-1980s

1989-1990 - World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee invents the web, a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via a web browser.

1987 - World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge is founded. It is a biannual solar-powered car race, run over 1877 miles from Darwin to Adelaide. The first winner reaches a speed of 42mph.

1984 - Thames Barrier opens

The 520 metre barrier completes construction, aiming to prevent flooding from rising tides and storm surges.

1984 - Macintosh launched

Apple Computer launch the first commercially successful computer to use a mouse and graphical user interface.

1983 - Sonic toothbrush

Philips invent the sonic toothbrush.

1983 - Maglev

The world's first maglev (magnetically levitating) train begins operating in the UK as a shuttle between Birmingham airport and Birmingham International Railway Station, it is replaced a few years later.

1982 - Volkswagen photovoltaic arrays

Volkswagen began testing photovoltaic arrays mounted on the roofs of vehicles.

1981-1988 - Stealth aircraft

The US F-117A Nighthawk is the first aircraft to use stealth capability. It is produced by Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co. The maiden flight for the type was conducted in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983. The F-117 was "acknowledged" and revealed to the world in November 1988.

1981-1984 - 3D printing (additive manufacturing)

In 1981, the first published account of a printed solid model was made by Hideo Kodama of Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute. However, the man most often credited with inventing the 3D printer is Charles W. Hull, who first patented the term 'stereolithography' (defined as "system for generating three-dimensional objects by creating a cross-sectional pattern of the object to be formed") in 1984.

1981 - Space shuttle

Space Shuttle Columbia is launched, the first space shuttle flight. It is also the first time that solid rocket fuels are used in a US manned launch.

1981 - Solar One

Solar One is completed. The 126 acre pilot solar-thermal project produces 10MW using 1818 mirrors or heliostats. The heliostats concentrate the suns rays on a collector tower, which transfers the energy to a substance which stores the heat for later use.

1980 - Rubik cube

The Hungarian architect Erno Rubik's cube goes on sale, the 3D twisting cube becomes the best selling toy of all time.

1979 - Bileaflet heart valve

The Bileaflet heart valve is introduced.

1978 - Village photovoltaic system

The world's first village photovoltaic system is installed at Papago Indian Reservation, Schuchuli, Arizona.

1978 - Regenerative braking

David Arthurs develops the regenerative braking system.

1976 - Concorde

The first Concorde jets carrying commercial passengers take off simultaneously from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio de Janeiro.

1975 - North Sea pipeline

The North Sea pipeline is opened, bringing ashore 40,000 barrels of oil a day to the Grangemouth Refinery on the Firth of Forth, Scotland.

1974 - Edinburgh Duck

Professor Stephen Salter develops the Edinburgh Duck, a device which can stop 90% of wave motion; of that, 90% can be converted into electricity.

1974 - Catalytic converter

General Motors introduce the catalytic converter, a device to reduce the toxicity of emissions from an internal combustion engine.

1973 - Mobile phone

Dr Martin Cooper invents the mobile phone.

1973 - Airbag

The first car to be sold to the general public with an airbag as a standard feature is the Oldsmobile Tornado.  It is available only on the passenger side.

1972-1977 - MRI scanner

Dr Raymond Damadian patents the world's first MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner), he undertakes the first full-body scan in 1977.

1971 - Space station

The Soviet Union launches the first space station, Salyut 1.

1971 - Holography

Dennis Gabor pioneers holography, a technique of recording and playing back images that can be viewed from a range of angles as if they existed in 3D space.

1970 - Boeing 747

A Boeing 747 jet arrives at Heathrow Airport in London after completing its maiden flight from New York.

1970 - Apollo 13

Apollo 13, carrying three US astronauts, splashes down safely after a five day rescue operation in space. The trouble is caused by an explosion on board the spacecraft during their journey to land on the Moon.