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Effects Of Technology In The 1940’s

1079 words - 5 pages

The 40’s were best known for World War II, but did you know that Velcro was invented during this time period? In the 1940’s, technological changes occurred with their effects being both positive and negative, but these effects have benefited society more by being the basis of many things used today. The technology in the 1940’s had undergone many changes.
Some of the changes in technology were that the first US jet plane was flown . Also, the first nuclear reactor and the first atomic bomb were created but both of these contributed to the death of hundreds of thousands of people. The first computer was invented. As were the Polaroid camera, which was the first instant camera, and the transistor, which helped advance video and television technologies. Penicillin became popular for use as an antibiotic during World War II. All of these had an impact in some way (Science in the 1940’s).
Technology made throughout the 1940’s had positive effects. The first US jet plane, the Bell XP-59A Airacomet, was first flown in 1942. While this plane was never used in combat during World War II, it “gave the United States Army Air Force and the United States Navy valuable experience with jet aircraft technology and helped pave the way to more advanced designs” (Bell XP-59A Airacomet). It led to the development of faster and more efficient jet planes. RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) was first used practically in the 40’s. RADAR was used in World War II to control and guide ships and planes and to detect enemy craft. RADAR was also discovered to be able to detect rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation. During World War II, RADAR operators noticed that rain and such kept appearing on the RADAR fields. It was during this time that the use of RADAR to forecast the weather was discovered. It is still used today to analyze and predict the weather (RADAR Days).
Additional innovations during the 1940’s had favorable results. The Aqua-Lung was invented by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan. This device allowed people to stay underwater for extended periods of time and is part of almost every modern SCUBA gear in the world (Aqua-lung). The ENIAC was invented by John Mauchly and J.Presper Eckert, Jr.and built from 1943-1945. The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), often referred to as the first computer, was built to supply the need for faster calculations. It started the information age and led to the development of the first commercial computers (The ENIAC).
The machines and processes designed during the 1940’s had adverse consequences as well. The first nuclear reactor was built by Enrico Fermi in 1942. The Chicago Pile 1 was the “world’s first man-made controlled nuclear chain reaction”. This caused the creation of other nuclear reactors and the atomic bomb (CP-1). The atomic bomb was developed and successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico in July 16, 1945. In August 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped on...

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