9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s

From lasers to kevlar, the 1960s churned out a host of inventions.
Donovan Alexander

Following WWII, the world saw drastic changes politically, in its population, and of course, in technology. The world’s population was rapidly increasing with post-war babies from the 1950s reaching adulthood in the 1960s and the world was becoming much smaller thanks to the availability of travel. Even more so technology continued to improve the quality of life of people across the planet. 


The rapidly decolonizing world began to collaborate more than ever, bringing in a new age of innovation in computers, household appliances, the emerging aerospace industry, entertainment, and in the medical fields. 

From the creation of the computer mouse to the first video game console, the decade produced some technology that you are still using today, or at the very least technology and tools that were influenced by this decade.  

Audio Cassette 

9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s
Source: Thegreenj/Wikimedia Commons

You or someone in your family probably owned a cassette player at some point in their life. Though the use of cassettes is in obvious decline, supposedly 90 percent of U.S. homes have cassette tapes laying around. The first compact audio cassette was created in 1962 by Phillips Co. of the Netherlands. 

This first cassette utilized quality polyester 1/8-inch tape produced by the German chemical company BASF. These cassettes had the “impressive” recording speed of 1.7 inches per second with a playback speed of 8 inches per second.


9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s
Source: Michael T. Gams, USMC/Wikimedia Commons

How different would the world be if we never created kevlar? Kevlar is used today in canoes, tennis racquets, tank armor, racing sails, and of course in bulletproof vests. The powerful material was invented in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek who was currently a scientist at the powerhouse DuPont. The aim was to replace radial tires. Eventually, DuPont would go on to produce Kevlar commercially in 1971. 


Ah, yes the ATM. Is there no better sound than an ATM dispensing cash? Six weeks after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, in 1969,  the first ATM was already dispensing cash out to banking customers. Coming to his mind after standing in a long line at a bank in Dallas, Don Wetzel created the first ATM to make the process of withdrawing cash much easier. 

Most Popular


9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s
Source: Fr0sty $ummer/Wikipedia

Leo Sternbach is the man behind the massively popular drug used to treat anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, and agitation. Created in 1963, the pill would go on to become the most commonly sold drug in the world.

Computer Mouse 

Unless you are a gamer, there is a good chance your computer mouse goes greatly underappreciated. How would you go about switching between programs and reading Area 51 memes? It can not be overstated how revolutionary the computer mouse was in the computing world. It was invented by Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Center. 

Brought into fruition in 1963, the first computer mouse was carved out of wood and had two wheels mounted on the bottom instead of the ball you might of fell in love with in later decades. 

The Video Game Console

9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s
Source: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia

Speaking of video games, the first video games appeared in the 1960s. If you grew up playing countless hours of video games as a kid and still occasionally do, you can thank Ralph Baer. In 1967 Baer played and lost his first two-player self-created video game. He would then go on to create the first console in 1968. 


9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s
Source: ARPANET-Computer History Museum/Wikipedia

Think of ARPANET as the grandfather of the internet. In short, the ARPANET was the first widespread network of heterogeneous computers. The idea came into existence in 1969, created by a team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The aim of the program was to provide fast and effective communication between computers, something that would have military applications. 

Dynamic Random Access Memory 

9 Influential Inventions That Got Their Start in the 1960s
Source: ZeptoBars/Wikipedia

He was not the first person to create RAM but Robert Dennard was the man who redesigned it and modified it to create what we know as Dynamic Random Access Memory or what you may know as DRAM. 

His new technology meant that the computer got more memory for less cost and in a smaller unit. In short, the discovery of DRAM meant one chip can hold a billion more ram cells

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

Theodore Maiman was the man who perfected the laser in 1960. The laser is used across industries in a host of places including the medical field, the aerospace industry, in measurement devices and even to scan food.

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