Industrial Design & Manufacturing Chronology, 1960-1975


  • O.F. Mossberg & Sons begins production of the Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun.


  • Frozen carbonated beverage & machine invented (7-Eleven licensed the machine to introduce the Slurpee in 1965).
  • Unimation introduces the world’s first robot at Chicago’s Cow Palace, sells units to General Motors in 1962; makes deal with Kawasaki in 1969.
  • The Selectric typewriter introduced by IBM with a rotating ball printing letters on a page with a fixed carriage.
  • Rene Lacoste creates the first tubular steel tennis racket. With modifications, becomes the T2000 manufactured by the Wilson Sporting Goods Company.


  • Jack Lippes introduces the IUD, an “inert intrauterine device” or “Lippes Loop,” for long-term female birth control.


  • Friction welding is invented, important for aviation and automotive manufacturing.
  • Ermal “Ernie” Fraze of the Dayton Reliable Tool and Manufacturing Company invents the ring-shaped pull-top opener for beverage cans.
  • The Voit Rubber Corporation (of the American Machine and Foundry Company) develops a state-of-the-art basketball; uses computer-guided method to spin nylon onto a butyl rubber bladder in the ancient shape of a symmetrical polyhedron called an icosahedron.


  • Eight-track cartridge (“Stereo 8”) invented by William Lear
  • Permanent press fabric introduced by the Cotton Physical Reactions Laboratory
  • Robert Kearns, engineer and inventor, files a patent for intermittent windshield wipers
  • The first programable desktop electronic calculator, the Olivetti Programma 101, is presented at the World’s Fair in New York; now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, a combination of engineering, ergonomic, and aesthetic excellence.
  • Sturm, Ruger & Co. introduces the 10/22 rimfire semi-automatic rifle; becomes one of the most enduring firearms ever made, selling millions to this day.


  • Sherman Poppen invents the snowboard.
  • Sony brings to market the first portable consumer video recorder, the CV-2000.
  • Kevlar high-strength synthetic fiber is developed by DuPont chemist, Stephanie Kwolek.  Polymer chemistry is born.




  • Internal frame backpack invented (Lowepro)


  • Apollo 7 astronauts don newly-designed pressure suits, a masterful combination of science and design; would be standard space gear through Apollo 14, the third moon landing.


  • First Automated Teller Machine (“ATM”) opens at a Chemical Bank branch in Rockville Center, Long Island (September 2); invented by former IBM / Docutel engineer Donald Wetzel.
  • Canadian Bruce Kirby (1929-2021) designs one of history’s most beloved sailboats – the LASER – light, stable, and speedy.


  • Surfboard leash introduced in Santa Cruz, California.






  • Using rare earth exides, platinum, and rhodium, chemist Carl Keith (1920-2008), chemical engineer John Mooney (1930-2020), and a team at the Engelhard Corporation create the first production catalytic converters to reduce pollutants emitted from cars, then from other devices.


  • Post-it Notes introduced by 3M employees Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry
  • Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio is the first retail establishment to scan items using IBM inventor, George Laurer’s Universal Product Code barcode system.
  • Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc (first Guidant Corporation, then Boston Scientific) manufactures first pacemaker with lithium-iodide cell battery (introduced by Wilson Greatlatch in 1971); now the world standard.
  • The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) organized (formally chartered in 1986) to promote and strengthen technology transfers nationwide. Now has 300 federal laboratories, facilities and research centers.


  • McDonald’s replaces the foil and paper wrapping of its Big Mac with a one-piece polystyrene “clamshell.”
  • Introduction of the CZ 75 semi-automatic pistol; designed by Frantisek Koucky, one of the most imitated handgun designs in the world; one of the original so-called “Wonder Nines.”  This same year, Beretta completes the design for its Beretta 92.

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