While you might see the 1970’s as the decade that fashion forgot, or just have a soft spot for disco or the first Star Wars film, this decade was much more important than you might realize.
The 1970s saw advances in technology and medicine that we see the benefits of today. In fact, it could be argued that some of the advances made in that decade actually shaped our way of life more than any other.
#1 The personal computer
The 1970s saw the advent of ‘microcomputers,’ small self-contained computers that could be used in homes. Steve Wozniak was one of the first to turn this hobby into a real product in the shape of the Apple I, based on what he had learned at the Homebrewer Computer Club in Palo Alto, California.
The early Apple computers were overshadowed by Commodore, who saw what Wozniak and Jobs had put together and released their own model. At this point, the world saw the home computer as the revolutionary advancement it was, and led to the IBM PC, The Mac, Windows, and all of the other things that have become key parts of life today.
#2 In vitro fertilization
The first ‘test-tube baby’ was born in 1978 using IVF and was instantly front-page news. Since that early success in the UK, over 8 million children have been born to couples who are experiencing fertility issues.
The widespread use of this procedure as a mainstream medical treatment for infertility has made the treatment more affordable. As many as 1 in 6 couples experience fertility problems, but with an egg donor‘s help, many couples are spared the heartbreak of remaining childless.
#3 The MRI Machine
The MRI ( which stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine was used in 1977 by Dr. Raymond Damaadian as his assistant. This innovation allows medical professionals to see soft tissue areas such as the brain, muscles, and ligaments in more detail than they previously could using X-ray.
This makes a more detailed examination of muscular injuries, and more importantly, tumors possible. The use of MRI can also reduce the need for invasive medical procedures such as biopsies on organs like the liver.
#4 The first mobile phone call
“I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end,’ were the first words spoken on a mobile phone call by Motorola employee Martin Cooper on April 3rd, 1973. While the first commercial mobile phone would not be available for around another decade, the technology was advanced to a working prototype in the 1970s.
The impact of mobile technology has been felt across the world. With the cellphone being the first thing many people look at in the morning and the last thing they see at night. Of course, the latest modern phones bear little resemblance to the 1kg, foot-long handset used to make that first call.
OIt’s amazing, almost half a century later, the effect the breakthroughs made in that decade have on our everyday lives. A society without those advances would now be unimaginable to many.
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