1929 Inventions


After the Roaring Twenties, in which the United States' thriving economy and social dynamism marked a period of great progress, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 brought forth the Great Depression. Despite the extreme amount of sorrow and poverty it brought, the period also marked an interesting time of creation and inventions. Specifically, four important inventions during this difficult period remain crucial components of our daily lives.

Scotch Tape

  • A close cousin to the more familiar Scotch tape that we use today, cellophane tape had already been around since the early twenties However, in 1929, Richard Drew officially invented and branded a new variety of tape that would later become Scotch tape. Upon its invention, Richard Drew's tape, did not stick well and only stuck on its edges. People began to complain about the product, claiming that the company's "stingy Scotch bosses" didn't provide enough adhesive. The company decided to own the idea of being Scotch and named it Scotch tape.

Car Radio

  • In 1929, William Lear and Elmer Wavering invented the first car radio. Two workers from the Galvin Manufacturing Co., had high aspirations for the car stereo to be an instant hit, and they were disappointed that the car stereo did not receive emphatic popular response. However, the car stereo sales, which were probably hurt by the Great Depression and the fact that people could hardly afford cars, increased in the next five year. The Philco Transitone became one of the first widely sold cars that contained the stereo.


  • Whereas sunglasses existed in much different forms in human history, a man named Sam Foster invented sunglasses as we know them today. Special lenses to correct vision, facial masks to shield from sunlight,and other primitive forms of sunglasses helped people protect their eyes from the sun, but Foster marked the first instance of mass producing and selling sunglasses. Giving them to beach goers in New Jersey in the summer of 1929, he received much acclaim and widespread success. When everyday people and movie stars began donning the glasses as fashion accessories, sunglasses became a popular trend.

The Modern Chainsaw

  • A mechanical engineer by the name of Andreas Stihl patented the first gasoline-powered chainsaw. At first, he called it the "tree-felling machine." The invention was the first handheld and mobile chainsaw that allowed workers to easily cut wood and brush. This was the first kind of modern chainsaws, mobile and gasoline-powered machines that use blades to cut through dense surfaces.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
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