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Did Anything Groundbreaking Get Invented in 1939?

Hey there! Discover the remarkable inventions that reshaped the world in 1939

Did Anything Groundbreaking Get Invented in 1939?

What Was Invented in 1939

Overview of 1939

1939 was a significant year in world history, with major political, social, and technological developments happening worldwide. The world was on the brink of World War II, with Nazi Germany invading Poland, leading to the declaration of war from many countries, including the United Kingdom and France. The Spanish Civil War was still ongoing, while conflicts in Asia also continued to escalate. Despite the looming conflict, 1939 was also a year of great technological advancement, leading to inventions that would go on to change the world.

Television Remote Control

One of the most notable inventions of 1939 was the television remote control, which revolutionized the way people interacted with their televisions. The first remote control was invented by Eugene Polley of Zenith Electronics, and it used a flashbulb to send signals to the television set. This invention allowed viewers to change channels without having to physically get up and adjust the TV. The remote control also made it easier for people with disabilities to enjoy TV programming, as they no longer needed assistance to switch channels or adjust the volume. Today, the remote control has evolved into a ubiquitous device that controls not just televisions but also other gadgets, such as sound systems, DVD players, and even smart home devices.

Jet Engine

Another significant invention from 1939 was the jet engine, which gave birth to modern aviation. Frank Whittle, a British engineer, patented the jet engine in 1939, and it quickly revolutionized aviation technology. Unlike traditional engines, which relied on propellers to generate power, jet engines used a form of turbine to produce thrust. This allowed planes to travel faster and with greater efficiency, opening up the possibility of long-range air travel. Today, jet engines power most commercial and military aircraft and have become an essential part of modern transportation.

Ballpoint Pen

In 1939, László Bíró, a Hungarian newspaper editor, invented a new type of pen that would go on to become one of the most widely used writing instruments in the world—the ballpoint pen. Bíró's pen used a tiny ball bearing to distribute ink onto paper, replacing the traditional nib and inkwell used in fountain pens. The ballpoint pen was more reliable and efficient than other pens of the time, making it a favorite of writers, journalists, and artists alike. Today, ballpoint pens are ubiquitous, used in schools, businesses, and homes all over the world.


Also in 1939, DuPont, an American chemical company, introduced a new synthetic fiber called nylon. Nylon quickly became a popular alternative to silk, which was expensive and in short supply at the time. Nylon was also much stronger and more durable than silk, making it ideal for a range of clothing and textiles. During World War II, nylon was used to make parachutes, tents, and other military supplies. Today, nylon is used in a wide range of products, including clothing, upholstery, and even car parts.


In summary, 1939 was a year of great innovation and technological progress, leading to inventions that have changed the world. These include the television remote control, jet engine, ballpoint pen, and nylon. These groundbreaking inventions demonstrate the power of human creativity and the potential impact of scientific discovery. Today, these inventions continue to shape our lives, and their legacies will likely endure for many generations to come.

Other Inventions of 1939

In addition to the major inventions previously mentioned, there were several other significant developments that occurred in 1939.

Car Radios

One such development was the introduction of the first commercial car radio by Paul and Joseph Galvin of Motorola. This radio was designed to fit in a standard automobile dashboard and was the beginning of an era of in-car entertainment. Prior to this invention, car radios were considered a luxury and were only available on high-end models. The introduction of the commercial car radio made them more widely available and popularized the concept of listening to music and news while driving.

Miniature Refrigerator

General Electric also introduced a significant invention in 1939 with the introduction of the first miniature refrigerator. Before this invention, refrigerators were large and cumbersome, taking up a significant amount of space in any room they were placed in. The introduction of the miniature refrigerator allowed for more compact and efficient cooling solutions for smaller spaces such as apartments or offices. This invention was a game-changer in the industry and paved the way for further advancements in refrigeration technology.


DuPont's introduction of nylon in 1939 is another invention that has had a significant impact on our lives. Nylon is a synthetic polymer that was initially developed as a silk alternative. However, its durability and strength made it an ideal material for parachutes, tents, and other military uses during World War II. Nylon stockings also became popular during the war as silk became scarce. Nylon is still used in a wide range of products today, including clothing, carpets, and even toothbrushes.

Overall, 1939 was a year of significant technological advancements that had a lasting impact on the world. From the introduction of commercial car radios and miniature refrigerators to the development of synthetic materials like nylon, these inventions paved the way for further innovation and changed the way we live our lives today.

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