Year End Event/Innovator Innovation Description and Explanation
1 1776  The Declaration of Independence
4 1776 1781   The Revolutionary War
7 1787   The Northwest Ordinance U.S. Constitution signed.
12 1790 John Fitch  First Steamboat Fitch built the first steamboat, featuring a rack of canoe-like paddles.
16 1793 Eli Whitney  Industrialization Whitney's gin and its interchangeable parts revolutionized agriculture.
18 1793 Samuel Slater  American Factory System He built first water-powered textile mill in America and created the mill town.
25 1803   US purchased Louisiana from France.
28 1804 Oliver Evans  A Better Steam Engine His high-pressure device made steam engines more powerful.
32 1807 Robert Fulton  Steamboat Services He built a reliable steamboat practical for common travel.
36 1810 Francis Cabot Lowell  Consolidated Manufacturing His factory structure brought diverse manufacturing tasks under one roof.
40 1812   US declared war against Britain.
43 1819   US purchased Florida from Spain.
46 1821 Henry Miller Shreve  River Rights and Navigation His snag boat cleared rivers of tree limbs and trunks, opening them to navigation.
50 1825   The Erie Canal was completed.
53 1831 Cyrus McCormick  American Big Business He invented a mechanical means of harvesting grasses and grains.
57 1835 Samuel Colt  A Mass Market His revolver fired multiple shots without reloading.
61 1837 Samuel Morse  A Better Telegraph He developed a practical, single-wire telegraph.
65 1841 Lewis Tappan  Credit Reporting System He established the first credit-information service.
69 1844 Charles Goodyear  Vulcanized Rubber He discovered how to make rubber useful for manufacturing.
73 1845   US annexed Texas.
76 1846 1848   US War with Mexico
79 1850 1853 Elisha Otis  Safe Elevators His innovation prevented an elevator from falling if its cable broke.
83 1857 Isaac Merritt Singer  The American Multinational He mass-produced the sewing machine and distributed it worldwide.
87 1859 Edwin Drake  Oil Drilling His drill led to the discovery and extraction of large quantities of oil.
91 1861 1865   The Civil War
94 1863   The Emancipation Proclamation
97 1865   13th amendment outlawed slavery.
100 1862 1869 Theodore Dehone Judah  Transcontinental Railroad Before untimely death in 1863, secured legislation and funding transcon rr
104 1869 George Westinghouse, Jr.  Safer Railroads His compressed-air brake system made traveling by rail safer.
108 1873 Levi Strauss  Blue Jeans Empire His canvas jeans with rivets became an American staple.
112 1876 Alexander Graham Bell  Telephone He invented the telephone.
114 1876 Albert Spalding  Sporting Goods Stores He innovated the manufacture and sale of sporting goods.
119 1876 John Wanamaker  Department Store He turned shopping into an event for ordinary people.
126 1880   The Great Migration from Eastern and Southern Europe to the US begins.
129 1883 Julius Schmid  Condoms He invented the first American condom.
133 1885 Hiram Maxim  Machine Guns His machine gun used the recoil of one bullet to pull the next through.
137 1887 George Eastman  Easy-to-Use Cameras He coined a new word, Kodak, for his roll-holder camera.
138 1887 The Interstate Commerce Act
146 1891 Martha Matilda Harper  Retail Franchise Network She created an international franchise system of hair and beauty salons.
150 1894   Chicago Pullman-car workers strike.
153 1902 Willis Carrier  Air Conditioning He invented the first modern and efficient air conditioner.
157 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright  Human Air Travel The brothers successfully flew their Kitty Hawk Flyer.
161 1905 Sarah Breedlove Walker  Grassroots Saleswoman With her hair straightening system, she pioneered door-to-door salesmanship.
165 1907 Leo Hendrik Baekeland  Plastic He produced the first thermoset plastic that could be easily molded and manufactured.
169 1908 Henry Ford  Affordable Cars Using assembly lines, he engineered the Model T and streamlined auto production.
170 1908 Elmer Sperry  Modern Navigation  His gyrocompass provided pilots and sailors a reliable navigation device.
178 1909 Frederick Winslow Taylor  Scientific Management He devised revolutionary systems of workplace efficiency.
182 1912 Samuel Insull  Cheap Electricity He developed a centralized system of public utility delivery.
186 1914 Edwin Howard Armstrong  Modern Radio By exploiting the FM band, he made clear radio reception possible.
188 1914 Garrett Augustus Morgan  Affordable Gas Masks He invented a safety hood to protect firefighters from smoke inhalation.
195 1914 1919   World War I
198 1915 Thomas Watson  Advanced Business Machines He guided his company and the country into the computer age.
202 1917  US entered World War I.
205 1919   Prohibition
208 1920   Women win the right to vote.
209 1921  The Great Migration ends.
215 1920 1923 Ida Rosenthal  Brassiere Tycoon She designed and marketed the first modern brassiere.
219 1923 Robert Woodruff  Global Distribution Network Through innovative marketing, he made Coca-Cola an internationally known brand.
223 1924 Clarence Birdseye  Retail Frozen Foods His system of flash-freezing brought the food industry into the modern era.
227 1927 Juan Trippe  The Jet Age He pioneered the commercial aviation industry.
231 1929   US stock market crash
234 1930 A.P. Giannini  Branch Banking He formed the first modern bank network.
238 1933  The New Deal Prohibition repealed
243 1935 Charles Richard Drew  Blood Banks He devised a means of saving the blood from donors for later use.
247 1936 Raymond Ingram Smith  Gambling He revolutionized casinos with innovative games and promotion campaigns.
251 1937 Estée Lauder  Marketing Cosmetics She popularized her now-famous makeup by offering free samples.
255 1939 1945   World War II
258 1940 Walt Disney  Entertainment Empire His innovative characters and animation made his name synonymous with family entertainment.
262 1941   Pearl Harbor attacked
265 1945   US dropped nuclear bombs in Japan.
268 1946 Georges Doriot  Venture Capital He made venture capital investing a viable business strategy.
272 1952 Virginia Apgar  Newborn Baby Evaluation She created the measure of a newborn baby's health.
276 1954   Brown v. Board of Education
279 1955 Ray Kroc  Restaurant Chains He built a fast food empire focused on uniformity, simplicity, and value.
288 1956 Malcom McLean  Containerized Shipping He lowered the cost and increased the efficiency of shipping cargo.
292 1957   The Civil Rights Act NASA created
297 1959 Ruth Handler  Marketing Toys Her Mattel Company created Barbie and ran the first toy ads aimed at kids.
301 1961 Jean Nidetch  Weight Loss Therapy She created the leading weight loss program in the US.
303 1961 Joseph Wilson  Photocopying He saw the potential of xerography and brought copies to the masses.
310 1963   President Kennedy assassinated.
313 1968 Joan Ganz Cooney  Children's Television She developed the first television program to educate and entertain kids.
317 1970 Nolan Bushnell  Video Gaming He invented the first video game, Pong, and founded Atari.
321 1971 Fred Smith  Overnight Delivery He developed Fed Ex, express delivery for the information age.
325 1972 Herbert Boyer  Biotechnology He established biotechnology through the cloning of DNA.
329 1973 Gary Kildall  PC Software He wrote the first software for floppy disk reading and writing.
333 1976 Ray Kurzweil  Optical Character Recognition He developed computer systems that recognize speech and text.
337 1977 Raymond Damadian  MRI Scanner He developed the first body scanner using nuclear magnetic resonance.
341 1980 Ted Turner  24-hour News He founded CNN, televising non-stop news coverage around the globe.
345 1984 Russell Simmons  Cross-Marketing Culture He created Def Jam, the most successful black-owned music company in the country.
349 1992 Donna Dubinsky  Personal Digital Assistants She made information portable by bringing the PalmPilot to market.
353 1995 Pierre Omidyar  Online Auctions He created eBay, the first online, person-to-person auction.
358 ca Herbert Boyer
359 ca Walt Disney
360 ca Donna Dubinsky
361 ca A. P. Giannini
362 ca Ruth Handler
363 ca Theodore Dehone Judah
364 ca Gary Kildall
365 ca Ray Kroc
366 ca Pierre Omidyar
367 ca Levi Strauss
370 co Sarah Breedlove Walker
373 cn Samuel Colt
374 cn Charles Goodyear
377 de Oliver Evans
380 ga Ted Turner
381 cn Eli Whitney
382 ga Robert Woodruff
384 il Samuel Insull
385 il Albert Spalding
388 mn Hiram Maxim
393 ms Alexander Graham Bell
394 ms Georges Doriot
395 ms Ray Kurzweil
396 ms Francis Cabot Lowell
397 ms Isaac Merritt Singer
400 mi Henry Ford
403 ms Henry Miller Shreve
406 nv Raymond Ingram Smith
409 nj Thomas Edison
411 ny Virginia Apgar
412 ny Edwin Howard Armstrong
413 ny Leo Hendrik Baekeland
414 ny Clarence Birdseye
415 ny Willis Carrier
416 ny Joan Ganz Cooney
417 ny Raymond Damadian
418 ny Charles Richard Drew
419 ny George Eastman
420 ny Robert Fulton
421 ny Martha Matilda Harper
422 ny Estée Lauder
423 ny Samuel Morse
424 ny Jean Nidetch
425 ny Elisha Otis
426 ny Ida Rosenthal
427 ny Julius Schmid
428 ny Russell Simmons
429 ny Elmer Sperry
430 ny Lewis Tappan
431 ny Juan Trippe
432 ny Thomas Watson, Sr.
433 ny George Westinghouse, Jr.
434 ny Joseph Wilson
436 nc Malcom McLean
437 oh Wilbur and Orville Wright
440 oh Garrett Augustus Morgan
443 pa Edwin Drake
444 pa John Fitch
445 pa Frederick Winslow Taylor
446 pa John Wanamaker
449 ri Samuel Slater
452 tn Fred Smith
455 ca Nolan Bushnell
458 va Cyrus McCormick
460 Nolan Bushnell
462 Video Gaming
464 Samuel Colt
466 A Mass Market
468 Joan Ganz Cooney
470 Children's Television
472 Georges Doriot
474 Venture Capital
476 Charles Richard Drew
478 Blood Banks
480 George Eastman
482 Easy-to-Use Cameras
484 Henry Ford
486 Affordable Cars
488 A. P. Giannini
490 Branch Banking
492 Samuel Insull
494 Cheap Electricity
496 Pierre Omidyar
498 Online Auctions
500 Julius Schmid
502 Condoms
504 Raymond Ingram Smith
506 Gambling
508 Lewis Tappan
510 Credit Reporting System
512 Frederick Winslow Taylor
514 Scientific Management
516 Juan Trippe
518 The Jet Age
520 Sarah Breedlove Walker
522 Grassroots Saleswoman
523 Clarence Birdseye
525 Retail Frozen Foods
527 Walt Disney
529 Entertainment Empire
531 Ruth Handler
533 Marketing Toys
535 Martha Matilda Harper
537 Retail Franchise Network
539 Ray Kroc
541 Restaurant Chains
543 Estée Lauder
545 Marketing Cosmetics
547 Cyrus McCormick
549 American Big Business
551 Malcom McLean
553 Containerized Shipping
555 Samuel Morse
557 A Better Telegraph
559 Jean Nidetch
561 Weight Loss Therapy
563 Ida Rosenthal
565 Brassiere Tycoon
567 Isaac Merritt Singer
569 The American Multinational
571 Albert Spalding
573 Sporting Goods Stores
575 Levi Strauss
577 Blue Jeans Empire
579 John Wanamaker
581 Department Store
583 Thomas Watson
585 Advanced Business Machines
586 Virginia Apgar
588 Newborn Baby Evaluation
590 Edwin Howard Armstrong
592 Modern Radio
594 Leo Hendrik Baekeland
596 Plastic
598 Alexander Graham Bell
600 Telephone
602 Herbert Boyer
604 Biotechnology
606 Willis Carrier
608 Air Conditioning
610 Raymond Damadian
612 MRI Scanner
614 Donna Dubinsky
616 Personal Digital Assistants
618 Thomas Edison
620 The Science of Innovation
622 Ray Kurzweil
624 Pattern Recognition
626 Russell Simmons
628 Cross-Marketing Culture
630 Samuel Slater
632 American Factory System
634 Fred Smith
636 Overnight Delivery
638 Elmer Sperry
640 Modern Navigation
642 Joseph Wilson
644 Photocopying
646 Wilbur and Orville Wright
648 Human Air Travel
649 Edwin Drake
651 Oil Drilling
653 Oliver Evans
655 A Better Steam Engine
657 John Fitch
659 First Steamboat
661 Robert Fulton
663 Steamboat Services
665 Charles Goodyear
667 Vulcanized Rubber
669 Theodore Dehone Judah
671 Transcontinental Railroad
673 Gary Kildall
675 PC Software
677 Francis Cabot Lowell
679 Consolidated Manufacturing
681 Hiram Maxim
683 Machine Guns
685 Garrett Augustus Morgan
687 Affordable Gas Masks
689 Elisha Otis
691 Safe Elevators
693 Henry Miller Shreve
695 River Rights and Navigation
697 Ted Turner
699 24-hour News
701 George Westinghouse, Jr.
703 Safer Railroads
705 Eli Whitney
707 Industrialization
709 Robert Woodruff
711 Global Distribution Network
1915 2001 Mary Kay Ash Door to door cosmetics
1857 1943 John Ball Canning with John Mason patents
1913 1967 Burton Baskin Ice Cream flavors with Irvine Robbins
1900 Arnold Beckman ph meter, Beckman Instruments, Shockley investment
1891 1995 Edward  Bernays PR father, Freud nephew
1911 1982 William Bernbach Advertiser , exploited consumer mistrust of consumerism
1886 1956 Clarence Birdseye Flash freeze for food preservation, company
1922 Henry Wollman Boch H&R Block founder, electronic filing, owns Compuserve
1942 Michael Bloomberg Electronic financial business in 1981 after Salomon firing
1903 2003 Marvin Bower 1950-67 McKinsey Managing Director
1938 Phil Knight Nike running shoes with Bill Bowerman 1909-1999
1930 Warren Buffett Basics, not fad following make him most successful investor
1964 Jeff Bezos Amazon books and other product e-tailing
1943 Nolan Bushnell Pong to Atari computer games 
1851 1929 Asa Chandler Innovating marketing and ads for John Pemberton Coca Cola pharmacist recipe
1876 1950 Willis Carrier Air conditioning invention spurs south and west growth
1958 Steve Case Introduced Intervet via AOL discs, dought Time Warner, crashed
1888 1983 James  Casey Built UPS from bicycle messenger delivery after failed NV gold prospector
1929 Liz Clairborne Working women's clothing success
1893 1913 Josephine Cochrane Dishwaher invention, company sold to Whirlpool
1804 1886 John Deere 1868 founding after self scouring moldboard wroght iron plow to ag largest.
1965 Michael Dell Customized PC production efficiencies
1892 1981 Donald Douglas DC-3 and other innovative aircraft
1851 1902 Charles Dow Journalist, invented Dow-Jones 1896, founded WSJ with Edward Jones 1889
1904 1950 Charles Crew Black blood bank inventor
1839 1911 John  Dryden Small weekly payments for life insurance to poor, inspired Prudential UK, led US in IT
1856 1925 James  Duke Monopolized cigarette marketing in US after rolling machine and packaging
1870 1954 Pierre du Pont Transformed from munitions to chemicals, helped found GM
1950 Richard Fairbank Capital One credit card innovations, balance transfers, affinity, tailored rates, terms
1959 Nigel Morris Capital One partner, former management consultants
1819 1892 Cyrus Field Laid transatlantic cable, helped start NY Subway
1830 1913 Henry   Flagler Florida developer with railroads & hotels, Standard Oil partner
1895 1959 Paul Galvin Founded Motorola, son Robert moved it from radio to cellular phones
1912 1986 Wilbert Gore DuPont engineer invented Gore-Tex, innovative company waterproof to dental floss
1955 Donna Dubinsky Business mgr for Palm and Handspring
1957 Jeff Hawkins Handwriting recognition software for Palm and Handspring
1946 Michael Milken Developed junk bonds and markets to provide innovative financing for homes, tech, health
1919 Wilson Greatbatch Invented cardiac pacemaker
1863 1914 Charles Martin Hall Invented cheap aluminum extraction, cofounded Alcoa
1891 1982 Joyce Hall Founded Hallmark
1926 Hugh Hefner Playboy legitimizes sex
1880 1943 William Harley American icon motorcycle icon with Arthur Davidson
1914 1991 Howard Head Aerospace engineer created high tech skis and tennis rackets
1863 1951 William Randolph Hearst Mining inheritance to publishing empire and yellow journalism
1884 1946 Milton Snavely Hershey Largest chocolate factory and town in PA
1913 2001 William Hewlett Technical soft spoken founder of HP
1913 1996 David Packard Business manager giant of HP
1905 1963 Howard Hughes Oil drill bit inheritance to movies, airplanes, medical
1937 Wayne Huizenga Garbage truck driver to Blockbuster 
1925 2002 Ken Iverson Nucor minimills rescued US steel industry via computer cost efficiency
1918 John Johnson Black publisher of Ebony, Jet, EM
1845 1910 Robert Wood Johnson Sterilized gauze, Band-Aids, antiseptic dressings
1882 1967 Henry Kaiser Western builder of dams, roads, Liberty Ships, industry, health care
1931 Herb Kelleher Cofounded Southwest no-frills, low fare airline
1876 1958 Charles Ketterin Delco founder, electric starter helped women, GM research head
1838 1914 Margaret Knight Paper bag mass production for groceries, Eastern Paper Bag Co.
1944 Henry Kravis Pioneered LBO's to finance companies
1902 1984 Ray Kroc McDonald's, first great franchise founder
1941 Brian Lamb Cable innovator created C-Span
1902 1978 William Lear Learjet founder, 8 track cassettes, automatic pilot, helped start Motorola
1922 Stan Lee Marvel Comics
1907 1994 William Levitt Ex-Seabee, mass produced houses and towns after World War II
1870 1927 Marcus Loew Movie theater chain with Adolph Zukor, bought studios to form MGM
1944 George Lucas Director, movie producer, special effects ie Star Wars
1898 1967 Henry Luce Time founder, later Fortune, Sports Illustrated
1822 1877 Roland Macy Retired whaler, banned haggling, formed department store titan like Wanamaker
1869 1936 Hiram Maxim Machine gun invention
1927 1992 Bill McGowan MCI broke AT&T long distance monopoly, slashed rates
1887 1978 William McKnight 3M head and innovator: sandpaper, Scotch tape, guard, post it's
1917 1957 Frank  McNamara Diner's Club founder after invenintg credit card without wallet to pay for lunch
1894 1957 George IV Merck Published R&D led to best scientists stretomyacin, B12, cortisone
1855 1956 George Merrill Merrill Lynch retail broker brought Wall Street to Main Street
1855 1934 Joyce Morton Anticaking agent to salt in 1911 to start Morton Salt
1873 1942 Conde Nast Magazine chain on rich for others who wanted to know of them
1924 Al Neuharth Gannett newspapers and USA Today
1929 Berry Gordy MoTown Records, black entrepreneur, king of pop in 60's
1853 1925 Lucien Nunn High power AC in CO and UT for Westinghouse and Telsa
1901 1990 William Paley Family cigars to failing radio chain to CBS and then TV programming leadership
1893 1979 Mary   Pickford Actress-producer, founded UA with Chaplin, Griffith, husband D Fairbanks
1854 1914 Charles William Post Businessman breakdown saved by Kellogg sanitarium, Grape Nuts sale, ads
1816 1889 Philo Remington Perfected breech-loading rifle, took over family arms, introduced typewriter with shift
1941 Leonard Riggio Bookstore to B&N superstores
1937 1839 John D Rockefeller Standard Oil, philanthropy
1865 1939 Julius Schmid Sausage, Ramses, Sheik, rubber condoms from 1890 to US for WWII
1953 Howard Schultz Starbucks hangout and coffee shop
1937 Charles Schwab Discount brokerage to and from BofA
1916 1999 Leonard Shoen Uhaul self moving inventor
1875 1966 Alfred Sloan With Pierre du Pont, revived GM with cooperative decentralization, yearly models
1850 1915 Albert Spalding Red Sox player to sports chain, baseball mythology
1865 1934 George Squier Muzak over tlephone to elevators
1896 1981 Julian Stein Ophthalmogist to MCA founder
1888 1981 Earle Haas Patented Tampax, mass produced by Gertrude Tenderich from home
1908 1983 Earle Tupper Tupperware inventor, saved by Brownie Wise home marketing parties
1947 Craig Venter Celera Genomics to mass decode human genome
1918 1992 Sam Walton IT to build biggest store chain
1891 1969 Sidney Weinberg Goldman Sachs transformation with Walter Sachs
1846 1914 George Westinghouse Air brake inventor to AC promoter to electrical conglomerate
1909 1971 Josephine Wilson Risked millions as Xerox CEO of Chester Carlson's photocopy technology
1913 2003 Kemmons Wilson Clean and friendly low-priced Holiday Inns
1954 Oprah Winfrey Star to entertainment billionaire
1909 1995 Evelyn Wood Speed reading system Reading Dynamics in 1959
1901 1988 Frank  Zamboni Invented ice resurfacing machine
1944 Fred Smith FedEx after Yale C paper