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Inventions preceded patents, obviously, but can you... | Almanac.com

Inventions preceded patents, obviously, but can you...

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Inventions preceded patents, obviously, but can you name some inventions that weren’t actually used for several years?
In some cases, inventions evolve over time. Certainly, that was the case with the zipper, which was invented in 1782 but didn’t become popular until 1838, when it was connected to Goodrich’s rubber galoshes and found its name. Antibiotics were invented in 1910, but they weren’t widely used until about 1940. The heart pacemaker, developed in 1928, had to wait until about 1960 for advanced surgical techniques to make it practical. The helicopter was invented in 1904 but not considered useful until 1941, during world War II. Radar followed a similar course: It also was developed in 1904, but it wasn’t generally used until about 1939. Oddly, the cigarette lighter was invented before matches, but because it required powdered platinum, it wasn’t considered practical.

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