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March 23, 2005

Top 100 Gadgets Of All Time

The Technophile's -- or 'phobe's -- Memory Lane

Mobile PC set themselves the task of coming up with the definitive list of the 100 best gadgets ever unleashed upon the world. What were the ground rules in deciding what constitutes a "gadget"?

  • It has to have electronic and/or moving parts of some kind. Scissors count, but the knife does not.
  • It has to be a self-contained apparatus that can be used on its own, not a subset of another device. The flashlight counts; the light bulb does not. The notebook counts, but the hard drive doesn't.
  • It has to be smaller than the proverbial bread box.
The results provide an irresistible catalog of fond nostalgia or perhaps still-smarting irritations, depending on one's experiences. Some samples:
The Swingline Stapler, Model 747 - 2002 Edition
Motorola Startac, 1996
JVC GR-C1 Camcoder, 1984
The Radio Shack TRS-80, Model 100, 1983
Rubik's Cube, 1974
Sony TR-63 Transistor Radio, 1957
Canadian Signal Corps C-58 Walkie Talkie, 1943
U.S. Army P-38 Can Opener, 1942
Biro Ballpoint Pen, 1938
Silva Compass, 1933
Kodak Brownie Camera, 1900
Swiss Army Knife, 1891
The Maelzel Metronome, 1816
Sextant, 1731
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