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How Electronics Have Changed the World

In 1835, the world was rocked by the invention of the relay, which allowed a separate switch to be controlled by electric signals. Then in 1844, relay technology was applied to a telegraph system. The combination of the relay and the telegraphic system came to be known as the very first electronic device.

Close to two centuries ago, 172 years to be exact, the first electronic device was born. Just think about how much the world has changed in less than 200 years, due in large part of the evolution of technology and electronics.

Without swift advances in technology, our world would be a completely different place. All things - travel, defense, learning, healthcare, entertainment, and even food would not be nearly the same. Let's see how electronics have changed a few of our favorite industries:


inside of airplane cockpit

How easy is it to jump in the car and take a weekend getaway? Or, find a cheap flight online and book a weeklong vacation? It's so easy to pack up and go because things like cars and planes exist. It's amazing to think about that 113 and 130 years ago respectively, both the first car and plane were invented. Trips to see friends or relatives in different states wouldn't be as easy without the technology and electronic systems that power cars and planes.


War is an unfortunate reality of the world we live in. Advances in technology and defense electronics have allowed modern warfare to evolve, though. The days of trench warfare and battle lines are over. These are replaced instead with high-tech military electronics that are quickly cutting the human element out. Military electronics don't only help save lives; they also help provide more accurate strikes, missions, and negotiations. Today, robots can disarm a bomb, effectively saving a person's life.


As we continue to evolve, so does the way we learn and share information. Anyone born after the year 2000 probably never had to use the Dewey Decimal system to find what they need in the library. Students today are so familiar with technology before they even start school that computer classes are obsolete. Electronics like tablets and laptops allow kids to learn in a way that works for them, with the most up-to-date information available.


123 years ago, the first successful open heart surgery was performed in Chicago. It's hard to imagine that a little over 100 years ago, successful major surgeries were rare. With the invention of electronics like respirators, monitors, and even the pacemaker, medicine has come so far. Without technology and electronics working hand in hand, we wouldn't be able to save as many lives as we do with modern medicine.


Your grandparents or even great-grandparents may have grown up watching silent movies in the theater. It wasn't until 1927 that the first talking movie, called a "talkie", was introduced. The Vitaphone allowed movies to gain their sound that far back. The entertainment world has advanced leaps and bounds since then. You can see 3D IMAX movies in theaters and even have your very own 3D TV at home - all with plenty of sound!


Although food processing has been a hotly debated practice in recent years, the electronic elements involved help supply people with food all over the world. Things like conveyor systems and packaging machines allow food to be made at a better rate, giving people access to it where they wouldn't have had it before. On the organic side of things, more efficient systems are helping people in all parts of the country have access to fresh and healthy produce.