20 products you won't believe were created the same year

Jae C. Hong, File/AP, Africa Studio/ShutterstockMickey Mouse really is the best thing since sliced bread.
  • Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in 1928, the same year that sliced bread was invented.
  • The internet and glue sticks were both invented in 1969.
  • The Soviet Union’s first satellite is the same age as bubble wrap.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

Some inventions are so ubiquitous that it can feel like they have been around forever. But many are more recent discoveries than you might think.

Here are 10 pairs of products that you didn’t know were invented the same year.


Light switches and zippers were both invented in 1917.

ervstock/Shutterstock, Lasha Kilasonia/ShutterstockLight switches and zippers.

William J. Newton and Morris Goldberg patented wall light switches in 1917.

Giden Sundback patented the “separable fastener” in 1917, as well. The name “zipper” was popularised by B.F. Goodrich Company in 1923.


Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in 1928, the same year that sliced bread was invented.

Jae C. Hong, File/AP, Africa Studio/ShutterstockMickey Mouse and sliced bread.

“Steamboat Willie” made Mickey Mouse a star in 1928 when it premiered at the Colony Theatre in New York. The famous mouse was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios that year.

That same year, the first automatically-sliced bread was created using a machine invented byOtto Rohwedder.


In 1938, soft serve ice cream and ballpoint pens made their debut.

Elyse Anzalone/Shutterstock, Caron Badkin/ShutterstockSoft serve and ballpoint pens.

According to Dairy Queen, soft serve ice cream was invented in 1938 by John Fremont McCullough and his son Alex, who opened the first Dairy Queen in 1940. (Carvel also claims to have invented soft serve.)

A journalist named László Bíró invented ballpoint pens with an ink flow modelled after printing presses in 1938.


In 1946, two scientists created the first electronic digital computer, and Earl Tupper invented Tupperware.

US Army Photo/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain, patpitchaya/ShutterstockENIAC and Tupperware.

John William Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert invented the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) in 1946. The project had originally been funded to help America fight in World War II.

Earl Tupper’s invention of Tupperware in 1946 was also related to plastic material production for the war effort.


Synthetic diamonds were invented the same year as the microwave in 1954.

Soranai Sornchit /Shutterstock, MarleneFord/ShutterstockSynthetic diamonds and microwaves.

The first synthetic diamonds were invented in 1954 by H. Tracy Hall and a team of scientists at General Electric.

The first commercial microwave oven was produced in 1954 by Raytheon. It retailed for between $US2,000 to $US3,000, which is about $US18,000 to $US28,000 today.


In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite. Two American engineers also accidentally invented bubble wrap.

NASA/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain, t50/ShutterstockSputnik I and bubble wrap.

The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first satellite, in 1957.

Engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were trying to create textured wallpaper using shower curtains in 1957, but ended up with bubble wrap instead. They didn’t use it as packaging material until 1961.


The computer mouse and the smiley face were both invented in 1963.

Michael Dwyer/AP, Physics_joe/ShutterstockA smiley face and a computer mouse.

Doug Engelbart invented the computer mouse in 1963 while testing different screen selection devices.

The smiley face was created by Harvey Ross Ball in 1963. Ball, a graphic artist who worked in advertising, was hired to design an image that would boost morale at an insurance company.


The internet was invented in 1969. So were glue sticks.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPAnet)delivered its first message from one computer to another, albeit incompletely, in 1969. The message was supposed to read “LOGIN” but only the first two letters were successfully transmitted before the system crashed.

While the internet was taking shape, a German company called Henkel invented the first glue stick inspired by the retractable function of lipstick tubes.


Post-it Notes were invented in 1974, the same year the first item with a barcode was scanned in a supermarket.

Post-It Notes were created by Arthur Fry in 1974 using an adhesive that had been invented by Spencer Silver in 1968.

A pack of Wrigley’s gum became the first product marked with a barcode to be scanned at a checkout counter using the Universal Product Code in 1974.


Nintendo’s Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is the same age as Cherry Coke, from 1985.

Realfintogive/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons, Imprezes/Wikimedia Commons/Creative CommonsNintendo Entertainment System and Cherry Coke.

Nintendo’s Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in the US in 1985 and is credited with revitalizing the American video game market.

Coca-Cola also launched Cherry Coke in the US in 1985 with the tagline “Cherry Coke is slightly wild. It’s fun.”

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