Animated graph tracks adoption of technology in US

Throughout the 20th Century, the United States was swamped with new technologies. In this graph one can see when each was introduced, how fast and widely it was adopted, and what it superseded. Readers may want to pause the video at times in order to absorb what’s happening. Data can indeed be beautiful, as the Reddit category suggests.



10 thoughts on “Animated graph tracks adoption of technology in US

      1. My housemate still has her landline. Primarily because some people still call her at that number. (She grooms dogs, breeds, shows, etc. so there’s always someone calling her.)

        1. Yeah, that’s another reason I still have the landline. That’s been my number since 2005 and although I now have it forwarding everything to my mobile, I’m afraid it’s still the only ID some people and websites have for me.

  1. That is fun to watch, and pause – or try to – on certain years to see what was when. It seems to capture what happened in my neck of the midwest, at least, based on family stories. Almost laughed when vacuum cleaner jumped ahead of everything. Then microwave seemed to blast across the graph. And, as Michelle noted, watching landline expand so far, then decline and decline. Was a bit surprised computer and internet were not firmly in the top positions by 2019, but guess they will be by the time new numbers are crunched. Would be interesting to see this format assembled for comparisons, such as Seattle and Miami – or maybe Wash. DC and Window Rock, NM. Or OKC and Denver…. Just for the hmmm factor.

    Thanks for a cool post!

    1. I was surprised that radio stayed so high … until I read a note somewhere reminding that it was the technology, not the device used. So car radios, cell phones, etc. are included. It makes a big difference. I don’t think I’ve had a freestanding dedicated radio since I was a teen. Also fun to see what I take for granted vs. what my parents didn’t have.

  2. Particularly interesting to see the state of technology when one was born. i didn’t realize that water heaters were as late coming on as they were, for example. Loved this. Thanks!

    1. I’ve probably watched this a dozen times and see something different each time. Hadn’t noticed water heaters. Hard to imagine not having one.

  3. Fascinating! What’s next? I keep my landline, otherwise a 911 call goes to a nearby city, have to be able to tell them where I’m calling from, then they transfer my call to my city. A call on my landline goes directly to my city and they can pinpoint exactly where I’m calling from even if I can’t speak. word. Last I knew only 50% of our nation had an enabled system using their cell or smart phones.

... and that's my two cents