General Purpose Microprocessor

“…even though science and technology are wonderful, what really gets them out there for people to use is to have businesses built around them. It takes savvy businessmen as well as savvy technologists to make that work.” Tedd Hoff Background Ted Hoff had access to then state-of-the-art vacuum tube circuits in high school. In 1954, […]

Reasonably Priced Business Computer (IBM/360)

The IBM/360 is the first mass computer, designed as a general-purpose computer affordable for mid-sized businesses yet powerful enough for large enterprises. Background In 1962, IBM’s revenue was $2.5 billion. CEO Thomas Watson Jr. believed in the vision of a general-purpose computer that supports timesharing, the ability of a computer to do multiple things at […]

Cordless Tools

In 1895, C&E Fein, a German company, invented the first electric tool. It was a handheld drill weighing 16.5 pounds. The drill was underpowered because it ran on DC electricity. It also required two people to operate. In 1910, Duncan Black sold his car for $600 and used the funds to open a machine shop […]

Electronic Desktop Calculator

Desktop calculators led the idea of computers small and cheap enough to sit on an individual’s desk. Eventually, they also became the impetus for the general-purpose microchip. History The first desktop electronic calculator is the ANITA Mark VII and ANITA Mark VIIII, both launched late 1961. The Bell Punch Co. of Britain designed the ANITA. […]

Just-In-Time Manufacturing

Just in time manufacturing delivers the parts required to complete a product shortly before they are needed. Accordingly, this vastly reduces inventory cost while typically increasing quality by aligning the manufacturing needs of part suppliers and the final manufacturer. Background Toyota engineer Taiichi Ohno needed a better way to manufacture. Specifically, efficiency was low and […]


The Jukebox is an automated coin-operated music player which plays individual songs. The differentiating factor of the Jukebox from a simple coin-operated record player is the ability of an automated machine to replace live music in a restaurant or bar. Background Louis Glass and William Arnold modified Edison’s record players to operate by coins. These […]

Prefabricated Housing Components

History Limited amounts of prefabricated components date back to ancient times. Mesopotamian’s used burnt clay bricks. Romans utilized concrete molds for aqueducts and tunnels and William the Conqueror conquered the concept. There were movable modular buildings for industry, defense, and even hospitals. However, hand construction was the norm for the vast majority of houses and […]

Windshield Wiper

Windshield wipers are a vital component of a car. Inclusion Criteria However, countless other components in cars are also important. Excluding the vast majority of auto components from innowiki is a purposeful decision. Undoubtedly, these components are oftentimes enormous markets. However, they do not teach us about anything especially important. They are components in a […]