9 Technologies That Didn’t Exist When The Queen Was Born

Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 years old today

Queen Elizabeth II was born 90 years ago today, April 21, 1926. In honor of Her Royal Highness’ birthday, we put together this small gallery of technology that has been invented during her lifetime.

Personal Computers

If you’re reading this, you’re on some kind of computer, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, or mobile one. The Altair 8800, widely-recognized as the first personal computer, was invented in 1975 by Henry Edward Roberts. It had no screen or keyboard. Seen here, on the cover of Popular Science’s November 1981 issue, are slightly more advanced versions from that first one.


Or as we call them today, movies. Though the technology that synchronized sound and film was developed during the 1910s and 1920s, the first time it was revealed to the public was on August 6, 1926. A year later, the first major motion picture to use the technology, The Jazz Singer, premiered on October 6, 1927.

Cell Phones

The “take-along telephone,” as we called it in our July 1973 cover, was invented by Motorola earlier that year. We boasted in the cover story that, pending FCC approval, they could be used without a telephone operator by 1976.

Artificial satellites

We very rarely think of satellites as a big deal these days. They circle the Earth and allow us to surf the web, make phone calls, watch television, and more. But it was a very big deal when the USSR launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 (seen above), into orbit on October 4, 1957.

Video Games

The first video game was not Pong, but a game called “Tennis for Two.” It was invented at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1958.

Electric Guitars

The first electric guitar was invented by Charles Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker in 1931.