Expo Blog

The Expo Blog is a space for posts on the history, themes, legacies and experience of Expos. It includes articles from the BIE and external contributors.

A to Z of Expo Innovations: Touchscreen

A to Z of Expo Innovations: Touchscreen

The chances are that most people reading this blog post are doing so via a touchscreen, a ubiquitous part of modern life whether it be on phones, tablets, or supermarket checkouts. Though it is very much a 21st century phenomenon, the history of the touchscreen goes back decades, with Expo 1982 Knoxville being the venue for the first public showcase of this technology.

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A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Solar oven

A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Solar oven

Inventors and entrepreneurs have long been hoping to harness the power of the sun as a long-term source of sustainable energy. French mathematics professor Augustin Mouchot was a precursor, when he first demonstrated the potential of this form of energy, showcasing the parabolic solar collector, at World Expo 1878 in Paris.

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A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Vulcanised Rubber

A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Vulcanised Rubber

Present in thousands of everyday products, rubber is ubiquitous in the modern world. While it has been used in its natural form for thousands of years, it was only after the development of vulcanisation by American inventor Charles Goodyear – showcased with grandeur at World Expo 1851 London – that rubber became the widespread material it is today.

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A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Qwerty keyboard

A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Qwerty keyboard

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of American Independence, World Expo 1876 Philadelphia introduced the public to a multitude of innovations, including the Sholes & Glidden typewriter, sold under the brand name Remington No. 1. While other typewriters had already been produced, the Remington No. 1 was the first to be a commercial success and the first ever to feature the Qwerty format keyboard.

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A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Phonograph

A to Z of Innovations at Expos: Phonograph

In an era of rapid technological change and regularly updated devices, it is easy to underestimate the revolutionary impact of new inventions in the late 19th century. At World Expo 1878 Paris, one such invention - Thomas Edison’s phonograph, capable of recording and playing back sound – seemed so amazing to visitors that many were convinced it was a fake.

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