1994 was an amazing year in world news, technological and scientific advancements. High Touch High Tech began franchising, Nelson Mandela won the presidency of South Africa, and Amazon and Yahoo were both created, and floppy disks were a thing of everyday life! Take the nostalgic trip down memory lane with us as we reminisce 1994.
Amazon and Yahoo
In 1994, the world wide web has just been created. Yahoo and Amazon were both created and grew to the internet giants they are today. Imagine the days before being able to chat with strangers thousands of miles away at any given time! Imagine being unable to order your entire grocery list from your couch through Amazon prime! These websites revolutionized our relationship with the internet, both getting their start alongside High Touch High Tech.
Creation of the Element 110, Darmstadtium
Darmstadtium, element 110 was first synthesized in 1994! There were several failed attempts to create element 110, and was first successfully made that year. While chemists Yuri Ganessian and Vladimir Utyonkov created the very first Darmstadtium particles through cold fusion, credit for the first successful synthesizing goes to Sigurd Hofmann, Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg of Darmstadt, Germany where the element earned its name. The German scientists created the element by bombarding lead with nickel, and their evidence was deeming more credible and confirmed by other scientists throughout the world. Darmstadtium is a highly radioactive metal, and few atoms have ever been created!
The very first PlayStation was released by Sony in 1994. While PlayStation wasn’t the sole gaming console on the market, then competing with the Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn, the PlayStation was game changing. With a CD format and sleek design, the PlayStation became the first gaming console to sell 100 million units worldwide! While many trends and gaming consoles have come and gone, PlayStation has remained a key player for 25 years.
Living fossil Wollemi Pine found
Before 1994, the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) was believed to be extinct, only having been seen in fossils. The plant is from a line of evolutionary plants, dating back to the dinosaurs, long believed to have been extinct. In 1994, the plant was discovered in the remote, rainforest gorge of Australia. Currently, there are about 80 mature plants and 300 seedlings. The Wollemi pine produces various types of foliage depending on the age of the leaf, and the leaf’s position on the tree. Newer foliage is apple-green in color and frond-like. As the plant develops, the foliage becomes a blue-green color, giving it a Jurassic appearance with dual leaf rows on its branches. The mature trees have a bubbling chocolate appearance, as spongy nodules develop on its bark.
Nelson Mandela Elected President of South Africa
Until 1994, the Apartheid government of South Africa only allowed black voters elect Bantustan or homeland candidates. The Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act had stripped black citizens of South Africa of their citizenship, making them citizens of their segregated homelands, or Bantu, in the apartheid state. In 1994 these homelands ceased to exist and were incorporated into the general South African elections, making this election the first multiracial election in South African history. On May 10th of 1994, Nelson Mandela, at the age of 77, was inaugurated as South Africa’s first place president. He tirelessly worked as president to address the issues caused by the apartheid, poverty, inequality, lack of social services and infrastructure, and building a strong economy. Nelson Mandela’s presidency reconciled and strengthened the nation of South Africa, becoming a beacon of progress throughout the world.
Western Hemisphere Declared Free of Polio
Poliomyelitis, more commonly known as polio, was a disease which left survivors permanently disabled. Each few years polio epidemics would plague cities and towns, leaving a trail of death and paralysis behind it. Most famous of all polio survivors being President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, being paralyzed waist down by the disease at age 39. FDR founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938, which would lead to the development of vaccinations for polio. In 1908, polio was identified as a virus by Dr. Karl Landsteiner after filtering preparations of spinal fluid of persons killed by polio. Later in 1910, Dr. Simon Flexner identified “germicidal substances” in the blood of monkeys that survived the polio virus, identifying the antibodies to polio which are the necessary agents in developing a vaccination.
Two separate teams of researchers developed early forms of the polio vaccination in 1935, both vaccinations ending in allergic reactions, illnesses, paralysis, and some deaths. For another 25 years, there were unfortunate trials and errors of an effective polio vaccination, but in the year 1960 Albert Sabin’s poliovirus vaccination for Type 1 poliovirus was licensed and formally recommended by the U.S. Surgeon general. Three years after this licensure, a vaccination for poliovirus types 1, 2 and 3 were combined creating one vaccination of the disease. In the year 1994, polio was completely eradicated in the Western Hemisphere. While there are still cases of polio globally, there has been more than a 99% reduction of polio cases worldwide, proven the Poliomyelitis vaccination a simple and effective.
The Transition in Technology from 1994
So many of our everyday life depends on the internet; work, entertainment, communication, information, monetary transactions, networking, marketing, and education. In 1994, the World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners-Lee, and became the Internet we know and depend on today.
In 1994 there was no Google, no Hulu and Netflix, no smartphones, no YouTube, no social media, and no flat-screen TVs. Let’s look back at our very humble internet and technology beginnings.
The First World Wide Website
Program Installation via floppy disk
Before Netflix and streaming sites, you had to go to a Blockbuster or video store to watch a movie
VHS Movies, the DVD was invented in 1995
No one had an email, or much access to the internet, so faxing was the go-to for messages
Cell phones, whose battery was the size of the phone. Free of a camera, touch screen, and texting
CD Players, because there were no iPods, Pandora, or Spotify.
Technology is constantly developing, and we’ve come a long way since 1994. As new inventions are developed, technology takes an increasing large role in our lives. We at High Touch High Tech believe in developing the next generation of inventors, granting us to the innovations of our future.
Barker, E. “25 Moments That Defined 1994.” NME, Jan. 2014. Retrieved from: https://www.nme.com/photos/25-moments-that-defined-1994-1422189
Sony Interactive Entertainment. “PlayStation, Through the Years.” PlayStation, Sep. 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/explore/ps4/playstation-through-the-years/
Robertson, M. “Darmstadtium.” Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/110/darmstadtium
The Global Trees Campaign. “Threatened Trees, Wollemi Pine.” Fauna and Flora International, 2017. Retrieved from: https://globaltrees.org/threatened-trees/trees/wollemi-pine/
South African History Online. “The Nelson Mandela Presidency – 1994 to 1999.” South African History Online Towards a People’s History, August 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/nelson-mandela-presidency-1994-1999
History of Vaccines. “The History of Vaccines, All Timelines Overview.” The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Birthplace of American Medicine, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline#EVT_100340
Bort, J. “No Google. No Netflix. No iPhone. This is What Tech Was Like in 1994.” Business Insider, August 2014. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/tech-in-1994-the-year-the-web-was-born-2014-8