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Explore the Decades - 1900s

1900s Newspaper Gifts

The 1900s was an era of immense change. Numerous inventions were unveiled, from vacuum cleaners and air conditioning, to windscreen wipers and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

Albert Einstein invented his Quantum theory, the first tuna fish was canned, the “hot dog” received its name and instant coffee was created.

What’s more, the vacuum cleaner was invented by Hubert Cecil Booth in 1901, together with other household appliances and laundry detergent. The 1900s was a fabulous start to a remarkable century.

It begun with some astounding accomplishments, including the first flight by the Wright brothers –Wilbur and Orville Wright – who invented and built the world’s first successful aeroplane, and flew it at Kitty-Hawk, then in 1904, the Trans-Siberian Railway was completed.

Sigmund Freud’s book The interpretation of Dreams was published in 1900, followed by Queen Victoria’s death on 22nd January, 1901, which ended the longest reign of any British monarch, signalling the end of the Victorian Era.

Beginning in 1899, the Second Boer War (also known as the South African War and the Anglo-Boer War) was an event which, in many ways, shaped the history of 20th Century South Africa. When the war finished in 1902, it marked the end of the long process of British conquest of South African societies, both Black and White.

Other revolutionary inventions included Henry Ford’s first Model-T, the first trans-Atlantic radio signal, not to mention the first electric washing machine. This period also saw the introduction of Cubism, courtesy of Picasso, along with the launch of the first silent movie and teddy bear.