Introduced in 1933 by Ernest "Donn" Grantt, at his Polynesian-themed restaurant Beachcomber Café (later Don the Beachcomber) at 1727 North McCadden Place in Hollywood, Tiki pop culture was appropriated from Polynesian carvings and mythology. Gantt is further credited with inventing the tropical drink genre.
Developed in 1933 by Glendora citrus grower Orton Englehart in 1933. Later manufactured and marketed as Rain Bird sprinklers.
Developed in 1937 by George Beauchamp, founder of National Stringed Instrument Corp., as the Rickenbacher A-22.
Created by Charles and Bernice “Ray” Kaiser Eames in Venice in 1946. The simple plywood chair profoundly impacted 20th century American furniture design.
Developed from 1955 through 2006 by Lockheed Advanced Development Projects (Skunk Works) in Palmdale. These include the U-2 spy plane (1955), the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance plane (1964), the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter (1981), Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter (1997), and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth multi-role fighter (2006).
Developed by Walt Disney at his Burbank Studios, the result was Disneyland opening in Anaheim in 1955.
Although skateboards were privately made and used since at least the 1940s, the first manufactured skateboards were made in the mid-1950s by Bill Richards of Val Surf Shop in Valley Village. He ordered sets of roller skate wheels from a Chicago roller skate maker and affixed them to rectangular wooden boards in the back of his shop. His skateboards were meant for surfers to practice surfing skills by “sidewalk surfing” on dry ground.
Developed in 1957 by Arthur K. "Spud" Melin and Richard Knerr, founders of the Wham-O manufacturing company in San Gabriel. Hula Hoops were said to be inspired by the Native American Hoop Dance.
In 1959, Paul Baran of the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica developed "packet switching," the key process behind computer network data communications.
In 1969, UCLA graduate student Charley Kline and engineering professor Leonard Kleinrock at UCLA sent the first message of the Internet.
Until 1959, most dolls resembled infants or children. The Barbie Doll was designed by Ruth Handler of Mattel Inc. in 1959 and named after her daughter Barbara (and the Ken doll named after her son). Handler was inspired by watching her daughter play with paper dolls. She was also inspired by the German doll “Bild-Lilli.”
Theodore Harold Maiman, an engineer and physicist, is widely credited with developing the first working laser in 1960 from a ruby crystal in his Malibu laboratory.
Designed by Lee Adams of Walt Disney Burbank Studios, these figures were first introduced by Disney in 1961.
Developed and built by North American Rockwell in Downey beginning in 1961, the first space vehicle was launched in 1966.
Like the Apollo Command Module, the first space shuttle Enterprise was also built by North American Rockwell at their Downey and Palmdale plants from 1972 through 1976.
Developed by UCLA pharmacologist, Dr. Murray Jarvik, UCLA postdoctoral fellow Jed Rose, and K. Daniel Rose and patented by UCLA in 1990, the “patch” was meant to address nicotine addiction.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge developed the first Mars Rover, Sojourner (built by McDonnell Douglas), and launched it to Mars in 1996.
On January 1, 1925, based upon research by astronomer Edwin Hubble at Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains, a paper was presented at a scientific conference in Washington D.C. that exploded everything we thought we knew about our place in the universe.