20 th century.


The increase of technology in the 20 th century makes it difficult to place recent developments into perspective. New materials, from synthetic rubber through plastics and artificial fabrics, influence ways of life and fashion. With the electric streetcar appeared in 1888, cities grew over distances that could be covered by a horse. After Henry Ford made up the assembly line in 1913, the automobile became cheep enough for many people to afford it. Aircraft industry grew after the firs flight by the Wright brothers in 1903.

Electronics started when Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio message in 1901.Radio, and television, changed communications.

Although early computing machines existed by World War 2, modern computers and office machines became a reality with the invention of the transistor in 1948. Nuclear power was introduced after World War 2, and the space age began with the first Soviet spacecraft in 1957. Many of the developments depended on scientific inventions made before their adaptations by engineers.

Medical technology was enriched by the use of new medicines and new equipment. This nearly doubled the life span of a person compared to 100 years earlier. New technologies in biology led to genetic engineering.

In weaponry there was the invention of the tank, the perfection of the airplane, and, finally, the use of the atomic bomb. These changed war conflicts from personal contacts of soldiers to putting all the world at risk.

Technology keeps advancing at a rapid rate. The world has become smaller, and people communicate and travel very quickly any where.


Synthetic rubber – синтетическая резина , plastics – пластмасса , artificial fabrics – искусственный волокна , assembly line - конвейер , streetcar – трамвай , adaptation – приспособление ( к жизни ), equipment - оборудование , life span – продолжительность жизни , weaponry - вооружение , perfection - улучшение , advance – движение вперёд .

Answer the questions:

  1. How did life change at the beginning of the 20 th century?
  2. How did WW2 influence the development of technology?
  3. Did the life span increase due to the development of technology?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the development of technology?