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She planted that terror of debt so deeply in her children that even now, in a changed economic pattern where indebtedness is a part of living, I become restless when a bill is two days overdue. Olive never accepted the time-payment plan when it became popular. A thing bought on time was a thing you did not own and for which you were in debt. She saved for things she wanted, and this meant that the neighbours had new gadgets as much as two years before we did. John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I love gadgets. And I love kitchen gadgets. Hestor Blumenthal
In many ways my life over the past fifteen years has coincided with the most astonishing technical advances in history. Stephen Fry’s Top 100 Gadgets, Channel 4 2012
Fiendishly clever, wonderfully attractive gadgets. That I personally adore. ibid.
100. Karaoke machine: It’s the laugh-a-minute Japanese whose invention in 1971 of a so-called empty-orchestra machine allowed for the ritual slaughter of pop classics.
99. Kindle: say hello to the ebook reader.
Corby Trouser Press: ‘I was a bit bored so I dismantled my Corby Trouser Press’ Alan Partridge
96. Garlic Press
95. Torches: ‘You can open it. There it is. You can set it down. Set it at any angle you wish. And it’s a very very good design. Slim. Neat. You can carry it with you. I shall now carry one with me almost everywhere.’ Margaret Thatcher with torch
94. Wheelie Trolleys
92. Soda Stream
91. Remote-Control Cars
90. Metal Detectors
89. The Ultra-Portable Tent
88. Brevil Toasted Sandwich Maker from Australia
87. Electric Blanket: Invented in 1912
86. PIN machines
84. PDA Nokia Communicator et al
83. Scissors: The Romans who pioneered the first cross-bladed scissors way back in 100 A.D.
81. Electric Shaver
80. Handcuffs: A powerful symbol of law and order.
79. Night Vision Goggles.
[Grape scissors & Glove Stretcher feature]
76. Paper Shredder: What’s not to love?
75. Lawn Mowers: We’d be deprived of that delicious smell of freshly cut grass carried on a warm summer breeze.
73. Tin Opener: Tinned food was created in the nineteenth century as an alternative to the heavy glass jars the military used to carry supplies.
72. Sinclair ZX Spectrum: Kick-started the British IT industry
71. Mouse Trap
70. Cine-Projector: Added a dash of Hollywood glamour to suburban life ... Some of the worst cinema ever made.
67. Hearing Aid: ‘Do you by any chance have a hearing aid?’ Basil Fawlty
66. Pager: The mobile phone may well have sounded the death knell ... Sixty million units shifted worldwide.
65. Food Processor: ‘They have made our lives that much easier in the kitchen.’ Hestor Blumenthal
64. Robotic Dog
63. The Superb Cassette Boom-Box
61. The Portable Camping Stove
60. The Patio-Heater
58. Electric Toothbrush: In 1987 rotary action electric toothbrushes hit the market.
57. The PVR: A truly joyous box of tricks
55. Garden Sprinkler: The party-pooping hosepipe-ban
54. Cordless Drill
53. Vacuum Cleaner: ‘You see, the thing about the Hoover is it deals with all three kinds of dirt. Yes. Dust. Fluff and grit.’ woman
51. Polygraph: The daytime tabloid talk show has been transformed by the lie-detector.
47. VCR: 1974 it was the gadget de jour.
45. Alarm Clock
44. Game Boy: In 1989 came the first of the hand-held consoles ... Over 120 million sold.
42. Polaroid Camera
41. Curling Tongs
40. The Simple Razor
39. Bathroom Scales
38. Sony Walkman: ’80s youth was smitten.
36. Pocket Calculator
35. Compass & Wayfinders’ Shoes
34. Staple & Stapler
33. Heated Irons: In 1882 the wondrous electric iron was invented.
31. Camera: 1900 the Brownie went on sale for five shillings.
30. Black and Decker Workmate
29. Fax Machine
28. Blackberry: 150 million handsets worldwide.
27. CD Player: An early ’80s wonder.
26. Corkscrew: Over 50,000 models ... Our search has been for a better corkscrew.
25. Remote Control
24. Mobile Phone: The mobile phone has changed the world.
23. Teas-Maid: A product of postwar Britain.
21. Folding Bicycle
20. Record Player
18. Sewing Machine
17. Swiss Army Knife