1937 pricelist_new

Seven Technological events of 1937

Some may consider 1937, the year of the birth of modern technology. A number of technological events occurred that changed our lives forever. The world had just survived the Great Depression and was on the brink of World War Two. Yet, some strong willed inventors, pioneers, actors and entrepreneurs did not let mood of the times stop them from creating, inventing, doing and producing art.

 1. Cinema

  • December 21st, 1937 – Disney premiered its first feature-length colour & sound cartoon – Snow White [1]

Snow White premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937.  At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar, and the film was nominated for Best Musical Score. It was added to the United States National Film Registry in 1989 and is ranked in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films.

 2. Textile

  • February 16th, 1937 – DuPont Corp patents nylon, developed by employee Wallace H Carothers [2]

Wallace Hume Carothers was an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont; credited with the invention of nylon. The research of Carothers not only confirmed the existence of molecules of extremely high molecular weight, but led as well to the development of nylon, the first totally synthetic fibre used in consumer textile products like nylon stockings.

 3. Medicine

  • March 15th. 1937  – Bernard Fantus creates the first blood bank. [3]

Bernard Fantus, director of therapeutics at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, established the first hospital blood bank in the United States. In creating a hospital laboratory that preserved and stored donor blood, Fantus originated the term “blood bank.” Within a few years, hospital and community blood banks were established across the United States.

  • June 30th, 1937  – Britain begins 999 emergency telephone number [4]

The UK’s 999 number is the world’s oldest emergency call service. It was launched in London on 30 June 1937. It was the first of its kind in the world, introducing a special signal indicating to the telephone operator that the call should receive immediate attention.

 4. Aeronautics

  • February 21st, 1937 – The first flying car to actually fly was built by Waldo Waterman. [5]

Waldo Dean Waterman was an inventor and aviation pioneer from San Diego, California. His most notable contributions to aviation were the first tailless monoplanes and the first successful low cost and simple to fly, flying car, which in the 1930’s was commonly called Flivver Aircraft.

  • April 28th, 1937 – Pan Am flies the first commercial flight across Pacific. [6]

Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4th, 1991.


Unfortunately there were some aeronautical disasters too.


  • July 2nd, 1937 – Amelia Earhart disappears over Pacific Ocean [7]

Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 – disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author.  Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Earhart’s accomplishments in aviation inspired a generation of female aviators, including the more than 1,000 women pilots of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II.

  • May 6th, 1937 – German airship Hindenburg explodes in flames at Lakehurst killing 35 of the 97 on board. [8]

In late March 1937, the Hindenburg departed from Frankfurt, Germany on the first of 10 round trips between Europe and the United States. The American Airlines company which had contracted with the operators of the Hindenburg was prepared to shuttle the fliers from Lakehurst to Newark for connections to airplane flights. It was on May 6th 1937, that the German airship Hindenburg burst into flames while attempting to land at Lakehurst, New Jersey. In little more than 30 seconds, the largest object ever to soar through the air was incinerated and the era of commercial airship travel was dead.


5. Civil Engineering

  • May 28th, 1937 – Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens to vehicular traffic. [9]

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a stunning technological and artistic achievement, opens to the public after five years of construction. At 4,200 feet, it was the longest bridge in the world until the completion of New York City’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. Today, the Golden Gate Bridge remains one of the world’s most recognizable architectural structures.


6. Broadcasting

  • August 18th, 1937 – First FM radio construction permit issued  in Boston Massachusetts.b [10]

In 1933, FM radio was patented by inventor Edwin H. Armstrong. FM uses frequency modulation of the radio wave to reduce static and interference from electrical equipment and the atmosphere. In 1937, W1XOJ, the first experimental FM radio station, was granted a construction permit by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). After World War II, the FM radio broadcast was introduced in Germany. In 1948

7. Business

  • September 14th, 1937 – Radiospares Limited (later becoming RS Components) opens its doors. 

RS Components was founded by J.H. Waring and P.M. Sebestyen in 1937 in London under the name Radiospares supplying radio repair shops with spare parts. When televisions became popular, television parts were added to Radiospares’ product list. By the end of World War II, the company had evolved into a large national distribution company. In 1954, the founders of Radiospares expanded the company’s focus from shops and home users to the industrial sector and began selling electronic components. The company rebranded as RS Components in 1971. RS continues to be a market-leading business with a global presence.



[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhOb-3lVXtw?rel=0&w=480&h=360]


1937 Radiospares Price List



[1] http://www.history.com

[2] Wallace Carothers

[3] Blood Bank

[4] 999 Emergency

[5] Waldo Waterman

[6] Pan American

[7] Amelia Earhart

[8] The Hindenburg Disaster

[9] The golden gate Bridge

[10] The History of FM Radio