Can You Identify These 1960s Inventions?

By: Lauren Lubas
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Identify These 1960s Inventions?
Image: Wiki Commons by Dean Hochman from Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.

About This Quiz

The 1960s gave us so much to look back on. There was a civil rights movement, a race to the moon, a tragic presidential assassination, free love and much more. Overall, it was one of the most exciting decades of the 20th century, and we look back on that time as a masterpiece of American culture and change. 

However, we also look back on that time as one of the most important decades when it came to innovation. The way we looked at the world was different, and the human race needed more elements for convenience, entertainment and travel. That's why this decade was so important. Not only did the space race give us a whole list of inventions to work with, toy companies were redefining how children played and we learned that we weren't just stuck with what was on the store shelves, because we could make whatever we needed, so long as we had the means and materials. 

If you hold the 1960s in a special place in your heart (because you went through it or you love to study it), you might just ace this quiz. See if you have what it takes to identify these inventions that came out during that decade.

31 Cassette tape
filonmar / E+ / Getty Images
In 1962, this invention changed how we record. What is it?
Music Reader
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The cassette tape replaced the reel-to-reel system, which couldn't be made portable. This tape helped people listen to music or record and preserve memories. It paved the way for other sound recording systems.

13 Fiber Optics
MirageC / Moment / Getty Images
These created lightweight cables. What are they?
Joint wiring
Copper wiring
Electric micros
Fiber optics
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you think of fiber optics, you might think of those little designer lights that were popular in the 1990s. However, this invention is used on cables and various other technological items even today.

15 Calculator
Harvey Tsoi / Photodisc / Getty Images
It took until 1967 to get one of these in portable form. What is it?
Portable calculator
Portable television
Computer mouse
Wireless mouse
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Before the portable calculator, people actually had to know math (well, at least a little bit). They were forced to do equations in their heads. It wasn't pretty, but it did its job properly, and that was all that mattered.


9 Lava Lamp
emac images / Moment Open / Getty Images
What is the name of this 1963 invention?
Lava lamp
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The lava lamp wasn't much — just a container with liquid and wax in it. As the lamp warmed the wax, it melted and created movement. This was considered the must-have item for teens in the '60s and '70s.

37 Classic Operation Game
FunKidsCollection / YouTube
Do you recognize this board game released in 1965?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This guy has been through a lot over the past several decades. However, if you mess up, he lets you know with a frightening buzzing sound and a light that flashes. This game was pure genius for its time.

20 Ken doll
Dean Reen / YouTube
Who was Barbie's boyfriend, created in 1961?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Ken doll was released to give girls something more to work with when they were playing with their Barbies. You don't want your Barbie going around with that G.I. Joe doll? Here's a boyfriend for her.


22 Barcode-hand-scanner
Wiki Commons by Rodrigo César
Lasers helped this invention happen. What is it?
Barcode scanner
Item identifier
Digital camera
LED lights
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

We take advantage of a lot of innovative designs and inventions these days. In 1969, we were first introduced to the barcode scanner to help stores monitor inventory and price things properly.

25 Barbie Dream House
It's A Toy's Life! / YouTube
Where did Barbie live in 1962?
Barbie Dream House
Barbie Palace
Ken's Apartment
Barbie Ferrari
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1962, Barbie moved up in the world, and into her new place (with her parents, who didn't exist, obviously). Barbie's dream house was pretty big, but it was worth it because it had doors that really opened and a closet.

35 Barrel of Monkeys
RetroTalkTV / YouTube
In 1965, this toy made a splash. What is it?
Hop Scotch
Fallen Angels
Barrel of Monkeys
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A Barrel of Monkeys was simply a barrel filled with plastic monkeys. If you could pull out a bunch of them at once (because they were tangled together), you won the game. It was created in 1961 and released to consumers in 1965.


6 Laser
Kim Steele / Photodisc / Getty Images
This light is seen everywhere, from scanners to medical equipment. What is it?
Fiber Optic
Generational Lighting
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The laser was perfected in 1960 by a man by the name of Theodore Maiman. It's been used for many different scientific discoveries and procedures, including scanning and medical equipment.

28 Portable defibrillator
CBC News / YouTube
This life saving device was invented in 1965. What is it called?
Photochromic glass
Contact lenses
Artificial heart
Portable defibrillator
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While many schools and gyms have these on hand today, they weren't invented until 1965. It really seems that the 1960s were the decade for understanding the heart and aiding in heart-related illnesses.

jean mini skirt
Glamour Magazine via Youtube
Which article of clothing came out in the 1960s, but wasn't well-received until the 1980s?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Who doesn't want to see a mini skirt and some thigh-high boots? Puritans, that's who. While you might not think that the miniskirt was an invention, it was a fashion-forward, bold move (and someone had to create it) and many thought it was a terrible idea.


32 Snowmobile
Thinkstock / Stockbyte / Getty Images
Can you name this recreational vehicle that was invented in the 1960s?
Air flyer
Radio wand
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While we often think of snowmobiles with a more sleek design, the functionality and the shape of this vehicle hasn't changed much since it was invented in the 1960s. They were used mainly for winter transportation.

19 ATM
enigma_images / E+ / Getty Images
Do you know what this fast way to get cash is?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

ATM machines were first invented in 1969, and they were known as cash dispensers. These were a great way to get the money you needed, as fewer places accepted credit cards at the time.

21 GI Joe
TheSkullReviews / YouTube
Can you name this action figure from the 1960s?
G.I. Jane
G.I. Joe
Army Man
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The original G.I. Joe dolls (marketed as action figures, to appeal to men) gave boys a way to play war without hurting each other (they could hurt the dolls, of course). To tell if you have a real original, check its left thumb. Backward? You've got an original!


38 Rock Em Sock Em Robots
Wiki Commons by Lorie Shaull
They were popular in the '80s, but they were first invented in 1964. What are they?
Ring Fighters
Ring Mates
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots was a pretty violent game for its time. It encouraged children to punch their opponents until their heads popped off ... well, how else are you supposed to know that you won?

Original Computer Mouse
Ralph Aichinger via Wiki Commons
Computers were around before the 1960s, but this new tool helped with them. What is it?
Hand adapter
Computer mouse
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While the patent for the first mouse was called the X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System, it had the right idea. The first mouse worked on a grid system and couldn't go diagonally.

26 Easy Bake Oven
Wiki Commons by Bradross63
This toy helped little girls learn about cooking burns early. What is it?
Lightbulb Oven
Light Kitchen
Easy Kitchen
Easy-Bake Oven
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you wanted your child to learn how to cook, but you didn't want them to make a mess of your kitchen, you gave them an Easy-Bake Oven. This was a lightbulb that cooked food ... genius.


1 Pacemaker_in_hand
Wiki Commons by Steven Fruitsmaak
In 1960, this life-saving device was invented. What is it?
Iron lung
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pacemakers have saved lives for generations. They are devices that help keep your heart pumping at a proper pace by sending electrical currents and pulses through the heart muscles.

16 Workmate
What is this bench called?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Black & Decker Workmate was developed in the 1960s and is meant to help with various forms of carpentry. It is a general and all-purpose workbench for those who need something a little smaller as it's only about 3 feet tall.

24 Photochromic lenses
Wiki Commons by Делфина
These lenses react to light. What are they?
Light changers
Photochromic lenses
Faller lenses
Wearing lenses
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you've ever purchased (or wanted to purchase) transitions lenses for your glasses (you know, those lenses that get darker when you're in brighter environments), thank the man who invented photochromic glass.


17 JARVIK_7_artificial_heart
Wiki Commons by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Can you name this medical device that was created in the 1960s?
Artificial lung
Iron lung
Artificial heart
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In April of 1969, the first artificial heart was implanted in a person who was in need of a transplant. The artificial heart kept this man's blood pumping for three days, which was enough time to get him a donor heart.

BanksPhotos / E+ / Getty Images
Do you know what this light is called now?
Fiber optic
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Of course, the LED idea was first established as early as 1907, but it wasn't until 1962 that someone created a practical use for it. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, and the first one was red.

11 CD
35007 / E+ / Getty Images
With lasers came these things that lasers could read. What are they?
Manage discs
System discs
Optical disc
Faller discs
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the 1960s, optical discs were created. This paved the way for such great products as laserdiscs, CDs, DVDs and (much later) Blurays. This invention changed entertainment as we know it.


14 Vintage_Casio_Pocket_Color_Television
Wiki Commons by Joe Haupt
Do you know the name of this portable receiver?
HAM radio
Movie player
Pocket television
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It took a lot of juice, and only worked if you were within ten feet of a tower, but it was still a landmark invention. These pocket televisions came out around 1966, and they have only been getting better.

33 Halogen
pbombaert / Moment / Getty Images
What is this kind of lighting, which was invented in 1960?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While the incandescent light bulb was invented in 1959, halogen lighting was a cooler way to get lighting without worrying about fires. The halogen lamp became one of the most significant lighting inventions of its time.

23 BASIC computer
Wiki Commons by Lamune (Talk)
Do you know the name of this computer language which arrived on the scene in 1963?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yes, the computer language was basic, and it was called BASIC, which stands for Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It was first written by John Kemeny and Tom Kurtzas.


8 Valium
Wiki Commons by Valium
Do you know this drug that was invented in 1961?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This sedative was great for those in pain, those who couldn't sleep and those suffering from high anxiety (especially after returning home from war). It is now considered a controlled substance.

Wiki Commons by User:afrank99
Random Access Memory wasn't unheard of in the '60s, but what did Robert Dennard invent to make it better?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While it wasn't necessarily the computer boom that the 1980s gave us, the 1960s gave us some very important steps forward in the world of technology, including that of the DRAM, which is Dynamic Random Access Memory.

18 Internet
Adam Gault / OJO Images / Getty Images
You are using this invention right now. What is it?
Cell phone
Flow chart
The internet
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All right, it isn't necessarily considered the internet (which is said to have been in 1969), but the precursor to this magical field was called ARPANET, or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network.


12 kevlar
Monty Rakusen / Cultura / Getty Images
Researchers at DuPont developed this fiber. What is it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1965, researchers at DuPont realized that they needed a stronger fiber. So they created Kevlar, which is an essential element in much of the armor worn by police officers and the military.

Hidehiro Kigawa / Moment / Getty Images
This intricate operating system was essential for communications in the '70s, but it was first understood in 1969. What is it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The UNIX operating system was an important way to connect people through telecommunications. The system was used from 1969 to 2008. It was a good run for a system created before the technology boom.

27 VFD
Wiki Commons by Man vyi
Those numbers on your microwave came from somewhere. What are they called?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Vacuum fluorescent displays (or VFDs) were invented in Japan and created a way to create light without illuminating an entire room. They showed just what you were meant to see and didn't keep you up at night.


30 Sketchpad
Wiki Commons by Scanned by Kerry Rodden from original photograph by Ivan Sutherland
This was the first computer graphics program. What was it called?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It looks a little bulky (at least when you compare it to the modern sketchers and computer devices that help us draw), but it was an innovative tool for those who needed to show and create computer graphics.

34 Hippy Sippy
rusVan / YouTube
Can you name this candy, which came out in the 1960s?
Strippy Hippy
Hippy Sippy
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hippy Sippy was a popular candy that was introduced in the 1960s. It looked like a syringe, which made its name a little telling. It wasn't necessarily the most child-friendly candy item, but then again, neither were candy cigarettes.

40 Vac-U-Form
Jorn Lahrs / YouTube
You could make your own toys with this device. What is it?
Creepy Crawlers
Squishy Wishy
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The vac-u-form was created in 1962 and hit the market in 1963. Children could make their own plastic toys and create whatever their imaginations could come up with ... as long as they had the mold. It was marketed to boys, mainly.


29 Dynabook
Wiki Commons by Marcin Wichary from San Francisco, U.S.A.
Do you know the name of the first electronic book, which was invented in 1968?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Before there were laptops, and before there were eReaders, there was the Dynabook. It came out in 1968 and was way ahead of its time. This little book was proposed as a personal computer for children.

36 Nintendo Love Tester
Ashenclone Archive / YouTube
Nintendo created this electronic device in 1969. What is it?
Electronic Brainwaves
Love Tester
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Testing whether or not you're a match with someone takes a few things, including if there are sparks between you, and that is what the Love Tester by Nintendo did. It was marketed to young men and women.

2 Magnavox-Odyssey-Console-Set
Wiki Commons by Evan-Amos
Can you identify this video game console that was created in the '60s and released in the '70s?
Atari 2300
Magnavox Odyssey
Coleco Vision
Nova X
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The first video game console for consumer purchasing was released in 1972. However, inventors were trying to work the technology as early as 1966. Ralph Baer created several prototypes before the console was perfected.


39 Pennyfloater-yellow
Wiki Commons by Fatmeister
This bouncy ball was created in the '60s. What was it called?
Foot flyer
Penny floater
Super Soaker
Squirt ball
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The penny floater was a lightweight ball that gave you the ability to kick it far with minimal force. It was marked (somewhat) like a soccer ball (or football), and it gave children another reason to go outside.

You Got:
Wiki Commons by Dean Hochman from Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.