Inventions of the '80s

Written by mitch reid
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Inventions of the '80s
Major advancements in space exploration technology occured in the 1980s. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Although the 21st century is an age where technological advancements are commonplace, past decades have contributed their fair share of innovative ideas. In the 1980s, advancements in computers, entertainment and medical technology changed history and shaped the present. As of 2011, many inventions of the 1980s still have a place in society.

Medical Field

By the 1980s, liposuction procedures were popular in America; however, the surgery came with many negative side effects, including bleeding and skin rippling. In 1985, Jeffrey A. Klein invented the tumescent technique for liposuction, which uses local anesthetics to reduce bleeding, bruising and skin irregularities. Another medical advancement from the 1980s was the Jarvik 7, the first successful permanent artificial heart. According to Jarvik Heart Inc., in 1982, Barney Clark underwent the first artificial heart operation.


Music Television (MTV), an American television station dedicated to showing music videos, launched in 1981. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established in 1983; among the first inductees were Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and James Brown. In 1982, Cabbage Patch Kids debuted in toy stores; shortly afterward, the dolls became a top-selling toy brand. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird published the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" comic book in the early 1980s. By the early 1990s, the franchise was a success, spawning television shows and movies.


In 1981, the De Lorean Motor Company produced the De Lorean DMC-12. The car, which featured gull-wing doors, became famous after being featured as a time machine in the "Back to the Future" movie series. America's first reusable space shuttle debuted in the 1980s, opening the door for space exploration. The Lockheed F-177 Nighthawk, a stealth fighter, also took flight in the same decade.


The International Business Machines Personal Computer appeared in 1981. By 1986, the company developed the first megabit chip; the small chip stored 1 million bits of information. IBM wasn't the only computer company reaching milestones. In 1984, Apple unveiled the Macintosh 128K, the first Macintosh computer.

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