The world made huge strides in the 1970s, developing some of the most useful and impactful inventions of all time and ultimately setting the stage for some of the most advanced products today.

IBM reshaped the way people thought about data storage in 1971, when it released the floppy disk. And if it weren’t for Motorola’s invention in 1973, you might not have that smartphone sitting in your hand right now. The same goes for email: Without computer engineer Ray Tomlinson and then-14-year-old genius Shiva Ayyadurai, the world may be a different place (for better or worse, depending on the current state of your inbox).

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