The Greatest Gadgets

The gearheads at Popular Mechanics have rounded up their list of the best gadgets and gear. The 101 inventions that have changed the world for the better—and you've probably owned most of them. To make the list, a gadget had to be something you could hold in your hands, mechanical or electronic, and a mass-produced personal item. The rest was up to the judges. Below, a few of the selections for which we're most thankful.

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The Waring Blender debuted in 1937 and cost $29.75;
by 1954 one million of the devices had been sold.




Ten years after founding the Foster Grant plastic company in 1919 to make hair accessories for women, Sam Foster switched his focus to a new consumer product—sun-blocking eyewear.



The first billion units sold in 20 years, the second billion in four and the third billion in two. By the end of 2010, the subscription rate stood at 5 billion, or 75 percent of all people on earth.

When inventor and farm implement salesman Whitcomb Judson unveiled his newly patented "clasp-locker" at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the odd-looking device failed to impress.