15 Inventions Betty White Is Older Than

When you think of Betty White, let’s hope you think of the infamous scene in The Proposal where Grandma Annie chants in the woods to the beat of “Get Low” by Lil’ Jon and The East Side Boyz. Or the iconic, on-screen friendships she had on The Golden Girls from 1985 to 1992.

Everyone’s favorite white-haired superstar is turning 95 next year. NINETY-FIVE. She was born in 1922 and shockingly enough, Betty is older than a lot of normal, everyday inventions we in 2016 take for granted. (Like sunglasses. Yes, Betty lived during a time when sunglasses were not a thing.) We’re rounding up all the inventions Betty came before, so prepared to be surprised.

1
Microwave
Amazon / Panasonic
The microwave oven didn’t make waves until 1946. That means Betty was already 20 years old when the kitchen invention—now a necessary staple—was introduced.
2
Electric razor
Amazon / Phillips
Up until 1931, razors only came in the non-electric variety. Guess that means buzzcuts didn’t exist either back when Betty was a teenager.
3
Trampoline
Amazon / Stamina
Betty—known for her sitcom portrayal of Rose, the super gullible widow on The Golden Girls—was just 12 years old when the first trampoline was invented. The first modern tramp was created by two men—one a gymnast and diver, the other exclusively a floor gymnast.
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4
Ballpoint pen
Amazon / Pilot
Um, what?! Betty White is actually older than a pen. Not all pens, collectively. Only the ballpoint pen. But still, it’s hard to image that up until she was eight years old, writing instruments didn’t have ball points. Imagine what her elementary school signature must have looked like!
5
Instant Coffee
Amazon / Trader Joe's / Starbucks
Coffee seems like a tale-as-old-as-time solution to exhaustion but it’s actually a surprisingly recent invention, coming to fruition in 1938. At least—instant coffee, that is. Coffee was originally patented in the 1800s, but it wasn’t until ’38 that the process of making coffee was reevaluated and refined.
6
Garage
Flickr / Heschong
C.G. Johnson invented the electric garage door opener in 1926 when Betty White was just four years old. Of course, they didn’t gain more mainstream popularity until after World War II, so it’s possible Betty didn’t have a garage opener in her family until she was a teen.
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7
Traffic Signal
Flickr / Garrett
It’s nearly impossible to imagine what the world was like before traffic signals governed the streets and kept peoples’ driving in check. But believe it or not, when Betty was born in ’22, these streets were sans red-yellow-and-green traffic lights for a full year.
8
Automatic Watches
Amazon / Winner

When Betty was born, her parents weren’t able to consult their automatic watches for the time of birth. Mainly because they didn’t exist yet. Automatic watches didn’t hit the scene until 1923.

9
Instant Camera
Amazon / Polaroid
Cameras were of course around when Betty White was born, but it wasn’t until she was one year old that instant cameras—that is, cameras with self-developing film that debuted the photo moments after it was taken—became all the rage.
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10
Jukeboxes
Wenn

One of the first “selective jukeboxes”—AKA a jukebox that automatically shifted records—made its way onto the music scene in 1927. Betty was five years old.

11
Bread Slicer
Amazon / Housewise
First sold in 1928, bread slicers were considered a modern luxury at the time. Bread slicers changed the baking game and even led to the coining of the ever-popular idiom “it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.” It’s cray to think that Betty was alive before that pun was even conceived!
12
Garbage Disposal
Flickr / Dean Hochman
While the garbage disposal wasn’t patented until 1935, waste disposal units were officially invented in ’27, when Betty was five. That means her first house likely didn’t have a garbage disposal. We wonder if she has one now?!
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13
Sunglasses
Amazon / Ray Ban
Learning that Betty White is older than sunglasses puts life into unparalleled perspective. We will never take sunnies for granted ever again. Sunglasses were initially popular amongst movie stars in the early 1920s. We wonder how old Betty was the first time she got her hands on a pair.
14
Frozen Food
Flickr / Daniel Loines
It was 1929 when people began to realize that the natural freezing of foods was also a method for preserving foods. So what – does this mean Betty White is also older than freezers?! (The first home freezer was invented in 1913.)
15
Rubber Tires
Amazon / Westlake Tires
In 1940, Betty White was 18 years old, a legal adult. It was also the same year that synthetic rubber tires were introduced under the name Ameripol. Rubber production was more prolific thanks to this change. (Not to mention it was more cost-effective).

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