13 Inventions Betty White Was Older Than

Betty White was a comic dynamo who had been performing for over 70 years in a variety of roles when she passed away in January 2022. (She actually holds a Guinness World Record for the longevity of her career.) 70 years seems like a long time (probably because it is), but would you believe that inventions like the ballpoint pen or even sliced bread hadn't been invented until after she was born?

Betty White was born on January 22, 1922, so let's see all the cool stuff that was invented after her birth.


  • Sliced Bread

    Although it seems simple enough, sliced bread was not invented until 1928. Otto Frederick Rohwedder created the Chillicothe Baking Company, which sold the first loaf that utilized Rohwedder's bread slicing machine. 

  • Color Television

    Beginning in 1950, color television was slowly introduced to the world via CBS broadcast. On June 25, 1951, CBS broadcasted its first color TV show, but no one could tell because they all had black-and-white TV sets.

    The first program to hit the airwaves in color was aptly called "Premiere."

  • Penicillin
    Photo: The Florey / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by professor Alexander Fleming - just 6 years after a little baby Betty White was born. 

  • Scotch Tape

    Most are under the impression that Scotch Tape originated in Scotland some time in the 18th century, but boy, is that not the case. A young ex-bango player named Richard Drew actually created the miracle adhesive in 1929 - when Betty White was only 7. 

    In 1929, Drew, an inventor for 3M, started the development of transparent tape - a game-changing product that was debuted to the public in 1930.

  • Canned Beer

    Although we've had canned beverages since 1813, the masses only started drinking beer out of a can in 1935. Which trailblazer brewery started the trend? The Gottfried Krueger Brewery, which was based in Richmond, VA. Of course, none of this libation magic could have occurred without the vision of the American Can Co.

    Although Betty was legally too young to partake in 1935 (by modern standards), these groundbreaking companies set it up so that the burgeoning star could enjoy an icy cold canned brewksi when her time came.

  • The Slinky

    What were slinkys? Were they toys meant to be enjoyed by all ages, or apparatuses created to tangle and confuse men and women, young and old? In 1943, the mechanical engineer Richard James accidentally came up with the toy when he was trying to figure out how to keep products on ships safe from damage. 

    While Betty may not have been into the slinky as a young 20s-something, her future stepchildren could enjoy the walking spring toy - which went mainstream starting in 1945.