NPL in the UK and NBS in the US are founded to make measurements and standards using methods from physics.
The Pure Food and Drug Act effectively founds the US Food & Drug Administration.
Volunteers contribute abstracts to the first issue of Chemical Abstracts published in the US; this system is in place through the 1960s.
Whitehead and Russell attempt to present mathematics formalized in terms of logic.
Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine collected twelve million index cards of information, planning to create a world center for answering factual questions.
The Al Munro Elias Bureau starts producing scorecards and statistics on baseball.
CRC publishes the first edition of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
Frank and Lillian ("Cheaper by the Dozen") Gilbreth introduce flow charts as a way to represent processes.
The US Congress initiates systematic codification of US laws.
Ronald Fisher and others lay the foundations for modern statistics.
The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) introduces XYZ perceptual color space.
The AC Nielsen Company creates a "retail index" for tracking the flow of food and drug purchases.
George Gallup founds the American Institute of Public Opinion and begins collecting opinion polls.
Alonzo Church introduces lambda calculus as an algebra-style notation for computations.
Turing shows that any reasonable computation can be done by programming a fixed universal machine—and then speculated that such a machine could emulate the brain.
Under FDR's New Deal Social Security program, the first Social Security numbers are issued.
Gertrude Blanch is the mathematical leader in a WPA project to tabulate higher mathematical functions published by Columbia University Press.
The USGS begins collecting aerial photos of the US.
Official three-character airport codes come into use.
The arrival of digital electronic computers provides the mechanism by which computations of all kinds can be automated with increasing efficiency.
Chester Carlson patents the photocopier, and in 1949 the "Xerox Model A" photocopier begins production.
The New York Times introduces an index of book popularity.
The ASCC general-purpose electromechanical computer, used in the war effort during World War II, is shipped to Harvard in February 1944.
Vannevar Bush speculates on the idea of a "memex" device that will provide computerized access to the world's knowledge.
Malcolm Dyson invents the IUPAC system for naming chemicals.
The Minor Planet Center is founded to collect all reports of new asteroids and comets.
AT&T develops a telephone numbering scheme that encompasses 20 North American countries to facilitate direct dialing with ten-digit numbers, with a three-digit area code followed by a seven-digit local number.
The first serious weather simulation is run on the ENIAC computer.
Computational linguistics puts the concepts of grammar into an algorithmic form that promises to automate processes of language understanding.
From the Tracy and Hepburn movie Desk Set to TV's Batman and Star Trek to HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey and the robots of Isaac Asimov, the public becomes used to the idea that computers will eventually have human-like knowledge and reasoning.
Artificial Intelligence defines a research program for developing computers that show general intelligence which leads to many spinoffs important for specific purposes.
The first edition of Ethnologue is published, cataloging statistics and data about living languages of the world.
The SI (metre, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, candela) system of units is defined.
Fortran, COBOL, ALGOL and other early computer languages define the concept of a precise formal representation for tasks to be performed by computers.
Arthur Rosenfeld assembles a table of all known elementary particles.
Grace Hopper invents one of the first compiler-related tools and popularizes the idea of machine-independent languages, which leads to the development of COBOL.
Computer scientist Arthur Samuel coins the term "machine learning" to describe construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data.