May 14 is Illinois Innovation Day! Illinois is a complex Midwestern hub rich in innovation, economic development and tech growth. Illinois Innovation Day serves as a recognition of the triumphs of creativity and innovation for the overall development and evolution of humankind. In celebrating this significant day, let’s recognize some of the unique and popular innovations created in Illinois:

  • The first mobile cell phone: Developed by Martin Cooper in Schaumburg and launched in 1973, the cell phone changed history and further evolved the way we communicate. Cooper’s innovation opened the doors for other grand inventors.
  • Plasma TV: In 1964, University of Illinois professors Donald Bitzer and Gene Slottow built the first plasma prototype display using technology that led to the creation of the plasma TV.
  • Web browser: Mosaic, the first popular web browser, was built in 1992 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina created Mosaic and helped popularize the World Wide Web. Mosaic was credited with leading the internet boom of the 1990s.
  • Prostate and breast cancer breakthrough: In 1951, University of Chicago physiologist Charles Huggins discovered that breast and prostate cancer cells are dependent on hormones, paving the way for the development of hormone therapy treatment for cancer patients.
  • McDonald’s: Ray Kroc revolutionized the franchise fast food industry when he opened the nation’s first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines in 1955, complete with the golden arches.
  • GrubHub: The online restaurant delivery business GrubHub was formed in Chicago in 2004, eventually expanding to more than 13,000 restaurant listings.