Phillips Compact Cassette Tape (1963)
By now, with radio ubiquitous and kids transformed into rock-and-pop acolytes, music begged for even further fluidity. Enter Phillips, who consolidated the hulking reel-to-reel and revealed the first cassette tape at a 1963 fair in Berlin. Its actual tape was just more than three millimeters wide, but the product's impact was vast. Cassettes would become the chief mode for distributing albums alongside vinyl and CDs before the digital revolution, not to mention a beloved means of self-expression (via mixtapes) for millions of heart-aching teens. There's even an annual Cassette Store Day, consolidating the last importance of Phillips' invention.