Since the discovery of the liquid crystal phase in 1888, research in this intermediate state of matter and its fascinating optical phenomena has experienced several periods of intense interest. However, there was no large-scale application of liquid crystal technology until the 1970s, when the advent of microelectronic digital circuits during the 1960s created a need for low power, compact display devices for certain portable electronic products. Thus, the announcement in 1968 of the dynamic scattering liquid crystal display (LCD) triggered a great interest in the electronics industry and dramatically increased research activity on liquid crystal materials and their electro-optic effects. Within a few years these efforts led to the invention of the twisted nematic LCD and the discovery of several classes of stable liquid crystal compounds. These developments significantly improved the performance of the LCD such that by the mid 1970s the twisted nematic device became the dominant display used in electronic watches and calculators.