header print

10 Inventions That Changed the World

 When we think of inventions we usually have an idea of a mad scientist in a lonely laboratory, making good use of his Faustian pact to bring to birth some utterly brilliant design. Yet, the single most important inventions of all time came about through a much slower and communal process. The following 10 inventions are among the principal achievements of humanity that changed the way we live our lives forever.
 
 
1. The Plow
inventions, interesting, history
The plow is hardly the sexiest of human inventions, but it is undoubtedly the most important. Before the plow, humans were hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers, constantly searching for their next meal. The plow was probably invented in several places at the same time, though in truth we do not really know where and when exactly it first appeared, since at its most primitive it is merely a cutting tool used to carve out a furrow in the soil. The plow churns up nutrients from under the soil to the surface and allows the land to be prepared for planting. 
Thanks to the plow, farming became quicker and easier than ever. Improved efficiency allowed humans to create a surplus of food, which they could then trade with other communities. Since food could be gotten through payment, other occupations could arise, leading to the growth of towns and cities. Trading and storing materials led directly to the invention of writing and advanced number systems. If any single thing can therefore be considered to have led to civilization, arguably the plow is it.
2. The Wheel
inventions, interesting, history
We will perhaps never know where and when the wheel was first invented, though the oldest axel and wheel mechanism ever discovered was found near the Slovenian city of Ljubljana, dating from around 5,000 years ago. Wheels enabled goods to be transported quickly and efficiently from place to place. They were also used as part of other vital inventions such as water wheels for mills, cogs and gears, and cranks and pulleys. Nowadays, wheels are essential for electric motors, combustion engines, jet engines, power plants, and countless other things.
3. The Printing Press
inventions, interesting, history
It's commonly said that Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1430s, though in reality he actually improved on pre-existing technology, making it efficient and popular. The Chinese already had paper and block printing, though because they lacked an alphabet, using instead thousands of individual pictographs, it was rather complicated. However, Marco Polo introduced the ideas to Europe in 1295. 
Gutenberg linked block printing with a screw press, usually used to produce olive oil and wine. Gutenberg’s innovations ushered in a brand-new era of mass printing, allowing vast amounts of information to be transmitted across the glove. The prices of books – no longer written by hand – tumbled.
4. Refrigeration
inventions, interesting, history
Refrigeration cannot be said to have a single inventor, since the knowledge of the way substances absorb and unload heat while their phases of matter and pressure points change was widespread from at least the late seventeenth century. Over the years, several inventors such as Albert Einstein, each attempted to improve refrigerator designs.
Until the early 20th century, it was still common for natural ice to be harvested and transported to help meat and dairy food products last longer. Yet, with the widespread adoption of refrigeration techniques, the food industry drastically changed for the better, altering the eating habits of virtually the whole world.
5. Communications
inventions, interesting, history
Ever since Samuel Morse’s 1836 invention of the electric telegraph, the world has been on a continual path of communication development, so it’s only right to include the telegraph, telephone, radio and television under one banner. The telephone, after all, was simply a refined version of the telegraph. 
The ability to transmit wireless signals using electromagnetic waves exercised the interest of many inventors, the most important of which were Marconi and Tesla. Once sound and images could be transmitted, radio and television were only a short step away from revolutionizing the living habits of billions of people. Over a very short period of time, this series of inventions changed the world from one which could only hear ‘news’ about events weeks after they had happened to one which could be kept up to date on daily events.
 
6. The Steam Engine
inventions, interesting, history
The industrial revolution was made possible thanks to the creation of the steam engine. Before this point, virtually all products were handmade.  It had been known for millennia that steam could help power machines, but it wasn’t until Thomas Newcomen’s 1712 realization that it could be done so usefully that new vistas opened up to the world. James Watt modified this invention in 1769, though he is generally considered the steam engine’s inventor. 
Not only could steam engines power the factories that made new goods, they could also power the trains and ships that transported them all over the world. Even though electric and internal combustion engines have eclipsed the steam engine in factories and transport, the steam engine is still used today in power plants to generate electricity.
7. The Automobile
inventions, interesting, history
The 1885 Motorwagen, built by Karl Benz is generally considered the first automobile, though it was largely thanks to Henry Ford’s genius that the car’s production costs made the automobile affordable for millions of potential drivers. Thanks to the automobile, humans have become free to go virtually anywhere they please, with minimal time and hardly any effort. This has had the effect of increasing the size of cities, turning them into business hubs, with people’s residences found in leafy far-away suburbs. 
8. The Light bulb
inventions, interesting, history
Though dozens of people were working on the idea in the 1870s, it was Thomas Edison who is best known for inventing the incandescent bulb. With Briton, Joseph Swan, who had his own designs, the two men founded the Ediswan company. The bulb works by transmitting electricity through a high resistance wire (the filament), which produces heat and light as waste energy. The glass case covers the filament in a vacuum that prevents combustion.
The light bulb propelled governments to invest in an electrical infrastructure for every home and business, which has undoubtedly changed the world for the better.
9. The Computer
inventions, interesting, history
A computer can be simply described as a machine that absorbs information which it can manipulate and output as new information. No single individual is credited with the invention, though British mathematician Alan Turing’s ideas are considered to have been very influential. Some mechanical computing devices had existed in the 19th century, but the first electronic computers were made in the 20th century.
Computers can make sophisticated and complex calculations at an awesome speed. With computers we fly planes, have sequenced the human genome, and put spacecrafts into orbit. We rely on computers in so much of our day to day living. So much of the things we take for granted in our world couldn’t function without the invention of computing, from power plants and cars to cell phones.
10. Internet
inventions, interesting, history

The internet is a network of computers linked together across the world. With the internet, people can access information located anywhere at any time. The internet has had a profound, incalculable effect on entertainment, the economy, and politics. Originally created by the US military as a closed network of computers in the 1960s, it wasn’t until decades later that the service became truly global. 
The internet is still a very new invention that is still changing the world, one day at a time. At this stage, it’s unclear whether the advantages of being part of a global community will not be outweighed by the ultimate loss of our local community structures. 


H/T: geniusstuff.com

Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
Sign Up Free
Did you mean: