10 inventions that changed the world

10 inventions that changed the world

The wheel, the printing press, the telephone, the light bulb, the penicillin, the Internet, the birth control pill… are inventions that changed the world.

1. Wheel

The wheel was invented around 3,500 BC, and quickly spread across the globe.

Trolleys facilitated agriculture and commerce by allowing goods to be transported to and from markets, as well as reducing the burden on those traveling long distances. Wheels are now so important to our way of life, found in everything from watches to vehicles to turbines.

2. Screws

This important invention dates back to more than 2,000 years before the time of Ancient Rome and became possible only after humans developed the ability to cast and shape metals. In the past, wooden structures had to be built with adjacent interlocking planks, a much more arduous construction process.

After Henry Bessemer developed the process to mass-produce steel from iron, iron nails over the years slowly weakened, and by 1886, 10% of America's nails were made from soft steel wire, according to the University. Vermont. By 1913, 90% of nails produced in the United States were steel wire.

The invention of the screw - a stronger fastener - is attributed to the Greek scholar Archimedes in the third century BC, but was probably invented by the Pythagorean philosopher, Archytas of Tarentum.

3. Compass

Ancient marines used the stars for navigation, but this method did not work during the day or on cloudy nights, making it dangerous to travel far inland.0

The first compass was invented in China during the Han dynasty between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. It is made of limestone, a naturally magnetic iron ore. However, it was first used for navigation in the Song Dynasty, between the 11th and 12th centuries,

Soon, technology reached the West via sea. The compass allowed navigators to navigate safely away from land, opening the world to exploration and the later development of global trade. A tool still widely used today, the compass has transformed our knowledge and understanding of the Earth.

4. Printer

German inventor Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press between 1440 and 1450. Although others before him - including inventors in China and Korea - had developed portable types. metal, Gutenberg was the first to create a mechanized process for transferring ink (which he made from linseed oil and soot) to paper.

With this process, the printing press exponentially increased the speed of book printing, and thus led to the rapid and widespread dissemination of knowledge for the first time in history.

In the book "Printing Revolution in Modern Europe" (Cambridge University Press, 2012), late historian Elizabeth L. Eisenstein wrote, printing presses will be found in every centre. important cities by 1500. It is estimated that as many as twenty million volumes were printed in Western Europe by 1500, although Eisenstein estimates that number is around eight million.

5. Internal combustion engine

In these engines, the combustion of fuel releases a high-temperature gas that, as it expands, exerts a force on a piston, moving it. Thus, the internal combustion engine converts chemical energy into mechanical energy.

Decades of engineering by many scientists went into the design of the internal combustion engine, which took on its modern form in the second half of the 19th century. The internal combustion engine ushered in the Industrial Age, as well as enabling its invention. variety of machines, including modern cars and airplanes.

6. Phone

Several inventors did pioneer work in electronic voice transmission - many later filed intellectual property lawsuits as telephone usage exploded - but it was the Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be awarded a patent for the telephone on March 7, 1876.

This invention quickly became a success and revolutionized global business and communications. When Bell died on August 2, 1922, all telephone services in the US and Canada were shut down for a minute in his honor.

7. Light bulb

The invention of the light bulb changed our world by eliminating our dependence on natural light, allowing us to be productive at any time of the day, day or night.

Several inventors were credited with developing this revolutionary technology during the 1800s; Thomas Edison is credited as the main inventor because he created a fully working lighting system, including a generator and wiring as well as a carbon filament light bulb, in 1879.

Along with opening the door to the introduction of electricity into homes across the Western world, this invention also had the rather unexpected consequence of changing the way people sleep and how long they sleep.

8. Penicillin

It's one of the most famous stories of discovery in history. In 1928, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming noticed a Petri dish full of bacteria in his laboratory with its lid accidentally left open. The sample was contaminated with mold, and everywhere the mold was, the bacteria died.

That antibiotic mold turned out to be Penicillium, and over the next two decades, chemists purified it and developed the drug penicillin, which fights a large number of bacterial infections in humans. without harming humans.

Penicillin was mass-produced in 1944 and was used by soldiers during World War II to treat venereal diseases.

9. Birth control pills

Not only birth control pills, condoms and other forms of contraception have revolutionized sex in developed countries by allowing men and women to have sex for fun instead of giving birth. . They also significantly reduce the birth rate in women with the use of oral contraceptives.

With fewer mouths to feed, modern families have achieved a higher standard of living and are able to provide better care for each child. Meanwhile, on a global scale, contraceptives are helping the human population to falter. Some other methods of contraception, such as condoms, also limit the spread of sexualy transmitted diseases.

Natural and herbal contraceptives have been used for millennia. According to scholar Jessica Borge, condoms have existed in one form or another since ancient times, with condoms being developed in the 19th century. Meanwhile, the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive pill. in the US in 1960 and by 1965, more than 6.5 million American women were using the drug, according to author Jonathan Eig.

10. Internet

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks used by billions of people worldwide. In the 1960s, a group of computer scientists working for the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) of the US Department of Defense built a communications network to connect the computers in the agency, which was developed by the US Department of Defense. called ARPANET, the forerunner of the internet. It uses a method of data transmission known as "packet switching", developed by computer scientist and team member Lawrence Roberts.

This technology was advanced in the 1970s by scientists Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, who developed the important communication protocols for the Internet, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (TCP) IP), Kahn and Cerf are considered the "inventors of the Internet".

In 1989, the Internet developed further thanks to the invention of the World Wide Web by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee while working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). The evolution of the WWW has opened up the world of the Internet to everyone and connected the world in a way it never did before.

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