We often take all the gadgets and contraptions around us for granted, without realizing that not so long ago, this did not even exist, and our forebears had to manage without them. Here are the Top 10 inventions of all times – which have radically changed our lives, and today we salute their creators.
1. The Wheel
Almost every other great invention that followed seems to have a wheel somewhere as its part. No one knows when the wheel was first invented, but it started life as a potter’s wheel and then it gave mobility to the prehistoric man, and later it helped to run machines and car and cycles and many other items. Today, the automobile can really be considered to be a spin-off from the wheel.
2. Light Bulb
The incandescent light bulb is now being phased out for more energy efficient ones, but from 1879 when it was first used for 13.5 hours by Edison, it has been one of the most used inventions in modern day life. Can you visualise a life without it?
Computers have changed the way we work and think. Data is now stored in a machine, more than in our mind or in books, and calculations and processes became simpler. Computers were large and cumbersome in the beginning, but now they fit in your pocket and in the palm of your hand. Today they run appliances and space stations, they have assist surgeries and store backend processes, and they make homework easier!
Originally a secret Pentagon project, the Internet has changed the process of knowledge gathering and storing. Communication systems between individuals and corporations are now totally based on the Internet systems. Everyone has easy access to information and the ability to communicate the written word faster. Postal mail has now become ‘snail mail’ and encyclopedias have begun to gather dust in most homes.
5. Printing Press
Without it, we would still be writing books by hand and we would not have the abundance of books and newspapers and magazines which we see around us. Even though now we have begun printing at home, yet as a communication medium, it was the first to change the system of information distribution. For many years it was our main means of communicating information to everyone around us.
The continents would have continued to live in isolation without this means of travel. The world has now become closer and more compact ever since airplanes began flying across water and land.
7. Steam Engine
An invention which has now been phased out and been given the tag of an antique, the Steam Engine made a tremendous impact on our lives while it was there. It made land transport easier, and it spearheaded the Industrial Revolution.
Medical Science owes a lot of its phenomenal progress to the invention of laser. It has made micro- surgery possible, and made CD players and laser printers household items.
The telephone definitely deserves to be on this list due to the communication barriers that it broke. The ability to talk to anyone, anywhere at any time is something we value tremendously in our lives and this would not have been possible without a telephone.
10. Internal Plumbing
We use it frequently, we consider it to be the best seat in the house and it provides us a lot of comfort. Without it we would still be using a hole in the ground in our backyard, or filling containers from sources of water outside our homes.