Throughout human history, there have been amazing inventions that changed the world and helped the human race progress by leaps and bounds. To make a full list of inventions that changed the world would be impossible if we were to take in everything from microchips to space investment. However, there are some that stand out for completely changing the course of history, with an impact that is still being felt.
Here’s a list of 7 Incredible Inventions That Changed the World
1. The Printing Press
The printing press might seem like one of the small inventions that changed the world, but it is the single most important invention for the development of thought and philosophy. Printing books allowed for ideas to be transmitted from place to place, and let schools of thought cohere within the proletariat. The printing press was critical to spreading ideas of democracy, justice, and equality, without which many popular revolutions would never have taken place.
The first recorded use of a printing press dates back to 1439 in Strasbourg in France. Prior to this, literacy was a luxury for religious scholars and some elements of the aristocracy. However, the spread of literacy helped foment the public’s popular consciousness and allowed people of lower stations to educate themselves with knowledge. Information was no longer the preserve of a privileged few, and intellectual revolutions were sown across the world.
2. The Lightbulb
Thomas Edison is credited as the inventor of the lightbulb in popular history, but this is, in fact, erroneous. The first example of a lightbulb powered by electricity was developed by the inventor Humphry Davy, who displayed an electric arc lamp that he’d developed to Britain’s Royal Society in 1806.
However, it was Edison who pioneered the lightbulb as one of the simple inventions that changed the world. Its effects were wide-reaching, enabling people to work past sundown and help illuminate city streets to improve people’s safety. Like all great inventions, it’s one that is still with us today, and continues to bring light to the darkness wherever we go.
3. The Airplane
The first airplane famously had its maiden flight in 1903 when the Wright brothers took off in an airplane they had designed and engineered. Although it didn’t fly far, it was a breakthrough for successfully completing a heavier-than-air powered flight. Soon engineers across the world were trying to develop the science of air travel, so much, so that air war became a notable battlefield during the First World War that started just over a decade later.
It would be some decades later till airplanes became (relatively) accessible to the general public with the advent of the Jet Age in the 1950s. Air travel has gone on to help facilitate the rapid movement of cargo and people around the world and so help the Earth become a truly global community.
4. The Personal Computer
Computers have been around for decades in the middle of the Twentieth Century. However, it was the burgeoning microcomputer revolution of the 1970s that brought these modern inventions that changed the world into studies, offices, and living rooms across the planet.
These were in stark contrast to the primitive mainframe computers that were huge and power-hungry, such as the ones used by codebreakers during World War Two. The personal computer replaced the typewriter and began humanity’s conversion to digital living that continues well today.
Vaccines are some of the most important medical inventions that changed the world. They have been the first step in stabilizing our life expectancy, as well as making travel to foreign countries much less dangerous. The first recorded trial of vaccines was undertaken by Edward Jenner in 1976 in Britain.
He injected a young child with pus scraped from cowpox (smallpox) blisters and then went on to prove that the boy had developed immunity from the disease. This earned him the title of “father of immunology”, and as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc, it is the discipline he created, which offers us hope for the future.
6. The Automobile
The automobile changed everything in the world, from how cities were designed to how people could get to work. The first example of a mass-produced automobile can be credited to American manufacturing mogul Henry T Ford, whose Model T car became available for mass purchase in 1908. The Ford Motor Company continues to produce cars to this day, and it’s impossible to measure how much access to personal long-range transport has changed the course of modern history.
7. The Internet
The internet’s history is still being written today, but there’s no doubt that the digital age promises to be one of the most revolutionary of all. The earliest example of internet technology dates back to the 1960s, when the US military experimented with a communication network called ARPANET that was designed to use packet data to transmit military intelligence.
The term “internet” was first used by scientists in 1974, and with the creation of the standardized TCP/IP protocol in 1982, the internet as we know it today had finally begun to take shape. Today, the internet is everywhere, and online connectivity dominates everything from how we digest media to economic development. Although only time can tell, it looks safe to say that we are living through a historic technological age.
These are just seven of the thousands of inventions that changed the world, but they’re significant since we still use them years (and in some cases, centuries) later. Man has relied on ancient inventions that changed the world ever since the discovery of fire allowed primitive humans to banish the darkness and bring warmth to their homes.
Today, technology continues to light our way and help mankind transcend each new challenge to progress. What do you think the most important inventions in history are? Let us know in the comment section below.
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