Inventions that Changed the World By Kunika Khera from Army Institute of Law
The world is full of mysteries and despite centuries of human existence, we have been unable to tap into its full potential. However, throughout human history, there are certain inventions that changed the way we function and has made our lives easier. Here are some inventions that have developed the life as we know it.
The creation of the wheel was something that changed the entire course of human transportation. Before its discovery, there was severe limitation on movement of people and goods. The discovery was not by accident and was a result of close observation and application of mind. The development has made works of humans easier and less difficult. Unfortunately, the inventor of the same is not known and continues to be anonymous.
Before compass even came into existence, travellers and sailors used stars and position of sun to determine their way and direction of their destination. The Chinese conceived the original compass anytime between the 9th and 11th century; it was made of lodestone, a naturally-magnetized iron ore, the attractive properties of which they had been reviewing for centuries.[i] This quickly spread to the rest of the world making trade and travel easier.
Thomas Alva Edison was flying a kite, one stormy night, when he discovered electricity. The electric current from the clouds passed through the kite and to the key he held in his other hand, he felt the current passing his body. This led him to develop the light bulb. This discovery led to great many inventions from simple refrigerators to air conditioners and much more. Electricity has actively become a significant part of our life, without which we are unable to even imagine our existence.
Another great invention was by Johann Gutenburg in 1430s. He combined block printing with a screw press. He produced metal printing blocks that were sturdier and robust than the hand carved wooden letters used earlier. Finally, his advances in ink and paper production helped revolutionize the whole process of mass printing.[ii] Books and other printed copies, which only a selective few could afford in the past, became available to a vast population. The discovery of printed press has led to great growth in education and awareness. It has played its role in bringing in the revolution and the renaissance in the past.
‘Hello’ is one of the most common words that we use to greet each other. Alexander Graham Bell developed one of the inventions that have completely changed the way humans interact. He used two cups that were tied by a thread. One could talk into the cup, while the other could listen to the same in the other cup. The discovery was a huge development in the communications sector. People in different parts of the world could interact with each other. They could communicate their ideas making the world smaller and people closer.
The clock is one of the oldest discoveries by mankind. Various devices were developed to keep time. Sundials, water clocks, candle clocks etc. were invented around the word. The sexagesimal system that we use at the present was developed by the Sumerians around 2000 BCE. Clock making has now become a from specialized craft to a mass production industry. The result of this invention was that work system and division of labour has become more efficient and organized. This invention surely changed the face of the way humans functioned.
The development of internal combustion engine was one the landmark developments by man. The combustion engines convert chemical energy into mechanical work. The discovery of steam engine actually served as the basis for development of automobiles. This invention has influenced the transport and communication industry. Every household owns at least one vehicle for commuting to places every day.
Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch first defined the Antibiosis (phenomena of antibiotic drug) in 1877. In 1928, Alexander Fleming set the initial leap in antibiotics by categorizing penicillin, the chemical compound with antibiotic properties.[iii] These discoveries have saved the lives of billions. This has helped many medical experts in finding ways to fight off any kind of bacteria or infection. Many diseases have been put to an end with the development in antibiotics. This invention has vastly transformed the medical industry.
A network of computers has made any information accessible for anyone around the world. It has opened doors for business, entertainment and the like. First developed by the US military for exchange of information and mails have transformed the way we live. The dependence on it has only increased. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and various other social media have become part our necessity. The effect of only three decades of World Wide Web have proved to be far reaching and boundless.
As Mikhail Kalashnikov said, “Life is composed of different inventions.” The limit of science is endless. Things continue to be created, ideas continue to be developed and inventions continue to be fostered.
[i] Natalie Wolchover, Top 10 Inventions, https://www.livescience.com/33749-top-10-inventions-changed-world.html
[ii] Ed Grabianowski, 10 Inventions that Changed the World, http://www.geniusstuff.com/blogs/10-inventions-changed-world3.htm
[iii] Alekhya Sai, 35 Inventions that Changed the World, http://interestingengineering.com/35-inventions-that-changed-the-world/
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