Inventions That Could Have Changed The World

5 min read

Inventions That Could Have Changed The World – Before the Internet, no invention did more to spread and democratize knowledge than Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. Developed around 1440 in Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg’s machine improved upon existing presses by using molds that enabled the rapid production of lead alloy pieces. This assembly line method of copying books allowed one press to produce 3,600 pages per day. By 1500, 1,000 Gutenberg machines were operating in Europe, and by 1600 they produced over 200 million new books. Not only did the printing press make books available to the lower classes, but it helped usher in the Age of Enlightenment and the spread of new and often controversial ideas. In 1518, followers of the German monk Martin Luther used a printing press to copy and distribute his major work, the Eighty-Five Theses, which launched the Protestant Reformation and led to conflicts such as the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648). . The printing press proved so influential in inspiring revolution, religious upheaval, and scientific thought that Mark Twain later wrote, “What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg.”

Satellites and Global Positioning Systems may have made magnetic compasses obsolete, but their impact on early navigation and exploration was immeasurable. Originally invented in China, by the 14th century compasses had largely replaced astronomical instruments as the primary navigational tool for sailors. The compass provided explorers with a reliable method for crossing the world’s oceans, a breakthrough that ushered in the Age of Discovery and gave Europe the wealth and power that would later lead to the Industrial Revolution. More importantly, the compass enabled interaction—peaceful and otherwise—between previously isolated world cultures.

Inventions That Could Have Changed The World

Inventions That Could Have Changed The World

For most people, money came in the form of precious metals, coins, and raw materials such as livestock or vegetables. The introduction of paper money ushered in a brave new era – a world where money could be used to buy goods and services, even if it had no intrinsic value. Paper currency was widely used in China in the ninth century, but did not appear in Europe until the late 1600s. Due to frequent coinage shortages, banks issued paper notes as collateral for future payments of precious metals. In the late 19th century, many nations began issuing government-backed legal tender that could no longer be converted into gold or silver. The switch to paper money saved struggling governments in times of crisis—as was the case with the United States during the Civil War—but it also ushered in a new era of international monetary regulation that changed the face of the global economy. More importantly, paper money was an important first step in the new monetary system that created credit cards and electronic banking.

Revolutionary Engineering Inventions That Changed The World

Although early human societies made extensive use of stone, bronze, and iron, steel fueled the Industrial Revolution and built modern cities. Evidence of steel tools dates back 4,000 years, but the alloy was not mass-produced until the invention of the Bessemer process in the 1850s, using molten iron to make steel. Steel then exploded into one of the biggest industries on the planet and was used to build everything from bridges and railways to skyscrapers and engines. This proved particularly influential in North America, where large deposits of iron ore helped the United States become the world’s largest economy.

Although they are easy to obtain, it only takes a brief power outage to remind us of the importance of artificial lighting. Pioneered by Humphrey Davy and his carbon arc lamp in the early 19th century, electric lighting was developed in the 1800s through the efforts of inventors such as Warren de la Rue, Joseph Wilson Swann, and Thomas Alva Edison. Edison and Swann patented the first long-lasting light bulbs in 1879 and 1880, freeing society from almost total dependence on daylight. Electric lighting began to be used in everything from house and street lights to flashlights and car headlights. The complex networks of wires used to power early light bulbs also helped create the first household electrical wiring, which paved the way for many other household appliances.

Since their domestication around 5,500 years ago, horses have been closely linked to human evolution. They allowed people to travel long distances and allowed different cultures to trade and exchange ideas and technology. The strength and speed of horses meant that horses could drive cattle, plow and even clear forests. Most impressively, horses changed the nature of warfare. Nothing was more formidable than a horse-drawn carriage or a warrior on horseback, and societies that mastered the use of cavalry usually won battle.

Replica of the first working transistor invented in 1947 by John Barden, Walter Bratten and William Shockley at Bell Laboratories.

Inventions That Could Have Changed The World…but Didn’t! By Joe Rhatigan

A criminally underrated innovation, the transistor is an essential component of nearly every modern electronic device. First developed by Bell Laboratories in late 1947, these tiny semiconductor devices allow precise control of the amount and flow of current through the plates. Originally used in radios, transistors have become a fundamental part of circuitry in many electronic devices, including televisions, cell phones, and computers. The number of transistors in integrated circuits doubles roughly every two years—a phenomenon known as Moore’s Law—so their significant impact on technology will only grow.

Magnifying lenses may seem like a remarkable invention, but their use has enabled mankind to see everything from distant stars and galaxies to the tiny functions of living cells. Lenses were first used in the 13th century to help the visually impaired, and the first microscopes and telescopes were used in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. People like Robert Hooke and Anton van Leeuwenhoek continued to use microscopes for early observations of cells and other particles, while Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler used telescopes to determine the Earth’s place in space. These early experiments were the first steps in the development of amazing instruments such as the electron microscope and the Hubble Space Telescope. Magnifying lenses led to new advances in fields such as astronomy, biology, archaeology, optometry and surgery.

Samuel Morse, inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph, two separate devices for sending and receiving messages.

Inventions That Could Have Changed The World

The telegraph was the first in a long line of communication breakthroughs that later included radio, the telephone, and e-mail. Introduced by various inventors in the 18th and 19th centuries, the telegraph used Samuel Morse’s famous Morse code to send messages by interrupting the flow of electricity on communication wires. Telegraph lines proliferated in the 1850s, and by 1902 transoceanic cables had spread around the world. The original telegraph and its wireless successors were the first major advances in global communication. The ability to send messages quickly over long distances had an indelible impact on government, business, banking, industry, warfare, and the media, and laid the foundation for the information age.

Inventions Of Thomas Edison That Changed The World Forever

A major advance in medicine, antibiotics have saved millions of lives by killing and stopping the growth of harmful bacteria. Scientists like Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister were the first to identify and try to fight bacteria, but Alexander Fleming made the first leap into antibiotics when he accidentally discovered the bacteria-inhibiting mold known as penicillin in 1928. It turns out that antibiotics are one of them. Great improvements in antiseptics – which killed human cells along with bacteria – and their use spread rapidly in the 20th century. Nowhere was their impact more evident than on the battlefield: while about 20 percent of soldiers died of bacterial pneumonia in World War I, antibiotics, particularly penicillin, reduced that number to just 1 percent in World War II. Antibiotics, including penicillin, vancomycin, cephalosporins, and streptomycin, are used to fight almost every known form of infection, including influenza, malaria, meningitis, tuberculosis, and most sexually transmitted diseases.

Cars, airplanes, factories, trains, spaceships – none of these modes of transportation would have been possible thanks to the early success of the steam engine. The first practical use of external combustion dates back to 1698, when Thomas Savery developed a steam-powered water pump. Steam engines were perfected by James Watt in the late 1700s and led to one of the most important technological leaps in man during the Industrial Revolution. During the 1800s, open burning enabled rapid improvements in transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing, and also contributed to the rise of world superpowers like Great Britain and the United States. More importantly, the basic principle of propulsion of the steam engine laid the groundwork for later inventions such as the internal combustion engine and jet turbines that inspired automobiles and airplanes in the 20th century.

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