A history of technological inventions that changed lives

Antibiotics saved millions of lives by killing and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch first described the Antibiosis phenomena of antibiotic drug in

A history of technological inventions that changed lives

Visit Website Magnetic compasses may have been made somewhat obsolete by satellites and global positioning systems, but their impact on early navigation and exploration was inestimable.

Originally invented in China, by the 14th century compasses had widely replaced astronomical means as the primary navigational instrument for mariners.

Most importantly, the compass allowed for interaction—both peaceful and otherwise—between previously isolated world cultures. The inception of paper money ushered in a bold new era—a world in which currency could purchase goods and services despite having no intrinsic value. Paper currency was widely used in China in the ninth century, but did not appear in Europe until the late s.

11 Innovations That Changed History - HISTORY

Spurred on by frequent shortages of coins, banks issued paper notes as a promise against future payments of precious metals. By the late 19th century many nations had begun issuing government-backed legal tender that could no longer be converted into gold or silver.

The switch to paper money not only bailed out struggling governments during times of crisis—as it did for the United States during the Civil War—but it also ushered in a new era of international monetary regulation that changed the face of global economics.

Perhaps even more importantly, paper currency was the vital first step in a new monetary system that led to the birth of credit cards and electronic banking.

Introduction

Evidence of steel tools dates back 4, years, but the alloy was not mass-produced until the invention of the Bessemer Process, a technique for creating steel using molten pig iron, in the s.

Steel then exploded into one of the biggest industries on the planet and was used in the creation of everything from bridges and railroads to skyscrapers and engines.

Pioneered in the early 19th century by Humphry Davy and his carbon arc lamp, electric lights developed throughout the s thanks to the efforts of inventors like Warren de la Rue, Joseph Wilson Swan and Thomas Alva Edison. It was Edison and Swan who patented the first long-lasting light bulbs in andliberating society from a near-total reliance on daylight.

Electric lights went on to be used in everything from home lighting and street lamps to flashlights and car headlights. The complex networks of wires erected to power early light bulbs also helped lead to the first domestic electrical wiring, paving the way for countless other in-home appliances.

They enabled people to travel great distances and gave different cultures the chance to trade and exchange ideas and technology. Equine strength and agility meant that horses could also carry cargo, plow farmland and even clear forests.

Perhaps most influential of all, horses changed the nature of war. Nothing was more feared than a horse-drawn chariot or a mounted warrior, and societies that mastered the use of cavalry typically prevailed in battle. First developed in by Bell Laboratories, these tiny semiconductor devices allow for precise control of the amount and flow of current through circuit boards.

Originally used in radios, transistors have since become an elemental piece of the circuitry in countless electronic devices including televisions, cell phones and computers.

Magnifying Lenses Magnifying lenses might seem like an unremarkable invention, but their use has offered mankind a glimpse of everything from distant stars and galaxies to the minute workings of living cells. Lenses first came into use in the 13th century as an aid for the weak-sighted, and the first microscopes and telescopes followed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

These early uses were the first steps in the development of astonishing devices like the electron microscope and the Hubble Space Telescope. Magnifying lenses have since led to new breakthroughs in an abundance of fields including astronomy, biology, archeology, optometry and surgery.

The Printing Press

Telegraph lines multiplied throughout the s, and by transoceanic cables encircled the globe. The original telegraph and its wireless successors went on to be the first major advancements in worldwide communication. The ability to send messages rapidly across great distances made an indelible impact on government, trade, banking, industry, warfare and news media, and formed the bedrock of the information age.

Scientists like Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister were the first to recognize and attempt to combat bacteria, but it was Alexander Fleming who made the first leap in antibiotics when he accidentally discovered the bacteria-inhibiting mold known as penicillin in Antibiotics proved to be a major improvement on antiseptics—which killed human cells along with bacteria—and their use spread rapidly throughout the 20th century.

Nowhere was their effect more apparent than on the battlefield: While nearly 20 percent of soldiers who contracted bacterial pneumonia died in World War I, with antibiotics that number dropped to only 1 percent during World War II.

A history of technological inventions that changed lives

Antibiotics like penicillin, vancomycin, cephalosporin and streptomycin have gone on to fight nearly every known form of infection, including influenza, malaria, meningitis, tuberculosis and most sexually transmitted diseases. The Steam Engine Cars, airplanes, factories, trains, spacecraft—none of these transportation methods would have been possible if not for the early breakthrough of the steam engine.

The first practical use of external combustion dates back towhen Thomas Savery developed a steam-powered water pump. Steam engines were then perfected in the late s by James Watt, and went on to fuel one of the most momentous technological leaps in human history during the Industrial Revolution.

Throughout the s external combustion allowed for exponential improvement in transportation, agriculture and manufacturing, and also powered the rise of world superpowers like Great Britain and the United States.10 Greatest Technological Inventions (6/12) Music has graced the world with its presence for thousands of years, but digitizing music has improved sound quality and sharing ability.

Compared to some of the gleaming, electronic inventions that fill our lives today, the plow doesn't seem very exciting.

10 Awesome Inventions That Changed Our Lives

It's a simple cutting tool used to carve a furrow into the soil, churning it up to expose nutrients and prepare it for planting. Technology for crafting nails continued to advance; After Henry Bessemer developed a process to mass-produce steel from iron, the iron nails of yesteryear slowly waned and by , 10 percent of U.

Apart from the technological inventions themselves, daily life in the 19th century was profoundly changed by the innovation of reorganizing work as a mechanical process, with humans as part of that process. 10 inventions that changed the world are explained in this article from HowStuffWorks.

Learn about 10 inventions that changed the world. 10 Greatest Technological Inventions (8/12) Compared to inventions that have existed for hundreds of years, such as the microscope .

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