When it comes to inventions, few have had a bigger impact on society than the six listed below. These have all changed the world in major ways, and most of them were so important they are still used today in some form or another. Take a look at each invention and see just how much it has contributed to modern life as we know it.
The invention of writing is one that drastically changed the course of history when people first created symbols that represented objects with which they could communicate their thoughts to others. Before this point in time, there was no existing method by which humans could record information for future use. Writing gradually evolved from simple drawings representing ideas along with their accompanying sounds, into a more complex system where concepts could be communicated through words depicted in a specific order.
As writing spread around the world, it enabled humans to share their knowledge with people from other cultures in a permanent way. This in turn led to a higher level of education and a mastery of many different skills that would have been otherwise difficult if not impossible for one person to learn alone. There is also evidence that suggests writing played an important role in the development of early civilizations by allowing them to collect taxes and keep accurate records of trades with other groups.
In all human societies throughout history, trade has been essential for survival and advancement, but until fairly recently there were no methods available through which items could be exchanged between members of two widely separated entities without either group risking their goods being taken by the other. This changed when humans began to use currency, which is simply something that has value and can be exchanged for goods or services.
History states that the first known currencies were cowrie shells found in China around 4500 B.C., but it’s believed that people all over the world eventually created their own currencies using different items with intrinsic value. The invention of currency led to greater trade between communities, which helped spread knowledge of new technologies and farming techniques, while also creating jobs and keeping entire economies afloat.
The Printing Press
Prior to the invention of moveable type printing presses, publications were painstakingly produced manually through a tedious process that involved carving letters into blocks of wood or metal then inking them before applying this to paper. It was a long, slow process that took much time and effort to produce even short books or pamphlets.
The printing press eliminated the need for each letter to be carved by hand by adapting movable type technology. This was first invented in China around 1040 A.D., but Johann Gutenberg of Germany is credited with creating the first working model of this machine in 1440 A.D., which was later improved upon by others who refined it into an efficient mass production technique over the next few centuries. Since then, the printing press has been used to create millions of publications across all forms of media, including newspapers, magazines, textbooks, reference guides, and more.
The discovery that steam could power an engine revolutionized transportation as humans were now able to harness forces that had been previously thought impossible for people to control. Steam engines became the first form of mechanical power used for such tasks as propelling trains and boats and were soon attached to machinery used in mining, manufacturing, construction, and farming. This led to the establishment of entire industries dedicated to steam power, which went on to be refined into forms such as internal combustion engines, jet turbines, and electric motors. With the potential for even greater efficiency still existing, mechanical power is still widely used today in everything from automobiles to rockets.
Today it’s difficult to imagine living in a world without access to mobile communication. The invention of the walkie-talkie, the cell phone, and other portable devices completely transformed how people communicate with one another both professionally and personally. Improvements on the original two-way radios used by police, firemen, and others helped introduce wireless communication between individuals through early forms of cell phones that were only capable of transmitting through fixed telephone lines. Then everything changed when mobile phones gained the ability to transmit on their own, which eventually led to smartphones appearing in nearly every pocket around the world.
The first version of the modern cell phone was introduced in 1973 when Motorola debuted its DynaTac model, which had a battery life of just half an hour per charge and sold for around $5,000. Today’s wireless devices continue to become smaller and cheaper as their capabilities grow through advancements such as 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi networks. This has led to a proliferation of mobile devices that have brought along a whole new world of instant communication possibilities not only between other people but also with satellites high above Earth’s surface.
The six inventions listed above have had a greater impact on the world than perhaps any other. Now that you’re familiar with them, it should be easier for you to see how they’ve changed the course of history and influenced so many aspects of daily life, and even made possible things we once thought were nothing more than ideas in our imaginations.