Some of us groan about how good the ‘good old days’ were. But if those days were as good as we think then what made our ancestors think of making it better by inventing things? That’s a good question, right? Inventions, may it be as big as inventing a flight or as small and simple as an invention of a pen have brought a remarkable change in this world. The world which was once so raw without even the basic necessities, is now flourished with so many gadgets that make our life easier. The internet, the laptops, the Ipod and many more such gadgets is now rocking the world. But all these modern, developed gadgets must have evolved from something more primitive, right? So here is the list of those inventions that led to the change of the world.
The invention of the wheel and the discovery of fire:
The wheels and the fire are one of the best discoveries till date. It just changed the lifestyle of our ancestors and made travelling easier and food a lot tastier. The invention of wheel took place in the late Neolithic period and was done by a genius who has managed to remain anonymous till date and the discovery of controlled fire is said to be done by Homo erectus some 600,000 years ago. These discoveries seem to be challenging the Gods’ creations as the wheels replaces the excessive usage of legs and the fire defies the universal law of light and dark. As times changed, the wheels that were once just big round wooden masses kept developing and evolving into more developed ones. And the fire which took hours and hours to create can now be created in a snap. These both brilliant discoveries paved the way for the humans’ life on Earth. And I bet that you can't I bet that you can’t imagine a day without these both.
Living in the ancient world must’ve been a very hard thing! How did they even communicate with their far away friends? Pigeon post, that’s how! They used pigeons to communicate their messages and even in this method the reply was not immediate. That’s how telegraph came into the picture. This made instant communication possible. The word "telegraph" was first coined by the inventor of the Semaphore line, Claude Chappe who was a french. And then long-distance telegraphy started in 1792 in the form of semaphore lines. And then the telegram era began and different telegraphs ranging from the first commercial electrical telegraph, the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph to the telex machine came into play. The era of telegrams then came to an end with the evolutions of the advanced technologies like mobile phones.
Do you know that Thomas Edison is not the only one who invented the light bulb? There were 22 inventors of light bulbs prior to him! Since Edison’s bulb was more efficient than the others, his name stuck up in history. But we can’t deny that Edison’s discovery was a great break through for the human civilization. The invention of the Electric bulb gave a break for the oil lamps and candles. Light bulbs became common among the people during the 20th century. Today the primitive incandescent bulb of Edison has now evolved into the very efficient LED lights.
In the early world, the only way people could listen to music was live performances. So music was much of a social event. This was changed when Edison gave birth to the phonograph that could both record and reproduce sound. At that time when music could not be recorded, the phonograph was a quantum leap. It replaced the social events with personal ones. It gave people the luxury of listening to music in their leisure or whenever they please! It became the most dominant audio recording format throughout the 20th century. The phonograph proved to be a medium that led to the spread of music. And moreover it was the one that changed music into an industry. I believe that this invention is the one that paved way for the other modern recording materials thus revolutionizing the industry of music.
Our ancestors’ skills are awe inspiring, right? Who would have thought to make a pen out of a goose’ feather? But can you imagine finishing your lengthy public examination papers with a quill within the given 3 hours? You would have to spend your time sharpening your best quills that were made by choosing the best goose’s feather rather than filling up your paper. This is why I think that the discovery of pen is one of the discoveries that changed our life. Now there is a variety of pens available ranging from ball point pens to felt tip pens! Today’s most used writing instrument of the world- the ballpoint pen was first patented to John J. Loud in 1888. And with that, gone are the days of quills and here are the days of 2Rs. ballpoint pens!
After the first commercial telephone exchange that Alexander Graham Bell made in 1878, the need for a better device than that made by Alexander became apparent. This made Almon Brown Strowger invent a telephone dial by bridging up the holes left by Alexander’s telephone. Though the use of this phone has died down now, this rotary dial was the one that gave way to push up dialing and other modern techniques that are available today. The invention of rotary phones was a turning point which led to today’s smart phone world.
The history of aviation traces back to 852 AD when Armen Firman jumped off a tower covering his body with vulture feathers and attaching two wings to his arms. Then came the kites, hot air balloons etc,. The history has recorded many scientists and inventors who tried to invent a full fledged flying machine like gliders and each of their discoveries were better than the other. But all of their machines either failed or had some technical holes which led to unfulfilled requirements ultimately leading to the need of something more than that. And then the Wright brothers invented the world's first successful airplane in 1903. That was the beginning of the saga of flights which continues till date! Flying which was once looked up, is now something that has become very common. This flying machine is the one that made this fast paced world even faster. This is definitely one of the discoveries that changed the world totally.
Television and radio
The invention of television and the radio has played a very big role in the human civilization. They both were responsible in bringing the distant social events directly into our homes. While the invention of television is a work of many individuals, radio was invented by Guglielmo Marconi. Both these inventions have been ruling the world starting from the late 19th century. Today, there are a very wide range of televisions like LED, LCD and plasma which have replaced the radios in our home. Even though the actual radios are no longer in use, the FM still remains to be the best media to keep us company during our lonely car drives and lonely nights. I’ll not do justice to this article if I didn’t add television and radio in this list.
‘Go green’ and ‘Go digital’ are the two slogans that have been going around the world today. Going digital is what many countries including India is aiming for. This is all because of the invention of the computer by Charles Babbage back in the 19th century. Since then the computers have developed a great deal. The computers which once occupied large rooms are now developed to be small and slim enough to fit inside our pocket. Computers have become a major part of our life that we cannot go without it for even a day. Computers which were once used for just solving logical and arithmetic problems are now used for almost everything starting from paying the bills to buying shoes. And so we who are witnessing the magic of this super invention can never deny the changes it has brought in the world.
Internet!! This is the one who holds people within its palm. In today’s ‘Google-it-up’ world everyone depends on internet. The modern internet was born when the researchers assembled the network of networks. This one here is the one which made computer interesting. Without internet a computer wouldn’t hold much interest. Internet revolutionized the world in a way that no one thought of. It brought everything and everyone close to us. Recently I stumbled upon a website which delivers fresh fish at our door step! You don’t have to make your way to the market to even buy a fish. This is how the internet has changed our lives. Restaurant, gyms and even busses in travel agencies have started to offer free WIFI to attract customers. And what’s more? We are falling for it! As simple as that!
So let’s stop groaning about how good the olden days were! The present is way more better than the past. Let’s count our boons and fall into tune to make this better world even better.
- Johanna Afra