Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. If that’s so, then the father of invention must be the human imagination. Because somewhere at the intersection between needs and dreams, practicalities and possibilities, are the foundations of great inventions.
It’s no wonder then that all of the best inventions come from the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – along with Art added in to make STEAM, since there’s a lot of overlap between creating art and making new things.
Inventions help make life easier on people. They save us time and effort, and provide new ways of doing something. Inventions showcase the best of human creativity, and can almost always be linked to great ideas that came before. For example, the invention of glass led to the invention of the microscope, the telescope, and spectacles!
One can’t argue with Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientific minds of all time, who said: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Even though inventions are made by building on previous discoveries, every once in a long while, something is invented which changes the very nature of our lives.
From the moment someone hit a rock against a boulder to make the first sharp-edged tool, to the debut of the wheel, to the development of the Internet, several key advancements stand out as particularly revolutionary. These include:
- Printing Press
- Steam Engine
- Light Bulb
What will be next? In the last thirty years especially, a staggering level of technological change has occurred – and we haven’t even begun to feel the repercussions of this yet. What feats of human ingenuity will 3D printing, the smartphone, or the World Wide Web lead to? The possibilities, like the human imagination, are limitless.
Here is an infographic designed by Graphs.net showing ten of the greatest inventions that helped change the world along with the name of each inventor, the type of invention, the year it was invented, and applications for its use.
P.S. Obviously it’s hard to pick just ten without leaving out other notable inventions… like indoor plumbing, film and photography, the automobile, and medical inventions such as the pacemaker. What other inventions would you add to this list?