When you think of Inventors, who comes to mind? Ben Franklin and bifocals? Thomas Edison and the light bulb? The Wright Brothers and the airplane? Steve Jobs and iStuff? How about Les Paul and electric guitar stuff? Or Hedy Lamarr, an actress in the 1930s – 1950s? Her name doesn’t ring a bell? In 2014, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Why? She and composer George Antheil developed “a radio guidance system for torpedoes” which could not be jammed by enemies.
Perhaps with such people and creations in mind, National Geographic magazine has put out a special addition entitled: 101 Inventions That Shaped The World. They describe the 101 most important inventions of all-time. The 101 inventions were divided into 5 categories. To avoid overloading you (or myself) with too much information, here are the 5 categories and 10 inventions from each group.
Advances in Medicine = Cloning; Oral Birth Control; DNA; Germ Theory (to explain illness); Artificial Insulin; Penicillin; Microscope; Vaccines (eg, polio); Contact Lenses; Band Aids (see above).
Communication and Transportation = Printing Press; Telegraph; Typewriter; Photography; Motion Pictures; Satellite Communication; World Wide web; Astrolabe (for sailing); Interstate Highway; Parking Meters (see above).
Military and Industry = Atomic Bomb; Gunpowder; Rifle; Aircraft Carrier; Submarine; Sonar; Rubber (tires); Steam Engine; Duct Tape (see above); Assembly Line.
Science and Electronics = Spaceflight; Robotics; Periodic Table; Modern Numbers (ie, 0 – 10, etc.); Computer; Transistor; Microwave Oven (see above); Television; Phonograph; Radio.
Everyday Items = Beer; Safety Razor; Drinking Fountain; WD – 40 (see above); Currency; Toilet Paper; Disposable Diaper; Light bulb; Zipper; Video Games.
Just for fun, what would you choose as the most important invention in each group? Of your 5 choices, what would be the most important of them all?
And, finally, why isn’t the rubber band mentioned? Any other omissions that you would add?