10 of the Greatest Inventions Ever

Now, a lot of you will be conflicted whether you will agree or disagree with this list. This list contains what I think were included in the greatest inventions humans had made, from the least important to the most important. Feel free to make you own list, add or remove from this list, or argue my selections in the comment section below. Here are 10 of the greatest inventions ever:

1. Modern Plumbing

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We have devised a way to get rid of sewage and obtain clear water into cities where the human population is dense. We made living in cities possible and without it, a city would never be a city as we have known it to be (imagine a city having a river for clean water, or a building built beside a waterfall for water). There will be no high-rise buildings such apartment buildings and office towers. Imagine removing these from the current world, then imagine the effect that would do to the rest of the world. Removing this invention would cause a massive butterfly effect.

2. Printing Press

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Jonannes Gutenberg is credited to have invented the first printing press in Europe, who used the technology of screw presses used for olives and wines and presses for binding of manuscript books, converting them for printing use. It is one of the first communication medium that we use, as it change how we collect, store, retrieve, criticize, discover, and promote information. It have been used from the Reformation, the Renaissance, to the Scientific Revolution. The use of mechanical printing press along with other inventions made printing a industrial process far more effective and efficient than conventional methods such copyists writing manuscripts by hand.

3. Automobile

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The first steam-powered road vehicle was invented in 1769 by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot, a French mechanic. Karl Benz then designed the first practical automobile to use an internal combustion engine for power in 1885. Gottlieb Daimler took the engine further in 1885 and patented it to what is now generally recognized as a prototype of the modern gas engine. He then later built the world’s first four-wheel automobile.

4. Pesticide

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Even before 2500BC, pesticide had been used to prevent damages caused by pests in agricultural crops. Elemental sulfur was first used as a pesticide in Sumeria about 4500 years ago. Toxic chemicals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury were later used in the 15th century as pesticides applied to crops to kill pest. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was then discovered to be an effective insecticide by Paul Müller, which then quickly became the most used pesticide before being discovered to cause reproduction problems to many fish-eating birds which could lead to biodiversity problems in 1960s. Pesticide use had increase 50 times since 1950, and about 2.5 million tons of pesticides is used annually.

5. Steam Engine

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Thomas Savery, an English military engineer and inventor, patented the first crude steam engine in 1968. In 1972, Thomas Newcomen invented the atmospheric steam engine. But it was James Watt’s incarnation of the engine than became popular in the Industrial Revolution. His centrifugal governor keeps the engine running at a desirable rate, and the modification of the machine is simple that it may be one of the greatest invention ever.

6. Computers

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Charles Babbage conceptualized and designed the first fully programmable mechanical computer that he called the “Analytical Engine” in 1837, although he did not actually built it due to his limited finance and his inability to resist improving the design of the machine. Later, in 1890, tabulating machines designed by Herman Hollerith and manufactured by the Computer Tabulating Recording Corporation, which became the IBM, were used by the US Census as an automated data processor of punch cards.

7. Transistors

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Transistors are used as a important part of circuitry that governs the operations of modern day computers, cellphones, and many other electronic devices. John Bardeen and Walter Brattain discovered in a experiments conducted at the Bell Labs from November 17, 1947 to December 23, 1947 that two gold contacts, when applied to pure geranium, would produce a signal much greater than that of the input. William Shockley then saw a potential for these, and that gave way to the invention of the transistor.

8. Plastic

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Plastic is basically made up of organic condensation or polymers. It may also contain other substance to improve the performance or lower the price of production. There are only a few natural polymers considered to be classified as “plastic”. The first plastic to be derived from a synthetic polymer, named Bakelite, was made from phenol and formaldehyde, with the first cheap and viable method of producing it being invented by Leo Hendrick Baekeland in 1909. Subsequent developments of new varieties of plastics such as the poly(vinyl) chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamides or nylons, polyesters, silicones, polystyrene, polyurethanes and acrylics also had commercial success.

9. Harnessed Electricity

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Even though electricity existed all along, the device that is needed to generate and distribute it is an invention that was started by Thomas Alva Edison. He was one of the first people to turn electricity into a salable commodity, with his Pearl Street Station being the first electric power station in the world. The invention of alternating current technology by Nikola Tesla years later made it possible to transmits electricity to far-off locations, enabling us to establish the nationwide distribution of electricity today. Now anyone in the world can have access to electricity to power light bulbs, televisions, computers, and a lot of devices that we could no longer live without.

10. Antibiotics

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Infectious diseases used to kill almost everyone in the community three centuries ago. Plagues such as that which broke out in Europe killed almost half of its inhabitants in 1347, and it did so in just 2 years. Diseases such as smallpox, when it reached North America, reduced its population by almost 90% within just a century. Even in the 18th century the leading cause of death was tuberculosis in the West, and most of the people dies of disease rather than old age. Today, there are a lot of elders still living, thanks to the invention of antibiotics and vaccines. Living past 70 is common, and 73% of the people in united states die of heart disorders, stroke, and cancer.

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