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If any one of these 7 Inventions that changed the world had not occurred, our modern world would look very different to how we see it today.
This first invention is probably the most fundamental of all the ones here, for without this, all but one of the following inventions would not have been possible.
Electricity had been known about since greeks and Benjamin Franklin had shown the relationship between lightning and electricity. But, it was Michael Faraday with his research into electromagnetism and later invention of the Electric Dynamo in 1831 which really opened up the way to the practical use of electricity. Although it would be Nikola Tesla almost 60 years later that showed the use of Alternating current using alternators and not Direct Current to be the best for wide spread transmission of electricity.
Almost a revolutionary as the generation of the electrical power, the light bulb brought light the world, at any time any were. Before its invention, people had to rely on oil lamps and then gas but both of these had considerable drawbacks with low light output and above all safety as they both relied on burning oil or gas. But the introducing of electric lamp changed these completely.
The third item in our list and this is the only non-electrical item but it has had as much influence on the past 100 years as any of the other inventions here and that was the internal combustion engine.
Although there had been many attempts at creating an alternative to the stream engine, the first real engine that we would most closely relate to what we have today was created by Nikolaus Otto, working with Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1876.
In 1879 Karl Benz independently created a two stroke engine and than a four stroke engine but the one engine which revolutionised the world in the 20th century more than any other was created by Rudolf Diesel in 1893.
At around the same time as the development of the electrical generators, the same discoveries about electromagnetism also brought about the 4th item on our list, something that enabled mass communications for the first time and more recently the liberation from fixed connections in our Wifi world, that invention was Radio.
It was in the 1864 that James Clerk Maxwell showed mathematically that electromagnetic waves could propagate through free space. Then in the late 1880’s, experiments by Heinrich Hertz confirmed Maxwell’s theory that radio waves did exist and in 1896 Marconi patented a system of transmitting and receiving radio signals. In 1898 Nikola Tesla successfully demonstrated a radio-controlled boat at the electrical exhibition in Madison Square garden.
Without our fifth invention, you wouldn’t be sitting here watching this video and infact much of the modern world would look like it did the 1930’s
Back then the word “Computer” meant someone that did manual number crunching using mechanical calculator, usually women working for accounting firms, banks or governments.
The first computing device that that could be programed with punch cards was Charles Babbage’s analytical engine in 1833 but it was Alan Turing who published a ground breaking paper called “on Computable Numbers” in 1936 that proposed a device he called a “Universal Computing Machine”.
While the computer is taking on the job of being the universal machine, it would not be able to what it does without our next invention which allowed the early computers to go from a machine the size of a large room to something you can wear on your wrist, carry in your pocket even have implanted under your skin.
That invention was the transistor in 1947 by American physicists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley at the AT&T Bell Labs in the United States.
Whilst the previous inventions have all been physical devices, the last invention is essentially a protocol for users of a computer or more importantly a network of computers to follow. But the results would have one of the biggest impacts on how we as people, communicate, connect, work and play since the beginning of industrial revolution and in fact has ushered in the information revolution.
Our last invention is not the internet but the world wide web which was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee whilst working at the CERN the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.
Yet without this simple but highly effective system we would not have Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or any on the just over 1 billion websites online now.
28 years later coldwater canyon tribute to TD by Frank Dorittke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence
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