5 Scientfic Inventions That Have Influenced Mankind Greatly
Mankind has developed numerous inventions that affect our everyday tasks, including the most popular Ferrite and Neodymium magnets Australia has to offer. The wheel, the lever, the nail were all very significant, but scientific discovery really started during the Renaissance.
The Printing Press
In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg produced a machine that used movable metal squares with letters on them to print a whole page of a book at a time. He could print multiples of the same page and therefore multiples of a book. In other countries, men were experimenting with wooden blocks. Gutenberg, however, came up with an alloy composed of lead, tin and antimony, which melted at a relatively low temperature, molded well and stood up to the wear and tear of the press. The metal blocks were placed in a wooden frame, forming a mirror image of the page. The ink was applied to a blank sheet of paper on the press and heavy rollers pushed the ink into the paper. Gutenberg’s first project was the Bible.
The cost of books suddenly plummeted and accessibility increased. Dissemination of knowledge and ideas blossomed. The availability of copies of the Bible enabled many more to read it and perhaps interpret passages differently. Without a printing press, would Martin Luther have started the Protestant Reformation?
The Steam Engine
The first steam engine was invented in 1721 by Thomas Newcomen, but the Scottish inventor, James Watt, took the concept much further in 1781. The harnessing of steam power to drive an engine led quickly to the first steamboat in 1807 and railroads across Europe and America by the 1830s. Converting from animal powered transportation to machines vastly improved transit times for raw materials, food and people.
Eventually, the steam engine led to the internal combustion engine, using gasoline or other fuels. This engine has enabled us to roam around the world by car, plane, ship, and eventually to leave this world and stand on the moon.
Before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, Samuel Morse came up with the telegraph in 1844. But use of the telegraph was limited to people who could use Morse code. The telephone, however, transmitted voice. Bell said into one end of the line, “Come here, Mr. Watson. I need you.” and the words were heard on the other end. Now you can send your voice all around the world, bouncing it off satellites. No one is without a cell phone in many countries after the age of eight.
The Electric Light Bulb
Thomas Edison produced an incandescent light bulb in 1879 and the world converted from gas light to electricity as fast as it could. By the 1890s, most street lights in large cities were electric. Electricity made day out of night. Factories could operate 24 hours a day. More inventions followed. Radio and television, derived in equal parts from the inventions of Bell and Edison, changed the world as communication became instantaneous.
The first real computer was proposed by Alan Turing in 1936. From room-sized machines like the ENIAC to the PC has taken decades, but now you can enjoy role playing games with someone in Guangzho or seek the advice of a guru in Mumbai, all in real time. The internet has connected us like nothing before.
The ingenuity of the human race is boundless. Our lives have been extended by medical science. We enjoy leisure time because of the multitude of inventions that make our work easier. We learn on machines that contain more knowledge than we can absorb. What will they think of next?