The original invention I choose as the “best” was the light bulb. I assumed that giving the workforce extra hours of productivity greatly benefited innovation. However, before the light bulb the candle provided light for those working late into the night. I am revising my previous “best” invention to water filtration systems. Eliminating a plethora of diseases, water filtration dates back to the Neanderthals.
The purity of water used to be determined by taste. Unsafe drinking water might taste funny. Early humans didn’t test the P.H. of the water before drinking, but rather, like other mammals, simply tasted the water. This taste was the catalyst that pushed humans to build the first filtration systems. In search for better tasting water, in 2000 BC, ancient Greeks and Indians made the first primitive filtration devices. Using heat, sand, gavel, and straining our ancestors jumpstarted our path to clean water. However, it wasn’t until 500 years later, that the Egyptians used chemicals to address particle sediment. A process closer to how we purify water in the modern day.
The ramifications of clean water are tremendous. In developed counties, death from diseases such as diarrhea are virtually completely eradicated due to clean water. However, in 3rd world countries approximately 1.4 million children die from diarrhea each year. For an invention that has been present for 4,000 years its global reach is surprising lacking.
Clean water isn’t expensive, but due to extreme poverty it is often inaccessible.
Innovative companies such as “Life Straw”, are improving the lives of many underprivileged peoples. For 20$, their straw can be placed in any water supply and immediately used to drink that water. A previous model focused on straining for the Guinea Worm Larvae, being part of the solution to eradicated that disease. With new cheaper technology, Life Straw is pathing the path for global clean water.
Our team was tasked with making a water purifier out of limited resources. We came up with a two stage system that merely separated the particulate from the water. Given our limited time, our group rushed through R&D, and through rapid fire collaboration came to a finished product. The problem gave us very limited resources. I imagine a local African kid being tasked with a similar dilemma. However, for the child the result may be life for death.