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Human inventions and technologies have shaped civilizations and transformed life on the Earth. As expectations and capabilities evolve, each generation cultivates its own set of innovative thinkers.

Right from the invention of the wheel to the development of the Mars rover, a large number of these inventions have been truly revolutionary, even if hadn’t been so obvious at the time.

Most major inventions don’t have just one inventor. Instead, they have been developed separately by many people, or many people have had a hand in their evolution from basic concepts to useful inventions.  

Here is a list of our top picks of revolutionary inventions that changed the world:

1. Wheel

The wheel stands out as an original engineering marvel, and one of the most famous inventions. This basic technology not only made it easier to travel, but also served as the base for a huge number of other innovative technologies. Yet, the wheel is not actually that old. The oldest known wheel is from Mesopotamia, around 3500 B.C. By that time, humans were already casting metal alloys, constructing canals and sailboats, and even designing complex musical instruments such as harps.

In fact, the main invention was not the wheel itself, which was likely invented the first time someone saw a rock rolling along, but the combination of a wheel and a fixed axle, which allows the wheel to be connected to a stable platform. Without the fixed axel, the wheel has only very limited utility. 

2. Compass

This modern invention may have originally been created for spiritual purposes. Later it was adapted for navigational purposes. The earliest compasses were most likely invented by the Chinese, around 200 BC. Some were made of lodestone, which is a naturally-occurring form of the mineral magnetite. There is also evidence that other civilizations may have also used lodestone. At some point, possibly around 1050 CE, people began suspending the lodestones so they could move freely, and using them for navigation. A description of a magnetized needle and its use among sailors occurs in a European book written in 1190, so by that time, it is likely that the use of a needle as a compass was commonplace.

3. Automobile

Source: 12019/Pixabay

Although the birth of the modern car is often said to have occurred in 1886, when German inventor Karl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen, automobiles had been in the works since 1769, when Nicolas-Joseph Cugno developed the steam-powered automobile capable of human transportation.

Over the years, a huge number of people contributed to the development of the automobile and its constituent parts. In the early 20th century, Henry Ford innovated mass-production techniques that allowed automobiles to become affordable to the masses. These techniques then became standard with General Motors, and Chrysler following suit. 

The history of the automobile really reflects a worldwide evolution. The work of many people was required in order to develop the internal combustion engine and the other systems the automobile relies on. Dozens of spin-off industries were also involved, including oil and steel.

4. Steam Engine

A Spanish mining administrator named Jerónimo de Ayanz is thought to have been the first person to develop a steam engine. Hie patented a device that used steam power to propel water from mines. 

However, it is Englishman Thomas Savery, an engineer, and inventor, who is usually credited with developing the first practical steam engine, in 1698. His device was used to draw water from flooded mines using steam pressure. In developing his engine, Savery used principles set forth by Denis Papin, a French-born British physicist who invented the pressure cooker. 

In 1711, another Englishman, Thomas Newcomen, developed an improvement in the engine, and in 1781, James Watt, a Scottish instrument maker employed by Glasgow University, added a separate condenser to Newcomen’s engine, which allowed the steam cylinder to be maintained at a constant temperature — dramatically improving its functionality. He later developed a double rotating steam engine that, by the 1800s, would be powering trains, mills, factories, and numerous other manufacturing operations.

5. Concrete

invention of concrete
Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Concrete is one of the most widely used artificial materials. It’s a composite material made from a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, Portland cement, and water, which can be spread or poured into molds and forms a mass resembling stone on hardening.

One of the key ingredients of concrete is cement. The foundation of cement was laid in 1300 BC.

Middle eastern builders coated the outside of their clay fortresses with a thin, and moist layer of burned limestone, which chemically reacted with gasses in the air to form a hard, protective surface. Around 6500 BC, the first concrete-like structures were built by the Nabataea traders or Bedouins in the southern Syria and northern Jordan regions. By 700 BC, the significance of hydraulic lime was known, which led to the development of mortar supply kilns for the construction of rubble-wall houses, concrete floors, and underground waterproof cisterns.

Around 3000 BC, the Egyptians were using early forms of concrete as a mortar in their building. In 1824, Portland cement was invented by Joseph Aspdin of England. George Bartholomew had laid down the first concrete street in the US during 1891, which still exists.

By the end of the 19th century, the use of steel-reinforced concrete was developed. In 1902, using steel-reinforced concrete, August Perret designed and built an apartment building in Paris. This building a wide admiration and popularity for concrete and also influenced the development of reinforced concrete.

In 1921, Eugène Freyssinet pioneered the use of reinforced- concrete construction by building two colossal parabolic-arched airship hangars at Orly Airport in Paris.

6. Petrol

Without gasoline, there would be no transportation industry as we know it today

Gasoline is a fuel derivative of petroleum. It is called “gas” in the United States and “petrol” in other places around the world.

To be more specific, petrol is a transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. Interestingly gas was initially discarded as an unwanted byproduct.

Before the discovery and commercialization of gasoline, the fuel of choice was a blend of alcohol, usually methanol, and turpentine called camphene, and later this would be largely replaced by kerosene. The first oil well dug in the US, in 1859, in Pennsylvania, refined the oil to produce kerosene. Although the distillation process also produced gasoline, this was discarded as a byproduct. The method of distillation refining only produced about 20 percent gasoline from a given amount of crude petroleum.

However, once it was discovered that the internal combustion engine ran best on light fuels like gasoline, the refining process was, well refined. In 1913, to produce gasoline more easily using chemical catalysts and pressure. The new thermal cracking process doubled the efficiency of refining and made refining gasoline more practical.

7. Railways

Railways can carry a large number of passengers with comfort while also being able to haul heavy loads to long distances. While tracks, or rails, had been in use for carrying wagons since the sixteenth century, the history of modern train travel is just over 200 years old.

The first full-scale working railway steam locomotive was built in the United Kingdom in 1804 by Richard Trevithick, a British engineer. It used high-pressure steam to drive the engine. On 21 February 1804, the world’s first steam-powered railway journey took place when Trevithick’s unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway in Wales. 

However, Trevithick’s locomotives were too heavy for the cast-iron plateway track then in use. The commercial appearance of train networks came in the 1820s. In 1821, George Stephenson was appointed as an engineer for the construction of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in the northeast of England, which was opened as the first public steam-powered railway in 1825. In 1829, he built his famous steam engine, Rocket, and the age of railways had begun. 

8. Airplane

first powered airplane
Source: ingewallumrod/Pixabay

On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight.

While flying machines had been dreamt up since Leonardo da Vinci’s time, and likely long before, and thanks to the work of countless inventors over several centuries, the Wright Brothers became the first people to achieve controlled, powered flight. Beginning with their work on gliders, the duo’s success laid the foundation for modern aeronautical engineering by demonstrating what was possible.

9. Fire

Though fire is a natural phenomenon, its discovery as a useful tool marks a revolution in the pages of history. In fact, the controlled use of fire likely predates the emergence of Homo sapiens.

There is evidence of cooked food from around 1.9 million years ago — before the evolution of Homo sapiens. There is also evidence for the controlled use of fire by our ancestors, Homo erectus, beginning around 1,000,000 years ago. Flint blades that have been burned in fires have been dated to roughly 300,000 years ago. There is also evidence that fire was used systematically by early modern humans to heat treat stone, to increase its ability to flake, for use in toolmaking around 164,000 years ago.

According to a heavily debated hypothesis, it was the use of fire for cooking that allowed the larger brain of Homo sapiens to develop in the first place, by allowing hominids to eat a wider variety of foods.

From the past to the present, fire has been used in rituals, agriculture, cooking, generating heat and light, signaling, industrial processes, and as a means of destruction. It can easily be considered to be one of the leading inventions that changed the world. 

10. Nails

The sophisticated human life would not have been possible without the invention of the humble nail. They provide one of the best clues in determining the age of historic buildings. 

Prior to the invention of nails, wood structures were built using rope, they were used to interlock adjacent boards. The invention of nails goes back to several thousand years and was possible only after the development of techniques to caste and shape metal.

Bronze nails dating from around 3400 BC, have been found in Egypt. According to the University of Vermont, the use of hand-wrought nails was the norm until the 1790s and early 1800s. By 1913, 90 percent of nails produced in the U.S. were steel wire nails.

11. Tools

Source: Free-Photos/Pixabay

As with fire, the use of tools likely predated the evolution of Homo sapiens, and may stretch back 2.6 million years or more. Today, there are a number of animal species that use tools. 

Anthropologists believe the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind. Some of the earliest tools may have been sticks, stone, and fire. However, almost anything can be a tool, depending on how it is used.

12. Lightbulb

invention of light bulb
Source: dengri/Pixabay

The light we use today in our homes and offices comes from a bright idea from more than 150 years ago.  

Electric lights were pioneered in the early 19th century by Humphry Davy, who experimented with electricity and invented an electric battery. When he connected wires between his battery and a piece of carbon, the carbon glowed, producing light. His invention was known as the electric arc lamp

Over the next seven decades, other inventors also created “lightbulbs” but these were not capable of commercial application. 

In 1850 an English physicist named Joseph Wilson Swan created a “light bulb” by enclosing carbonized paper filaments in an evacuated glass bulb. But without a good vacuum, his bulb had too short a lifetime for commercial use. However, in the 1870’s, better vacuum pumps became available and Swan was able to develop a longer-lasting lightbulb.

Thomas A. Edison improved on Swan’s design by using metal filaments and in 1878 and 1879 he filed patents for electric lights using different materials for the filament. He eventually discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last over 1200 hours. This discovery made commercially manufactured light bulbs feasible, and in 1880, Edison’s company, Edison Electric Light Company began marketing its new product.

13. Battery Electricity

invention of power poles
Source: blickpixel/Pixabay

Battery electricity has become the basic need for our day to day life, another essential invention. Of course, electricity itself has been here around all along, but the practical applications to effectively use it was invented. Although many use electricity, how many of you know the history of electricity?

Alessandro Volta is generally credited with discovering the first practical battery. He invented his battery in 1799, it consisted of discs of two different metals, such as copper and zinc, separated by cardboard soaked in brine. 

In 1831, British scientist Michael Faraday discovered the basic principles of electricity generation. The electromagnetic induction discovery revolutionized energy usage. Street lights were some of the earliest attention gaining equipment. With the rise in electricity usability, now it stands as a backbone of modern industrial society.

14. Battery

invention of battery packs
Source: Awilson429/Wikimedia

The prehistoric battery may date back to the Parthian empire, which is around 2,000 years old. The ancient battery consisted of a clay jar filled with a vinegar solution, into which an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder was inserted.

These batteries might have been used to electroplate silver. But, as mentioned in the previous entry, the inventor of the first electric battery is Alessandro Volta, who developed the pile battery.

After that, in 1802, William Cruickshank invented the Trough battery, an improvement on Alessandro Volta’s voltaic pile.

Batteries had a breakthrough in 1859, with the invention of the first rechargeable battery based on lead-acid by the French physician Gaston Planté. The Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) battery was introduced in 1899 by Waldemar Jungner. 

Did you know that new sodium-ion batteries could pave the way for sustainable battery production? 

15. Printing Press

invention of printing press
Source: RayHolloway/Pixabay

Before the Internet’s ability to spread information, the printing press helped information travel around the globe. 

German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg is credited with inventing the printing press around 1436, although he was far from the first to automate the book-printing process. Woodblock printing in China dates back to the 9th century and Korean bookmakers were printing with moveable metal type a century before Gutenberg.

Johannes Gutenberg’s machine, however, improved on the already existing presses and introduced them to the West. By 1500, Gutenberg presses were operating throughout Western Europe with a production of 20 million materials, from individual pages, to pamphlets, and books.

16. Morse Code and The Telegraph Machine 

The telegraph was developed around 1830 – 1840 by Samuel Morse and other inventors, which revolutionized long-distance communication.

The electrical signals were transmitted by a wire laid between stations. In addition, Samuel Morse developed a code, called Morse code, for the simple transmission of messages across telegraph lines. Based on the frequency of usage, the code assigned a set of dots (short marks) and dashes (long marks) to the English alphabet and numbers.

The telegraph laid major foundations for modern conveniences like telephones and, according to some scholars, computer code.

17. Steel

invention of steel
Source: MabelAmber/Pixabay

Bronze was the first metal forged for use by humans. However, bronze is relatively weak. Around 1,800 BC, a people along the Black Sea called the Chalybes began using iron ore to create sturdy wrought iron weapons with around 0.8 percent carbon. Cast iron, which was about 2-4 percent carbon, was first made in ancient China beginning around 500 BC. The Chinese metalworkers built seven-foot-tall furnaces to smelt iron ore into a liquid and poured this into carved molds.

Around 400 BC, Indian metalworkers invented a smelting method that used a clay receptacle called a crucible to hold the molten metal. The workers put bars of wrought iron and pieces of charcoal into the crucibles, then sealed the containers and inserted them into a furnace. The wrought iron melted and absorbed the carbon in the charcoal. When the crucibles cooled, they contained ingots of pure steel – a much stronger, less brittle metal than iron.

The later development of the blast furnace led to even stronger steel. After British engineer Henry Bessemer developed a process that blasted air through molten pig iron to create carbon-free, pure iron in 1856.

The famous invention of the Bessemer Process paved the way for the mass production of steel, making it one of the biggest industries on the planet. Now steel is used in the creation of everything from bridges to skyscrapers.

18. Transistors

invention of transistors
Source: WikimediaImages/Pixabay

The transistor is an essential component in nearly every modern electronic gadget.

In 1926, Julius Lilienfeld patented a field-effect transistor, but the working device was not feasible.

In 1947 John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley developed the first practical transistor device at Bell Laboratories.

Their invention won the trio the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics.

Transistors have since become a fundamental piece of the circuitry in countless electronic devices including televisions, cellphones, and computers, making a remarkable impact on technology.

19. Antibiotics

medicine history
Source: TLSPAMG/Pixabay

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives by killing and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch first described the use of antibiotic drugs in 1877.

In 1928, Alexander Fleming identified penicillin, which is derived from mold.

Throughout the 20th century, antibiotics spread rapidly and proved to be a major living improvement, fighting nearly every known form of infection and protecting peoples’ health. 

20. Contraceptives

invention of contraceptive pills
Source: Anqa/Pixabay

Prevention of pregnancy has a long and determined history. 

The history of contraceptives dates back at least to 1500 B.C, where records indicate that ancient Egyptian women would mix honey, sodium carbonate, and crocodile dung into a thick, solid paste called pessary and insert it into their vaginas before intercourse. However, many researchers believe that old world birth control methods like there are not effective, and indeed, possibly life threatening.

The first known form of condom (a goat bladder) was used in Egypt around 3000 B.C.

In 1844 Charles Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber, which led to the mass production of rubber condoms.

In 1914 with a monthly newsletter called “The Woman Rebel”, Margaret Sanger, a great female educator from New York state, first coined the term “Birth control.” Later, Carl Djerassi had successfully created a progesterone pill, which could block ovulation.

The Pill launched an international revolution that allowed women to determine when they would have children, and freed them from unplanned pregnancy, which could derail their careers. 

21. The X-Ray

Of course, x-rays are a phenomenon of the natural world, and thus can’t be invented. But they were discovered accidentally.

The invisible was made visible in 1895. X-ray is undoubtedly one of the epoch-making advancements in the field of medicine.

All credits to physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. While testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass, he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. Because of the unknown nature of the rays, he named them X-rays. Through his observation, he learned that X-rays can be photographed when they penetrate into human flesh.

In 1897, during the Balkan war, X-rays were first used to find bullets and broken bones inside patients. In 1901, he received the Nobel prize in physics for his work.

22. The Refrigerator

invention of refrigirator
Source: 27707/Pixabay

Over the last 150 years, refrigeration has offered us ways to preserve food, medicines, and other perishable substances. Before its conception, people cooled their food with ice and snow.

James Harrison built the first practical vapor compression refrigeration system. However, the first widespread refrigerator was the General Electric “Monitor-Top” refrigerator of 1927. While it helped to rev up industrial processes initially, it became an industry itself later on.

23. Television

invention of tv
Source: Tomasz_Mikolajczyk/Pixabay

Television! A small box with the ability to convey enormous information and which has changed entertainment and communications forever.  

The invention of television was the work of many individuals. Although TV plays an important part in our everyday lives, it rapidly developed during the 19th and the 20th century as a result of the work of a number of people.

In 1884, a 23-year-old German university student, Paul Julius Gottlieb Nipkow patented the image rasterizer, a spinning disk with a spiral pattern of holes in it, so each hole scanned a line of an image. 

The first demonstration of the instantaneous transmission of images was by Georges Rignoux and A. Fournier in Paris in 1909. In 1911, Boris Rosing and his student Vladimir Zworykin created a system that used a mechanical mirror-drum scanner to transmit crude images over wires to a cathode ray tube or in a receiver. But the system was not sensitive enough to allow moving images.

In the 1920s, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird used the Nipkow disk to create a prototype video system. On March 25, 1925, Baird gave the first public demonstration of televised images in motion. On January 26, 1926, he demonstrated the transmission of an image of a face in motion using radio. This is widely regarded as being the world’s first public television demonstration. 

24. The Camera

invention of camera
Source: 955169/Pixabay

The camera is undoubtedly one of the most cherished creations.

This modern invention has witnessed many phases of evolution — camera obscura, daguerreotypes, dry plates, calotypes, SLRs, and DSLRs.  In 1826, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a sliding wooden box camera made by Charles and Vincent Chevalier to click what is credited as the first permanent photograph.

With technological advancements, Digital cameras were introduced to save pictures on memory cards rather than using films.

The history of the digital camera began with Eugene F. Lally’s idea to take pictures of the planets and stars.

Later, Kodak engineer Steven Sasson invented and built the first digital camera in 1975. It was built using parts of kits that were lying around the Kodak factory. The camera was about the size of a breadbox and it took 23 seconds to capture a single image. 

Today, every smartphone has at least one built-in camera that can also take videos.

Freeze the great moments from your life in the form of photographs with better quality and superior handling digital camera. One doesn’t have to look much further than a photo album to see that cameras are one of the great inventions that changed the world.

25. The Computer

invention of computer
Source: sifpceuc/Pixabay

Major shoutout to the mechanical engineer Charles Babbage for laying the foundation for this remarkable and most reliable invention, and to Ada Lovelace for creating the first programs. In the early 19th century, the “father of the computer” conceptualized and invented the first mechanical computer. Although there’s no single inventor of the modern computer, the principle was proposed by Alan Turing in his seminal 1936 paper.

Today, computers stand as the symbolic representation of the modern world.

26. Email

Most developers of early mainframes and minicomputers developed similar, but often incompatible mail applications. Over time, these became linked by a web of gateways and routing systems. Many US universities were part of the ARPANET, which increased software portability between its systems. That portability helped make the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) increasingly influential. The first ARPANET email was sent in 1971.

A man by the name of Ray Tomlinson is actually credited with inventing one common feature of the email system that we know today. In 1972, while working as an ARPANET contractor, Tomlinson chose to use the @ symbol to denote the sending of messages from one computer to another computer.

By the mid-1970s, email had taken on the form we recognize today.  In the present-day, most of the official business communication depends on email.

27. The Internet

Unlike the bulb or the telephone, the Internet has no single “inventor.” Instead, it has evolved over time. It started in the United States around the 1950s, along with the development of computers.   

The first workable prototype of the Internet came in the late 1960s, with the creation of ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. ARPANET adopted the TCP/IP protocols on January 1, 1983, and from there, researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet.

28. World Wide Web

Source: geralt/Pixabay

The Internet is a networking infrastructure. Whereas the World Wide Web is a way to access information over the medium of the Internet.

The father of the World Wide Web is a British Computer Scientist, Tim Berners-Lee. The Web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first proposal for the World Wide Web in March 1989 and a second proposal in May 1990. Berners-Lee worked with Belgian systems engineer Robert Cailliau to formalize the proposal, including describing a “WorldWideWeb” in which “hypertext documents” could be viewed by “browsers”.

By the end of 1990, Berners-Lee had the first Web server and browser up and running at CERN. Only a few users had access to the computer platform on that ran the browser, so development soon started on a simpler browser, which could run on any system. 

In 1991, Berners-Lee announced the WWW software on Internet newsgroups, and interest in the project spread around the world. It soon became clear that more help was needed, so Berners-Lee launched a plea for other developers to join in. On 30 April 1993, CERN made the source code of WorldWideWeb available on a royalty-free basis, and the rest, as they say, is history.

29. The Banknote

From materials like livestock to shells, precious metals, and coins, currency has taken various forms throughout history. Due to frequent shortages of coins, and issues with portability, banks issued paper notes as a promise against payment of precious metals in the future.

The idea of using a lightweight substance as money may have originated in China during the Han Dynasty in 118 BC. 

The switch to paper money relieved governments during crisis time. Thus, it changed the face of the global economy with a vital step in a new monetary system. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is reaching mind-boggling new heights.

30. Credit Cards

At the dawn of the 20th century, most people paid for everything with cash.

The idea of the credit card was introduced around 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara, founders of Diners Club, which allowed diners to sign for their meal and then pay later. While the technology continues to advance, the idea of paying for daily purchases with credit has now become the norm.

31. ATM

Source: 3D_Maennchen/Pixabay

The invention of the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is very important to modern banking. According to the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), there are now over 2.2 million ATM machines installed worldwide.

Using an ATM, customers can make a variety of transactions such as cash withdrawals, check balances, or credit mobile phones. Many experts believe that the first ATM was the creation of Luther Simjian, called Bankograph.

In 1967, John Shepherd-Barron led the team that came up with a bright idea of a money vending machine, which was implemented by a London bank called Barclays. These machines used single-use tokens which had been impregnated with radioactive carbon-14. The radioactive signal was detected by the machine and matched against a personal identification number entered on a keypad. 

Soon, rival cash dispenser systems began to emerge, including one that used a reusable plastic card instead of a radioactive token. Dallas Engineer Donald Wetzel devised the first automated banking machine in the U.S.

32. Telephone and Mobile Phones

“Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” On March 10, 1876, these were the first words spoken by inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, to his assistant Thomas Watson. Telephone history conceivably started with the human desire to communicate far and wide. With the arrival of the mobile phone in the 1980s, communications were no longer shackled to cables.

The clever invention of the cellular network supported the revolution of the telephone industry. Starting from bulky mobile phones to ultrathin handsets, mobile phones have covered a long way so far. John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola demonstrated the first handheld device in 1973. Scientists continue to create new ideas that will further help users. 

33. The Robot

Robotic devices are used to perform complicated, repetitive, and sometimes dangerous tasks. The word robot evokes various devices ranging from a cooking device to the Rover.

The word “robot” first appeared in R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), a play written by Czech playwright Karl Capek in 1921. Coincidentally, the word “robotics” was also coined by a science-fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, in his short story “Runabout”, published in 1942.

But robots actually have a very long history. Around 3000 B.C, human figurines were used to strike the hour bells in the Egyptian water clocks. This marked the first mechanical design.  As time flew, more designs and devices were evolved. 

The foundation for modern robots was laid in the 1950s, by George C. Devol, who invented and patented a reprogrammable manipulator called “Unimate,” from “Universal Automation.” 

In the late 1960s, Joseph Engleberger acquired the patent and modified them into industrial robots. This effort made him “the Father of Robotics.” They are truly inventions that changed the world!

34. Guns

For some, guns might be a sensational invention while for others it might be a dreadful one .

Weapons have been used since the dawn of humanity. But it is an undeniable fact that guns and gunpowder have revolutionized the world. Gunpowder was invented in China in around the 9th century, but it may have initially been used for fireworks. One early firearm consisted of a bamboo tube that used gunpowder to fire a spear, and was used in China around AD 1000.

Another early type of portable firearm was the fire lance, a black-powder–filled tube attached to the end of a spear and used as a flamethrowershrapnel was sometimes placed in the barrel so that it would fly out together with the flames. A fire-lance is depicted on a mid-10th century silk banner from China.  

Gunpowder was made more powerful by increasing the amount of saltpeter. This, in turn, meant that a stronger barrel was needed, and the bamboo was replaced by metal, and the projectiles were replaced by smaller pieces of metal that fit into the barrel more tightly.

By the mid-to-late 14th century, knowledge of gunpowder and firearms had reached Europe and smaller, portable hand-held cannons were developed, creating a type of personal firearm.

The problem of needing to reload frequently was solved with the invention of a hand-driven machine gun called the Gattling gun. It was invented by Richard J. Gatling during the American Civil War. As the tech has continued to evolve, each following model has become more deadly. 

35. Films

invention of film
Source: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

Almost everyone loves to watch movies of various sorts like a love story, comedy, drama, horror, suspense, action, fiction, biography, etc. A film is also called a movie, motion picture, theatrical film, photoplay, flick. The name “film” originates from the fact that a photographic film has been the medium for recording and displaying motion pictures.

Early inspiration for movies was the plays and dance, which had elements common to film: scripts, sets, costumes, production, direction, actors, audiences, and storyboards.

Later in the 17th century, the lanterns were used to project animation, which was achieved by various types of mechanical slides.

In March 1895, the first motion picture film shot with a Cinématographe camera was La Sortie de leucine Lumière a Lyon (Workers leaving the Lumière factory at Lyon). The commercial, public screening of ten of Lumière brothers‘ short films in Paris on 28 December 1895 is often thought of as the start of projected cinematographic motion pictures.

With time, the movies have evolved to include sound, color, and advanced digital technology. 

Written by Alekhya Sai Punnamaraju

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