The Internet

The infinite utility that the internet provides is easily evidenced by asking yourself how often you have referred to google or Wikipedia to ascertain information. Learning a new skill or troubleshooting a difficult technical problem before the web meant hours of research with written books, recordings, or even one on one sessions with an expert.…

Contraceptives

Exceedingly large families can have a huge impact on a household’s ability to survive in the world, as the addition of each new person necessitates more time and resources. From a purely scientific and economic standpoint, having less children as a whole has directly resulted in a higher quality of life for each person. Combined…

Antibiotics

Before the 20th century, infectious diseases killed an incredibly high number of people, resulting in extremely low life expectancies. In developed countries, life expectancy was below 50, a far cry of where those numbers are at today. There wasn’t an effective method that mankind could use against threats such as pneumonia, syphilis, and smallpox, and…

The Telephone

Before the creation of the telephone or the telegraph, information that needed to be sent from one end of a country to the other necessitated a messenger to quickly deliver physical mail. In the United States for almost two years, this was achieved through the Pony Express. A relay of horse riders could deliver mail…

The Printing Press

Picture a world where knowledge and information had to be transferred from person to person by word of mouth or through hand writings. It would be much harder for humanity as a whole to benefit from any of the inventions mentioned in this article if that was the only method of spreading discoveries. Prior to…

The Compass

The earliest explorers and men who sailed on the open sea were well versed in astrometry, as they primarily had to rely on the position of the stars to navigate their way in the ancient world. This had several distinct disadvantages, as it required advanced knowledge of the way celestial bodies moved in the sky,…

The Nail

Until the invention of the nail, the procedure of constructing wood structures was very different. Something had to hold the building together, whether it be friction or an adhesive. Frequently, pieces had to be designed to lock into one another, or were simply driven into the ground for support. An example of this would be…

The Wheel and Axle

It should be fairly obvious to most people that the invention of the wheel is extremely important to transportation. Without it, it would have been much harder for people to start traveling great distances or to move a large number of goods at a time. Imagine how hard it would be to construct a building…