The Wheel (3500 BC)
The wheel made the transportation of goods much faster and more efficient, especially when affixed to horse-drawn chariots and carts. However, if it had been used only for transportation, the wheel wouldn’t have been as much of a world-changer as it was. In fact, a lack of quality roads limited its usefulness in this regard for thousands of years.
A wheel can be used for a lot of things other than sticking them on a cart to carry grain, though. Tens of thousands of other inventions require wheels to function, from water wheels that power mills to gears and cogs that allowed even ancient cultures to create complex machines. Cranks and pulleys need wheels to work. A huge amount of modern technology still depends on the wheel, like centrifuges used in chemistry and medical research, electric motors and combustion engines, jet engines, power plants and countless others.
Clock (725 AD)
The Clock’s Impact on Society. Until the invention of the mechanical clock, medieval days were divided by the passing of the sun. There were parts to a day but not equal hours. As the use of mechanical clocks spread from Italy across Western Europe in the 14th century, a standardization and equalization of time began.
The Printing Press (1450)
One of the main benefits of the printing press was that it allowed ideas and news to be shared quickly. Compared to previous methods of distributing information, the printing press allowed these to be delivered accurately and at speed.
The Steam Engine (1712)
To create the steam, most steam engines heated the water by burning coal. The steam engine helped to power the Industrial Revolution. Before steam power, most factories and mills were powered by water, wind, horse, or man. Water was a good source of power, but factories had to be located near a river.
Vaccines have helped us in curbing a ton of life-threatening epidemics. It was estimated that nearly 500 million deaths were registered because of smallpox alone.
Computers are one of humanity’s greatest inventions without a doubt. Primarily built for doing complex mathematical calculations, the computers of the past have evolved into machines that can be used to chart the movement of stars and rocks in space in advance.
The impact on society. Each new communications technology has had a greaterimpact on society than the one before. The telegraph changed society indirectly, by transforming the workings of government and industry. But the telephone and radio had direct impacts on people’s working and social lives.