While there have been numerous inventions over the last 100 years that have made our lives better in some way, some more than others have significantly changed the way we do things in our everyday lives, and had the ability to change industries and markets.
We present 15 of them (in no particular order). Click on the Commodore 64 below to start the slideshow, and let us know, in the comments section below, if you agree with us, or if we missed something big.
It can be argued that the birth of personal computing began with the Commodore 64, introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. Some even claim the computer remains the highest selling computer of all time, although it’s difficult to prove. Claim notwithstanding, the Commodore 64 certainly made the PC accessible to a wide audience and ushered in the now-thriving market for home computing systems. The Commodore 64 also provided a platform for a new generation of computer programmers that would change the world with their inventions years later. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
i try to stay on top of things in terms of not allowing foods to spoil too badly in the refrigerator, but I do know what the "refrigerate until moldy" edict is like. Whenever I visit my dad in the U.S., which I usually do a couple of times a year, I always go through his refrigerator and find things that must have been there since my last visit like six months before! Not a pretty scene. So again here we have the "good with the bad" theory of great inventions.
Yes, JimT, that's exactly my point! I imagine people didn't make as much food to consume before refigeration or ate everything they made immediately. Now we take the whole "leftover" thing for granted but many people don't finish leftovers. And often fruit or vegetables spoil as well because they aren't consumed. Well, progress, for all its benefits, does usually have drawbacks as well!
Well, in my house, that happens most of the time!! After every meal, if a left-over portion is deemed "enough to save" it has been sentenced to a slow death. The process is, "Refrigerate until Moldy; Discard".
It's really great to hear from people who were alive many years ago how inventions that came along really changed their lives, JimT, and nice that you could share that moment with your dad. I am not surprised by what an effect refrigerators had on people--imagine when the power goes out during a storm, how worrisome it is that the refrigerator will go warm and spoil all the food in there. I guess in some ways people wasted less food, though, because how many times do things we put in the fridge thinking we will eat it later gets tossed in the trash?
Thanks for your comment, spencestan, and I agree the list is a bit "last 30 years" heavy but I appreciate all the discussion points it's brought up. Everyone's comments have led me to consider doing another slideshow and dipping even further into some of these inventions that have been so influential in the last 100 years.
Agree with some of you that this list is primarily the last 30 years. Listing the last 100 years would be huge, ranging from the ubiquitous television, the 'lowly' transistor to the powerful nuclear fission. Even the first satellite (1957) changed the way we live (ever use a GPS, watch satelitte TV, watch video of hurricanes, etc).
This is a great list (of the past ~30 years) and ponders what will we be talking about in the next 30 years? Crytopcoins (e.g. bitcoins), nanatubes, personalized medicine (via DNA scypting), 3-D printing/additive manufacturing, self-driving vehicles (thus 30 years later noone knows how to drive) just to name a few potentials.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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