Top 10 Inventions in World History By: Christina Bell

1. The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in the United States and Joseph Swan in Great Britain in 1879. The light bulb allowed homes and cities to have electric lights. It made longer work hours possible, and a safer nighttime home environment, because candles and oil-based lamps were dangerous fire hazards.
2. Gunpowder is a chemical explosive, invented in China in the 9th century. It became the basis for almost every weapon used in war from that point on. Gunpowder has also been a major factor in military technology and it changed the course of human history.
3. Alexander Gram Bell invented the telephone in 1876. It made communication much easier for society and and has become a major part of our life since it was invented.
4. By the 1800s, streetcars and subways powered by electricity had appeared in major European cities. It made transportation easier and faster than using horse drawn carriages.
5. The first commercially successful internal combustion engine was created by Étienne Lenoir around 1859. The development of the Internal-combustion engine, fired by oil and gasoline, provided a new source of power in transportation. This engine gave rise to ocean liners with oil-fired engines, as well as to the airplane and the automobile.
6. An assembly line was a new manufacturing method pioneered by Henry Ford in 1913. It allowed a much more efficient mass production of goods. It drastically reduced the cost of production making it affordable for most people.
7. The wheel was created around 3500 B.C. in Mesopotamia. The wheel made the transportation of goods much faster and more efficient, especially when attached to horse-drawn chariots and carts.
8. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press around 1440. The printing press allowed enormous quantities of information to be recorded and spread throughout the world. Books had previously been items that only the very rich could afford, but mass production brought the price down tremendously.
9. The Chinese inventedthe the first compass sometime between the 9th and 11th centuries. Before the compass was invented, travel by ships over long distances was not possible, because sailors had to navigate using the stars. The compass provided explorers with a reliable method for exploring the world’s oceans, and started the Age of Discovery.
10. Electronic computers were invented in the 20th century. There is no single inventor of the modern computer, but the ideas of British mathematician Alan Turing influenced the field of computing. Computers are able to make complicated mathematical calculations at an incredible speed, and let us store large amounts of information and retrieve a given piece of it almost instantly.
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Christina Bell
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