The modern world is full of wonders. Can you imagine living in a world where the fastest way to get a message from one place to the next is via pigeon? There was also, at one time, a world where your house would be destroyed anytime it rained, snowed, or even just got too hot!
Thankfully, we don’t live like that anymore. And a huge part of that reason is because of these five inventions which made our ancestors’ lives so much easier.
Language has been around for millennia but the first time that people actually sat down and made an alphabet was over 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. This alphabet enabled these ancient peoples to write down ideas and messages amongst themselves, with researchers believing that the original alphabet was a way to put sounds to Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Every single other language has in some way shape or form taken its alphabet from this original 4,000 year old one from ancient Egypt. Without the alphabet, there would be no historical record, no exchange of ideas, and you definitely wouldn’t be reading this article.
Electricity is what powers literally everything and has changed the face of the earth. It is the reason you are able to read this article on a computer, and the reason you have lights, along with the fact that you are able to turn on your air conditioning.
The word electricity comes from the ancient Greek word for amber because they would rub furs on amber and then shock each other with the static electricity. It wasn’t until benjamin franklin’s experiments with electricity in the 1700s began that people began to take it seriously. Over 300 years later, it literally powers our world.
The Mouldboard Plow
While plows have been used to till the earth to plant crops since almost the dawn of time, one of the biggest advancements in plow technology came in the year 900 with the invention of the Mouldboard plow. This plow digs down deep into the soil and really gets at the nutrients hidden down in there and brings them to the top, and helps create drainage ditches so that fields don’t flood.
So why should you care about a plow? Because without it, you would be starving. This plow enabled farmers to plow quicker, giving them the ability to plow larger amounts of land and grow more food. Due to this increase in ability to grow food, the world population was able to grow as well, and enabled your ancestors to live long enough to eventually make you.
The Printing Press
Imagine not being able to know anything. Literally, nothing. If you had a question, there was no one you could turn to for an answer. And if you were a scholar, the only place where you could learn anything was by physically traveling to a library and looking for a handwritten manuscript. And if you didn’t have it, you would have to travel to a whole other city or even country based on a rumor that someone there may know where to find it.
But because of the printing press invented in 1440, information was now more readily available to all. People just took books and mass produced them within days as opposed to handwriting them – something which could have taken a year or more. The printing press ultimately led to the spread of ideas and huge advancement in mankind.
This is the reason that we have multi-story buildings and why we know that our houses won’t fall down any time it rains or snows. Buildings in the Middle East use it because it is able to keep cool in the summers and keep in warmth during mild winters. But cement, perfected by the Romans two thousand years ago, was almost lost to us forever.
The Romans used cement to build giant buildings, walls, and aqueducts. But when their empire collapsed, so too did the ability to make cement, with medieval people thinking the structures were made by giants. Luckily for us, the technique was rediscovered in the 1800s, and society as we know it still stands today.