The Book of Invention December 30, 2012Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Home & Garden, Humor, People.
Tags: Books, Humor, Inventions, Remote control, Science, Vending machine
The Book of Invention, by Thomas J. Craughwell, is a fascinating look at 250 of the most important inventions through the ages.
In between the invention of Paint for pre-historic cave paintings (circa 30,000 B.C.) and more modern inventions like the Internet (1983) and DNA Fingerprinting (1984), the author addresses 247 other inventions and their inventors.
Here they are . . . in chronological order:
Inventions B.C.: Pottery, Sewing Needle, Boomerang, Oil Lamps, Baskets, Bricks, Mirror, Sugar, Clock, Loom, Sauna, Wheel, Wigs, Sundial, Plow, Bronze, Oven, Alphabet, Buttons, Candle, Charcoal, Ink, Paper, Sewer System, Silk, Veneer, Umbrella, Bells, Glass, Rivet, Soap, Porcelain, Scissors, Carts and Chariots, False Teeth, Saddle, Coins, Aqueduct, Arch, Stirrups, Aspirin, Catapult, Paved Roads, Lighthouse, Wallpaper, Clothes Iron, Cement, Compass
1st – 10th Centuries, A.D.: Easel, Vending Machine (to dispense holy water at an Egyptian Shrine), Dome, Fork, Carousel, Horseshoes, Windmill, Paper Money, Chimney, Gunpowder, Fireworks
11th – 18th Centuries: Ambulance, Cannon, Flying Buttress, Hourglass, Printing Press, Globe (1492), Screw, Sawmill, Newspaper, Telescope, Barometer, Combination Lock, Microscope, Steam Engine, Thermometer, Dental Braces, Flush Toilet, Franklin Stove, Glue, Lightning Rod, Bifocals, Jigsaw Puzzle, Submarine, Balloon, Guillotine, Battery, Cotton Gin, Corkscrew, Pencil, Vaccination, Ball Bearings, Parachute
19th Century: Locomotive, Matches, Tin Can, Stethoscope, Fire Extinguisher, Elastic Fabric, Braille, Lawnmower, Mechanical Reaper, Dry Ice, Colt Revolver, Morse Code, Bicycle, Camera, Postage Stamp, Anesthesia, Vulcanized Rubber, Rubber Band, Sewing Machine, Suspension Bridge, Antiseptics, Odometer, Safety Pin, Milking Machine, Elevator, Syringe, Lifejacket, Pasteurization, Toilet Paper, Oil Well, Window Screens, Torpedo, Underground Trains, Dynamite, Periodic Table of Elements, Square-Bottom Paper Bag, Typewriter, Air Brakes, Can Opener, Blue Jeans, Barbed Wire, Internal Combustion Engine, Telephone, Microphone, Phonograph, Refrigerator, Light Bulb, Cash Register, Shower, Stapler, Player Piano, Electric Fan, Skyscraper, Automobile, Dishwasher, Contact Lenses, Paper Drinking Straw, Pneumatic Tires, Motion Pictures, Escalator, Carborundum, Slot Machine, Radio, X-Ray, Mousetrap, Hearing Aid, Paper Clip
1900 – 1925: Washing Machine, Air Conditioning, Safety Razor, Vacuum Cleaner, Flashlight, Airplane, Coat Hanger, Colored Crayons, Windshield Wiper, Fly Swatter, Outboard Motor, Plastic, Aluminum Foil, Geiger Counter, Nutcracker, Stainless Steel, Turn and Brake Signals, Armored Combat Tank, Wristwatch, Drywall, Adhesive Bandage, Zipper, Pop-Up Toaster, Traffic Light, Cotton Swabs, Frozen Food, Adhesive Tape, Fax Machine
1926 – 1950: Liquid-Fueled Rocket, Aerosol Spray, Respirator, Television, Bread-Slicing Machine, Penicillin, Chain Saw, Sunglasses, Saran Wrap, Answering Machine, Nylon, Parking Meter, Radar, Sunscreen, Aluminum Siding, Nonreflecting Glass, Photocopier, Shopping Cart, Teflon, Toothbrush, Ballpoint Pen, Helicopter, Paperback Book, Duct Tape, Aqualung, Atomic Bomb, Microwave Oven, Kitty Litter, Transistor, Frisbee, Zamboni, Artificial Cardiac Pacemaker, Credit Card, Disposable Diapers
1951 – 1984: Bar Code, Fiber Optics, Calculator, Robot, Synthetic Diamond, Hovercraft, Velcro, Television Remote Control, Satellite, Laser, Three-Point Seat Belt, Ultrasound Imaging, In Vitro Fertilization, Artificial Turf, Athletic Shoe, Kevlar, ATM, Air Bags, Computer Mouse, Smoke Detector, Compact Disk, E-mail, Space Shuttle, Early Pregnancy Test, Personal Computer, Post-it Notes, GPS, Internet, DNA Fingerprinting
Wow! That’s a long list! And a surprising one.
It’s hard to believe that the Atomic Bomb came before Kitty Litter . . . that Submarines pre-dated the Guillotine . . . that Airplanes came before Coat Hangers . . . that we had a Space Shuttle before we had Post-it Notes . . . that Escalators and X-rays arrived before Mouse Traps and Paper Clips . . . that Air Conditioning came before Fly Swatters.
But, perhaps most surprising of all, is the following timeline:
* 5,000 years ago, the village of Skara Brae in Scotland’s Orkney Islands had a sewer system connected to small toilet chambers in their houses.
* In 1596, Sir John Harrington (1561-1612) designed and built a flush toilet for his cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I. The cascade of water made so much noise, Elizabeth refused to use it.
* The first valve-operated toilet arrived in 1738 in France.
* But it wasn’t until 1857 that Joseph Gayetty of New York produced the first roll of “Therapeutic Paper for use in the loo. It contained aloe.
Aah . . . that’s better!
Any surprises on the list for you?