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Bi-Weekly Top 10: Top 10 Important Inventions in History

DeMario Elder, Reporter

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This is our final Bi-Weekly top T0 for the year, so we’re making it special by discussing the inventions we think have influenced our lives the most.

10. The Wheel

Starting off in our number ten spot, we’re going back to the basics. While the design was crude and served almost no use until the River Valley civilizations, this invention was the most revolutionary of its time. From helping people move really heavy things to its use in transportation, the wheel is one of the greatest inventions in history.

9. Lightning Rod

Benjamin Franklin is one of the most recognized people in the world, but not for the reason you think. His face is on the 100 dollar bill, one of the highest monetary values in the United States, but no one is really sure why. Historically, Benjamin Franklin started off as a humble firefighter, putting out the flames of homes frequently struck by lightning. His invention of the lightning rod, which discharges all of the energy in lightning thereby greatly reducing the number of fires, saved the homes of many. Thus, his invention is one of the greatest in history.

8. Wireless Energy Transmission

Nikolai Tesla was one of the better looking inventors on this list. While the number eight spot should really be the hair gel that made him look so great, it is something equally as important. The wireless energy transmission came in at number eight because it would lead to even better technological innovations. Tesla researched the transferral of energy without the use of wires, reducing the number of cables in the world and leading to the later invention of the smartphone. Tragically he died before he could complete his project; luckily he had a successor who completed it for him.

7. Lightbulb

Contrary to what many people believe, Thomas Edison was not the only inventor of the light bulb. Rather he was the primary inventor and created the patent for the light bulb because many other people proposed the idea of a lighting system. Leading the world out of darkness and lengthening the average night life of human beings by at least an hour makes him one of the most important inventors in the world. But seriously, give me my hour back because I need sleep!

6. Penicillin

While this invention may give me a serious rash, it has saved many people from harmful diseases and other bacterias. Scottish chemist, Alexander Fleming, made this accidental miracle discovery when he forgot to cover a bacteria filled Petri dish before he left. When he came back, a fungus had grown inside, but wherever this fungus was, there was also dead bacteria. Unfortunately, one in every ten people are allergic to this fungus. Sorry!

5. Contraceptives

This important invention has prevented the overpopulation in many parts of the world but has also cause widespread controversy within the Catholic church. Contraceptives have been used for centuries in countries in threat of overpopulation like Africa, Asia and Indonesia. These revolutionary preventatives have led to many women leaving home, joining the workforce, and gaining more rights than they previously had.

4. Paper

One of the most used items in the world to date, paper is also one of the oldest inventions having its origin in Han China in 300 B.C. Many historians also believe that the people of ancient Egypt invented paper by using the mush of the papyrus plant commonly found along the Nile River, hence the name “paper.” Wherever it came from, it helped document many historical events making it a very important invention.

3. Arabic Numerals

Many people believed that arabic numerals were created by Muslim traders who commonly traveled along the Silk Road and trans-Saharan trade routes. But really they were created by the Moraya Empire in India and were used in their trade with Muslim traders. Although Muslims were attributed to creating algebra, they used arabic numerals and its widespread use has made it the most commonly used number system in the world making it one of the most significant inventions in history.

2. Banks

Trade with the Africans along the Sahara and through Asian territories along the Silk Road, made many Muslim traders extremely wealthy making the Mughal Empire one of the richest of its time. Along with its newfound wealth, was a newfound danger in trying to keep their money safe, so they invented a banking system. Along with banks they also created the first checks and credit system in the world.

1. Schools

While many students may not agree with this one, schools have been the greatest factor in keeping crime rates and poverty low. Dating back to the Song Empire in China with the introduction of the Confucian exam system, schools began to gain popularity as a means to educate students and help families gain positions of power. In addition to this, many monasterial systems in Europe and the American colonies were used to teach new priests to read and write. Later these monasteries became universities teaching students worldwide. The oldest monasteries in the world are now prestigious Ivy League schools with some of the best educations the world has to offer. This invention not only helped lead to some of the other inventions, but led the world out of the post-classical period making it the most important invention in history.

 

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