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Topmost inventions of our time

By Deepshikha Khosla

Topmost inventions of our time
Mankind has made giant strides in the last two millennia. The journey
from Neanderthal cavemen to walking on the moon has been exciting
to say the least. However, any account of mankind would be
incomplete if one did not give credit to the various inventions that
have greatly aided this phenomenal progress.

Surveys have been carried out time and again on the most valued
inventions of our time. If such a survey is done a hundred years from
now, the Internet is sure to find a place for its part if making the
world a smaller place and for the communication revolution that it is
bringing about. However, its true impact as an invention can only be
assessed after a few years, when it has become as accessible as
perhaps paper is today to most people across the world.

There have been so many important inventions, that to select the
topmost amongst them would be a difficult task. But that said, time
and again these inventions, listed below, have topped the charts!

The printing press: The dissemination of knowledge would have
been impossible without the printing press. The printing press was an
invention that out into place a technology for the inexpensive, mass
production of books. The biggest beneficiary from the printing press
was perhaps the scientific community that was able to widely
publicize its latest theories, inventions and ideas through cheaply mass
produced books. Bless Johann Gutenberg for gifting us this truly
miraculous invention. Life without books would be totally
unimaginable. Paper incidentally also finds a top place in the most
valued inventions. It was invented by the Chinese most likely in AD
105, and without it, the printing press would have been a useless

The steam engine: It pioneered an entire era the Industrial
Revolution was carried on the shoulder of steam power. It truly freed
mankind, for the first time, from the limitation of animal power. The
steam engine was the forerunner to the invention of the railroads, the
ocean steamship, mining and the expansion of the European textile
industry. True credit for the steam engine goes to James Watt, who
in 1765 built compact steam engines that were powerful and cheap
for widespread commercial use.

The computer: What the steam engine is to the Industrial
Revolution, the digital computer is to the Information Age. In addition
to fast and cheap worldwide communication, the computer is also
responsible for a number of modern technologies like genetic
engineering and perhaps even artificial intelligence. The credit for
inventing this wonderful machine is split amongst various claimants
such as John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, who first made a
computer for the U.S. Army intelligence, Konrad Zuse, John V.
Atanasoff, Clifford Berry among others.

Penicillin: Possibly the most important medical invention, this
effective, non-toxic, drug is responsible for saving more lives that any
other drug in the history of mankind. All credit goes to Alexander
Fleming, for serendipitously inventing the drug is 1928, when he
accidentally tainted a culture plate in his lab.

The light bulb: And let there be light. No, Thomas Alva Edison didn
't say these words, but he could very well have. We would be living
by candle and gaslight if it weren for this important invention.
Although, technically Edison didn really invent the light bulb. He
merely improved on the idea of Humphry Davy, an English chemist
who invented the first electric light. Edison invented a carbon filament
that burned for forty hours.

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