What is the greatest invention in history?
What is the greatest invention in history? I’ll bet you it was the wheel. The wheel, and the fact that it wasn’t just a tool for moving stuff around, but rather a design for using it in other ways. Think about all of the different uses of the wheel throughout history. It has moved mountains, made tools we use every day and has even been used as a style element for clothing.
So then, given all of those fantastic design possibilities, why did humanity fail to invent the wheel or the wheel itself? It is a design problem, which is easy to solve. Take a look at how cars have evolved over the years, and you’ll see the answer to this question. Cars started as four-wheeled vehicles with large engines powering them by pulling power from the tire behind them.
Then someone realised that if they built a small engine underneath that could pull power from the wheels, they would take off the vehicle’s weight and reduce it to a much smaller size. Then they would put casters on both sides of the car to do that movement without the need for wheels. And finally, I invented air compressors and attached them to the wheels to move the liquids around inside the tires. So combining those essential elements and some creative design came up with the first car.
Now think about how automobile design has evolved since then. We now have cars that are much more aerodynamic and have dropped down to sizes that are easy to handle. After all of these evolutionary changes, one would think that there would have been a pretty great creationist revolution. But that hasn’t happened, and it will probably never happen.
So, what is the greatest invention in history? Unfortunately, the answer is none of them. Because each of those events above happened very quickly. There was no real thinking or exploration of how to design them, and the result is that they don’t stand the test of time.
However, there is one thing that most people don’t realise. The most significant inventions of the past were not made using the latest designs and technology. Instead, they were made using simple techniques and old-fashioned ingenuity. Look at all of the different pieces of equipment we use every day. Most of them were discovered by someone looking to improve on an existing design.
What is the most significant discovery of all time? It’s the radio. When we first heard those little waves, we didn’t know that they had the potential to affect our lives in such away. Ten years later, as our understanding of how the radio worked continued to grow, it became clear that we had a great tool. Today, we listen to our favourite radio shows without having to worry about dial-up connections and long-distance charges.
The next time you ask yourself, “what is the greatest invention in history?” assume of each the essential things which were created as the dawn of the man. From tools to novels, there are thousands of great inventions waiting for us to discover them. By ignoring the prompt of the past, we will miss out on one of the greatest moments in the history of man.
In the future, when technologies like self-driving cars, computers, and artificial intelligence are commonplace, we may look back at our history and wonder what the most significant inventions were. Then, of course, we will probably have to ask ourselves this question again. What was the most remarkable creation of all time? But, of course, that depends on which school of thought you subscribe to.
Personally, I tend to lean toward personal technological improvements. That means that if something has improved tremendously from my previous experience, I want to be able to take advantage of that improvement. This often includes technology that improves the way I communicate. For example, by making it faster to send an e-mail, I am able to get my work done quicker and more efficiently. I also find that having the Internet on my laptop makes it easier to do my banking online, even if I am on the road.
But perhaps you would say that the greatest invention of all time was the man himself. Is man a technological creature? Do we really need to look to history for inspiration when we can benefit from innovations of other cultures around the world? Many would say that we should look to nature for answers. We should look to the examples of the past and use these to inspire us in today’s technological revolution. So, as you look back on your history and ponder the meaning of what is the greatest invention in history, may you consider the importance of man.