11 technologies that changed the world

LCD TVs and Facebook might be important parts of our lives today, but how much do they matter compared with these inventions that transformed society?

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Dec 6, 2012 8:36AM
In her article entitled "11 Technologies that Changed the World," Kim Peterson overlooked what was likely one of the most transformative technologies of all.  As a matter of fact, an example of it inadvertently appears in the photograph of the master control room depicting an early network radio broadcast in her article in which one can see a telegraph sounder.  Yes...it's the telegraph.  The telegraph standardized time and made safe rail transportation possible.  It transformed formerly local stock and commodities exchanges into worldwide market places thereby laying the foundation for a worldwide economy.  The telegraph made modern synoptic meteorology possible.  It laid the foundation for modern press syndication and wire services.  It transformed war and diplomacy.  It's somewhat ironic that Ms. Peterson cites the telephone because even AT&T utilized the telegraph extensively well into the mid 20th century for its own internal communications.  Telegraph circuits could be composited on long distance voice circuits, allowing the latter to remain in revenue service.  The telegraph was also more efficient and economical in that multiple telegraph carriers could be carried on a single wire/circuit.  The telegraph companies were pioneers in the research and development that laid the foundation for the Internet.  One might even argue that the Internet is simply an evolution of the telegraph and an outgrowth of the automatic switching centers and network topography of telegraphy.  One could go on.  Kim missed a big one in her article!
I'm surprised gunpowder wasn't on the list.  I can't think of a single thing that's changed the world more than it.  Native America (among other countries) would be much different if it had never been invented.
Jan 22, 2013 9:29AM

For well over 75% of these inventions...."Electricity",,,, discovery, harnessing and usage. WAS the greatest invention of all time....NOTHING ELSE even comes close.


Surprised they missed that..only in a passing portion, in discussing Edison's light bulb.

Jan 22, 2013 7:27AM
 A reminder that the single-most important invention was TIME and a clock to tell it.
Jan 22, 2013 12:33PM

There are several other important rechnologies that have changed the world -


1. Rifle/ Guns - The Europeans were able to conquer the Asia, Africa and America.

2. Air crafts

3. Automobiles/ locomotives

4. TV

5. Cell phones


And of course, textiles and soap that we take for granted.




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