Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The 100 Most Important Inventions in History

Among the most important inventions in history are the microscope, the light bulb and X-rays. The human mind is a prodigy, so from the ancestors in the age of caves to the present, humanity has spent its entire history creating gadgets to simplify your life. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

Since the first humans discovered that by rubbing two surfaces to create friction they could create fire, through the invention of the wheel, the printing press and the internet, until reaching the technological advances of the 21st century, all these inventions have resulted in the evolution of the human species, as well as in its supremacy over the others.

This is how humanity always has its eyes set on the future, in order to invent and discover various ways that allow it to be more comfortable, facilitate certain procedures, improve its quality of life and much more.

The most important inventions in history

The microscope

This device allows to observe objects that with the naked eye are impossible to detail, and even just to notice.

This invention was created by Zacharias Janssen in 1590. In 1665 the microscope appeared in William Harvey’s work on blood circulation thanks to his observation of capillaries. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

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The Agriculture

One of the greatest inventions in history was agriculture, dating back more than 10,000 years.

Its invention marks the passage from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic, so it implies a determining factor in the evolution of humanity: it was essential to guarantee the survival of men, as well as their organization into groups.

The plow

Along with agriculture, the plow was a work tool that transformed the life of the species, which drove it to become sedentary and meant an economic and social change.

The first plows were driven by men. It is known that it was approximately in the year 3000 a. C. when oxen were used for this task.


It is the quintessential way for the human species to transmit information. His invention dates back to 4000 BC. C., since from that time there is evidence of symbolic systems that are considered a proto-writing. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

History begins with writing, as it is the only way to have a record of what happened; the period before its invention is considered to be prehistoric.

The wheel

Various investigations allow us to affirm that it is one of the most significant inventions in the history of man, because thanks to this invention the human species has been able to manufacture machinery and transport itself, among many other things.

This invention dates back to 3500 BC. C., although there is a record that civilizations such as the Incas and the Aztecs could live perfectly without having wheels under their belt.

The Abacus

This rudimentary contraption was the first way humans had to do arithmetic and calculations. Its origin dates back to the year 2700 BC. C. in ancient Mesopotamia . Top 100 inventions that changed the world


One of the great inventions in the history of mankind has been the printing press, as it revolutionized the world by becoming a way of multiplying knowledge.

It is known that between 1041 and 1048 a first movable type printing system was invented in China, since a rice paper already existed.

However, the best known mechanism was the one devised by the German Johannes Gutenberg, who around 1444 created the modern printing press. This meant a cultural evolution.


Gunpowder is known to have been invented in China in the 9th century when they were trying to create a potion for immortality and, accidentally, they came to this material.

Gunpowder was widely used by the Chinese military forces. Its use spread throughout the Middle East and Europe. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The watch

Since ancient times, various types of clocks have been known: water, sundial , among others; for example, the Egyptians used these clocks to measure the movements of the sun.

It is known that the first person who thought of designing pocket watches was Pedro Bell from Nuremberg.

The compass

Before its creation, the position of vessels in the open sea was calculated according to the location of the celestial bodies.

The compass is known to have been invented in China around the ninth century and consisted of a magnetic needle that simply floated in a vessel. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The steam engine

Its invention meant an industrial revolution thanks to the fact that it is a mechanism that allows moving machines and devices thanks to the fact that it is a motor that transforms the thermal energy of water into mechanical energy.

Thanks to his contribution, he underpinned the economic growth of England and the United States, mainly during the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries.

The car

After the invention of the steam engine, the creation of the automobile transformed the economy and society: now everyone had the possibility of transporting themselves in a personal vehicle. It is known that the first automobile was the Karl Benz Motorwagen, created in 1885.

The Telegraph

The world became interconnected for the first time thanks to the invention of the telegraph, when the Germans Gauss and Weber managed to install about a thousand meters of telegraph line to link the university with the astronomical observatory in Göttingen, in 1833. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

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The phone

To make communications even easier, the telephone was born. It is traditionally claimed that its inventor was Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.

However, the reality is that Graham Bell was the first to patent the invention, since in 2002 the United States Congress approved a resolution stating that its inventor was Antonio Meucci, who due to economic limitations could only make a description of his creation , which he called by telephone, without presenting it to the patent office.

The phonograph

Thomas Alva Edison, Eldridge R. Johnson, and Emile Berliner invented the first device capable of reproducing recorded sounds.

On November 21, 1877 Edison played the part Mary had a little lamb ( Mary Had a Little Lamb ) when he showed his contraption. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The coke

Pharmacist John S. Pemberton wanted to make a cough syrup and made what would become the world’s best-selling drink.

He quickly realized that this concoction could be very successful, so he entrusted his accountant Frank Robinson with the creation of the brand and the logo. This is how Coca-Cola was born.

In 1891, The Coca-Cola Company was born. The secret formula is kept in a bank in Atlanta, although in 2013 Times magazine revealed that the recipe was already public knowledge, even several media reproduced it although the company denied it.


It was in 1895 when the Lumière brothers made the first public screening. They showed the departure of some factory workers, the demolition of a wall, the arrival of a train and the departure of a ship.

This invention had a timid reception until Georges Méliès invented the cinematographic spectacle completely removed from the documentary tone of the Lumière, thanks to his fantastic films such as Faust and Bluebeard . Top 100 inventions that changed the world

With Voyage to the Moon (1902) and Voyage through the Impossible (1904), he explored various cinematographic techniques.

The bulb

In 1897, Thomas Edison designed a complete system consisting of wires, generator, and incandescent bulb to provide illumination.

This improved the quality of life of people who began to take advantage of the night thanks to the light, which translated into benefits on the productivity of the industry.


In 1901 the physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of X-rays, thanks to the fact that with this technology doctors were able to see bones and other structures of the body in their living patients, a feat for the time and that today in day it continues to be used.

The plane

Although there is a controversy in this regard, the Wright brothers are credited with the authorship of the first successful flight carried out by airplane.

It is known that its first flight was made aboard the Flyer I on December 17, 1903. His studies and research laid the foundations for heavier-than-air aircraft to be capable of flying.


By accident, in 1926 the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming realized that in a Petri dish full of bacteria, when accidentally opened, Penicillium fungi formed that killed the bacteria.

Thanks to this discovery, the world of medicine was revolutionized and hundreds of drugs were created capable of fighting infections and deadly diseases. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The birth control pill

Although it is known that in ancient times the Egyptians already used a kind of condom, it was until 1930 that the pill was developed.

This little pill brought important advances in people’s lives, not only by improving their sexuality but also by becoming an effective birth control as a measure to curb overpopulation.

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It is undoubtedly one of the inventions with the greatest impact in the history of mankind. Its creation cannot be assigned to a single person since it is a series of evolutions of an idea.

It was in 1940 that the first modern computers made their appearance with the creation of the Z1, devised by the German engineer Konrad Zuse. This machine was programmable through a perforated tape and used the binary system.

The disposable diaper

Inventor Marion Donovan in 1946 decided to solve the lives of women who had to struggle to clean their children’s cloth diapers, this is how she set out to create a diaper that was waterproof using the cloth of a parachute. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

His invention was sold on the Saks on Fifth Avenue. Although it was in June 1951 that he got the patent, he continued to investigate to make it more waterproof.

A decade later he managed to establish contact with Procter & Gamble, with which he managed to improve the diapers and create the Pampers as they are known today.


With the aim of reducing deaths from car accidents, in the 1950s Ford introduced this belt as a safety equipment.

However, its standard and massive mounting was implemented with the 1959 Volvo Amazon, whose seat belt already had three points. Volvo released the patent for the model to be implemented in all cars.

The laser beam

Although there are reports of various scientific advances that led to the laser, its invention is attributed to Theodore Maiman, who built the first ruby ​​laser in 1960.

However, as its creation was not published in time in the journal Nature , other scientists also advanced in parallel on this topic and in 1960 Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow patented the laser. In 1969 it was used for the first time industrially in automobile welding. Top 100 inventions that changed the world


Its origins date back to 1969, when it is known of the first interconnection of computers in three California universities in the United States.

This connection was called ARPANET and numerous investigators from the United States Department of Defense collaborated. This team formed the basis of what the internet was until the 1990s.

The mobile or cell phone

The first mobile phone was designed by engineer Martin Cooper for the Motorola company. The team was called Dyna-Trac, it weighed about two kilos and its battery only lasted about 35 minutes.

The first call was made by Cooper to his competition, the Bell Labs company, to tell him that the cell phone already existed. Currently more than half of the world’s population has a mobile phone in their hands.


The year 1996 was an important moment in the sexual life of humanity with the accidental discovery of the effects that Sildenafil Citrate had on erectile dysfunction when it was investigating its action on angina pectoris. In 1998 it was the first pill approved by the FDA to treat erectile dysfunction.

Other essential inventions

The ax : it is one of our first working tools that was used for hunting, war and domestic activities.

The spear : it allowed us to defend ourselves and attack our prey.

The bow and arrow : they allowed us to reach our prey at a long distance.

The dress : allowed us to survive in inhospitable weather conditions.

Cave painting : it allowed us to express our ideas and leave an important inheritance to future generations.  Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The flute : the oldest musical instrument, it allowed us to develop not only an artistic expression, but we use it for hunting as a way to synchronize teamwork.

Housing : it allowed us to survive the conditions of the Paleolithic.

The boats : they allowed us to sail the seas and venture to other lands.

Manual pottery : it allowed us to store food and drinks. Later it was used for rituals and as a decorative element.

The pottery wheel : it allowed us to improve the quality of ceramics. Pottery allowed man to make all kinds of utensils.

The rope : it allowed us to develop hunting and domestic activities. The use of rope and other objects is related to the domestication of animals.

The needle : it allowed us to improve our dresses, which were not only pieces of skin, but could also be shaped and adjusted in size.

The wheel : it revolutionized the movement, since the first carriages and wagons were built on it.

Carriages – Horse-drawn carriages were first used in the Bronze Age.

The alphabet : the alphabet allowed man to express abstract ideas, which was not possible with the use of pictograms alone.

Papyrus : It was invented in Ancient Egypt. This new material was replacing the clay or clay tablets that were used to write.

The musical notes : they were apparently invented by the Sumerians; together with the flute he contributed to the artistic development of the human being. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The coins : the oldest have been found in the territories of Lebanon and Syria. In time bartering, which was used throughout the previous period, became an outdated practice.

The sword: it was invented as a means of attack and defense for war. Before there were only knives, which were more used for hunting. The oldest swords date back to 1200 BC

Glass : the oldest evidence of this material has been found in the territory of Lebanon, which allowed us to create objects that were previously only made of clay or bone.

Scissors : They were invented in 750 BC They were used to cut materials and skins.

Warships : this invention is also associated with the Phoenicians, being used for the first time in battles in the Mediterranean Sea.

The catapult : it was used for the first time in the wars between the Greek polis in the 5th century BC This weapon allowed to destroy the enemy’s weapons from long distances.

The gear : it was created in Ancient China in the 4th century BC This element plays an important role in engineering mechanisms. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The Arch Bridge : inventing during the Roman Republic, he improved the usual bridge.

The wheelbarrow : invented in the Han Dynasty. This tool was used as a means of transporting cargo.

The seismometer : the invention is attributed to the Chinese Zhang Heng, who also lived during the Han Dynasty.

Negative numbers : negative numbers were also invented in China in the second century AD, which enriched positive numbers.

The crank : the first signs that have been found of its use are in Asia Minor.

The turbine : in the III-IV century the turbine was invented in the African territories of the Roman Empire.

The fishing rod : it was invented in China according to the historical source Life of Famous Immortals .

Street lighting : it was first installed in Syria in the 4th century AD

Toilet paper : in the 6th century AD, the Chinese official Yan Zhitui (during the Sui Dynasty) tells about hygienic customs in China.  Top 100 inventions that changed the world

Greek fire : according to historical sources, it was invented by Kallinikos.

Money Notes : During the Tang Dynasty in China, paper money was invented, which at first was only an equivalent to coins. It was invented as a security measure to avoid carrying real money.

Porcelain : Although today southern China is considered the center of porcelain production, it is interesting that this art did not arise in that region, but in the north.

The university : the first university was organized in Morocco. Then the European Universities would be founded, which have become the center of science.

Algebra : algebra was developed in Syria and the concept of zero in India.

Fireworks : Invented during the Song Dynasty in China.

The ambulance : in the eleventh century in Lebanon and Israel the ambulance was invented due to the crusades.

The sailor compass : Invented in 1119 in China. This and other Chinese discoveries allowed the development of navigation.  Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The rocket : in the thirteenth century in China the rocket was already known. However, scientists believe that it was invented much earlier.

The torpedo : invention of Hasan al-Rammah.

The mine : developed during the Song Dynasty.

The glasses : in the year 1286 in Italy they were used for the first time. It should be noted that eyeglass manufacturers played a very important role in the invention of the telescope and the microscope.

The explosive bomb : During the Jin Dynasty in Manchuria this device was invented.

The hand cannon : like the explosive bomb, it was developed around the same time.

The traditional cannon : by 1326 the traditional cannon was already known in China during the Ming Dynasty.

Jacob’s rod : also known as ballastera, it is used to measure the altitude of the heavenly bodies.

The Naval Mine : First described in a manuscript by Jiao Yu.

The rifle : its invention and expansion date back to the 15th century.

The berbequí : invented in the County of Flanders, being an important carpentry tool.

The arquebus : it was possibly invented in Spain. Top 100 inventions that changed the world

The parachute : invented during the Renaissance by Leonardo da Vinci .

The use of quadrant : John Davis described its use in the book Seaman’s secrets .

The revolver : invention of Hans Stopler.

The newspaper : thanks to the printing press, Johann Carolus was able to develop it.

The telescope : it is attributed to one of these inventors: Hans Lippershey, Zacharias Janssen or Jacob Metius.

The Slide Rule : Invented in 1630 by William Oughtred.

The calculator : Blaise Pascal invented the Pascaline, which was the first calculator.

The barometer : it was invented by Evangelista Torricelli or Gasparo Berti.

The vacuum pump : in 1663 Otto von Guericke developed this invention that he developed from chemistry.

The piano : invention of Bartolomeo Cristofori.

The thermometer : invented in 1709 by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. He also developed a temperature measurement system.

The Refrigerator : Invented in 1755 by William Cullen.

The balance : invented in 1770 by Richard Salter.

The air compressor : Invented in 1776 by John Wilkinson.

The hot air balloon : Invented in 1783 by Joseph-Ralf and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier.

The Vaccine : Developed in 1798 by Edward Jenner.

The paper machine : invented in 1799 by Louis-Nicolas Robert.

The electric battery : developed in 1800 by Alessandro Volta.

The internal combustion engine : in 1807 Nicéphore Niépce invented one of the bases of cars and means of transport in general.

The photoelectric cell : in 1839 Edmond Becquerel described the photovoltaic effect and developed the first photoelectric cell. This technology lays the foundation for the development of solar energy.

The fuel cell : developed in 1842 by William Robert Grove.

The Hydraulic Accumulator : Invented in 1850 by Sir William Armstrong.

Color photography : developed in 1855 by James Clerk Maxwell.

The airship : in 1900 the first zeppelin is designed by Theodor Kober.

The diode : In 1904, John Ambrose Fleming invented the diode. This little item is part of all electrical appliances.

The tank : designed by Ernest Swinton in 1915.

FM radio : Invented by Edwin Armstrong in 1933. Radio was for a long time one of the most important means of communication.

The Transistor : Developed in 1945 by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain under the supervision of William Shockley.

The laser : Invented in 1960 by Theodore Maiman.

The ARPANET : It was developed by UCLA, SRI, UCSB, and The University of Utah in 1960.

Pocket calculator: developed in 1970 in Japan.

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