We're really, really hoping that you didn't miss this one, because you can't have electric light bulbs (1878) without electricity. Electricity can't be invented because it's a natural phenomenon, but in 1800 an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta created some of the earliest batteries.
Which of these transformative inventions came first?
In the 1430s, the printing press revolutionized the way humans shared ideas and beliefs. Penicillin-based antibiotics didn't arrive en masse until 1928, making them virtual infants in the history of groundbreaking inventions.
Which of these amazing technologies arrived first?
Cars have been around since the first one-cylinder version made in 1879 by Carl Benz. In 1816, a man named Nicephore Niepce created the first photograph using a piece of paper coated in silver chloride.
In 1918, a German chemist created a new class of nitrogen-based fertilizers that greatly expanded humanity's crop yields. The first refrigeration systems were invented in the mid-1800s and transformed the way we eat.
Airplanes made their historic debut in 1903, when the Wright Brothers sent their rickety contraption into the air above North Carolina. The Germans created the first rocket-powered missiles in the '30's, just in time to terrify the world during World War II.
Which major agricultural innovation arrived first?
As part of the Green Revolution of the '30s, combines made it much easier for people to harvest crops. The cotton gin was created in the 1790s and simplified the separation of cotton fibers from detritus like seeds.
Toilets and cell phones go together like ham and cheese, but which came first?
The first real sanitation systems (thankfully) began spreading in the mid-1800s, and they immediately had a positive effect on human longevity. That gives you more time to play Flappy Bird on your cell phone (1970s).
In 1939, humans began harnessing nuclear fission, both for power generation and later for weapons of mass destruction. Kevlar vests, which can protect against shrapnel and bullets, were invented in 1965.
Humans began making stuff with iron back in 2000 B.C,, and the Iron Age changed a multitude of technologies. Mass-produced steel, which is much harder, didn't alter the metalworking landscape until the mid-19th century.
Which technology began alleviating hardship first?
In the 1840s, anesthesia changed the way humans perceive physical suffering, helping to alleviate pain. Air conditioning relieved some of the suffering of humidity and heat, but that wasn't until the early 20th century.
In the late 1790s, a British doctor named Edward Jenner used the concept of vaccination to protect people against dreaded smallpox, but it took another century for the idea to really grab the medical community. Penicillin wasn't a thing until the 1920s, too late to help soldiers in World War I.
Which iconic communications tech first hit human society?
The first telephone came about in 1876, thanks in large part to a patent filed by a guy named Alexander Graham Bell. Radio was invented in 1906 and immediately altered many aspects of human civilization.
In the 1960s, birth control pills altered the social landscape of the planet. Lipitor was introduced in the 1990s and simply allowed you to keep stuffing your face with cheese pizza without immediately collapsing from a heart attack.
Which type of engine first altered the mechanization of mankind?
Internal combustion engines combine air with fuel for maximum power, but they didn't emerge until the late 1800s. Steam engines, which were at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, were invented in the 1700s.
Which amazing technology-driven era happened first?
The Green Revolution
The Industrial Revolution
In the 1760s, technologies like steam engines propelled the Industrial Revolution, which increased the efficiency of many processes while reducing hard labor. The Green Revolution of the '30s and '40s starred fertilizers and chemicals that helped humans get much more food from their crops.