Friday, July 5, 2013

The greatest invention of all time

What is the greatest invention of all time?  I suppose that depends on where you are and your circumstances.

If you go back far enough it might be the wheel.  Think about it....without wheels we'd probably still be walking.  No carts, wagons, stage coaches, cars, nothing.  We'd spend our lives just dragging stuff around.

Maybe the bow and arrow, and later gunpowder?  Then you could defeat those pesky 'ol Huns trying to storm your castle without having to ruin you nails in hand-to-hand combat.

The telegraph / telephone?  Then you could communicate with friends or do business with people hundreds of miles away.  The common man began to understand there was a big wide world out there.

The harnessing of electricity?  Then we could see and do things after dark.

Oh....these were huge!....trains and automobiles.  Where they were originally rich man's toys, Corny Vanderbilt and Henry Ford put us all on wheels.  Now we could work and play and make stuff for people far away from where we lived.  Until then most people grew up, married and raised families, worked and eventually died within maybe 25 miles of where they were born.  Easy transportation opened up commerce, created jobs, and raised the living standards of the masses.

The airplane?  A personal favorite of mine, it did the same as the automobile, but over longer distances.

Personal computers and the internet?  Now we had the knowledge of the world at our fingertips.  

And of course there are probably regional favorites, too.  I'm sure If you live in the Mid-East you're probably still amazed by toilet paper.  And judging by the way they like to throw them, rocks.  

NOTE:  This is NOT me, although the resemblance is striking.

But for me, a guy who grew up in the South and has become increasingly intolerant of heat, my personal favorite invention of all time is air conditioning.

Definitely, air conditioning.  ;)

What say you?



  1. It's hard to believe people lived without air conditioning. Though the planet wasn't as hot back then without all the global warming. I think I read somewhere that refrigeration in general was one of the greatest inventions ever because it allowed trade from all over the country and then the world. I mean in the old old days if you wanted to ship meat you'd have to salt it so it wouldn't spoil.

    Though I think if you want to rank the most basic ones it'd be: fire, hand tools, clothes, and the wheel that allowed primitive humans to flourish in difficult environments.

    BTW, love the picture!

  2. Choosing between internet and air conditioning, I'd be hot.


  3. I think there are parts of our country that would be uninhabitable without air conditioning, so i agree with you. I know our AC is on right now, and i know your it too. Hope you're having a great weekend.

  4. Definitely air conditioning. I do love my dishwasher and flushing toilets just can't be beat. At work I love being able to scan to email now. That is sooo helpful but I remember how great the fax machine was in a hospital. We used to have to courier everything around the building or keep calling for results.

  5. Beer. jk .... sorta

    I am going with electricity...without that invention fancy ac

  6. Your list contains some big and noble inventions. Let me add some ordinary items that we probably wouldn't want to do without:

    Intermittent windshield wipers
    Birth control

  7. Oh god I love aircon! I just want to build huge domes over every suburb and aircon everything!

  8. Yup, air conditioning (or as it's known in Phoenix, refrigeration) is the one. 'Course, as your wise wife says, without electricity . . . no air conditioning.