12 Most Important Technological Advancments in History

  • Personal Automobile

    Personal Automobile
    The first working steam-powered vehicle was designed - and possibly built - by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65 cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger. It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built.
  • Cotton Gin

    Cotton Gin
    The modern mechanical cotton gin was invented in the United States in 1793 by Eli Whitney (1765–1825). Whitney applied for a patent on October 28, 1793; the patent was granted on March 14, 1794, but was not validated until 1807. There is slight controversy over whether the idea of the modern cotton gin and its constituent elements are correctly attributed to Eli Whitney.
  • Camera

    The first partially successful photograph of a camera image was made in approximately 1816 by Nicéphore Niépce using a very small camera of his own making and a piece of paper coated with silver chloride, which darkened where it was exposed to light.
  • Telephone

    By October 1874, Bell's research had progressed to the extent that he could inform his future father-in-law, Boston attorney Gardiner Greene Hubbard, about the possibility of a multiple telegraph.
  • The Light Bulb

    The Light Bulb
    Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp in 1878. Edison filed his first patent application for "Improvement In Electric Lights" on 14 October 1878.
  • Electricity

    Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transmission (Tesla effect) as early as 1891. In 1891, Tesla patented the Tesla coil.
  • Airplane

    The brothers built a movable track to help launch the Flyer. This downhill track would help the aircraft gain enough airspeed to fly. After two attempts to fly this machine, one of which resulted in a minor crash, Orville Wright took the Flyer for a 12-second, sustained flight on December 17, 1903. This was the first successful, powered, piloted flight in history.
  • Television

    John Logie Baird showed a working television system to the public in 1925.
    Baird was a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first working television system in Hastings, England, in 1923. His public demonstration subsequently took place in Selfridges, a department store in London England, during March 1925. The system was successful enough to become commercialized, and the BBC began the world's first regular television broadcasts in January 1929, using Baird's system.
  • Atomic Bomb

    Atomic Bomb
    On August 2, 1939, just before the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein wrote to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein and several other scientists told Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify uranium-235, which could be used to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began the serious undertaking known then only as "The Manhattan Project."
  • Rocket Ship

    Rocket Ship
    Sputnik 1 (Russian: "Cпутник-1" lit. "Satellite-1") was the first artificial satellite. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the Space Age.
  • Personal Computer

    Personal Computer
    The Programma 101, released in 1965, was the first commercial "desktop computer", but today would usually be considered a printing programmable calculator.
  • Internet

    The term "internet" was adopted in the first RFC published on the TCP protocol (RFC 675: Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974) as an abbreviation of the term internetworking and the two terms were used interchangeably. In general, an internet was any network using TCP/IP. It was around the time when ARPANET was interlinked with NSFNET in the late 1980s, that the term was used as the name of the network, Internet, being a large and global TCP/IP network.