A concise history of inventions

The Chinese were perhaps the world's first inventors, creating gunpowder, paper, printing and using a navigation system based on a compass – all while Europe was still in the grips of the Dark Ages of ignorance and poverty! As China 'settled down', content to stay home and enjoy its wealth, the European nations came into their own, discovering physical and chemical properties to create devices to entertain, amuse and delight others, alongside a vast multitude of labour saving and life-saving machines.

Of late, it is America that leads the charge as far as inventing goes. The richest nation on earth is well-equipped to produce the brightest minds, most skilled workers and supply them with the best possible materials in order to make some of the greatest discoveries of all time. The United States being so large means that there is an immense pool of talent, all vying to be the next Edison or Ford.


It is hard to tell who precisely invented what, until the patent system came along, aimed at protecting the intellectual property of inventor and innovator alike. There have been many instances of brilliant ideas and designs being credited to people with little technical skill but vastly superior social skills! Under the protection of the patenting scheme, inventions and discoveries can be explored at leisure, with no fear that some money-grabbing mercenary will 'steal' the idea and make themselves an unearned fortune!

The search for new ideas is always ongoing, and any nation, corporation or establishment that wants to rise to the top of the pile will have to find ways on encouraging young bright people back into the sciences – art and literature is well and good, but innovations need the understanding and application of scientific principles to be employed and perhaps even expanded upon!

In summary:
  • Inventions are important to society and civilization, making sure that we keep progressing well and learning more and more about the world around us. Some might say that some technological advances are bad, leading to ever more sophisticated weaponry, but the counter-argument to that would be to say that with yet MORE information and learning, governments and nations realize that too much firepower will only end up hurting everyone, not just the perceived enemy.
  • As long as Man has been an evolved animal, with higher, conceptual thought processes, he has been inventing gadgets, tools and machines to make life easier, simpler, better or more fun – it is one of the things that sets us apart from other animals
  • 'Inventor' used to be a full-time title; these days many people invent in their spare time, as a hobby, or to meet a certain need not yet catered for by the market.