Best Inventions of your Lifetime

by collegelife on September 1, 2011

Thomas Edison's first lightbulb which was used...

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During any given lifetime, a person experiences advancements in society and technology.  An octogenarian watched the births of commercial aviation, four lane highways, space exploration, nuclear power, the internet, cellular phones, analogue and digital recording, refrigeration and air conditioning, not to mention the advancements in modern medicine.

According to, their top 10 inventions are:

1. The Telephone - was invented back in 1875.  The early models didn’t have “speed dial” or an address book built into the receiver.  As a matter of fact, if you were rich enough to have one, you shared a line with your neighbors and you placed all calls by a switchboard operator named “Sarah” ( The Andy Griffith Show).

2.  The History of Computers -Early computers were as big as a house until the invention of transistors that replaced “tubes”.  Micro-chips, touch screens and blue tooth, we’ve come a long way.

3. Television -Have you ever seen a black and white TV?  Have you heard of them?  Your parents have, now you have HDTV.

4. The Automobile – Your Grandparents and ‘Greatgrands’ knew people that walked to school 10 miles, uphill, both ways.  They actually rode in “a one horse open sleigh”

5. The Cotton Gin - Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin on March 14, 1794. The cotton gin is a machine that separates seeds, hulls and other unwanted materials from cotton after it has been picked.

6. The Camera – they’ve been around a long time and used film.  Now it’s just too much fun posting pix on facebook and twitter…that you took with a phone.

7. The Steam Engine – Thomas Savery was an English military engineer and inventor who in 1698, patented the first crude steam engine. Thomas Newcomen invented the atmospheric steam engine in 1712. James Watt improved Newcomen’s design and invented what is considered the first modern steam engine in 1765.

8. The Sewing Machine – have been around since the early 1800′s and their were a lot of them in every neighborhood.  Mom’s and Granny’s would actually make their best “Sunday-go-to-meeting” clothes.

9. The Light Bulb – According to -Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Alva Edison didn’t “invent” the light bulb, but rather he improved upon a 50-year-old idea. In 1809, Humphry Davy, an English chemist, invented the first electric light. In 1878, Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, an English physicist, was the first person to invent a practical and longer-lasting electic lightbulb (13.5 hours) with a carbon fiber filament. In 1879, Thomas Alva Edison invented a carbon filament that burned for forty hours.

10. Penicillin -Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Andrew Moyer patented the first method of industrial production of penicillin in 1948.

Think about the advancements in your lifetime.  You’ve seen cell phones that came in a bag.  Now you have a “smart” phone that can outperform most sophisticated computers in use 20 years ago .  When you were young, mac and cheese came in a box, now it comes in a microwaveable cup.  The list goes on.

What are your favorite inventions or pieces of technology developed in the last 30 years?  How have they changed your life?  Write  in the comments box below.  We will have a drawing from the blog comments on this post and other posts on this site for some iTunes gift cards.  Express yourself and good luck.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Clay Pickens September 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Love the blog post. I think the most important invention has to be the television. Just like you said, watching tv on a black and white or standard definition tv, is boring. Now with LED or plasma TV’s, watching sports can make it just as fun to watch it on your couch! Looking forward to the next blog posting.

faith jordan September 8, 2011 at 3:32 am

My favorite invention is digital music. When they came out with records it was a great advancement to creating more types of music and giving access to the masses.

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Thanks very much. We’re here to serve. Send us any ideas or topics you would like to see covered. We’ll enter you in our iTunes gift card promo for your kind words.

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