Famous Inventions that Changed the World

Humanity has not been the same since the beginning of time. We are getting new technologies; new inventions and our lives are becoming better every day. There are many famous people who put their own touch into the development of technology and medicine and they forever changed our lives.

Many lives throughout history were dedicated to science and advancing human knowledge. In their honor, here’s a list of the most famous inventions which contributed to living in a world like the one we have today.

Printing Press


The printing press enabled humanity to spread the written word faster than ever. Reproduction of text and images using a template started way back in 220 AD in China and was done using cloth instead of paper. The Diamond Sutra, which is a Buddhist book from Dunhuang, is said to be one of the oldest printed books, dating back to 868 A.D.

In Europe, in the 15th Century, the first printing press was created by Johannes Gutenberg а German goldsmith and is known as the Gutenberg press.


Although electricity is a physical phenomenon and can’t be invented – it’s discovery is one of the most important ones in human history. Alessandro Volta was one of the first scientists who made a substantial effort in utilizing it. In the year 1800, he invented the first battery by combining alternating discs of zinc and copper, which were separated with layers of cardboard soaked in salt water.

This battery, also known as the voltaic pile, conducted electricity when a copper wire was connected at either end. A not very well-known fact is that the light the copper wire emitted when conducting electricity is considered to be one of the first versions of the incandescent lightning we have today.

In 1887 Tesla created the first induction motor which worked on alternating current, creating a new chapter in power engineering.


The invention of vaccines comes after a long history of infectious disease in humans and many attempts at healing those diseases. History shows that the Chinese used smallpox inoculation as early as 1000CE, it is evident that this was practiced in Turkey and Africa as well, long before it spread to the Americas and Europe.

Edward Jenner is the name of the first vaccine inventor who used the cowpox material to create immunity to smallpox back in 1796. Further work on his method enabled the eradication of smallpox 200 years after the invention of his vaccine.

Nowadays the vaccines are given to children in order to prevent 14 different diseases that occur early in life.

Personal Computers

We can all agree on the importance of computers and we should thank the inventor of transistors for that -William Shockley. The first processor was manufactured by Intel in 1971 and consisted of 2,250 transistors. Not many years after the first processor in 1975, Ed Roberts coined the term “personal computer” when putting the Altair 8800 on the market.

In the last 45 years, humanity has marked the fastest development of technology and science thanks to computers. We use them every day, for any need, from searching for restaurants to successfully completing space missions – computers do it all for us. Invent Help suggests that you can even use your computer to become and inventor yourself. Check this to see how’s that possible.

The Refrigerator

“Let’s keep it cool” – is what I would have said if I invented the Refrigerator. But it was constructed by Jacob Perkins in 1834 based on the theory put forward by Oliver Evans. The fridge consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump which takes the heat from the fridge and transfers it in the external surroundings.

When it comes to the first-ever electric fridge, it was invented and manufactured by General Electric in 1927 and cost $520, which equals to 7000$ today! This expensive device was called “Monitor-Top” and had a funny-looking compressor on top of the unit which apparently looked much like the gun turret on the Civil War battleship USS Monitor.

The Clock

Humans have been measuring time by tracking the sun with sundials, used water clocks, candle clocks, incense clocks and hourglasses for over millennia. When it comes to mechanical clocks the first mechanical clock was made and designed by Yi Xing of China in 725 AD.

Life as we know it would have no sense without a device that measures time.

Nowadays, in the digital era, we are facing different problems such as The Year 2038 problem (also called Y2038 or Unix Y2K). This problem relates to representing time in many digital systems as the number of seconds passed since 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970. Storing time as a signed 32-bit integer,  cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038.


Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first visionaries who believed that even though humans aren’t designed to fly, they were destined to fly. The Wright brothers saw this dream come to life, as they said: “The airplane stays up because it doesn’t have the time to fall.”

Behind this funny quote lie many tests and aerodynamic calculations which made it all possible. Back when the Wright brothers constructed the first airplane the calculations showed that it would take 4 days of flying for a plane to go from New York to Paris and they deemed it impossible.

Today we have around 100,000 flights every day, with millions of passengers coming and going from places all over the world.

The internet

We can’t say that one person invented the internet, it was a result of the work of many pioneering scientists, programmers, and engineers. Each of them developed new features and technologies that eventually joined together in becoming one – the “information superhighway”. It all started in the late 1960s with the creation of ARPANET – Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, funded by the US government. This was the first network that used packet switching enabling more computers to transfer files on one network.

The world we know wasn’t built in a day. Humanity walked the path starting from learning how to measure time, how to decrease mortality by using vaccines, how to power whole cities with electric energy, to finally arrive at the modern age where you can do anything and be anything just by starting up your PC and connecting to the internet.

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the started.