The 20th century was the time when industry exploded and when some of the biggest technical advancements were made. Just simply think of the way both World Wars would have been carried out only one century prior. We saw aviation starting to grow, the apparition of dangerous weapons such as rocket launchers and the infamous nuclear bomb, but we also got some incredibly good things that ended up changing our lives as we knew them. We are here to remind ourselves of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.
This way, we can look back and appreciate how truly far we have come (and how much we owe this time period).
#1 The Internet
These days, the Internet is both the best and the worst thing that could have happened to us. In less than a few seconds, we are able to find out William Shakespeare’s extensive biography, who invented the toilet, and which is the latest unflattering celebrity photo trending all over Tumblr.
All jokes aside, we just had to rank it as the king of all inventions of the 20th century if only for the cultural impact it has as we’re typing this article. In fact, it wouldn’t even be up right now if it weren’t for the Internet. As far as this invention is concerned, saying that it changed our lives is as truthful of a statement as it gets. Seriously, where would we be without endless 10-hour versions of cats meowing on YouTube?
Sadly, radio is something that is starting to lose a lot of terrain in favor of other gigantic concepts and inventions of the 20th century. However, that doesn’t mean that, at the time when it was released and brought into the spotlight, it didn’t have a lasting impact.
At that time, it was the first instance when a person could be heard from miles away without the use of a wire, something that was considered simply mind-blowing. It also played a pivotal part in family life during World War II as it provided updates and crucial information. Today, very few people use the radio for information or entertainment anymore.
To be honest, a few years ago, television would have ranked a little bit lower. Not by much, but there was a point when TV started following down radio’s path and losing terrain to the Internet especially. The entertainment provided by television was no longer up on par.
However, they seem to have learned something and upped their own game. TV these days involves everything from news to game shows, to educational programs, to guilty pleasure reality shows, and TV series. The latter in particular have been on a rise and, as a result, another giant is starting to tremble – the movie industry.
Historically speaking, the 20th century was the time period when the rate of mortality among humans started greatly decreasing. The first steps towards this astonishing achievement (and the explosion in global population numbers) were taken in 1928, when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.
Up until this innovative revelation, sneezing slightly harsher on someone would have gotten them infected with some random bacteria. Antibiotics proved that the greatest 20th century inventions involved medicine too, not just technology.
Alright, technically, rockets were invented three thousand years ago and used as fun distractions with entertainment value by the Greeks and Romans. But they weren’t the kind of rockets that we’re used to today. The ones invented in the 20th century opened, quite literally, a whole new world.
Humankind has been used to sitting by windows and staring at the sky through tubes with zoom-in features (telescopes, yes). So, to be able and actually transport people into the heart of the universe’s vastness – that’s truly incredible. Knowing how big the universe is, it will probably take us an additional three thousand years until we discover even half of what’s to learn about it.