The inventions and discoveries around the beginning of the 20th century include aircrafts, atomic energy, vaccination, relativity theory and so on. It was just a beginning. Let us examine other major inventions and discoveries of the period that influenced human life beyond imagination.
Penicillin: Changes the course of medicine.
Penicillin was a discovery by accident, but was powerful enough to change the course of medicine. In 1928, Alexander Fleming forgot to clean up his workstation before going on vacation. On coming back, he observed that though lots of bacteria were growing on his plates, no bacterium was growing on some spots. There were some clear rings around those spots. Something on these spots killed bacteria and that something turned out to be penicillin. Today, penicillin enables physicians to treat and cure many severe life threatening illnesses.
Telephone: Brings people closer.
Telephone is an invention by Alexander Graham Bell. He was interested in the science of sound as both his mother and wife were deaf. His experiments led him to develop the technology of sending voice signals down a telegraph wire. He utilized the ideas and knowledge of those who worked in the field earlier. He was supported by his assistant Thomas Watson in his experiments. Finally, on March 10th, 1876 telephone became a reality. The first words spoken were, “ Mr. Watson, come here!, I want to see you”. Telephone propelled the era communication.
Television: A boon or bane?
Development of television depended upon previous inventions and many persons contributed towards the development of television. It is a way of sending and receiving moving images and sounds through air as electric impulses. In 1920, John Baird transmitted first TV picture. Ferdinand Brown invented the cathode ray tube, the heart of TVs. Television has done both good and bad to the mankind. The positive impacts include the support provided in the fields of education, entertainment and sports. The negative impact is that it succeeded in bringing violence, wars, murder, and prejudices to the drawing rooms of homes. Hence, television is considered a mixed blessing.
Computer: The thinking machine
Charles Babbage is often called ‘The father of computing’. He designed the first automatic computer called ‘the difference engine’ in 1822. It had the size of a room and worked on steam. ENIAC, the first electronic general purpose computer, was designed for the US army. It was designed in 1946 by John Mauchly and J . Prosper Eckert.
Robots: To make our life easier.
A robot is a programmable, self controlled device consisting of electronic, electrical or mechanical units. In 1956, George Devil and Joseph Engelberger formed the world’s first robot company. Robots can be programmed to carry out difficult tasks. They are very precise in their actions and can repeatedly do any work. They are effectively utilized in discharging dangerous jobs like defusing booms. With the emergence of Artificial intelligence, robots are in the verge of replacing men on many fields.
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