ReWire: Living Faithfully in a Technological World - Page 15

SESSION ONE General Information TOP 50 INVENTIONS IN HISTORY In the November 2013 technology issue of The Atlantic, the magazine listed the top 50 greatest inventions since the wheel (according to a panel of 12 scientists, historians and engineers). Many of these ground-breaking inventions are second nature to us in today’s world, but as we consider how our use of technology shapes our lives, they are helpful to remember. They are: 50. The combine harvester, 1930s. 25. Alphabetization, first millennium B.C. 49. The assembly line, 1913. 24. The telephone, 1876 48. The lever, third millennium B.C. 23. The sextant, 1757 47. The nail, second millennium B.C. 22. The green revolution, mid-20th century 46. Anesthesia, 1846 21. Nuclear fission, 1939 45. Television, early 20th century 20. The pill, 1960 44. Air-conditioning, 1902 19. Industrial steelmaking, 1850s 43. The abacus, third millennium B.C. 18. The automobile, late 19th century 42. Paper money, 11th century 17. The compass, 12th century 41. Rocketry, 1926 16. The personal computer, 1970s 40. The sailboat, fourth millennium B.C. 15. The airplane, 1903 39. Oil drilling, 1859 14. Gunpowder, 10th century 38. Scientific plant breeding, 1920s. 13. Refrigeration, 1850s 37. Cement, first millennium B.C. 12. Sanitation systems, mid-19th century 36. The steam turbine, 1884 11. Nitrogen fixation, 1918. 35. Oil refining, mid-19th century 10. The steam engine, 17