“Necessity is the mother of invention.” This quote is commonly used to explain how another miraculous invention was discovered. Throughout history, many inventions have been created. The Industrial Revolution started in the late 1700s, and since then humankind has been developing at an exponential rate. Truly amazing and useful devices, such as the steam engine and telegraph, were invented. In the last 100 years, many inventions and innovations have been created that make society’s life better, and four devices stand out as the most useful: the jet airplane, the television, the laptop computer, and the cell phone.
The first most useful invention is the airplane, invented in 1903 by the Wright brothers. The airplane has transformed not only this society, but also the entire world. Airplanes make it possible to travel long distances in a few hours, whereas before it took days or weeks to travel by horseback. In fact, a plane enables people to travel over high mountains and deep oceans with ease. It is as if the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were small rivers and the Himalaya and Rocky Mountains were tiny hills to jump over. In addition, with the invention of the plane, the world is smaller because a person can now effortlessly travel from one country to another to work, study, or take vacations.
The second most important invention in the last century is the computer, and specifically the laptop computer with an internet connection. The computer was invented in the mid-1900s, but in the 1980s the personal computer transformed how people use it. Because a laptop computer is small, portable, and can store large amounts of data, it is useful for business and study. From email to ecommerce and from ebooks to downloading movies and games, the personal computer has transformed everyone’s life. Computer software programs make it possible to keep track not only of business accounting and inventory, but also to buy and sell online. The Internet connects computers with a network of websites, and people can communicate on the computer with email, blogs, wikis, and even phone conversations.
This leads into the third most useful invention, the cell phone. Popularized in the 1990s, the cell phone keeps people safer and more connected. People can talk or send text messages to friends and family when they are far away, even in another country. Other examples of the cell phone’s usefulness are that drivers can call to let someone know they will be delayed if they get stuck in traffic or call for help if their car breaks down. In addition, phones often have Internet browsers, so people can stay up-to-date with news and events. Also, with camera phones people can take and share pictures of friends and family easily.
The fourth most useful invention is the television. With many channels to choose from, and literally thousands of programs, the learning possibilities are endless. Although not all programs are educational, many programs are, and people can learn encyclopedic amounts of knowledge and information. News is available 24 hours a day, so when important events happen in another part of the world, people can find out easily. This is in contrast to the past when it took days, months, or even years to find out the news from faraway places. Also, comedy and dramatic shows let us enjoy the funny moments in life and deal more effectively with the serious ones.
In conclusion, the airplane, television, laptop computer and cell phone are all useful inventions. Although there are many inventions to choose from, these four have dramatically transformed the world. All these inventions are connecting people to other people, places, and ideas. It will be interesting to see what is invented in the future!