30 Inventions That Put Their Mark on the World

THE REFRIGERATOR – SCOTLAND, 1755

One of the most important innovations in food history, the first artificially-cooled fridge was developed by Scottish physician William Cullen in the mid-1750s, but the first commercial domestic model wasn’t introduced until 1913.

 

THE COMPUTER – ENGLAND, EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Regarded as ‘the father of the computer’, English math genius Charles Babbage invented the world’s first mechanical computing devices, the Difference and Analytical Engines, during the early 19th century.

 

THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH – ENGLAND, 1816

English scientist Francis Ronalds is credited with inventing the first workable form of electrical telecommunication in 1816, while American Samuel Morse developed the first commercially-viable telegraph system in 1837, which revolutionized long-distance communication.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY – FRANCE, 1816

The first photograph was created in 1816 by French inventor Nicéphore Niépce using a DIY camera and paper coated with silver chloride. A key 19th-century invention, photography profoundly changed the way people communicate, learn, entertain, record events and express their artistic creativity.

 

MODERN ANESTHESIA – USA, 1842

Without effective anesthesia, modern surgical procedures would be all but impossible. While alcohol and opium have been used as crude anesthetics for millennia, modern anesthesia dates back to 1842, when surgeon Crawford Long used ether for the first time to operate on a patient’s jaw.

 

MODERN OIL REFINING – SCOTLAND, 1848

Everything from modern vehicles to plastics exists thanks to refined petroleum. The process was developed by Scottish chemist James Young, who figured out a way to extract kerosene from crude oil in 1848.

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