What do the Internet, the iPhone, the printing press, the wheel, and the automobile all have in common? They are pivotal inventions in the history of technology; inventions that catapulted forward the way humanity interacts with itself and surrounding environment. For millennials, (those between the ages of 18-33), technology has accelerated the use of online tools, empowering today’s generation in ways phenomenally different from their predecessors. We previously posted about the history of government and this time around wanted to provide some pivotal resources for those of you studying and writing about technology’s ongoing evolution.
A Short history of technology from fire to wheel
The history of technology, more aptly described as the invention of tools and techniques, goes back to the dawning of the early Stone Age (Lower Paleolithic) period, nearly 2.7 million years ago. The discovery of Fire was made around 800,000 years ago and the earliest known evidence for controlled use of fire is at an archaeological site in Israel called Gesher Benot Ya’aqov. One of the greatest and most famous of human inventions is the wheel. Invented in the 4th millennium B.C., the wheel was invented according to researchers in Mesopotamia or modern day, Iraq. Prior to the wheel, humans used logs to move large loads. The invention of the spoke enabled faster movement and the Egyptians are credited with this invention around the year 2,000 B.C. with their heralding of the “battle taxi,” or chariot.
Three amazing technology Inventions
While the discovery of fire and the invention of the spoked wheel remain high on the list of the most influential inventions, it would be naïve not to include the following that most certainly impacted the development of the human race.
- Anesthesia – The art and practice of medicine in the Western European hemisphere began with such profound ignorance about the human body that to get sick and see a doctor would amount to a quicker death sentence than just staying sick and dying. Surgical procedures were practiced without antiseptic in the most bloody and dangerous manners. The invention of anesthesia is credited to an American surgeon, Crawford Williamson Long, who first inhaled ether as an anesthetic. Thanks to anesthesia, patients can endure surgery “pain-free.”
- Antibiotics – Prior to 19th century French chemist Louis Pasteur’s discovery and understanding of germs, people would typically get sick from any disease-causing microorganism (such as the plague) and easily die from it. It was in 1942 that Selman Waksman, an American-born inventor, first coined the term, antibiotic, to describe any substance that negated the growth of a foreign microorganism.
- Tools – Yes, something you might not consider off the top of your head but imagine what state you’d find yourself in if you had none? Tools are a technology. The knife, the hammer, the screwdriver, these are but a few relatively simple inventions that quickly differentiated one “advanced civilization” from another. Without tools, humans would be forced to live in a much slower and clumsier world.
Questia books and articles on technology
Whether you’re studying the Internet’s impact on human connectivity, or the methods in which modern day medicine is being delivered to patients, Questia’s librarians have selected some excellent technology books and articles for you to access and help you with your own academic research. The technology advances of the past twenty years are something we might have only imagined belonging to science fiction movies. If you want an inkling to what tomorrow will look like, try studying some of technology’s most decisive inventions.
The Internet: An Introduction to New Media
Author: Lelia Green
Today the Internet is intrinsic to media and communications, entertainment, politics, defense, business, banking, education systems as well as to social interaction. Packed with case studies drawn from around the world, The Internet presents a clear and up-to-date introduction to the social, cultural, technological and political worlds this new media form is creating.
The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation.
Author: Thomas Kessner
The Flight of the Century sheds new light on one of America’s fascinatingly enigmatic heroes and most transformative moments. Charles Lindbergh’s flight from New York to Paris ushered in America’s age of commercial aviation. Author Thomas Kessner takes a fresh look at one of America’s greatest moments, explaining how what was essentially a publicity stunt became a turning point in history.
Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know.
Author: Charles D. Ferguson
Author Charles D. Ferguson provides an authoritative account of the key facts about nuclear energy. What is the origin of nuclear energy? What countries use commercial nuclear power, and how much electricity do they obtain from it? Featuring a discussion of the recent nuclear crisis in Japan and its ramifications, Ferguson addresses these questions and more in a book that is essential for anyone looking to learn more about this important issue.
Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food
Author: Lisa H. Weasel
More than ten years ago, the first genetically modified foods took their place on the shelves of American supermarkets. In Food Fray, esteemed molecular biologist Dr. Lisa H. Weasel brings readers into the center of “Frankenfoods” debate, capturing the real-life experiences of the scientists, farmers, policymakers and grassroots activists on the front lines.
“Nature and Nanotechnology: Science, Ideology and Policy.” International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society. Volume: 8. Issue: 1
Authors: Wickson, Fern; Grieger, Khara; Baun, Anders
In discussions of nanotechnology, it has become increasingly common to emphasize the importance of ‘responsible governance’. In this article, authors Grieger and Wickson focus on the issue of environmental governance and specifically explore the relationship between nature and nanotechnology.