Timeline of historic inventions

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The 15th-century invention of the printing press with movable type by the German Johannes Gutenberg is widely regarded as the most influential event of the modern era.[1]

The timeline of historic inventions is a chronological list of particularly important or significant technological inventions.

Note: Dates for inventions are often controversial. Inventions are often invented by several inventors around the same time, or may be invented in an impractical form many years before another inventor improves the invention into a more practical form. Where there is ambiguity, the date of the first known working version of the invention is used here.

Prehistoric[edit]

Note that the dates in the Paleolithic era are approximate and refer to the earliest discovered use of an invention, and are likely to change as more research is done and older sites are found. Similarly, the locations listed are for the site where the earliest example to date has been found, but in most cases there is little certainty how close that may be to where the invention actually first took place.

1st millennium BC[edit]

7th century BC[edit]

6th century BC[edit]

With the Greco-Roman trispastos ("three-pulley-crane"), the simplest ancient crane, a single man tripled the weight he could lift than with his muscular strength alone.[30]

5th century BC[edit]

3rd century BC[edit]

An illustration depicting the papermaking process in Han Dynasty China.

2nd century BC[edit]

The earliest fore-and-aft rigs, spritsails, appeared in the 2nd century BC in the Aegean Sea on small Greek craft.[57] Here a spritsail used on a Roman merchant ship (3rd century AD).

1st century BC[edit]

1st millennium AD[edit]

1st century[edit]

2nd century[edit]

3rd century[edit]

Schematic of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill. Dated to the 3rd century AD, it is the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.[81][82][83]

4th century[edit]

5th century[edit]

6th century[edit]

7th century[edit]

9th century[edit]

A Mongol bomb thrown against a charging Japanese samurai during the Mongol invasions of Japan after founding the Yuan Dynasty, 1281.

10th century[edit]

2nd millennium[edit]

11th century[edit]

12th century[edit]

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

The oldest known parachute is depicted in this anonymous Italian manuscript dated to the 1470s.[143]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

A 1609 title page of the German Relation, the world's first newspaper (first published in 1605)[148][149]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

1800s[edit]

1820s[edit]

1830s[edit]

1850s[edit]

1870s[edit]

1880s[edit]

20th century[edit]

1910s[edit]

1920s[edit]

1930s[edit]

1940s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ See People of the Millennium for an overview of the wide acclaim. In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg no. 1 on their "People of the Millennium" countdown. In 1997, Time–Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium; the same did four prominent US journalists in their 1998 resume 1,000 Years, 1,000 People: Ranking The Men and Women Who Shaped The Millennium. The Johann Gutenberg entry of the Catholic Encyclopedia describes his invention as having made a practically unparalleled cultural impact in the Christian era.
  2. ^ Harvard Gazette, Invention of cooking drove evolution of the human species
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