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Great Inventions of Humanity: Innovative and Destructive

Great Inventions of Humanity: Innovative and Destructive

According to the scholars, the planet Earth has been there for above 4.5 billion years and the humanity about 200,000 years. If we condense the Earth lifespan into 24 hours which is a day, then the humanity has existed for only 5 minutes. But within the 5 minutes of our lifespan, we have evolved a lot, both physically and mentally. This blog post tries to answer the question what are the great inventions of humanity. The list is base on personal opinion, saying that the inventions are both innovation and helpful and destructive as well.


In the prehistoric times, humans used earth and minerals to create pigments. Early artwork showed the earthy mixture and black and white. As time progressed, we found new pigments. It was the Egyptians who found out the blue color. This was among the great inventions of the Pharaoh-leading region as it doubled the choice of colors.

Around the 15th century, books guiding the choice of colors came into being. There was a time that people used the arsenic which could produce the “emerald green” as a pigment. But hardly did the artists realize the fatal damage that arsenic caused.

The invention of pigments added more colors to our life. But the emerald green (the green pigment by arsenic) posed a threat to the people who exposed to the artwork with this pigments.

Indeed, the invention of pigments just added more colors to the dull life of the humanity.


Textile was the creation dating back to the prehistoric times. People used textiles for multipurpose from providing clothes, shelter to making sails and containers. Generally, the practical use of the textiles depended on the types of materials.

The discovery of printed textiles dated back to the 3th century in China. And of course, the options of textiles today are endless.


Roughly everything that can function has a part resembling the wheel. The invention of wheel just added more ease and flexibility to anything. It has been helping the humanity to carry things easily. But note that in the beginning, to make a wheel function, the creators had to be careful a lot.

Wheel is among the great inventions of humanity.
The evolution of the wheel took quite a long period to reach the tyres.

Over the centuries, the wheel has evolved with the progress of the humanity. By 2015, around 2 billion tyres are sold internationally. This can say that the invention of the wheel is among the greatest and most important inventions of the world.


The aqueduct was the system that we used to carry the water. This word originated in Latin: aquae ductus with aqua meaning water and ducere meaning to lead. And it was the Romans who created this and constructed hundreds of aqueducts throughout their empire. And Rome was the place that owned up to eleven huge aqueducts that supplied the water to the densely populated regions.

Beyond delivering the drinkable water, aqueducts helped to bring the water for irrigation, transportation, and flood control.

Printing press

Prior to 1455, books were only for the wealthy and noble who were wealthy enough to afford books. But the invention of printing press by Johann Gutenberg made books accessible to a wider population. As early as the 9th century, the Chinese invented the printing method but the Chinese way required too much effort and the result was not very poor.

But Gutenberg later discovered the way to produce multiple texts with very high standard. The result of this discovery was nothing but revolutionary. The Gutenberg’s method was so innovative that it remained unchanged for more than 4 centuries.

The invention of printing press by Gutenberg was among the great inventions of humanity. It helped the source of knowledge (books) accessible to the majority of population
Illustration of Gutenberg with his invention of printing press.

The invention of Gutenberg not only helped the presses but also helped boost the knowledge of the population, especially across Europe. It deserv


It is a false understanding that Galileo Galilei the Italian astronomer invented the telescope. In fact, the earliest workings with the construction of the telescope was carried out by the lens maker Hans Lippershey in 1608.

But what is the importance of the telescope? Needless to say, the telescope is much more better than our eyes. It can see a variety of colors by collecting the lights that our eyes could not. It helps fathom into the constellations which still remain an open book to the humanity.


Around 1770s, Edward Jenner an English physician injected into a milkmaid a liquid. The milkmaid whose name was Sarah Nelmes came to see him with the cowpox blisters on her hand. Then the milkmaid recovered from the cowpox blisters which made Jenner carry out more tests and got the revolutionary results.

Vaccines was discovered by Edward Jenner. It was among the great inventions of humanity
Edward Jenner was an English physician that discovered vaccines. Illustration of Edward Jenner injecting the vaccines into the body who contracted to cowpox

The 20th century witnessed the discovery of vaccines for polio a disease affecting the central nervous system causing the loss of control over most part of the body.

Today, vaccines have become a part and a parcel in many countries across the globe.


Gunpowder is among the destructive but great inventions of humanity. It helped both cultivation and making land by flattening the mountains. But it also significantly changed the warfare matters.

The invention of the gunpowder was a little bit unexpected. It was the Chinese who discovered the gunpowder. But they originally wanted to produce the magical pills that promised an eternal life. Ironically, they created the chemical explosive that destroyed many lives in the battles.

As early as the 9th century, the gunpowder was spread by Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan. But the gunpowder quickly fell into the hands of the Arabs, Indians, and later the Europeans. From the fire bomb catapults to cannons and torpedoes, the use of gunpowder varied from country to country.

Steam Engine

It was the ancient Greeks that created the steam engine. But it was not until the 18th century that the steam engine experienced the significant advancements. Those advancements made the steam engine reached its peak and become the dominant source of power in the 20th century. The steam engine literally dominated the Industrial Revolution. This makes the steam engine become one of the great inventions of humanity.

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