The importance of the following simple devices are so undermined that we can only appreciate them in their absence. They are unsophisticated, but their importance far surpasses some of the most intricate machines ever built. Which among these is the greatest simple invention?
Declared as mightier than the sword, it is not designed for creating massive structures or complex machines. However, it is the means by which all things are designed and specified. Without it, no building, no machine, no literature is ever put to actual presentation. This makes the pen a truly great invention.
earliest usage: ancient Egypt, 300 BC
earliest varieties: dip pen, ink brush, quill pen, reed pen
Eating is undeniably one of the most important tasks ever invented. Realizing this would make us think that the tools for such a task are very important too. Of all the tools for eating, could there be more indispensable than the spoon?
earliest usage: ancient Egypt 1000 BC
earliest varieties: ivory spoon, flint spoon, slate spoon, wood spoon
Its function is really simple: turn, turn and turn. But its effect and inclusion into so many devices and inventions is quite hard to ignore. From simple appliances, to land vehicles, to air and water couriers, wheels are there, they are practically everywhere.
earliest usage: Mesopotamia, 3500 BC
earliest varieties: potter’s wheel, spoked wheel
Having a roof over your head is an absolute necessity and in order to have one, you need to build one. This is where the nail comes in handy. Sure, you can tie the beams and the pillars up, but the binding wouldn’t be as as strong as when it gets pounded with this tough piece of pointed iron.
earliest usage: Ancient Egypt, 3400 BC
earliest varieties: bronze nail, iron nail
“Are you kidding me?,” this is the most probable response that you may hear if this disgusting object is suggested to be on a list such as this one. Is the condom a great invention? If we are to accept that the science of birth contraception is one of the most thoroughly researched scientific fields of all, then we have to accept that this slippery piece of rubber... is worthy to be here.
earliest usage: Asia, 15th Century
earliest varieties: silk paper condom, lamb intestine condom, tortoise shell condom
You and me will always have the need to climb– for wanting to reach higher, see farther, to gulp fresher air, and for plenty other reasons. Such an act can now be easily done by elevators and escalators. But long before they came along, there was the ladder – a simple yet great piece of innovation.
earliest usage: Spain, 7000 BC
earliest varieties: grass ladder, wooden ladder
Cutting a large animal into small pieces of meat, or splitting open a tasty fruit has been 2 of the most highly occurring tasks in the prehistoric times. Even today, when human civilization has reached its peak, cutting, splitting, chopping, dicing and all similar tasks are still ever present. They can never be done without the bladed weapons around, and bladed weapons will never be conceived without the wedge.
earliest usage: uknown
earliest varieties: ax, various thick-bladed weapons.
If we have the nail for building, we have also the needle for sewing. Houses are important, but so are clothes. They may not be as important as food, but they come in second next to it. Their means of conception can only be done by one method alone – stitching, and this task requires a pointed object, with ‘need’ as its root word.
earliest usage: 28000 BC
earliest varieties: bone needle, copper needle
Water is essential to life, so the instrument that humans can use to fetch it should be deemed important. Before the water pump was invented, there was the well, which paved the invention of the bucket. It’s dangerous and unwise to go down into the bottom of the well to fetch some water. Thanks to the bucket, we can just send it down for us, and pull it up.
earliest usage: Ancient Egypt, 3200 BC
earliest varieties: wooden bucket, leather bucket, bronze bucket
Machines are a great help for humans. They can work non-stop, but that doesn’t mean we must not have the option to shut them off, in the same manner as we can turn them on. Without the device that can activate and deactivate machines, then they are never good for anything. For this reason, the switch should be here, as one of the greatest inventions.
earliest usage: England 1884
earliest varieties: push button switch, toggle switch, dimmer switch
Which among these should be ranked as No. 1?