101 important inventions


This video says about itself: ‘Archimedes screw in Safra Square, Jerusalem’.

From British daily The Independent:

101 gadgets that changed the world

Compiled by Simon Usborne

Published: 03 November 2007

1. Abacus, AD190

Use of the abacus, with its beads in a rack, was first documented in Han Dynasty China in about AD190, but the word dates to much earlier calculating devices. “Abacus” derives from the Hebrew ibeq, meaning to ” wipe the dust” or from the Greek abax, meaning “board covered with dust”, which describes the first devices used by the Babylonians. The Chinese version was the speediest way to do sums for centuries and, in the right hands, can still outpace electronic calculators.

2. Archimedes Screw, c.700BC

Purportedly devised by the ancient Greek physicist Archimedes of Syracuse in the 3rd century BC to expel bilge water from creaking ships, the screw that bears his name in fact predates Archimedes by about 400 years. Recent digs have established that earlier screws, which are capable of shifting water ” uphill”, were used in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the 7th century BC. So effective was the device, it is still used today in several sewage plants and irrigation ditches.

The 99 others are here.

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