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 and the people who created the 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.

Earliest inventions[edit]

The dates listed here refer to the earliest known evidence of an invention. Dates are often approximate and may change as more research is completed. Older examples of any given technology may arise in the future. The locations listed are for the site where the earliest solid evidence has been found, but in most cases there is little certainty how close that may be to where the invention took place.

Paleolithic[edit]

Neolithic[edit]

Note the shift from Ma and ka to BC and AD – 8000 BC is approximately the same as 10 ka.

2nd millennium BC[edit]

1st millennium BC[edit]

8th century 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.[66]

5th century BC[edit]

4th 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.[86] Here a spritsail used on a Roman merchant ship (3rd century CE).
  • 2nd century BC: Paper in Han Dynasty China: Although it is recorded that the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) court eunuch Cai Lun (born c. 50–121 AD) invented the pulp papermaking process and established the use of new raw materials used in making paper, ancient padding and wrapping paper artifacts dating to the 2nd century BC have been found in China, the oldest example of pulp papermaking being a map from Fangmatan, Gansu.[87]

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.[107][108][109]

4th century[edit]

5th century[edit]

6th century[edit]

A Nepali Charkha in action

7th century[edit]

8th 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]

  • 1119: Mariner's compass (wet compass) in Song Dynasty China: The earliest recorded use of magnetized needle for navigational purposes at sea is found in Zhu Yu's book Pingzhou Table Talks of 1119 (written from 1111 to 1117).[156][160][161][162][163][164][165] The typical Chinese navigational compass was in the form of a magnetic needle floating in a bowl of water.[166] The familiar mariner's dry compass which uses a pivoting needle suspended above a compass-card in a glass box is invented in medieval Europe no later than 1300.[167]

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

The oldest known parachute is depicted in this anonymous Italian manuscript dated to the 1470s.[179]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

A 1609 title page of the German Relation, the world's first newspaper (first published in 1605)[188][189]

18th century[edit]

1700s[edit]

1710s[edit]

1730s[edit]

1740s[edit]

1750s[edit]

1760s[edit]

1770s[edit]

1780s[edit]

1790s[edit]

19th century[edit]

1800s[edit]

1810s[edit]

1820s[edit]

1830s[edit]

1840s[edit]

1850s[edit]

1860s[edit]

1870s[edit]

1880s[edit]

1890s[edit]

20th century[edit]

1910s[edit]

1920s[edit]

1930s[edit]

1940s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

  • 1980: Flash memory (both NOR and NAND types) is invented in Japan by Dr. Fujio Masuoka while working for Toshiba. It is formally introduced to the public in 1984.
  • 1982: A CD-ROM contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 Yellow Book standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data.[222]
  • 1984: The first commercially available cell phone, the DynaTAC 8000X, is invented by Motorola.

1990s[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

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  4. ^ Harvard Gazette, Invention of cooking drove evolution of the human species
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External links[edit]