Old Technologies That Are Still Being Used Today and Where They Came From

Innovations and technological developments bring immense benefits to our world. From old technologies like paper and the wheel to more recent ones like the internet and artificial intelligence, we are constantly finding ways to progress, connect, and make our world smaller and more exciting. The best inventions are timeless, and some of the oldest technologies in the world are still as important today as they always were.

To appreciate innovation at its best, here are 6 old technologies that are still being used today and where they came from.

1. Paper

The history of paper and papermaking was first documented around 2,000 years ago in China during the Eastern Han Dynasty. At that time, paper inventors used cloth sheets as a way to record their writings and drawings. Afterwards, papermaking made its way to the Islamic countries, where paper mills and pulp mills were used to make both papers for writing and to make money. In today’s world, paper now has numerous uses aside from documentation and monetary exchange such as packaging, cleaning, and personal hygiene.

2. Concrete

Middle Eastern builders were credited with the invention of concrete around 1300BC. Builders discovered that a damp and thin layer of burned limestone could increase the durability of the walls in their homes and fortresses. Nowadays, concrete plays a major role in our world as it is one of the most cost-effective building materials, has a small carbon footprint, and is highly resilient and durable. 

3. Dustbusters

Before vacuum cleaners were available in our homes, people spent many hours sweeping their floors. While vacuums made this job easier, there were still some issues with getting into those hard-to-reach places. As unbelievable as it may sound, this problem was solved by NASA. As you can see in this blueprint image by Compare the Market, the powerful motor was taken from the Apollo Lunar Surface Drill and was revamped to power a handheld vacuum cleaner. The dustbuster was born, and no home is complete without one as they enable you to get into all those nooks and crannies.

Old Technologies That Are Still Being Used Today and Where They Came From 1

4. Alarm Clocks

In 1787, an American named Levi Hutchins invented a mechanical alarm clock to wake him up at 4 AM every day. Later on, it was known as the first personal alarm in the world. As alarm clocks started to gain popularity in the 1870s, major clock companies in the US began to produce them. Soon afterwards, German clock businesses started to follow. While the sound of an alarm clock is nobody’s favorite thing to hear, there is no doubt that we rely on them enormously. 

5. Batteries

The very first operable battery was a groundbreaking invention by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta which was a progression of fellow Italian Luigi Galvani’s early work. Thanks to the foundation laid by Galvani, Volta was able to successfully experiment with electrochemical in the 1790s and create a primitive version of the batteries we rely on today. Batteries are used to start car engines, run our phones, and even to power medical equipment.

Simple inventions are often taken for granted but it is difficult to imagine our lives without these vital innovations. With scientists and designers constantly looking to push the boundaries of innovation, technology will continue to increase our productivity and living standards across the globe. 

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