• THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
Many people think that invention and discovery are same words. But its not true, they mean different things. To ‘invent’ means to create a new device or develop a process (of practical utility) after conducting a thorough research and experimentation. And to ‘discover’ is to find out or learn something which already existed but had been unknown till the time.Inventions give us an altogether new product, whereas discoveries tell us about something, like a place, a concept, or a phenomenon, which hitherto lay hidden from our view. Most inventions and discoveries ate driven by human need and both intended in making our lives comfortable.
Some Inventions and Discoveries have changed the world. From fire to mobile phones, every invention had a impact on our history and changed our present. So, this post is the first part of ‘INVENTIONS AND DISCOVERIES’ which features some very first inventions and discoveries made by Humans.
• AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY TURNED OUT TO BE THE BEST BOON FOR THE MANKIND.
Fire was indeed an accidental discovery that became the best boon for the mankind. It brought about a turning point in the cultural aspect of human evolution. It was probably a Homo erectus, who, while making tools, rubbed two stones together and saw a spark. Gradually, these early humans learned to make and control fire, which transformed the way they lived.Recent archeological evidence from Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa suggest that fire was used by humans probably a million years ago. The analysis of the findings suggests that material in the cave were heated upto 1300°F (700°C). This can be interpreted that grasses, bushes and leaves were burned for these fires because such fuel would not have been capable of hotter flames. The fire was also probably discovered at many different places at different times.
Recent evidences found in a Belgian cave suggest that 10-15000 years ago, man used to light fire by striking a piece of Iron Pyrite with flint-stone to produce sparks.
• WHEN DID EARLY HUMAN INVENT STONE TOOLS.
The Homo habilis (a species of the Homini tribe, which lived from approximately 2.33 to 1.44 million years ago) were probably the first ones to make stone tools, which they used mainly for hunting, chopping meat, and wood, and for building useful things. Though these early tools were just sharp-edged flakes of rock, yet their appearance marks a major advance in human evolution that signals the beginning of basic technological thought by early humans.
The Stone Age tools included cutting tools made of flint and chert, grinding tools made of basalt, sandstone and quern-stones, and weapons made of wood, bone, shell and deer-anthlers.
• THE INVENTION THAT REVOLUTIONIZED TRANSPORT.
The invention that revolutionized transport was ‘wheel’. It is probably the best and most useful invention by early humans. The first use of wheel for transportation was probably on Mesopotamiam chariots in 3200 BC. However, there are also evidences of use of wheel prior to this period. It is still a mystery as to when was the wheel invented. According to archaeologists, it was probably invented around 8000 BC in Asia. However, based on diagrams on ancient clay tablets, the earliest known wheel was a potter’s wheel that was used at Ur in Mesopotamia (part of modern-day Iraq) around 3500 BC. It was made of stone.
Hub-less wheels do exist and are very eye-catching, although they are not widely used due to practical limitations and expensive manufacturing process.
• WHO MADE THE FIRST SUNDIALS.
Sundials were first made by the ancient Egyptians more than 3,000 years ago. Often referred to as Egyptian shadow clock or Time Stick, these sundials were T-shaped or L-shaped with a raised end bar. It had one vertical stick and one crossbar. The names of five hours were written on the stick in hieroglyphics or Egyptian writing system of graphics and alphabets. In the morning, the stick was placed to face east. The shadow of the crossbar would then fall across the stick and move towards the crossbar until noon. In the afternoon, the stick was turned to face west. They measure the morning hours, as the Sun swept overhead. Then, they measured afternoon and evening hours, while the Sun was going down.
• FIRST MARSHMALLOW CANDY.
Marshmallow candy was first made by the ancient Egyptians over 3000 years ago. The Egyptians made candy from the root of Marshmallow plant (Althea offcinalis), a plant that grows in marshes. Marshmallow, ,the herb has been used for more than 2000 years as both, a food and a medicine, particularly its leaves and roots. Today’s marshmallows do not contain any mallow root; instead gelatin is substituted for the sweet, sticky root.
• THE TRANSFORMATION OF SCISSORS.
Scissors were invented in ancient Egypt probably around 1500 BC.These eary scissors
made from one piece of metal (unlike modern scissors, which are made from two cross-blades which pivot around the fulcrum). The earliest known Mesopotamian scissors appeared around 3,000 years ago. These were of the ‘spring scissor’ type comprising two bronze blades connected at the handles by a thin, flexible strip
of curved bronze which served to hold the blades in alignment, to allow them to be squeezed together, and to pull
them apart when released. The idea of spring scissors is still used in almost all
modern scissors. Modern cross-bladed scissors of bronze or iron were invented in ancient Rome roughly around 100 AD. In China, the season date back to the dying years of Ming Dynasty, that were both beautiful and durable.