People invent for many different reasons. Most of the time, these reasons go far beyond the desire to make money or a name for oneself. People invent because they know they have something to offer the world and, in most cases, these inventions save valuable time, energy and money. To honor the innovative minds who have made our lives easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 time-saving inventions in history. Did your favorite make the list?
The Jet Airplane: 1939
In a pre-airplane world, traveling was a lot more complicated. Sure, America had boats and trains. But these were very time-consuming methods of transportation compared to the modern jet plane. For perspective, it took about seven days for a ship to cross the Atlantic and nearly four days to travel from Los Angeles to New York by train. And then, the jet airplane was born. On February 7, 1996 — just 57 years after the first jet aircraft took flight — the Concorde flew from New York to London in only 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds from take-off to landing. The Concorde flew at twice the speed of sound, an impressive cruising speed when compared to the first jet plane’s 372 mile-per-hour speed limit.
The Printing Press: circa 1440
Image Source: Daniel Chodowiecki
Before Gutenberg decided to embody the phrase “work smarter not harder,” books were handwritten and hand-illustrated. Books were extremely limited for this reason. Without mass production of literature, people were forced to copy and recopy their ideas onto parchment, clay, papyrus or wax. As you can imagine, thousands and thousands of texts were not copied and thus lost to years of wear-and-tear, natural disaster and war. Are you having sympathy pains just thinking about it?
The Model T Ford: 1908
Image Source: Car and Driver
When was the last time you hitched a horse to a buggy? Cars were not widely produced throughout the world before Ford’s brilliant Model T invention. Cars were once a privilege of elitist wealth, leaving the poor and middle-class to navigate dirt roads with horse-drawn carriages because of high production prices. But in 1913, the assembly line was born and the Ford Model T was mass-produced. The assembly line allowed for cheaper, more efficient work, lowering the price of the Model T from about $825 in 1908 to less than $370 in 1924. To give you a little context, $825 in 1908 would translate to about $21,000 in modern-day USD. Now you understand why most people stuck with their horse and buggy, even if it did take 3 hours just to ride into town for a couple supplies.
The Modern Computer: 1941
Image Source: Computer History
Before the 1970s, computers were too expensive and bulky for widespread recreational use. By the end of the decade, Apple, Microsoft, and Commodore all helped to fix that issue (bringing us classics like Tetris to boot). They changed our way of life so much that, honestly, I’m not sure how people lived before desktop and personal computers.
The Internet: 1969
The Internet’s impact on society, industry, and the world is immeasurable. Before the Internet, we had to rely on snail mail for communication and, as we all know, nobody has time for that these days. Although the Internet was initially created for means of linking communication, it eventually developed into the expansive database we are familiar with today when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web in 1990. Finally, people were able to destress by searching websites for videos of people’s cute animals doing weird things. How did we even destress before cute animal videos, again?
Between jets, printing presses, cars, computers and the Internet, who has time to worry about tying their shoes? In today’s modern world, we simply don’t have the time to waste 2 minutes each day tying our shoes. And that isn’t even including the time you have to take to retie your shoes multiple times throughout the day. Replace your laces with Lock Laces®, and figure out what you’re going to do with the extra 12 hours a year that you’ll save by not tying your shoes! How do you even tie your shoes, again? BRB — Googling it.