Created 8/13/1997
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Patterns of Invention to 1900


Inventions taken from the Smithsonian Visual Timeline of Inventions (London: Dorling Kindersley, 1994).



Note: I would not take the pre-5,000 BC invention locations too seriously. Archeologists have dug up Europe and the Middle East (including Egypt) much more than they have dug up other parts of the world. The 200,000-20,000 BC pattern, especially, seems to me more likely to reflect where archeologists have lived since 1800 than where human inventions and innovations were made.

Typical inventions before 7,000 BC: Fire, pottery, fishing net, comb.

Typical inventions 7,000 BC - 3,000 BC: Spinning, irrigation, arch, sailing ship, cosmetics.

Typical inventions 3,000 BC- 1,000 BC: Yoke, chariot, alphabet, wooden spoon.

Typical inventions 1,000 BC - 1000 AD: Aqueduct, water pump, paper, napalm.

Typical inventions 1000 AD - 1700 AD: Rudder, printing press, flintlock musket, pocket watch.

Typical inventions 1700 AD - 1900 AD: Flying shuttle, hot-air balloon, vaccination, railroad locomotive.

Typical inventions, 1900 AD - 2000 AD: Vacuum cleaner, tank, electron microscope, integrated circuit.


Created 8/13/1997
Go to Brad DeLong's Home Page

Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong, 601 Evans, #3880
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
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