We are often awestruck by the technology that surrounds us. But what is even more impressive are the inventions and discoveries that led to them. Let us travel through time to see what they are.
Humanity has come a long way from a hunter-gatherer society. We now have different types of appliances that help us in every aspect of our lives. Do all of these developments make you curious about how these things came to be?
Throughout the centuries, households made different gadgets to make their tasks easier. It might not be the same as what we have now. But we must tip our hats on how innovative our ancestors were. Let us discover these ingenious contraptions.
Sewing is one of the oldest crafts. Researchers believe that our ancestors during the Paleolithic era used rudimentary objects to piece things together. They transformed animal sinews into thread and bones into needles.
People later developed intricate sewing methods. Not only were our ancestors using this elaborate approach in their clothes, but they were already applying this to assemble their tipis. People from other cultures wove natural fibers to create baskets.
The Chinese were crafty enough to manufacture a more luxurious sewing material. That is no other than silk, which we still highly value today. They controlled its production and distribution for several centuries until the Japanese cultivated silkworms by themselves.
It was during the Middle Ages that this craft became a full-time job. Affluent Europeans employed tailors to make their clothes instead of doing it themselves. But it was in the late 1700s that revolutionized this particular craft. The sewing machine made it possible to produce clothes that were affordable to most people.
The sewing machine became cheap during the 20th century. It was now possible for women everywhere to sew their dresses. These developments brought about an increase in demand for sewing patterns. With the help of these patterns, ladies can sew fashionable dresses themselves.
Evidence points out that early humans began cooking their food as early as c. 2 million years ago. They mastered the use of fire to prepare the game that they hunted. Some researchers argue that cooking was essential in human evolution because it made food easier to digest. Thus, people were able to absorb nutrients better than uncooked food.
Our ancestors also cooked their food to keep them from spoiling. They started smoking their food to preserve the winter supply. Farming marked a new era as humans began cooking to enhance their taste. Some members of the society experimented with their food. This development might have led to the creation of the earliest hearth.
As civilizations advanced, some members of the community became more adept in food preparation. They turned into professional chefs. Archaeological evidence showed that Ancient Egypt had numerous food-related jobs. Only skilled cooks baked bread because it required much fuel. Thus, it was too expensive for individual households.
It led to the creation of flatbreads because they required less attention than their leavened counterpart. The flatbreads became part of peasant fare. But the commoners strive to follow the cuisine of the ruling class. In response, chefs made their dishes more distinct from the masses by creating more elaborate meals. This development led to the advancement of culture.
This chore is as old as clothes themselves. Our ancestors usually ran water through their clothes. This process results in cleaner garments because the water carries away anything that causes discoloration or smell. It eventually evolved into agitation. They rubbed and slapped their clothing on flat rocks to wash them.
Sometimes our ancestors would beat the dirt with the use of a paddle or bat. To lessen accidental drowning, prosperous communities channeled water into a structure where families do their communal washing. These buildings have two containers – one carried water for washing while the other was for rinsing.
The industrial revolution transformed how our ancestors did their laundry. In the 19th century, several people designed a less labor-intensive version of the box mangle. Both the original machine and its portable descendant made it easier for women to wash clothes compared to doing it manually.
It eventually led to the development of fully mechanized washing machines. They replaced the clothes agitators. Women just had to turn the handle that was at the sides of the tub. People outgrew these crude apparatus. Then they created electrically powered appliances.
These developments – may they be tangible or not – are proofs of humankind’s brilliance. We managed to create them even with limited resources. In the process, we did not only made our lives comfortable. But we took ourselves out of ignorance.
Our tendency of not settling for the status quo will lead to scientific advancement. But in our quest to make our lives more comfortable, let us not forget what our ancestors accomplished. It was their ingenuity that made the modern world.