Timeline of historic inventions

The timeline of historic inventions is a chronological list of particularly important or significant technological inventions and the people who created the inventions.

Note: Dates for inventions are often controversial. Inventions are often invented by several inventors around the same time, or may be invented in an impractical form many years before another inventor improves the invention into a more practical form. Where there is ambiguity, the date of the first known working version of the invention is used here.

A proportion of all discoveries within the United States made during the 20th [1] (after 1943 [2]) and 21st centuries where made within skunk work enterprises [1]

Earliest inventionsEdit

The dates listed in this section refer to the earliest evidence of an invention found and dated by archaeologists (or in a few cases, suggested by indirect evidence). Dates are often approximate and change as more research is done, reported and seen. Older examples of any given technology are found often. The locations listed are for the site where the earliest solid evidence has been found, but especially for the earlier inventions, there is little certainty how close that may be to where the invention took place.

Pre-PaleolithicEdit

  • ~23 to 5.3 million years ago (Ma), the Miocene epoch: Beds, composed of a sleeping platform including wooden pillows[3]

PaleolithicEdit

A few non-invention dates are included in italics, for context. This time period is characterized as an ice age with regular periodic warmer periods – interglacial episodes – initially every 41,000 years slowing to

NeolithicEdit

Note the shift from Ma and ka to BC and AD – 8000 BC is approximately the same as 10 ka.

3rd millennium BCEdit

2nd millennium BCEdit

1st millennium BCEdit

7th century BCEdit

6th century BCEdit

 
With the Greco-Roman trispastos ("three-pulley-crane"), the simplest ancient crane, a single man tripled the weight he could lift than with his muscular strength alone.[127]

5th century BCEdit

4th century BCEdit

3rd century BCEdit

  • 4th to 3rd century BC: Zinc production in North-Western India.[147]
 
An illustration depicting the papermaking process in Han Dynasty China.

2nd century BCEdit

 
The earliest fore-and-aft rigs, spritsails, appeared in the 2nd century BC in the Aegean Sea on small Greek craft.[157] Here a spritsail used on a Roman merchant ship (3rd century AD).
  • 2nd century BC: Paper in Han Dynasty China: Although it is recorded that the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) court eunuch Cai Lun (born c. 50–121 AD) invented the pulp papermaking process and established the use of new raw materials used in making paper, ancient padding and wrapping paper artifacts dating to the 2nd century BC have been found in China, the oldest example of pulp papermaking being a map from Fangmatan, Gansu.[158]
  • 150 BC Astrolabe invented in the Hellenistic world.

1st century BCEdit

1st millennium ADEdit

1st centuryEdit

2nd centuryEdit

3rd centuryEdit

 
Schematic of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill. Dated to the 3rd century AD, it is the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.[177][178][179]

4th centuryEdit

5th centuryEdit

6th centuryEdit

 
A Nepali Charkha in action

7th centuryEdit

9th centuryEdit

 
A Mongol bomb thrown against a charging Japanese samurai during the Mongol invasions of Japan after founding the Yuan Dynasty, 1281.

10th centuryEdit

2nd millenniumEdit

11th centuryEdit

12th centuryEdit

14th centuryEdit

15th centuryEdit

 
The 15th-century invention of the printing press with movable type by the German Johannes Gutenberg is widely regarded as the most influential event of the modern era.[247]

16th centuryEdit

17th centuryEdit

 
A 1609 title page of the German Relation, the world's first newspaper (first published in 1605)[260][261]

18th centuryEdit

1700sEdit

1710sEdit

1730sEdit

1740sEdit

1750sEdit

1760sEdit

1770sEdit

1780sEdit

1790sEdit

19th centuryEdit

1800sEdit

1810sEdit

1820sEdit

1830sEdit

1840sEdit

1850sEdit

1860sEdit

1870sEdit

1880sEdit

1890sEdit

20th centuryEdit

1900sEdit

1910sEdit

1920sEdit

1930sEdit

1940sEdit

1950sEdit

1960sEdit

1970sEdit

1980sEdit

1990sEdit

3rd millenniumEdit

21st centuryEdit

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

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    • (Gay 2016): "SKUNK WORKS: DISCOVERY AT THE EDGES .. Numerous accounts of American corporate breakthroughs...came out of similar skunk work groups.." in, Volney Gay (2016) — Progress and Values in the Humanities: Comparing Culture and Science, p.22, published by Columbia University Press December 1 2009 ISBN 0231519818, ISBN 9780231519816,
    • source accessed using "discoveries by skunkworks" (p.3 of google > 2nd entry of p.1 of google books), route from Shane Greenstein (May 20, 2016) — What does a Skunk Works do?, digitopoly.org; "When an established firm... opening a skunk works... The phrase came from Al Capp’s Lil’ Abner cartoon" accessed 2020-1-18
  2. ^ Valentina Zarya (2017) — 5 Corporate Skunkworks You Should Know About published by FORTUNE June 15, 2017 "..plenty of.." — accessed 2020-1-18
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External linksEdit