The 8 Most Important Modern Inventions

Among the main inventions of the Modern Age  are the compound microscope, the lightning rod, the thermometer, the steam engine and the modern refrigeration system. These creations allowed great advances in science and industry.

The Modern Age is the third stage in the history of mankind. It includes the period from the discovery of America (1492) to the French Revolution (1789). During this time there were great discoveries and extraordinary inventions.

Unlike the Middle Ages , in the Modern Age progress, idealism, communication and reason were the prevailing values, which allowed the development of innovative ideas that changed the world.

The most important inventions of the Modern Age

1- The compound microscope (1592)

Zacharías Hanssen, a manufacturer of glasses of Dutch origin, and his son Hans Jannsen were the creators of the compound optical microscope in the year 1592.

The idea came from an experiment in which they put magnifying lenses into a tube and found that objects were better observed.

Later, the invention was improved in 1655 by Robert Hooke.

2- The lightning rod (1752)

Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that lightning can be attracted and its discharge can be conducted to the ground, thus avoiding damage to people and buildings.

His invention took shape by tying a kite to a thin metal body (a key) held by a silk thread.

The kite flying in the middle of the storm was quickly struck by lightning, charging the power switch.

3- The thermometer (1593)

Its first version was called a thermoscope and is attributed to the Italian Galileo Galilei.

This invention compared the temperature of two bodies, by immersing their tubular structure in a mixture of water and alcohol. The thermoscope compared temperatures, but did not measure them.

Later, Santorio Santorio created the air thermometer: an instrument with very poor scales of measurement.

Finally, in the year 1714 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit created the mercury thermometer.

4- The steam engine (1712)

Thomas Newcomen developed the atmospheric steam engine to extract water from mines in 1712. His machine worked by releasing steam into a chamber, in which it cooled and condensed.

This created a vacuum that exerted pressure. The force made the piston go down a pulley and suck in the water.

Later, in 1769, James Watt created the steam engine that allowed the development of maritime navigation and that fueled the Industrial Revolution .

5- The modern refrigeration system (1748)

Scottish physicist William Cullen discovered that some chemical reactions of gases repelled heat from a particular area, creating a kind of ice pack. Thus he found the basis of the modern cooling system.

From Cullen’s findings, the idea of ​​using artificial low-temperature environments for food preservation spread.

This is how years later the original versions of modern refrigerators were developed.

6- The telescope

Galileo Galilei presented to the world in 1609 the telescope, a device with the ability to observe distant objects in the sky quite clearly. It was an invention that shook the foundations of faith, since it doubted that God was the center of the Universe.

Although Galilei was the one who took the credit for the invention, all indications indicate that it was Hans Lippershey, a lens manufacturer, who designed this device a year or two earlier. In turn, recent investigations suggest that perhaps Juan Roget, another manufacturer of glasses, devised the telescope sketch before Lippershey.

7- Planter

The planter had its first prototypes since the 16th century, however, the one created by the agronomist Jethro Tull was a revolution for agriculture.

Conceived in 1701, it made it possible to plow and sow larger fields, allowing the seeds to be distributed more regularly. This allowed a better use of the soil, as well as the possibility of burying the seeds deeper.

8- Hot air balloon

A rooster, a sheep and a duck were the first crew members to get on a hot air balloon in an exhibition prepared by the Montgolfier brothers in Versailles in front of the French court and 130,000 other attendees.

Although it was the Brazilian from Gusmao who made the first demonstration of air balloon ascension in 1709, it was not until 1783 that the Montgolfier brothers created the balloon that rose thanks to the chemical principle that hot air rises.


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