57 Responses

  1. Rick at |

    I gotta admit, between the internet and late night AM radio, it's a toss up. And that's saying a lot.

    Reply
  2. Billster at |

    Seriously radio is first ?

    Reply
    1. Fazrin at |

      Yeah,internet should be first. In fact,radio should be at 7.

      Reply
      1. Bob at |

        the radio was the first way of instant news!

        Reply
    2. Tom White at |

      Yep. What technology do you think enables wireless networking, cellphones, communication with satellites, etc? Radio.

      Reply
  3. Hermitbiker at |

    …. an outstanding list of Top 10…. now that's a hard one to decide between for #1 and #2…. the Internet or Radio…. the Radio or Internet !! :-)

    Reply
    1. Tom White at |

      Without radio there wouldn’t even be a lot of the Internet. Satellites communicate by radio.

      Reply
  4. tasmanian devil at |

    Don’t want to sound like a smart arse but in the first sentence of the nuclear power list you liken it steam power in the 19th century. However, the electricity that is created in nuclear power station is from steam turning turbines. It is the source that heats the water to cause steam that has changed over the centuries: from coal to a nuclear reaction.

    Reply
  5. Adaluncatif at |

    Sorry, but antibiotics don't heal viral infections, such as smallpox. That was eradicated by vaccination, which started in the 18th Century (well, the effective one came on later).

    Reply
  6. SMF at |

    The auto was a 19th century invention…

    Reply
    1. MLK at |

      yah, but only after Ford assembly line it became reacheable for everybody

      Reply
  7. Chris at |

    Obvious list is obvious. :)

    Reply
  8. mark at |

    i think the internet must be in 1st!!!!

    Reply
  9. mandi at |

    i think mark is right

    Reply
  10. Ezmelts at |

    I was a bit thrown out of place by the #1 given to radio, if anything it could be switched with television, but I guess radio played a much more vital and functional role during it's time than television.

    Reply
    1. Tom White at |

      Television depends on radio as well. How do you think TV signals are transmitted and received? Via radio.

      Reply
  11. P Smith at |

    There’s one more that was forgotten: audio and video storage. It doesn’t necessarily come in one format (vinyl, film, tape, digital, etc.) but it’s impact is massive.

    Before storage was possible, performances could not be captured, whether visual, musical, spoken or sound. People could not share things they had experienced, could not hear or see first hand what others saw. Most times, experience came second hand by writers and newsprint.

    Storage changed not only experience, it changed time. Things could be known or shared immediately over distance, or kept for the future. A picture is worth a thousand words, if by word you mean two bytes on a computer. Movies and songs are worth millions of words and the experience of seeing or hearing them can never be conveyed by words alone.

    Reply
  12. Dan Fugate at |

    This is a good list. HUGE innovations. It’s really such a tough call between the top 4.

    Reply
  13. Brandon at |

    I beleive all but 1 or 2 were invented by AMERICANS in this list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just had to point that out!

    Reply
  14. CNA Training at |

    No doubt it’s a beautiful post of yours and you hve done a great job.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Reply
  15. Telebrands at |

    Good list of some top 20th century inventions. I think you’ve named a number of key inventions.

    Reply
  16. Kole Deverney at |

    I think chuck norris should be first

    Reply
    1. llama lover at |

      so do i :)

      Reply
    2. Chuck at |

      Fail!

      Reply
  17. pooter at |

    i like trains

    Reply
    1. Tom White at |

      Trains are 1800s.

      Reply
  18. JvanE at |

    I’m so glad there are submarines!! I can’t survive a day without one!! Not….. WTF are submarines doing in this list? A world without submarines will make no difference at all. I think for example the invention of the refrigerator is WAY more important then the submarine:S

    Reply
  19. James at |

    how about the pet Tickle Me Plant you can now grow from seed that closes its leaves like crazy when you Tickle It

    Reply
  20. Hi Der at |

    Great inventions of the modern world! Thank you white people of EU and NA!

    Reply
  21. hi there at |

    hello people internet should be first if we didnt have it we would not be commenting now :)

    Reply
  22. hi there at |

    my list

    1. Internet
    2.Radio
    3. Television
    4. Antibiotics
    5. Airplane
    6.Rocketry
    7. The Auto Mobile
    8.Submarine
    9.Nuclear Power
    10.The Personal Computer

    Reply
    1. jessica at |

      shut up .. yu dum is helll .

      Reply
    2. Jason_b at |

      You guy theres no reason to really say internet becasue if nuclear power never exsited then where would your screens come from the have plasma whiich is procceds at a nuclear power plant

      Reply
      1. name who you dont know at |

        jason_b that has to be the stupidest thing i have ever heard in my whole life. there in no such thing as “nuclear” plasma in a computer screen. Did you skip kindergarden? A common computer screen has a liquid crystal display. it is not “plasma whiich is procceds at a nuclear power plant”.

        Reply
        1. name who you dont know at |

          and to add to what i said, a kindegarten would not know what an LCD is, but i dont think even they would think its “nuclear plasma”

          Reply
  23. jessica at |

    yall all sum retards word is born.

    Reply
  24. marc at |

    submarines were invented in the 19th century, during the American Civil War, weren’t they?

    Reply
    1. elcido at |

      true indeed. but where not proficient in purpose.

      Reply
      1. elcido at |

        were*

        Reply
  25. dodderydoo at |

    Surely the Transistor should be in the top ten???? SOMEWHERE???

    Reply
    1. Tom White at |

      Transistor is pretty important, but so was its predecessor the tube (valve if you’re UK), which dominated the first half of the 20th century. You might as well also suggest the integrated circuit (ie., chip). Similar functions, just different in size and cost.

      Reply
    2. G Woody at |

      Well, Dang! I read through/scrolled down to the end to find that Tom White beat me to the punch. Whilst I agree with Tom that the valve (vacuum tube, DeForrest triode, etc) was crucial in the development of radiocommunications, I am typing this missive on a Mac laptop that i can hold in one hand. There has never been a vacuum tube based computer that I could hold in one hand.

      As for the IC, it is nothing more than someone recognizing that it is possible to put two transistors on one block. Then three. Etc.

      My opinion, for what it’s worth: Vacuum tube technology made radio, TV, and long range communication possible. (Not to mention RADAR in WW2 – arguably among the more significant advantages the Allies held. It also made digital computers, as we know them, possible. The computer upon which I am writing this, and the computer upon which you are reading this, would NOT be possible without cheap large scale integrated circuits. Which are all derived from one transistor.

      IMHO – after much consideration, the VALVE is NOT the predecessor of the transistor. The transistor was an entirely NEW thing. And the laptop computer upon which I am composing this message and the computer (laptop or otherwise) upon which you are viewing this missive, ALL derive from the original transistor.

      Reply
      1. G Woody at |

        BTW – I forgot to mention that I actually have some familiarity with and fondness for vacuum tube technology.
        “Real Radios Glow In The Dark!”
        Lafayette Explor-Air, Knight-Kit, Heathkit, Eico, Dynaco kits. Real Radios that my mentors owned:
        Collins, Drake, Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, Viking, etc.

        G Woody – formerly aka WA4TIZ

        Reply
  26. Chad at |

    Good article but try to be less biased in your writing. Keep it factual, don’t add in opinions. That’s what makes a perfect top ten list. Other then that, great job.

    Reply
  27. Isabella Abuchaibe at |

    Cellphones???

    Reply
  28. Joseph at |

    The biggest of all innovation is TRIZ – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. A Methodolgy for innovating systematically. Unfortunately it did not become popular

    Reply
  29. lemaihoa at |

    I think internet is the best invention in the 20th century. It made our life more convenient and comfortable.

    Reply
  30. steve at |

    Air conditioning should be in there.

    Reply
    1. Shell Harris at |

      I’m at the beach right now and can say Amen to that. 😉

      Reply
  31. JAsper at |

    The best invention, albeit not invented in the 20th century, has to be the bicycle. WHy?…it’s inexpensive,
    keeps you in shape with little effort.
    It’s organic in it’s absence of onboard electronics, unless your Lance Armstrong..LOL!
    You can take your bike anywhere off road. You can park your bike without any toll booths. No need for a liscense. Requires minimal maintenance.

    I can go on but i will stop here. :)

    Reply
  32. Mika at |

    i agree with all of you, all this things are important in our life, thanks for the peaple who created such kind of things

    Reply
  33. Richard at |

    Not sure why this is called a good list… there are components WITHIN a lot of these inventions that are far more important inventions that those posted here. For instance, the transistor is not even ON this list, which is absolutely ridiculous. It is easily arguably the most important invention of the 20th century, and this list doesn’t even mention it.

    Fail.

    Reply
  34. abdou at |

    i think the Nuclear Power is 1st gys

    Reply
  35. Carlos Barrera at |

    Technology Submission -State of the Art / Novel Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech / Featured Development

    ·1-GEARTURBINE PROJECT

    ?Atypical InFlow Thermodynamic?Technology Proposal Submission?Novel Fueled Motor Engine Type

    ??*State of the art Innovative concept Top system Higher efficient percent. ?Have similar system of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70 AD. -New Form-Function Motor-Engine Device. Next Step, Epic Design Change, Broken-Seal Revelation. -Desirable Power-Plant Innovation.

    ??YouTube; * Atypical New • GEARTURBINE / Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type – Non Waste Looses

    -This innovative concept consists of hull and core where are held all 8 bteps of the work-flow which make the concept functional. The core has several gears and turbines which are responsible for these 8 steps (5 of them are dedicated to the turbo stages). The first step is fuel compression, followed by 2 cold turbo levels. The fourth step is where the fuel starts burning – combustion stage, which creates thrust for the next, 5th step – thrust step, which provides power to the planetary gears and turbines and moves the system. This step is followed by two hot turbo steps and the circle is enclosed by the final 8th step – bigger turbine. All this motion in a retrodynamic circumstance effect, wich is plus higher RPM speed by self motion. The Reaction at front of the action.

    *8-X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE – Way Steps:?1)1-Compression / bigger?2)2-Turbo 1 cold?3)2-Turbo 2 cold?4)2-Combustion – circular motion flames / opposites?5)2-Thrust – single turbo & planetary gears / ying yang?6)2-Turbo 2 hot?7)2-Turbo 1 hot?8)1-Turbine / bigger

    -With Retrodynamic Dextrogiro vs Levogiro Phenomenon Effect. / Rotor-RPM VS InFlow / front to front; “Collision-Interaction Type” – inflow vs blades-gear-move. Technical unique dynamic innovative motion mode. [Retrodynamic Reaction = When the inflow have more velocity the rotor have more RPM Acceleration, with high (XY Position) Momentum] Which the internal flow (and rotor) duplicate its speed, when activated being in a rotor (and inflow) with [inverse] opposite Turns. The Reaction at front of the action. A very strong Novel torque power concept.

    -Non waste parasitic looses for; friction, cooling, lubrication & combustion. 

    -Shape-Mass + Rotary-Motion = Inertia-Dynamic / Form-Function Wide [Flat] Cylindrical shape + positive dynamic rotary mass = continue Inertia positive tendency motion. Kinetic Rotating Mass.
    ??-Combustion 2Two continue circular [Rockets] flames. [ying yang] opposite one to the other. – With 2TWO very long distance INFLOW [inside propulsion] CONDUITS. -4 TURBOS Rotary Total Thrust-Power Regeneration Power System. -Mechanical direct 2two [Small] Planetary Gears at polar position. -Like the Ying Yang Symbol/Concept. -Wide out the Rotor circumference were have much more lever [HIGH Torque] POWER THRUST. -No blade erosion by sand & very low heat target signature profile. -3 points of power thrust; 1-flow way, 2-gear, 3-turbine. *Patent; Dic. 1991 IMPI Mexico #197187 All Rights Reserved. Carlos Barrera.

    ———————————————————————

    ·2-Imploturbocompressor; One Moving Part System Excellence Design – The InFlow Interaction comes from Macro-Flow and goes to Micro-Flow by Implossion – Only One Compression Step; Inflow, Compression and outflow at one simple circular dynamic motion Concept.

    *·“Excellence in Design” because is only one moving part. Only one unique compression step. Inflow and out flow at the same one system, This invention by its nature a logic and simple conception in the dynamics flow mechanics area. The invention is a wing made of one piece in a rotating motion, contained in a pair cavity system connected by implocavity, and interacting dynamically with a flow, that passes internally “Imploded” through its simple mechanism. This flow can be gas (air) or liquid (water). And have two diferents aplications, in two diferents form-function; this one can be received (using the dynamic flow passage, as a receiver). Or it can be generated (with a power plant, generating a propulsion).

    Presenting one of the many diferents examples, could specifically be this same invention applied in pair in every bar end, similar to what would be a turbine reaction or turbocompressor, and making the best profit of a exhaust gas dynamic flow, compressing a new air entrance and therefore falling into the technical field of the reaction turbines. This of course, considerating materials that are resistant to the high temperatures such as the ceramics ones. And furthermore this invention approaches more the combustion point and therefore also more to the gases expansion point, in order to search a higher expanding dynamic strength. It could, for example, be presented into an inter dynamic rotor system (aplication), supported internally and in a rotating system. And likewise being able to activate a new concept of dynamic turbine by pushing gearing, and likewise, creating a new technical field. Or can be in a more simple way by means of the system of this same invention applied to the bar end, but without a movement of interaction with the rotor, only the rotary dynamics in a static point for any type of mechanical work such as a dynamo in order to generate electricity through the dynamic strength of a flow when it is rotating at the moment it receives it, just like a pelton well do.

    And when the flow that is received and that is intended to be used at best, must no necessarily by a exhausting or rejection gas, but must be a dynamic passing gas or liquid flow with the only intention to count it or to measure it. This could be possible at the passing and interacting period when it passes inside its simple mechanism. This can be in any point of the flow trajectory.

    In case the flow that is received is a water falling by gravity, and a dynamo is placed on the rotary bar, the Imploturbocompressor can profit an be obtained by generating? electricity such as obtained by the pelton well, like I say before.

    Or only receive the liquid flow, in order to measure its passage with a counter placed on the bar, because when this flow passes through the simple mechanism of a rotating wing made of only one piece it interacts within the implocavities system. And this flow can be air wind, with the diference of can have an horizontal position, and have wind from all the sides and all the time. The aforementioned information about this invention refers to technical applications, such as a dynamic flow receiver. (whether being gas or liquid).

    Connecting the free end of the bar of this invention to a power plant (manual, electrical, mechanical, or combusting, etc…), there will be available a capacity and a position in order to generate the flow dynamics (or even better, a propulsion). This applied? to gas flows (air) or to liquid flow (water). This of course, considering the due rotating directions as well as the inclination, wings, curvature and the due dimensioning for every application of every technical field.

    With the appropriate power plant and the appropriate dimensioning and number of RPM this invention is also feasible to generate an atmospheric air propulsion and the autoprolpusion of an aircraft. Being an effective and very simple system that implodes and compresses the atmospheric air permits the creation of a new concept of propulsion for aircrafts, due to its simple mechanism and innovative nature. At the place of the aircraft were the system appears and the manner how the propulsion direction can be oriented with a vectorial flow (no lobster tail) with I call “yo-yo system” (middle cut (at the shell) to move, one side loose), guided and balanced is feasible to create a new concept of TOVL-vertical take-off landing, I wish good for a wild conditions. Because the exhaust propulsion can going out radial in all the 360 vectorial positions, going out direct all the time in all the vectors direction. With his rotor cover for an better furtive fly, like going down of a bridge for example.

    The “Imploturbocompressor”, is a good option to pump water, or a gas flow, and all kinds of pipes lines dynamic moves.

    Likewise, with the due form and dimensioning, and considering the liquid density and the due revolutions for this element there could be generated a propulsion (water) in order to move an aquatic ship, whether on surface or under water. Also can be a good option to pump liquid combustion for a rocket propulsion.

    Making a metaphoric comparison with the intention to expose it more clearly for a better comprehension of this innovative technical detail, it would be similar to the trajectory and motion of a dynamic flow compared with a rope (extended) that passes through the system would have now a knot (without obstructing the flow), so the complete way of the flow at the imploturbocompresor system have three direct ways and bettween make two diferents turns; direct way (entrance) – turn – direct way (implocavity) – turn – direct way (exit), all this in a circular move system.

    Its prudent to mention that the curves and the inclinations of the blades of a rotating wing made of this invention, is conferred by its shape and function a structural rigidity allowing it to conduct and alter appropriately the dynamic flow passing through its system.

    This invention are very versatile, can be applied and used for any kind of flow, whether as gas or as a liquid, received or be generating it.? And it has different technical fields, being applied in any circumstance where the intention is to obtain an profitable work, to modify on his imploflow system.

    Reply
  36. Jaydon at |

    Auto mobile should be first because it gets us to walmart quiker if u know what im saying

    Reply
  37. Cday at |

    Actually a submarine was used in the Revolutionary war by the Colonies and the Civil War by both sides.

    Reply
  38. Shane Bunker at |

    This is very useful information thanks

    Reply

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