For as long as we breathe, humanity will strive to invent. We’re always in a rush to make things easier for us. Long gone are the days when man will rely on nature to decide when to wake up and when to bid goodbye to the night. Time follows us constantly and we’re in a hurry to create a better world for the next generation, be it by the invention of mind-boggling gadgets or medicines that will keep dangerous illness at bay. Much like us, our parents and their parents, our ancestors, all left their own mark on the world. Small or big steps whose impact they didn’t always fully understand but has now shaped the world we live in. This list is a tribute to the top 11 inventions that changed the world forever, ours and theirs.

1. Telephone

It’s general knowledge that Alexander Graham Bell has the patent for the telephone since 1876 and is, therefore, gets the credit for the invention of Telephone. The debate that whether Antonio Meucci, who crafted the first design for the telephone or Elisha Gray who missed the chance to patent the telephone because he didn’t visit the office himself, was actually the rightful inventors still continues to take place till date. Notwithstanding the interesting history, it’s because of the telephone today that the invention of the smartphone has been possible. While smartphone functions as the computer and involves a complex coding in comparison to the telephone, the idea of having a conversation with a person on the other side of the world wouldn’t have been a definite if it weren’t for the invention of the telephone.

2. Compass

Where would we be without the existence of this magnificent navigator that has shown countless sailorman, wanderers, trekkers the way?  Going back to the 1st century AD, traces of the first compass appears during the Han Dynasty where its uses lay in the divination and fortune telling spectrum. We live in a world where Google Maps helps us venture on unknown territories but that wouldn’t be possible if someone hadn’t put forward the idea of a compass once upon a time. Besides, even today, when the network isn’t good enough, a compass comes in handy for the lost souls.

3. Automobile

This one’s pretty obvious. The world wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for automobiles, air population notwithstanding, we would still be riding on horseback for days to cross a town and even going to the supermarket five blocks down the road would be a herculean task.  An automobile is a broad term, and it practically means all four-wheel vehicles with an internal engine, which makes the task of crediting the invention of the automobile to one person hard.

4. Steam Engine

Simply put, the Steam Engine led to the Industrial Revolution and while it’s of no longer of use in the current world, we owe it our gratitude. Mining, agricultural, manufacturing, transportation- there isn’t a field where the Steam Engine didn’t come in handy. The first patent of a steam engine belongs to Thomas Savery in the year 1698. To put it in context, today’s aircraft and jets wouldn’t be working quite as efficiently and quickly if it weren’t for the Steam Engine.

5. Electricity

The light to our darkness, the antidote to the dim glow of the moon, life without electricity is unheard of and unimaginable now. A lot of the research and development in science, including day to day devices like television, laptop, batteries, all work because electricity gave it the option to. However, electricity isn’t something you can invent since it’s existence is static. The point was to find a way to channel the energy through plausible mediums. Thomas Edison took the first big step in this regard by inventing the light bulb in 1879.

6. ATM

Automated Teller Machine is an electronically operated machine that enables cash flow from a person’s bank account without needing to enter a bank. Donald Wetzel might have the patent for its invention, but a lot of people, even the Queen of England will tell you the credit belongs to John Shepherd Baron. ATM made things easier for a lot of us, especially people living in the metropolitan cities. Most banks have a long line and people go there for a lot more reasons than the purpose of withdrawing money. It’s also impossible to have a bank at every turn in the city. ATM, with it’s relatively smaller size, removes all these problems and lets us have access by using just a simple Debit card.

7. Email

Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail- a large part of accessing full use of different sites involves having an email I.D that will connect to them. Email has come a long way its basic use, where now you can send instant messages to a person and see if they’re online. It’s primary function was and will always be sending important documents to another computer on the other side of the world without the need for a physical copy. The process which first began in 1969 has now taken on a form where living without is unimaginable for us. People conduct large businesses over Email, a fit the days of the faxes would never have imagined.

8. Guns

Guns definitely changed the world. For better or worse, that’s a debate we’re no closer to solving. While guns appear to be a modern invention, the first trace of it could actually be found in the tenth century in China, dubbed the Chinese Fire lance. By the fifteenth century, we’re a slave to its usefulness. Guns modified the way war took place. Hand to hand combat became an unnecessary practice and even the most underdeveloped soldier could learn to protect themselves.  Speaking broadly, even cannons are qualified as guns and we all know the mass destruction it is capable of causing.

9. Refrigerator

Another invention that had direct involvement in the Industrial Revolution, we would be constantly throwing food into the dustbin without the help of this machine.  Before the refrigerator, people would use water and ice to preserve food, but you can do only so much. With this invention, food could be kept in a much more organised manner. Most of all, we can buy a tub of ice cream and keep it home for days without fear of melting and if that didn’t save humanity, then what did?

10. Television

The primary purpose of Television has always been to educate. And it did, over the course of the years. It brought news to use faster than the newspaper could and accompanied it with visual representation. That’s not where it really left its impact, though. Suddenly, people didn’t need to always go to the cinema hall to watch a movie in peace. We could sit at home and watch any kind of show that would fit our mood for the day. Curl up in the comfort of our couch and watch stories come to life. Television let everyday working people relax after a long day and maybe, made us a little more homebound.

11. Antibiotics

If we’re going to talk about inventions that changed the world, how can we not mention antibiotics? This is what keeps common cold, the flu, and lots of other diseases at bay. A fever could’ve potentially destroyed us before this invention. Penicillin, the first identified antibiotic by Alexander Flaming in the year 1928, is used to treat infections.