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Understanding the History of Technology

Hillary Cyril

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The history of technology is really the history of human inventions and development and is definitely one of our major categories of world history. For example, you might say that cooking is one of the branches of the history of technology since some people today invented cooking as a technology. However, such description may be too general and I believe that there are so many forms of cooking, each having its own technology and history of invention. Thus, I would like to discuss different types of cooking, in order to make a clear comparison of what I am talking about.

Let’s start with the simplest form of technology. These would be the technological developments, which take place every day. For example, let’s say that you are using the microwave oven to bake a cake. This microwaves the food in a matter of seconds, without touching it at all. In other words, this is just an old form of technology, which describes technological improvements rather than actual invention.

Now, let’s go back to the history of innovation. What we are talking about here is actually the actual invention of new technology. For example, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, which was earlier invented by his grandfather. Likewise, other great inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Vincent van Gogh, and others have also added new forms of communication to the history of technology.



All these innovations have had an effect on the history of science. In particular, let’s look at how the history of science has been shaped around these inventions and their subsequent effects on the history of technology. For example, when electricity was discovered, it marked the beginning of the electric age, and eventually, all forms of electric devices became popular. Similarly, when scientists developed the process of nuclear fission, it marked the beginning of the nuclear age, as well.

When computers started gaining popularity, it marked the beginning of information technology. A few decades later, with the development of the digital computer, there came another form of technology, namely the internet. This was a major advancement in technology, as it gave access to previously un-accessible data.

The different forms of technology that have come up over time have also had a major impact on the way we think. For instance, it was the advent of rail transport that made the idea of traveling by sea possible. Similarly, the development of aviation made it possible for people to communicate across vast distances using airplanes. Thus, we can see how the history of technology constantly changes. New technologies emerge and old ones become obsolete. Thus, we can see an overall historical context in the form of a continuous flux of technological evolution.

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