World Technology Timeline

Inventions

Writing Systems

3500 BC

Early systems of writing included, Sumerian cuneiform script, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Cretan hieroglyphs.

Wheel

3500 BC

First depiction of a wheel was on a clay pot excavated in Poland. However, it is believed that the wheel was invented sometime in 4000 bc.

Chariot

3000 BC

Built in Mesopotamia.

Buttons

2800 BC

Earliest forms were found in India.

Abacus

2400 BC

Believed to have been of Babylonian origin, the abacus was an instrument used for calculations.

Ruler

2400 BC

Excavated from Lothal, India.

Chopsticks

1200 BC

China

Gunpowder

800 BC

First description of gunpowder in China.

Sundial

800 BC

Egyptian Obelisks are believed to have been the earliest known examples of sundials.

Aqueducts

600 BC

The Romans extensively used aqueducts to transport water in support of cities and agriculture.

Caliper

500 BC

Found on The Giglio Shipwreck off the coast of Tuscany.

Crossbow

450 BC

China

Horseshoe

400 BC

First known archaeological evidence of a horseshoe found in a tomb in Tuscany.

Catapult

399 BC

First described by Greek historian, Diodrus Siculus.

Archimedes' Screw

250 BC

Technology that helped transfer water from lower levels to higher.

Watermill

200 BC

Earliest known example is the Perachora Wheel found in Greece.

Paper

105 AD

Pendulum

132 AD

Pendulum invented in China by Zhang Heng, with the original purpose as a way to detect earthquakes.

Woodblock Printing

220 AD

During Han Dynasty in China.

Compass

1040 AD

First description of an object used as a compass from China

Eyeglasses

1286 AD

Eyeglasses invented in Italy

Printing Press

1440 AD

Johannes Gutenberg

Pocket watch

1510 AD

Thermometer

1592 AD

Galileo Galilei was the first to invent the thermometer.

Telescope

1609 AD

Hans Lippershey developed the first refracting telescope in the Netherlands.

Microscope

1609 AD

Galileo Galilei develops first compound microscope.

Mechanical Calculator

1642 AD

Blaise Pascal, France

Barometer

1643 AD

Evangelista Torricelli develops instrument to measure atmospheric pressure.

Newton's Principia Published

1687 AD

Newton's laws of motion, and law of universal gravitation were detailed in the book. Calculus was also invented in the process of developing his work.

Steam Engine

1698 AD

First commercial steam engine developed by Thomas Savery in England.

Cotton Gin

1759 AD

Eli Whitney invents machine to deseed cotton. Revolutionized the cotton industry in the American South.

Percussion Cap Revolver

1836 AD

Samuel Colt invented the "Colt Paterson," the first percussion cap, six-shooter revolver.

Telegraph

1844 AD

Samuel Morse invents and sends first electrical recording telegraph. Revolutionizes electronic communication.

Typewriter

1873 AD

Technically invented in the late 1700s, its popularity by the late 1800s helped personal printing flourish.

Telephone

1876 AD

Alexander Grahm Bell patents telephone.

Lightbulb

1879 AD

Edison invents a practical incandescent lightbulb.

Airplane

1903 AD

Wright brothers invent the Flyer I. Orville flies it for 59 seconds, travelling 852 feet.

Model T

1908 AD

Henry Ford creates a mass-produced automobile, igniting the automobile era.

Atomic Bomb

1945 AD

United States developed and detonated the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos National Lab.

Sputnik 1

1957 AD

Russians launch the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.