Ten greatest inventions of the 20th century?

At the dawn of the new millineum, I was just wondering what the teeming millions might consider to be, the 10 greatest inventions of the twenty century.
Certainly the light bulb, and television has to be right up there, but anyone out there care to offer a descending order?

Computers would be in there, obviously, it’s just a matter of how specific you want to get with them.

JMcC, San Francisco
“Hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they’re snoring”

When you tend to get monthly cramps, ibuprofen would be at the top.

I don’t like to cook, I hate ironing, and I’m basically lazy, therefore, I have to vote for three labor-saving inventions - the microwave oven, polyester, and the dishwasher. Also, the ATM – how nice it is to be able to get your money out of the bank any time and not have to stand in line to deal with rude tellers.

Xerox machines have certainly had a great effect on office operations. I’d say mundane electric refridgeration has greatly changed food handling, too.

I will try and post the results of this thread in a few days so look for it.

Thermos bottles. How does it know to keep it either cold or hot?

I think the printing press is the most important one-------if not for it, this page and all like it wouldn’t be here.

It brought knowledge to all and released the power of the mind!

Was that the 20th century in the OP?

Television for sure but not the lightbulb, that’s from the 19th Century, as are the automobile, radio, telephone/telegraph, sound recording, movies (arguably), smallpox vaccine and anesthesiology.

In no particular order of importance:

  1. Antibiotics

  2. Various vaccines (polio, diptheria, plague, flu and a half dozen kiddie diseases)

  3. The X-Ray

  4. Liquid fuel rockets

  5. Nuclear engineering (fission/fusion powerplants & bombs, medical isotopes, etc.)all of which derive from Einstein & Max Planc.

  6. Digital (as opposed to analog) computers and applications thereof like ATMs, fax machines etc.

  7. Television

  8. Airplane

  9. The Net

  10. Genetic Engineering. If they finish sequencing the human genome by 12-31-2000, that will be one of the biggest.

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

Too fast - I got whooshed.

Pretty funny, E.

The automobile, the train, and the airplane would be my top three. I would also add the telephone, and controlled electricity which we take for granted, but would be hard pressed to thrive without.

Actually, this is not an invention, but the compilation of a catalogue. Genetic engineering is already being done. The Human Genome Project will provide a map if we want to apply it to humans.

This space for rent.

1: The silicon chip.
2: The transistor.
3: Heavier-than-air flight.
4: Antibiotics.
5: Robotics.
6: Nuclear power.
7: The Internet
8: Organ transplants.
9: DNA fingerprinting.
10: Satellite communications

This space for rent.

Good list except, with the exception of the airplane, none of 'em were invented in the 20th Century. :slight_smile:

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

Advanced Plastics

Although x-rays make my work possible and I’d love to agree with JBENZ’s #3, I think they just miss qualifying. Although W. C. Roentgen received the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1901, the discovery was in 1895. Sure, most all of the application of x-rays occurred in the 20th century, but x-rays themselves are a 19th century discovery.

(Source on the dates: “Introduciton to X-Ray Spectrometric Analysis” by Eugene Bertin, 1978. Plenum Press, NY.)

My apologies to one and all-------I had my centuries and millenia mixed up!

Birth Control

Hell is Other People.

I second “birth control”, but to make it 20th century specific, you would have to limit it to oral contraceptives.
They completely changed the way men and women interact.