Ancient Greek philosopher Plato had said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
And so rightly true. Every invention came about because a need arised to think out of the box and solve the problem. Many people with a lot of luck and genius created something, which went beyond the usual. It made a significant impact in the way we live and work. Obviously, there were plenty of failures and trial and errors. Nonetheless, all was done with the good intention of making life simpler and our work easier than before.
Many inventions have funny stories and surprising facts as to how that person even thought of something like that. For example:
Before the stethoscope was invented, doctors used to tap their fingers on the patient’s chest to detect their condition. But when it came to checking female patients, the physician became uncomfortable. He rolled up a sheet of paper like a tube and placed it on her chest. Surprisingly the result was a more accurate diagnosis. This breakthrough led to the invention of the first stethoscope.
Look around, we are surrounded by inventions. In fact anything and everything you see or use is an invention, right from the objects as tiny as a needle or as massive as a fighter plane or a submarine. But naturally, we’ve taken a lot of things for granted. Simply because they’ve always been around and don’t feel like a novelty.
Do you know the history behind t-shirts? According to sources, in olden times men wore buttoned shirts and it was not a problem if they had women at home to take care of stitching and fixing their clothes. But bachelors found it difficult. The Copper Underwear Company ran a magazine ad in 1904 to advertise their newest product that was a ‘shirt’ stretchy enough to be pulled over one’s head. The ad read, “No Safety Pin – No Buttons – No Needle – No Thread”.
When man first walked the earth, he was bare and empty handed. He used his brains and made friends with nature. Survival needs, curiosity and the itch to do something led him to where we are today. Now, in present times in this 21st century, the digital world as we call it, human beings have made a breakthrough in almost all spheres of life. There isn’t a field we haven’t touched, explored and experimented. Be it language, education, medicine, technology, entertainment or fashion. Innovations in communication have converted the entire world into a very reachable global village. Mobile phones, video conferencing and emails are now a child’s play. So much so that we didn’t spare the outer space either and have spread our wings there too.
Now when someone discovers or invents something, it’s not just to survive. In fact far from it. Today man has become more competitive than ever before. The hunger to excel and live a long and luxurious life, keeps him on the edge.
Come to think of it. We wake up with an invention and sleep with one as well. We are so used to all the facilities and gadgets around us that it would be impossible to imagine life without them. Close your eyes and try to visualize a world without electricity? Sounds totally impractical, doesn’t it?
When granny told us stories of her times, we were stupefied to know that they had such limited equipment and fewer means of entertainment. I guess the same history will repeat when we tell our stories to our grandchildren. Their world and their generation would have reached newer heights in advancement than what we enjoy today.
I think every invention is a miracle which wasn’t there yesterday and which will have a superior competitor tomorrow.
– Shamim Merchant