Inventions that Matter

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  • #1537714

    icemelter
    Participant

    Name an invention that is most useful to you. What are some of the best inventions that were made?
    Anything you feel you cannot live without or wonder how it was possible to live beforehand? What are some inventions that changed the world for better or worse? Would you be able to go back to a time when their were different methods to what is used today?
    Is there anything you feel we need to invent for modern times and for the future that is currently missing?

    #1538022

    icemelter
    Participant

    *there

    #1538045

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Penicillian and modern waste dispersal systems (Meaning cleaner water)

    #1538082

    icemelter
    Participant

    facebook? More Good or more Bad?

    #1538101

    DovidBT
    Participant

    How did people manage without food wraps? E.g., plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil.

    Did they use leaves or animal skins?

    #1538110

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The Electric Light and Refridgerator is also pretty useful

    #1538126

    blubluh
    Participant

    The wheel and the Coffee Room are two examples that come to mind.

    #1538141

    icemelter
    Participant

    zahavasdad-“The Electric Light and Refridgerator is also pretty useful”

    which is easier to revert to and get to keep the other?
    Difficulty preserving food or using candles/fire for lighting?

    #1538147

    icemelter
    Participant

    DovidBT “How did people manage without food wraps? E.g., plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil.

    Did they use leaves or animal skins?”

    -Are food wraps really that important? Probably one of the easiest things to live without. Besides most of those things are only needed due to other inventions such as oven, fridge, stovetop etc.

    #1538150

    yitzyk
    Participant

    Air Conditioning
    Indoor plumbing
    Flush toilets (or toilets themselves)
    Toilet paper

    Snaps, Elastic (socks!), Plastic anything, razor blades, electric hair clippers & shavers, sneakers, dish soap, water filters, ballpoint pens, eyeglasses, telephones,

    You really ought to define some narrower parameters, such as inventions of the last decade / century / millennium. The list is really endless. If you went back 1,000 years in time, you would not recognize anything and would almost not be able to function. OTOH, if people from then came to our time, they would think we are wasteful and pampered.

    #1538167

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Indoor plumbing has to be way up there.
    Eyeglasses (were there fewer vision issues long ago? Did it not matter when people did not need to drive or operate heavy equipment, and very few were literate?)

    DovidBT, I think food wraps became necessary when leftover food storage became practical- with invention of fridge/freezer. Before that they managed because their need wan’t so great.

    #1538168

    icemelter
    Participant

    yitzyk-every generation had their ways of living. Their were many medicines that they knew of from herbs and plants, ways to preserve food, travel, writing, haircuts, shoes, clothing and all. Things were more difficult and didnt go as far or as fast but they still managed. Especially when you dont know any better then its not as hard.

    Imagine how we live nowadays, who knows what we are living without (or do we) but it doesnt affect us as much since this is all we know.

    But thats why I put this topic out there. It is broad and covers a lot, thats the point.

    #1538175

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Having Kerosene Lamps in peoples houses for light was a major cause of fire in the older days. While fires are still fairly common, they are not as common as in previous generations and we dont have fires that wipe out half a city

    #1538284

    RBS_gimmel
    Participant

    I’m being serious now.
    It can be assumed that all the traditional ashkenazi Jewish foods are rooted centuries ago in Europe.
    How then, did they make potato kugel without a food processor?

    #1538288

    icemelter
    Participant

    Winnie-eyeglasses are more medical inventions. Anything that helps a person’s health is like oxygen so it’s more of a necessity since it is so crucial.
    It’s a good point did people suffer less medically in the past than nowadays? Im not too sure about that.

    #1538321

    Toi
    Participant

    Besides advances in the health world, the most important thing ever is mazgan, 24/7, 365.

    #1538325

    icemelter
    Participant

    @rbsgimmel- grater?

    #1538362

    icemelter
    Participant

    Time, changed the world a lot. Clocks, watches the ability to tell time. That’s probably one of the biggest things that shaped up the world.

    #1538348

    icemelter
    Participant

    Artscroll anyone?

    #1538358

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The Life expentancy in NYC around the year 1900 was 41, Today is about 80

    While infant mortality is not unheard of , its quite rare and children dying is also very rare, It was very common in those days. Most people did not make it to adulthood

    #1538343

    DovidBT
    Participant

    DovidBT, I think food wraps became necessary when leftover food storage became practical- with invention of fridge/freezer. Before that they managed because their need wan’t so great.

    Or I suppose a bowl with a lid would accomplish the same thing as a food wrap. The wrap is merely more convenient.

    grater?
    Or simply a knife and cutting board.

    #1538347

    RBS_gimmel
    Participant

    LC: גאון אתה מאוד. The famous ריבאייזען. Thanks 🙂

    #1538379

    icemelter
    Participant

    @RBS_gimmel- Anytime

    #1538383

    icemelter
    Participant

    DovidBT-“Or I suppose a bowl with a lid would accomplish the same thing as a food wrap. The wrap is merely more convenient.”

    -The “LID”, another invention.

    #1538393

    Milhouse
    Participant

    Agriculture.

    RBS, potatoes didn’t come to eastern Europe until the mid-18th century.

    #1538414

    icemelter
    Participant

    Backup cameras…..so many less bumper knocks. Surprised how accurate it really is. Literally to the last centimeter.

    #1538466

    RBS_gimmel
    Participant

    Nixon:
    “potatoes didn’t come to eastern Europe until the mid-18th century”.
    Wow, so you’re saying that PK isn’t that traditional after all?

    #1538468

    jakob
    Participant

    With everything that was already mentioned and the thousands more not mentioned yet , and a world today of technology, our thanks to Hashem for all this should be unlimited. Sure it is human nature to take things for granted, stop using something from this amazing wonderful world that Hashem created for JUST ONE HOUR AT A TIME YOU NEED IT and then go use it and your thanks to Hashem will be unlimited and you will also be rewarded with seeing the beauty and amazement of the product that you didn’t realize until now.

    #1538875

    Redleg
    Participant

    RBS
    Never mind food processors. How did they make potato kugel in Europe without potatoes? Potoatoes were unknown in Poland/Lithuania until the middle of the 17th Century C.E. What did they make kugel from before then?

    #1538889

    icemelter
    Participant

    @jakob- many of the these great creations also have very negative sides to them. IE: Internet,Television broadcast,radio,cameras,facebook,”smart” products, etc.

    #1538914

    icemelter
    Participant

    @redleg- lokshen?

    #1538946

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    The ones I wonder about the most are the really really old ones. For example how did people live without a hammer, rope, or bucket? How did they make clothes without needle, thread or woven cloth?

    #1538966

    yitzyk
    Participant

    Ah – the age-old question that was addressed in Pirkei Avos. How did they make the first set of Tongs, without Tongs! The Mishnah teaches us that Hashem created them (Yesh Meiayin) and presumably gifted them to mankind.

    Then again, even given Tongs, would you know what to do with them? How did they know to add salt to their food? or bake bread, grind wheat, or even to eat the fruit and not the wood and leaves of the tree?

    Animals are born with a certain instinct for whatever they need to survive, including what type of food they eat and where and how to find it. My guess is that mankind was also created with a certain amount of necessary knowledge. It must be, because they were created as full-grown adults and never had parents to teach and care for them.

    Bowls and lids were around at the earliest times of man. They are even mentioned in the Torah. I assume the other basics like rope and buckets came along with the tongs.

    #1539025

    icemelter
    Participant

    Gamanit- hammers are a pretty basic tool. I’m pretty sure they were able to make tools in some sort of form.

    Yitzyk-“How did they know to add salt to their food? or bake bread, grind wheat, or even to eat the fruit and not the wood and leaves of the tree?”

    – a lot of these things are trial and error. Besides most inventions were stumbled upon by accident or by other intentions. You get an idea from something and then capitalize on it.
    Regarding fruits and not leaves usually people are tempted by the color and aroma which sticks out more than the leaves and so people probably tried the fruits rather than the leaves. Regarding poisonus fruits or leaves I guess some people learned the hard way and then it became known.

    You don’t even have to be in the past to understand how things worked. Just imagine yourself in a jungle or forest with no technology. You would basically be at the same time era as the the first days of the world.
    We only feel so Superior and lucky (and we are fortunate) due to living in a society with technological aid and advancements. But even in today’s age, going into a forest to survive on your own with nothing, you are basically the same person as thousands of years ago. Even they had their methods so technically they were advanced in their own way as well.
    But it just shows you that the way we live is almost an illusion since these “foundational” areas still exist in this world.

    #1539043

    smart
    Participant

    GPS
    I know there were maps and gas station people that
    still answered you when you asked and knew their
    neighborhoods.
    But with the GPS it is just amazing.. detailed turns.,.
    Traffic rerouted. Accidents along the way… Cops
    hiding out…, Estimated arrival times that are
    pretty much accurate on the button.

    #1539054

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Vaccines. I remember the days of polio epidemics every summer, when every parent (including mine) lived in terror of their child dying or being permanently crippled. My parents had already lost one child to pneumonia, so you better believe I was at the head of the line for the shots. 🙂

    And then there’s smallpox, which up until a century ago was still killing millions in the most gruesome way possible. Even after developed countries vaccinated everyone there it still hung on in poorer parts of the world until the 1970s.

    Measles, mumps and whooping cough (pertussis). Back in the 1930s My poor older sister had all three at once and wound up in an isolation room in the hospital. Now – almost unheard of.

    Pneumonia vaccine – for old people like me. Pneumonia was – and to some extent still us – a major killer of older people.

    Flu – in most years either you won’t get sick at all or it will be much milder.

    I agree with all those who mention all the advances in health and sanitation, that save lives every day.

    This is a great thread and the responses are funny and thought-provoking at the same time.

    #1539056

    JJ2020
    Participant

    internet and chocolate

    #1539058

    laskern
    Participant

    Paper to write seforim and printing press to print it.

    #1539098

    icemelter
    Participant

    @Midwest2-“I agree with all those who mention all the advances in health and sanitation, that save lives every day.”

    -As I mentioned earlier, any medical advances are undebatably important for our every day lives. So I refrain from mentioning them as they are an obvious given. No doubt that life was much harder to deal with in earlier generations due to conditions that got out of hand which nowadays are considered “simple” since there are medicines to combat them. Although in earlier generations they did have their ways of treating sicknesses, and especially can be seen by the Rambam’s vast knowledge and medicines. Many of these herbal medicines are forgotten but probably a lot are just evolved and used in different artificial forms such as pills and liquids which carry side effects as well. From what I understand many medical universities mention and learn the Rambams methods as part of the course.

    “This is a great thread and the responses are funny and thought-provoking at the same time.”

    -ha,yep

    #1539131

    icemelter
    Participant

    laskern-“Paper to write seforim and printing press to print it.”

    -And ink/writing utensil . Actually reading and writing in general is just a huge factor of leading up to the world as we know it. Years back many people didnt even know how to read or write which nowadays we really take for granted. Writing down information and keeping track of records is a big step towards growing and learning from past mistakes. Any innovation requires these skills.
    Aside from not attaining these skills, ink and paper was very scarce. Today we have paper in abundance and pens galore. Much more convenient than ink and quill .

    Although the Jewish people were always advanced in this as we know the Torah was written thousands of years ago and the Jewish people have studied it and written commentary throughout the generations.
    I only wonder though was Torah she’bealpeh handed down through oral tradition because of scarce resources or due to the simple folk not being adequate in reading? Or maybe a little bit of both?
    Also in contrast to nowadays where we are accustomed to see many seforim and take it for granted, would Yidden back in the day jump in excitement when they came across a sefer since printed material was so scarce?

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