There are so many little things, day to day, that we take for granted. Those things make our lives so much easier.
For example, lights. Or keys and locks. Little things that keep us safe, that keep us healthy.
But do we give them enough credit?
Here were some of those answers.
Not necessarily a single invention, but sewers. Cities would not be possible without a good sewer system. What's even more impressive is that we had sewers in Ancient Rome. They have saved millions of lives of the years by having cleaner sanitation.
Using That Right Now
Copy, paste, and cut functions. Sure we use them all the time and we don't think about it, but there was a time when that wasn't an option... just think about that. It's bonkers.
Refrigeration. It changed the world. Food can be preserved and shipped vast distances. Supermarkets are a thing now! Frozen fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy are all readily available. We have fridges in our homes. We can make ice on a whim. Our beer is cold and life is good.
Modernity Vs Antiquity
The public library.
More information and entertainment than you could ever get through in a lifetime, paid for by the people, for the people, and open to everyone? A place where you can freely go and use the computers if you don't otherwise have access? Get out of the rain? Research local history or your family tree? Where there are people who will help you find that bit of information you need but don't know where to start looking? Where you're not expected to buy anything? Where there are story-time sessions for young kids right alongside adult learning classes? Oh, and pretty much every town has one? Where the only thing you have to do is bring back the things you've borrowed in a timely manner so other people can enjoy it too -- and where people actually do it?
The public library is a phenomenally large undertaking, and I'm always in awe that those crazy bastards not only managed to pull it off but also to make it seem so normal and everyday that people actually take the things for granted.
Washing machines/dryers. I don't take those for granted. Imagine filling a washtub and scrubbing clothes with a bar of soap, then hanging all that to dry, no matter the season. Yuck.
Number Twos, Specifically
It absolutely revolutionized how so much recording, design, and general progress was done, to the point that there were a number of countries that had strategic wad reserves (wad being the precursor to modern pencil lead).
It may be looked down upon now but has done so much good.
Padding The Feet
Shoes. Do we all really appreciate to the full extent that we should how great shoes are? I mean, think about how painful some of the places we go would be if we didn't have shoes. I'm not denying the possibility that we would have evolved around a lack of shoes, but they're just such a nice thing to have.
oh man, w h ee l ie s
Glass. Without it, optics of any kind are gone. Poor eyesight? Tough. Telescope to see the planets and moon? Gone. And worst of all no microbiology, because no microscopes either. Glass is a fabulous thing so common we don't even think about it. Its absence in China allowed Europe to get a jump in a whole range of technical areas. Glass, the stuff of magic.
No More By Hand
The printing press. When it was created, it allowed the transmission of knowledge at an unseen rate. Before that, everything had to be written by hand and books were considered rare and expensive commodities only available to select few individuals.
But Even Before
Really? No one has said "paper". The ability to record thoughts and facts? The printing press revolutionized they western world and it wouldn't have been possible if paper didn't exist. The entire scientific revolution was brought about and shared through paper.