100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time

100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time

100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time

100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time


This ready reference presents fascinating facts about 100 amazing inventions, a panoramic overview of the history of science, and a collection of engaging reads.

Inventions are the stuff of dreams, quickly gaining widespread use, becoming central to culture, and ultimately changing our lives. They teach us a great deal about creativity and scientific principles, and, of course, the power of invention is of utmost importance in today's world of technology and innovation. Focusing on the 100 most significant scientific inventions of all time, this ready reference presents fascinating facts about amazing inventions, a panoramic overview of the history of science, an introduction to some of the most important inventors in history, and a collection of engaging reads. Each entry, arranged chronologically according to when the invention was made, contains information on what the invention is, who the inventor was, and how the invention was created. It also provides the historical context of the invention, its significance today, and information on resources for further reading/research. More than two millennia's worth of inventions are covered, ranging from the practical (clock, eyeglasses) to the everyday (measuring spoons, ball point pen), the life-saving (antiseptic, chemotherapy), and the mind-boggling (the number zero, cloning). By covering inventions throughout history, rather than just the 20th and 21st centuries, and presenting information comprehensible to young readers, this book fills a gap in the literature. It is a wonderful resource for student research and reports; can easily be used for read-alouds or as an introduction to teaching units on inventions; as well as a solid general reference on inventors and inventions.


What Is It? A reinforced, smooth surface over which large vehicles and wag
ons can easily travel.

Who Invented It? Roman engineers (in Italy)

Why Is This Invention One of the 100 Greatest?

Nothing is more basic or essential to our transportation system than roads. Truck, cars and motorcycles need roads. Commuters, vacationers, and shoppers depend on roads. Roads connect groups and cities. Roads have allowed the development of commerce and trade.

History of the Invention

What Did People Do Before?

Early humans followed animal paths through the forest, jungle, and meadow. Paths were widened for carts. Dirt cart paths were usually little more than two parallel ruts replacing the single rut that had been a foot path.

It was difficult—almost impossible—to move a large mass of men (such as an army) and a large amount of supplies and equipment (such as an army’s baggage train) along these bumpy, muddy, low-grade dirt roads. Wagons placed a greater load on the road surface and turned it into an impassible quagmire.

How Was the Road Invented?

By 270 B.C. a lack of reliable roads to move armies and supply trains across the Roman Empire had become a major concern. Engineers were assigned to fix it. They watched as roads disintegrated into potholes, mud, and ruts. They experimented to find the root causes and to test a variety of possible fixes.

The first thing these engineers discovered was that, over time, roads were trampled into depressions in the ground—often many inches lower than the surrounding landscape. Roads became natural pooling places for water. Pooled water turned quickly to mud. Roman principle number one: roads needed to be raised and built to provide proper drainage.

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