One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on Sept. 28th, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.
Throughout the course of history, certain inventions revolutionized the world and made significant contributions to the lives of the common people. Today it is hard to imagine our lives without some of these inventions which paved the ways for the progress of humanity and instantly changed everything.
Back in the 19th-century, the English scientist, James Clerk Maxwell, combined the fields of electricity and magnetism and developed a scientific theory which predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves. His discovery founded the basis of a great deal of the modern technological devices including radio, television, satellite communications and mobile phones.
In the late 1880s, Heinrich Hertz applied Maxwell’s theories to the production and reception of radio waves and proved that electromagnetic waves could be transmitted through the air.
However, the Italian inventor and engineer, Guglielmo Marconi, is commonly credited with inventing the radio in 1895. He patented his invention in 1896 and perfected a radio system which transmitted Morse code over the Atlantic Ocean, thus becoming the first person to transmit signals across the Atlantic Ocean.
Commercial broadcasting was possible in the 1920’s, and the radio became a popular and influential medium which changed the world.
Antibiotics are one of the greatest discoveries in the 20th century which have transformed medicine forever. Some of the earliest civilizations, including the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, used various molds and plant extracts to treat infections.
However, it was Alexander Fleming who discovered the enzyme lysozyme in 1921 and the antibiotic substance penicillin in 1928. He discovered that certain bacteria which cause infections were destroyed by the fungus penicillin and this discovery perfected the treatment of bacterial infections such as, syphilis, gangrene, and tuberculosis.
Alexander Fleming was given the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1945 for his extraordinary discoveries which have revolutionized the medical science.
There are hardly any inventions which revolutionized the world like the television did. This invention was first publicly demonstrated by the Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird in 1925, who is credited with the first successful transmission of a moving picture.
On January 26th, 1926, in front of the members of the Royal Institution and a journalist from The Times, John Logie Baird successfully transmitted the image of a face by radio waves.
After the demonstration, a reporter from The Times wrote: “The image as transmitted was faint and often blurred, but substantiated the claim that through the ‘televisor’, as Mr. Baird has named his apparatus, is possible to instantly transmit and reproduce details of movement, and various things as the play of expression on the face.”
Today, the TV works through a different system, but in the following years, Braid’s invention has become the powerful medium which has changed the way families spent their leisure time.