Thursday, July 20, 2017

Where Does The Book Rank Among The Greatest Inventions?

In a special National Geographic edition, 101 Inventions That Shaped the World, it was nice to see things like the printing press, radio, and television alongside cloning, robots, computers, drones, and the World Wide Web.  Of course, putting together such a list is bound to anger, frustrate, or challenge many, but the magazine did a good job of noting things that saved or greatly enhanced so many lives.

The list was not consistent, hailing the invention of rubber with no mention of plastic.  It highlighted steam-engines (trains) and jet planes but not the automobile.  It praised modern numbers but not language or words.  The Swiss Army Knife was there – and razors – but not refrigerators or air conditioning.  But this is quibbling.

As the magazine states, “Innovation and invention have allowed us to save lives, wage wars, communicate across oceans, and reach outer space.” It grouped its entries based on certain themes, including these:

·         Advancements in medicine
·         Access to communication and transportation.
·         Developments in military and industry.
·         Discoveries in science and electronics.
·         Small, practical inventions that improve our daily lives.

When it comes to the media, I learned the following:

·         By 1937, 28 million U.S. households – 80% of the total -- owned a radio.
·         During World War I, the U.S. banned all radio stations not used by the government.
·         The Federal Communications Commission was created in 1934 to regulate radio and television.
·         In 1946, only 6,000 TV sets existed.  In 1948, one million TV sets circulated in the U.S.  It jumped to 12 million in 1951.
·         As of 2006, half of all homes have three or more TVs.
·         The final episode of M.A.S.H. in 1983 is still the most-watched single program in history (125 million), even though the country was much smaller back then.
·         The www came about in 1989 for mass adoption – but some version of it existed as early as 1969 at universities and military offices.
·         The Polaroid instant camera was introduced in 1947.
·         The first newspaper was published in 1605 in Germany.
·         Paper, invented in China in year 100, was first used in Europe in 1309.
·         In 1455, the Gutenberg Bible is completed.

Books have existed in written form for thousands of years -- and now printed for over 550 years.  They are arguably one of the greatest inventions ever as they influence, inspire, educate, and entertain society.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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