What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

19k votes 1.5k voters 58k views 150 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Most innovative and groundbreaking inventions and discoveries in history

What is mankind's greatest invention? This list includes some of the most innovative, ground breaking inventions ever. Each invention listed here in some way changed history, altering the way we live our lives. Some inventions, like medicine, help to extend our lives and others, like the wheel, changed the way we get around, transport goods and just generally do anything. Which of mankind's inventions do you believe is the most important? Time to vote, and be sure to rerank this list in any order you like.

The most famous inventors in history have made contributions that stand the test of time. From electricity to fire to telephones, mankind's greatest inventions and discoveries help define who we are today. Can any of you argue that the computer is not one of the most notable inventions ever? Certainly not, given that the computer is how many of you are reading this list right now. Of course, everyone at one time or another has an idea for a new invention.

Sometimes inventors with the best of intentions wind up foiled by their own creations. And, in case you think all great inventions were created by men, think again: This list of history's most under-appreciated female inventors will set you straight.
  • 30 ReRanks
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    • Men
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  3. 3
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    Electric Lights is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

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    Electric Lights

  4. 4
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  5. 5
    + 439
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    Written Language is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Written Language

  6. 6
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    - 77
    The Printing Press is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    The Printing Press

  7. 7
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  8. 8
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  9. 9
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  10. 10
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    Engine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Engine

  11. 11
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  12. 12
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    Tools is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Tools

  13. 13
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    - 48
    Food Preservation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Food Preservation

  14. 14
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    added by Amicus73

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  15. 15
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    often listed

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  16. 16
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    Bike is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by Amicus73
    Bike

  17. 17
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  18. 18
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    added by sebbzor

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    Toilet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    ranked low on reranks & added by AubriMcHughSimmons
    Toilet

  20. 20
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    The Compass is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    The Compass

  21. 21
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    Petrol Engine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    often listed & added by Amicus73
    Petrol Engine

  22. 22
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    Books is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by DECA_Kerstin
    Books

  23. 23
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    Antibiotics is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Antibiotics

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    Electric Locomotive is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by Amicus73
    Electric Locomotive

  26. 26
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    The Battery is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    The Battery

  27. 27
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  28. 28
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    Automobiles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by ChloeFletcher
    Automobiles

  29. 29
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    - 60

    added by Amicus73

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  30. 30
    + 124
    - 23
    Radio is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    ranked low on reranks & added by looksharp
    Radio

  31. 31
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    Diesel Engine is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    often listed & added by Amicus73
    Diesel Engine

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  33. 33
    + 143
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    Television is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    ranked low on reranks & added by Amicus73
    Television

  34. 34
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  35. 35
    + 147
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    Lens (Optics) is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

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    Lens (Optics)

  36. 36
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  37. 37
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    Tram is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by Amicus73
    Tram

  38. 38
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    - 52
    Dynamo is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by Amicus73
    Dynamo

  39. 39
    + 101
    - 58
    Motorcycle is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by Amicus73
    Motorcycle

  40. 40
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    - 38
    Steel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    ranked low on reranks
    Steel

  41. 41
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    - 60
    Airbag is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    often listed & added by Amicus73
    Airbag

  42. 42
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    - 32
    Electron Microscope is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    ranked low on reranks & added by Amicus73
    Electron Microscope

  43. 43
    + 66
    - 23
    Trade is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Trade

  44. 44
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    Recorded Music is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    added by looksharp
    Recorded Music

  45. 45
    + 149
    - 103
    Entertainment is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Entertainment

  46. 46
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    Currency is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Currency

  47. 47
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    The Telegraph is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    The Telegraph

  48. 48
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  49. 49
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    - 67
    Rechargable Battery is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Rechargable Battery

  50. 50
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    - 57
    Pharmacology is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?


    Pharmacology

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