Culture

What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

List Rules
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.
list ordered by
  • Written Language
    1

    Written Language

  • Tools
    3

    Tools

  • Books
    7

    Books

  • Food Preservation
    8

    Food Preservation

  • Antibiotics
    9

    Antibiotics

  • Control of Fire
    10

    Control of Fire

  • Electric Lights
    11

    Electric Lights

  • Toilet
    12

    Toilet

  • Lens (Optics)
    13

    Lens (Optics)

  • Radio
    16

    Radio

  • The Compass
    17

    The Compass

  • Shoes
    18

    Shoes

  • Ships
    19

    Ships

  • The Printing Press
    20

    The Printing Press

  • Engine
    21

    Engine

  • The Battery
    23

    The Battery

  • Steel
    25

    Steel