Culture
3.6k voters

What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

Updated June 18, 2021 32.1k votes 3.6k voters 82.7k views168 items

List RulesMost 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.
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  • 1
    989
    109

    Written Language

  • 2
    539
    61

    Tools

  • 3
    857
    132
  • 4
    1,193
    258
  • 5
    668
    123
  • 6
    447
    42
  • 7
    885
    218

    Electric Lights

  • 8
    431
    100

    Food Preservation

  • 9
    414
    59

    Books

  • 10
    712
    213
  • 11
    415
    87

    Antibiotics

  • 12
    430
    102

    Toilet

  • 13
    801
    286
  • 14
    660
    220
  • 15
    478
    178

    The Printing Press

  • 16
    444
    148
  • 17
    314
    96

    The Compass

  • 18
    256
    58

    Lens (Optics)

  • 19
    379
    130

    Engine

  • 20
    161
    32

    Control of Fire

  • 21
    236
    60

    Radio

  • 22
    206
    60

    Steel

  • 23
    274
    90

    The Battery

  • 24
    182
    68

    Trade

  • 25
    265
    124