In this edition of The Soap Boxers, I will attempt to identify the greatest inventions in the history of mankind.  I’m going to skip around a bit, and will probably miss a few, but without further ado, let’s jump in!

The Caveman Trio – Fire, Wheel, and Meat.  I’m pretty cold blooded, so I’m glad that someone eventually realized that fire could be harnessed for warmth.  I can imagine how happy those first cave people would have been, basking in the warmth of the very first fire.  The wheel – the foundation of transportation – gets plenty of attention as well.  The last leg of the Caveman Trio – meat – gets the short end of the stick.  We owe a lot to the man who decided that it would be a good idea to kill an animal and eat its flesh, just for kicks.

Indoor plumbing – Can you imagine going outside to an outhouse when the temperature dips below zero?  Not my idea of a fun time, either.  Shower and sinks are pretty cool, too.

Perfumes, deodorants, anti-perspirants, and other stuff that makes people smell less awful.  Admit it – left to our own devices, we kind of reek after a while.  Products that allow us to minimize body odor get an A+ in my book.

The internal combustion engine – Prior to the Model T, people rarely traveled more than 25 miles from home – and when they did travel that far, it was quite the ordeal.  I commute further than this to work every day, one way.  Henry Ford’s Model T could not have been possible with Gottlieb Daimler’s internal combustion engine.

The assembly line – This time, we’ll give full credit to Henry Ford.  Ford’s idea of keeping workers stationary and moving the work to the workers allowed for considerably more efficient production.  Furthermore, it served as a catalyst for analyzing other workflows.

The printing press – Thank you, Herr Gutenberg!  The printing press allowed the sharing of knowledge to the masses.  No longer was the distribution of written works limited to handwritten manuscripts or the older woodblock printing.  I am a certified bibliophile – but without Gutenberg’s press, I wouldn’t have the ability to own hundreds of books.

The telephone – postal mail was great, and telegraphs were a step forward, but the ability to actively converse with another person over a phone line was revolutionary.  Now, if we can just get rid of the anachronistic use of the word “dial”.

Humor – A few simply jokes can serve as a pick-me-up to carry someone through the rest of the day.  Kudos to the person who first pushed their intellectual skills into the field of humor.

Electricity – From the simplest light bulb to complex medical equipment, electricity makes it happen.  Spend a few days without electricity during a blackout and you’ll realize exactly how important it is.

Baseball – You knew that I couldn’t leave this one out, right?  For more than one hundred thirty years, Americans have enjoyed the pleasure of watching professional baseball.

OK – that’s my list.  Is it complete?  Certainly not.  Throw out your list!

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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