History of Inventions

History of Inventions


Technology extends our abilities to change the world: to cut, shape, or put together materials; to move things from one place to another; to reach farther with our hands, voices, and senses. We use technology to try to change the world to suit us better. You will learn more about the history of technology by doing these activities.


Visit The History of Inventions website, which highlights a number of important human-made developments ranging from pottery to the recent DVD player.

The inventions at the bottom of the screen are arranged by date of invention, ranging from early B.C. (Before Christ) to A.D. (Anno Domini).

The scroll bars at the bottom of the screen can be used to go back and forth along the timeline to click on and read about the inventions.

You should focus first on the ancient inventions displayed—the six B.C. inventions ranging from the calendar to the swimming pool. Use the History of Inventions student sheet to take notes on what you learn about the inventions.

Knowledge Check

As a group, find one invention—from antiquity to the present—that shares related technology with at least one or two other inventions on the timeline (and that was necessary for the development of the succeeding inventions you identify).

You should look for information based on these categories:

  • Names and dates of the inventions
  • Description of why each invention was important
  • Explanation of how each affected people's lives and shaped societies
  • Explanation of how the first invention relates to or inspired the second
  • Optional: Description of how the second invention relates to or inspired the third

You should be prepared to present your findings to the class.

Bonus Question
What kind of invention might be developed in the future that could result from or be related to these two (or three) inventions?

This esheet is a part of the Technology: Past, Present, and Future lesson.

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