What inventions have had the biggest impact on your day-to-day life?

More than a year ago, my daughter gave me a subscription to StoryWorth. How it works is this:

  1. At least once a week, a question is emailed to me, and I write an essay about it. Some of the questions are supplied by StoryWorth, but most are asked by my daughter and her family members. I can also add topics that I want to include.
  2. We can add photos to enhance the essays.
  3. My daughter/grandsons can comment on the essays, or ask questions, and our conversation becomes part of the essay.
  4. After a year or so, the essays are made into a book as a keepsake.

Here’s a REVIEW, that includes a lot more information about the product, if you are interested.

Anyway, back to the topic! The title of this post is this week’s StoryWorth question: What inventions have had the biggest impact on your day-to-day life?

There are so many to choose from. How about the transistor radio? Contact lenses? The telephone answering machine? Pocket calculator? The audio cassette? Fax machine? VCR? Digital camera? CD/DVD? Satellite navigation?

I’m thinking that these are the top three inventions during my lifetime that have had the most personal impact:

  1. The internet. Knowledge at the touch of a keyboard.
  2. Personal computers. Creative tool, and storage of memories.
  3. Cell phones. Convenience and safety.

There are others that I thought of, such as The Pill. I guess that laparoscopic surgery is one to put on the list. Then there is the procedure that ‘cured’ my heart attack . . . coronary angioplasty and stent implantation.

What would you put on your list?


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15 Responses to What inventions have had the biggest impact on your day-to-day life?

  1. Menagerie says:

    Television. It, long before the internet, allowed people to be molded and influenced. I think governments watched corporate advertising and learned.

    Are we talking inventions in our lifetime that changed our lives? If so, I’m pretty much in line with your choices.

    I read a series of books set in Northern Ireland about a country doctor. The books are set in the 1960’s with some chapters going back in time to before WWII. Think the late 20’s maybe. Anyhow, just as the young doctor is beginning his practice in the Dublin slums, the medical field is just inventing the precursors to antibiotics.

    The doctor who writes these books dramatically illustrates what a game changer they, and other new medicines, were in the lives of everyone, but especially the poor. The young doctor fought to save the life of a man who broke his ankle, the same injury I had. A child would have at the least lost his foot, and later as an adult likely starved, as a result of getting a cut on his bare foot on the filthy, horse dung filled streets, a very common injury. The author of the books is a retired medical researcher.

    After reading those books, I thought a lot more about the medicines that became available before and after my birth. The stories detail a little the doctors and researchers and scientists who were inventing some of those drugs in the UK. The fictional people were madly racing to save lives. I like to think it was that way back then, instead of only madly racing to make money.

    Either way, the medicines, technology, and treatments that have come to us in the last century have been one of the things that changed mankind’s circumstances in a big way. Insulin is another good example, although I don’t really know when it became available as a treatment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Stella says:

      That’s a big one, but I concentrated on things that were invented during my lifetime.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Stella says:

      You make good points about medicine too. Insulin became available during the 1920’s, as did the cure for pernicious anemia. They were both big killers. How did I first learn that? On Downton Abbey (television!) The other huge killer was tuberculosis, which was put in check by antibiotics. Then there was the polio vaccine. Vaccination for the other big killer – smallpox – goes back to the 1700’s, I believe.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. weather257 says:

    For me, computers and software to make accounting faster and a lot less tedious; and in that category, scanners and Excel. Also the internet, that let me work from home and escape Calif.
    Modernized refrigerators are something we take for granted but save a lot of time and dollars by keeping food fresh longer and better (chickens may not agree).
    The medical field has affected us all, directly or through loved ones. Personally, cataract surgery!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 17CatsInTN says:

    For my work life, carriage return typewriters to IBM Selectric to Mag Card to WordPerfect to Word. That is my secretarial/admin journey. I still think WordPerfect was better than Word, but Microsoft prevailed. Also typewriters with 7 carbon copies to copiers. That saved A TON of work. But I also typed mostly perfectly in those days because, well, 7 carbon copies to erase + 1 white correction tab for the original. We rejoiced when the correction tab was updated to clear plastic that actually lifted the ink off the paper. 🙂 For me personally, VHS and DVDs. Never have gotten Blu-Ray. I don’t own a TV and haven’t for 30 years, so having those players to capture the programs/movies I do want to watch free from the tyranny of TV programming is a blessing. They even come with Fast Forward/Chapter features to skip through the Parts I Do Not Wish To Be Subjected To. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • weather257 says:

      IBM Selectric was an all-time winner for me too, Cats. Never have found a faster keyboard anywhere since. I did the 7 copies thing too, first with erasers then with Snowpake (almost worse than erasers). Liquid Paper was an improvement; oh, but Word is magic!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sharon says:

        I owned an IBM Selectric and am SO sorry I let it go several decades back. My typing speed when I left the workaday world was over 100 wpm, and I absolutely never had a problem with that machine in terms of keeping up.

        Later I purchased a simple word processing typewriter, which only accepted up to 80 wpm. My late husband never got over being amused when I would type a bunch of stuff in and then get up to leave the room to do something else–and the typewriter would keep clattering away until it had caught up to what had put in.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Stella says:

          I also loved the Selectric. Did you ever type on the version that has proportional spacing? The capital “M” took five units, a small “i” took two, a lower case “e” took three. It had two space bars; one with two units and one with three. It was tricky, but cool, because it looked like newspaper or book text.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sharon says:

            I don’t think so. One job I had did feature a typewriter that varied the spaces, but it didn’t have two space bars. I think it was one where the type-ball was changed out for different fonts.

            For several years I worked in the typing pool at Fireman’s Fund Insurance (regional office) in SoCal–so my job was simply–typing all day long, with a headphone set on. Got to be pretty automatic. I got a kick out of doing that and always trying to faster and really-really accurate!

            We could not have more than 1 erasure on a page – and sometimes (using the onion skin paper for copies) we would have 7-9 copies of each page. Not uch if the fingers were having a bad day!

            Liked by 2 people

            • Stella says:

              I worked for a time for a patent law firm, typing patent applications from shorthand transcription with 7 or 8 tissue carbons – each a different color. A typing mistake was a bear to correct, so I learned to be very accurate!

              Liked by 2 people

              • Sharon says:

                I had taken shorthand in high school (graduated in 1962) and was proficient at about 60 wpm, I think. I never used it on a job, so it sort of disappeared for me.

                Then in 1980, I went to work for Lockheed at Plant 10 in Palmdale, CA. The application process for Dept. Steno-Clerk required passing a shorthand test. I failed the first time. The gal giving the test acknowledged that department managers did not make use of verbal dictation much, so the job didn’t really require it – most of them would just stand at the desk of their steno and dictate as she typed out what he wanted said (and they were all “he”s at the time). Nevertheless, the shorthand test had to be passed to qualify for the job.

                She told me to come back in a couple of days, and that any way I could figure out to reproduce a letter that was verbally dictated would be fine. The quality of the “shorthand” I wrote down would not be examined! So I came back, took the test again and passed–with the biggest mess and mix of some shorthand, some scrawled abbreviations, and desperately using my memory to type out the short letter that constituted the test. Got the job and worked there for

                I find it weird to consider how things have changed in the working world. I never felt abused by things, because that’s just the way it was, but I experienced each of these things:

                *The day after I got engaged in 1965, I had to give notice on my job because it was a given that a married girl could not hold the job (just an office job).

                *In the late 1970s, I was working as a legal secretary, and doing major organization of their files and work processes. I was dismissed from that job when, in the words the attorney used to who let me know I was finished….”Sharon, we’re paying you $5 an hour and we have found someone who will fill the job for $3. So we are letting you go.” And that was that. Very, VERY weird! They were most pleasant about it…just wanted so save that $2 an hour really badly, I guess! That was when I applied to and got hired at Lockheed.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Stella says:

                  Yes, things were weird back then. They would ask married women when they planned to get pregnant when they were applying for a job, and then let her go as soon as it was known that she was expecting. That happened to me. We needed the money, so I went to work for a family friend’s cabinet making company for the rest of my pregnancy.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • Sharon says:

                  ….I didn’t finish a sentence there…I worked there (Lockheed) for about three years, until the L-1011 program started winding down and we were all laid off….

                  Liked by 2 people

  4. czarina33 says:

    The magic of a device in my hand to access the world from my home, car, a park, a store, a hospital.


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