We have become accustomed to news of science and not expect her greatest miracles, as it was 30-40 years ago. Then mankind eagerly caught every new message about the next breakthrough in physics or chemistry, a new step in space exploration. Technical progress has become the anthem of the twentieth century. It seemed that a little more, and mankind will be happy. But brought us scientific achievements into the future?

 Summing up the achievements of human civilization, we will try to make a list of the most significant discoveries made throughout its history. Let's take a short excursion into the past and look at the top ten inventions that changed the world.

First of all, probably, it is necessary to answer the question: what invention and why it should be considered great. I admit at once — we stood before the difficult choice of deciding which of the numerous samples of human genius worthy of a place in the list of "best"and what — to remain outside it. In the end, was elected the following criteria: open only should be considered the greatest, when the consequences of its introduction was accompanied by a visible and significant changes in the life of human society.

the Second important question: what should be considered "invention"? Agree that the answer can be different. Some will say that the invention — this is an extension of the idea of a statement of principle. Others mean by the invention is the creation of a working model. Third — the implementation of this model into production. Doing different accents there are many different ways to tell the story of any invention. Close to this is another age-old question: who is the author? For there is, perhaps, a great inventor who had not had their predecessors, because it is not born out of nothing. Finally, another important detail — to what extent should we delve into the story about the invention, i.e. where is the end "invention" and begins what is called the "improvement". Before presenting the principles by which I was guided, let us refer to the words of one of the most prominent inventors of the late XIX and early XX century — Thomas Alva Edison. In one of his interviews he said:

it’s Easy to make amazing discoveries, but the difficulty is to improve them so that they will receive practical value. 

 Anyone familiar with the history of technology, will agree that this is so. And let no one be misled by stories of sudden insight, a wonderful coincidences and amazing successes that seem to have happened with some of the great inventors. All this is nothing more than idle speculation. Yes, we know that watt if "invented" its steam machine while walking, seeing, in his own words, "as the steam escaped from the window of the Laundry service.  But we also know that he spent more then ten years of hard labor before they are able to establish mass production of these machines. Because one "principle" is not enough. And when it came to real couple, real metal and real machines, all was not as easy as it might seem at first. We also know that Morse invented all the parts of his famous Telegraph apparatus just two weeks until sailed on a ship from Europe to America. But how many failures and disappointments awaited him in subsequent years, until he was able to translate the idea into a real circuit! And how much effort and money he had to spend before he was able to prove that his Telegraph — not a toy, but a necessary and useful thing. We know how amazingly lucky inventor of the telephone bell, when the error of his assistant, mending contact, he opened an easy way to convert sound waves into electricity, and Vice versa. But do not forget that this happened with anyone else, namely bell after many years of work on the problem of telephone communication. These examples can go on, the output will be the same: the inventor should rightfully be considered not the one who made it ’s amazing discovery”and he who gave it ’practical value.  By the way, I involuntarily admit it: saying that this invention is made so or so, we thus stand on one person the achievements of his predecessors and contemporaries (and these latter, we, alas, forget; rightly or wrongly — this is another question). All language names of Galileo, watt, Mawdsley, Stephenson, Fulton, Morse, Marconi, Zworykin, Sikorski, brown or Queen. These people are rightly considered the greatest inventors, although well aware that the optic pipes used to Galileo that the steam-engine worked to watt that the caliper was used to Mawdsley. For anybody not a secret that the locomotives (and very good) built to Stephenson, and ships — to Fulton. We know that telegraphs functioned to Morse that the principle of radio was already known before Marconi that the TVs showed up Zvorykina, helicopters flew to Sikorsky, and the rockets took a start to brown and the Queen (and their own missiles would never have started without the efforts of subordinate powerful research teams). And yet it changes nothing. The great merit specifically these and many other "recognized the great» inventors before humanity is that, holding some (maybe even someone else's) undeveloped idea, they are hard work, overcoming many difficulties, brought it to a point where it became obvious to everyone it ’practical value.  This act, I accept in the future "invention" in the true sense of the word. As for the question as to what ’degree of perfection” or that the invention should bring a story, I usually don't stop until modern variations of the inventions.

Finally, the last thing I wanted to say — this is about the principles of presentation and selection of material. It is clear that hand to describe, in fact, the whole history of technology, I have to deal with the huge amount of material, which is plenty enough for several books. Involuntarily had something to give up, something short, something just to mention along the way.