Very Early Inventions Still Used Today

For our ancestors, whether they immigrated in the 1700s, 1800s or 1900s, they did see America as a land of possibilities. Not just in better working opportunities but also in the chance to create or invent something to make life easier for everyone. Many other inventions came from European nations and developed further in America.

After the American Revolution of 1780s and into the new 1800s and the Industrial Revolution was when many new inventions came about – many refined and still used today.

The Telegraph came first in France by the brothers Claude and Ignace Chappe in the 1790s. There would in the early 1800s be many refinements to the system to make an essential method of communication for over 150 years. You may have had an ancestor who was a telegraph operator.

In America, the famous inventor was Benjamin Franklin. He was known, to name a few, for the lightning rod and bifocal eyeglasses. They were split lenses for the glasses. He wore such glasses himself starting in 1776. This invention helped many people read near and at a distance.

Then there were erasers for pencils. Rubber erasers were invented in 1770 by Joseph Priestly.

The Swivel chair was the idea of President Thomas Jefferson. He had converted an English Windsor chair to swivel from the seat, even adding a writing surface to the chair. He used it during the creation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

From England, it was Joseph Priestly again this time with inventing carbonated water, (soda water and seltzer water) by accident, in 1767 when he discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide after having suspended a bowl of water above a beer vat at a brewery. 1By 781 that carbonated water began being produced on a large scale with the establishment of companies specialized in producing artificial mineral water.

Transportation greatly improved with the creation of steamships instead of solely using sails and the wind to move a ship. Built by John Fitch in 1787 his steamship first traveled down the Delaware River. The steamship would continue to be very important for transportation into the early 20th century as they traveled the inland waterways of southeast Florida when it was a wilderness area.

Photos: Telegraph; Franklin’s bifocal eyeglasses; Jefferson’s swivel chair; and early steamboat.

Related Blogs:

Your Ancestor the Inventor

What was Science Fiction to Your Ancestors

German Inventions

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