Inventions

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Antibiotics were present in ancient times in the form of molds. British scientist Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first working agent that demonstrated potent antibacterial properties, in 1928. Selman Waksman coined the term antibiotic in 1941, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health.

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  • When was the first school built?

    Q: When was the first school built?

    A: The first public school built in the United States was the Boston Latin School, completed in 1645, according to the Freedom Trail Foundation. The school was founded in 1635, and students attended classes in the home of the headmaster until the building was finished.
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  • Who invented dance?

    Q: Who invented dance?

    A: Because dance was used in ancient times, it is not credited to the contribution of a specific person. Dance was first used in ancient cultures in ritualistic practices. For example, in Egypt, Greece and India, dancing before a god was an important part of temple worship.
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  • Who invented the toy car?

    Q: Who invented the toy car?

    A: In 1953, Jack Odell created the first matchbox car in London, England. The first car was a steamroller made of brass and painted red and green. In an assembly-line style production line, Odell and his partners worked from a London pub called The Rifleman.
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  • Who invented paper money?

    Q: Who invented paper money?

    A: Paper money was used first by the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 to 907). According to Time, the first forms of paper money were privately issued bills of credit or exchange. This practice continued for about 500 years.
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  • Who invented the candle?

    Q: Who invented the candle?

    A: The first recorded use of candles is in fat-based items invented by the Egyptians circa 3000 B.C. These candles, called rushlights, were made from reeds coated in animal fat.
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  • Who invented horse riding?

    Q: Who invented horse riding?

    A: No one knows for sure who invented horse riding because it happened before written history. The earliest archaeological evidence of horses being used for transport dates from about 2000 B.C.
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  • Who invented the fluorescent light?

    Q: Who invented the fluorescent light?

    A: Peter Cooper Hewitt became the inventor of the first fluorescent lamp when he was awarded a patent in 1901 for his low-pressure mercury vapor lamp. The first high-pressure mercury vapor lamp, invented by German-born Edmund Germer, Friedrich Meyer and Hans Spanner, was patented in 1927.
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  • Who invented the 24-hour day?

    Q: Who invented the 24-hour day?

    A: The Greek astronomer Hipparchus was the first to propose a day divided into 24 equal hours. Hipparchus standardized this system from the Egyptians, who also divided the day into 24 hours but did not use a standard length for each hour.
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  • What year was the microwave invented?

    Q: What year was the microwave invented?

    A: The first microwave oven was built in 1947. Sometime around 1946, Percy Spencer, while working for Raytheon, discovered that a magnetron developed to jam radars during World War II also melted the chocolate bar in his back pocket. Corn kernels were some of the first foods Spencer tested, and when they popped, he began attempts to heat other foods using the magnetron.
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  • What did the Egyptians invent?

    Q: What did the Egyptians invent?

    A: The Ancient Egyptians are the well-known constructors of the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx. They invented hieroglyphs, one of the earliest writing systems, and a number system for whole numbers and fractions, including rudimentary algebraic formulations. Egyptians created breath mints, toothpaste, the calendar and bowling. Perhaps their greatest invention, however, was papyrus scrolls, which allowed information to be collected, transported and stored for immediate use or for future generations.
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  • When did the practice of knitting begin?

    Q: When did the practice of knitting begin?

    A: The earliest form of knitting, known as nalbinding, is believed to date back to roughly the third to fifth century of the Common Era. This single-needle knitting approach can be found in socks from this period of time.
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  • Who invented solar panels?

    Q: Who invented solar panels?

    A: Alexandre Edmond Becquerel is considered the father of solar panels, having discovered how electricity is generated from sunlight in 1839. His research paved the way for the construction of solar energy plants that heated water to create steam to power machinery during the Industrial Revolution.
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  • What are some facts about the telephone?

    Q: What are some facts about the telephone?

    A: Alexander Graham Bell's telephone was the first of its kind to receive a patent in the United States and gain widespread commercial success. Bell was interested in sound on a conceptual level and used an observation about sound echoing from one piano to another to develop the technology that made telephone calls possible.
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  • Who invented electricity?

    Q: Who invented electricity?

    A: Electricity was not invented because it exists as a natural form of energy. However, many scientists and inventors have contributed to its modern use.
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  • Who invented numbers and counting?

    Q: Who invented numbers and counting?

    A: The first use of numbers and counting cannot be traced to one specific individual in ancient times. It is unknown because learning to count is a discovery and not an invention. It is believed that numbers and counting were first used almost 32,000 years ago.
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  • When was nuclear power invented?

    Q: When was nuclear power invented?

    A: In 1934, physicist Enrico Fermi discovered nuclear fission through his research and experiments. He forced together neutrons with uranium atoms and noticed that the product was lighter than that of uranium.
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  • On what date was the light bulb invented?

    Q: On what date was the light bulb invented?

    A: According to the US Department of Energy, Thomas Edison and his team had produced a functional incandescent light bulb by October 1879. Before this, British inventors had been experimenting with arc lamps. The first "constant electrical light" was invented in 1835, after which inventors continued to make small improvements until Edison's commercial breakthrough.
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  • What is the oldest bridge in the world?

    Q: What is the oldest bridge in the world?

    A: The Arkadiko Bridge in Mycenae, an archaeological site in Greece, is the oldest surviving bridge that can still be used; it dates to between 1300 and 1200 B.C. Remnants of bridges dating back to 1600 B.C. also exist around Mycenae.
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  • Who invented cursive writing?

    Q: Who invented cursive writing?

    A: Niccolo Niccoli is credited by many scholars as the inventor of modern cursive, according to the Chicago Tribune. Niccoli's cursive is known as "italic" and does not feature elaborate curly-cues.
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  • When were watches invented?

    Q: When were watches invented?

    A: Wristwatches were first officially invented in 1868 when a watch was created for the Countess of Hungary. Prior to the first official wristwatch, pocket watches were adapted to be worn on the wrist as early as 1570.
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  • Who invented checkers?

    Q: Who invented checkers?

    A: It is not known who invented checkers. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that checkers is one of the oldest games in the world. The modern form of checkers emerged by the 16th century.
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