Updated: Jun 24
HISTORICALLY GAME-CHANGING INVENTIONS
Necessity is the mother of all inventions.
An invention could be termed as a new product or a process that provides a solution to a technical problem. Most of the things around us were invented by somebody in the past. We have become so accustomed to them that we hardly think of them as innovations. Such innovations have made our tasks easier, improved our knowledge, and in some cases have even saved lives. Here is a list of a few game-changing inventions-
● BLUE JEANS
Patent Name- Improvement in fastening pocket openings
The patent for the first pair of blue jeans was obtained by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis in the year 1837. These pants were unique as they had metal bolts of pocket corners and at the base of the fly. It was originally designed as a business garment and was available in brown cotton and indigo blue colour variations. The former was dropped from the line after a while as it was not comfortable while the latter continues to be fashionable even in the 21st century.
● COFFEE FILTER
Patent Name- Coffee filter with a domed underside, recessed bottom, and inclined flow holes
Melitta Bentz improved the conventional method of preparing espresso by inventing a filter that prevented the loss of coffee grounds and oils in the fermentation process. She made the filter paper with the help of blotting paper taken from her child’s notebook. She cut the paper into a plate, and put it at the lower part of a perforated metal pot. She obtained the patent for her invention in the year 1908. This Mellita method is still used in the 21st century across the globe to produce a rich espresso without any bitterness.
● CAMERA WITH ROLL-FILM
Patent name- Camera
In the 18th century material used for photography was quite expensive and the process was complicated, thus limiting it to professionals. George Eastman Kodak changed this by inventing both the first dry transparent roll-film and the camera designed for such roll-film. He obtained the patent for both of them in 1884 and 1888 respectively. This handheld Kodak camera could be purchased and put to use instantly as it had pre-loaded film for capturing 100 photos. The company used to print the images taken and reload the camera with another film and return it to the customer. This technology reduced the costs of photographic materials and enabled non-professionals to click photos.
● BRAIN IMPLANT
Patent Name- Three-dimensional electrode device
In the 18th century, scientists began researching electric stimulation of the brain and its impact on living organisms. By the 20th century, it was found that brain stimulation considerably influences a patient’s mood and behaviour. The University of Utah obtained a patent for this in the year 1993. Since then brain implants have progressed to a point where an individual can move automated/robotics prosthetics or even type messages on any electronic device with their thoughts. With rapid technological advancement, innovations such as neural lace would make it possible for humans to form a link with computers using their brains.
Patent Name- Network Folder Synchronisation
Its co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi obtained the patent for the invention in 2014. This application provides the synchronization of folders shared between various clients over a network. This was a game-changing invention as it permitted customers to make changes to documents that could be viewed immediately by different users who had shared access to the folder. This is one of the prime reasons why Dropbox rapidly acquired popularity in its early stage.
IP Watchdog, Patent Application- Blue Jeans, https://www.ipwatchdog.com/patents/pat139121.pdf
German PTO, Invention of Coffee Filters, https://www.dpma.de/english/our_office/publications/ingeniouswomen/110jahrekaffeefilter/index.html
Popular Photography, 125 Years Ago Today, George Eastman Patented the Box Camera, Trademarked "Kodak", https://www.popphoto.com/news/2013/09/125-years-ago-today-george-eastman-patented-box-camera-trademarked-kodak/#:~:text=On%20September%204%2C%201888%2C%20George,as%20the%20Kodak%20box%20camera.
Justia Patents, Patent Application for Three-dimensional electrode device, https://patents.justia.com/patent/10058263
Justia Patents, Patent Application for Network Folder Synchronisation, https://patents.justia.com/assignee/dropbox-inc