What Was the Most Popular Invention of the 1800's?

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This is what I would like to know: What was the most popular invention of the 1800's? What made this invention special? How does it help people today?

-- nijer miesha gaston (crazytay2@yahoo.com), April 19, 2000


For the nineteenth century, surely the steam engine was the most important and most useful general-purpose technology. But we don't use steam engines much any more.

For the twentieth century, the most important and useful general-purpose technology was the electric motor.

And for the twenty-first century, there is a race on between the semiconductor chip and the biogenetically-engineered pharmaceutical...

Brad DeLong

-- Brad DeLong (delong@econ.berkeley.edu), April 19, 2000.

Well as for steam engines, we use those all the time for nuclear power, and nuclear powered vehicles. They basically use the heat created to make steam out of water. The steam turn tubines to make power, so their still pretty important, right?

-- Joe (SSJDeathScythe12@aol.com), January 28, 2005.

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