In the November 2013 issue of The Atlantic, the Editors present a list of their top 50 inventions since, well, the wheel.
A few years ago, I covered this same ground in my book What's the Big Idea? from Owlkids.
Needless to say, the choice presented in my book were not exactly the same as the ones the Atlantic came up with (and there are more of them). That's partly because I selected inventions based on what's most important to kids.
For example, there's the all-important needle.
The needle you say? Why would kids care about a needle?
Simple. The needle is what allowed our ancestors to survive the brutal cold of the Ice Age in Northern Europe etc. etc. They used it so they weren't totally reliant on furs for clothing. And think about it - if you drape furs around you, they can be a little drafty. You really need something to wear underneath them, something close to the skin that you can layer...
Without the needle, there'd be no underwear. And without underwear, we wouldn't have survived the freezy breezy.
So check out the Atlantic list of inventions for sure, but don't overlook, ahem, what's under-represented. Check out What's the Big Idea? for a real EYE-opener. (get it?)
PSST, while you're at it, you might what to check out my current book, Ode to Underwear! Yes, I have a "thing" for underthings!)