Heartbeat of the Industrial Revolution
Even the greatest inventions are typically progressions of earlier ideas or patents, therefore it seems logical to pay homage to the first truly unique invention that laid the foundations for all other significant developments in the history of manmade technology.
The invention I’m referring to is the first fully working steam engine created by Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquis of Worcester, in 1663. Modifications of his design, most notably from Thomas Savery, Thomas Newcomen and eventually James Watt, allowed an increase in efficiency and power to such a level that heralded an unparalleled age of economic, social and technological advancement throughout much of the world – the Industrial Revolution.
Without the steam engine pumping life into the veins of the Industrial Revolution, many other contenders to the title of ‘The Best Patented Invention’ wouldn’t have been born, owing their existence, either directly or indirectly, to the inventions or at least the infrastructure that spawned from the descendants of Somerset’s engine.
What sets Somerset’s engine aside from some of the more seemingly impressive inventions of modern times is that his was the first of its kind. Technology will always be improved upon, and so it becomes harder to draw the line at what merits being called the best invention. Surely then, that honour lies with the machine that allowed the vast majority of the main contenders to be.
Submitted by: David Turnbull