Blogging Up The Works

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


As mentioned yesterday I have been wondering who has lived through the greatest time of invention and is it indeed ourselves. They reckon 95% of all the scientists who have ever lived are living now so have they made the big difference?

This cropped up during my recent reunion. And indeed some have already commented. I suppose the big thing for me is who has seen the most change even though perhaps the main invention was just outside their life.

When I was born there were still cars, television, radio, most household appliances, so I have mainly lived through innovation and advancement. True, microwave ovens have arrived, and there has been space travel and exploration but so far I can't say that has impacted my life in a big way. Computers of course are the big change and after their emergence it has been the prolific introduction of items using that technology that make it look like advancement.

I argued though that my grandparents must have seen a different world from the beginning to the end of their lives. My maternal grandparents were both born in 1895 in Lancashire. (Yes, I know, but they did have the sense to move to Yorkshire when they were old enough!). As kids they would hardly have seen a car, probably didn't know anyone with a telephone, obviously no television, a very basic radio if any. They had electricity as they both worked in the mills but not necessarily at home. Nothing in the way of kitchen appliances as we know them.

By the time they died, all those things were commonplace. They'd seen the introduction of airplanes, my grandfather never having been on one, but my grandmother did, even if it was only to fly from Leeds to the Isle of Man. So much did she enjoy it she would have happily spent the week just flying backwards and forwards.

And once upon a time, when I was young, people would be making plans to go to The Ideal Home Exhibition to see the houses of the future. They displayed things that we could only dream about owning, although most of us do now. But this year it will just be a chance to buy things similar to those we have now, just bigger and better or perhaps smaller and more portable. I remember going and seeing a microwave oven, something that seemed so space age we couldn't begin to understand how it worked. To be fair I'm not sure I still do. Maybe I will be surprised and this year there will be a transporter like on Star Trek or something that converts potatoes into musical instruments. But I suspect it will be more unnecessary plastic items and that stuff you can clean your car with that's so tough you can fry an egg on the bonnet and not damage the paintwork, but really, you shouldn't try it for real.


  • I bought my parents one of the very first microwave ovens... enormous great thing made by Hitachi.
    It had a running in period of six-months where all the food it had cooked/nuked had to be buried in a concrete silo at the bottom of the garden.
    It's still going to this day.

    By Blogger Masher, At 6:46 AM  

  • Ah, who can forget the "upon pain of death (or at the very least blindness) should you look into a microwave whilst it was cooking". The first microwave my grandparents bought was twice as large and had half the cooking capacity of the one I currently own .... however, they are still shite at cooking jacket potatoes.

    By Blogger MarieNash, At 10:23 AM  

  • My Father was born in 1900 and at a very early age was sent to the coal mines to hew coal. I think he saw quite a few innovations.

    By Blogger Toffeeapple, At 2:38 PM  

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