We need a lot of things to keep ourselves going. We don't consider them important as we get whenever we need them. We never think how we got them. Famous inventors have invented big things. But there are things which we don't consider as important and so we don't try to know who invented them. We Bangalees eat rice. We may eat lots of other things but if we don't eat rice we think we are still hungry. We tell others "we have eaten rice" when we could have said "we have eaten".
We don't know who has taught us to eat rice. We used to use 'dheki' (wooden rice pounder) to get rice from paddy. Now paddy is crushed in big rice mills run by machines. Power-driven rice milling machine was first invented by Rechie Satake of Japan.
It is said "water is life". People had to work really hard to bring water. Now tap water has made our life so easy. Thomas Hexley of England has invented water taps. People of the developing countries are still drinking unpurified water. People wouldn't suffer from various diseases if they could drink purified water. There are many ways of purifying water but we don't know who have discovered them.
People in the past used to live in caves. Huts in Bangladesh are called "bungalows". Single-storied buildings are still called bungalows in foreign countries. Now multi-storied buildings are built. We don't know who has taught us how to construct buildings. When we see historical buildings we see many of them don't have windows and many of them have small doors. We don't know who has taught us how to make doors and windows of right sizes.
We use bleaching powder to clean sewage. Bleaching powder was invented by Charles Tenant of England. To deal with the sewage is very important. Human beings did this in the past and they used to be looked down upon in society. Flush toilet has been invented by Thomas Crapper. Septic tank was invented by by Lourus Mourus of France.
People used to communicate with each other through telegraph which was invented by Samuel Moros. People then became able to speak with others using telephone but telephone and telegraphs required cable connection. Use of Tesla's invention of wireless stopped use of cables in using telephones and telegraphs. Charles Stevention and Markoni contributed in inventing mobile phones. Speakers are heard through microphones which were invented by Emile Barliner.
People have to go from one place to another. Our two legs are the original transport. Then came sandals, shoes etc. Tagore's "invention of shoes" is a poem full of humor. There is difference of opinion about who invented Bikes. Some people think that Earnest Micho of France invented bikes but according to others Baron Van Draice of Germany was the inventor of bikes. There are people who think that Kirkpatric McMilan of Scotland has invented bikes. There is difference of opinion about who invented motor bikes.
Some people think that Gotlib Deinner is the inventor of motor bikes but others think that it is actually America's E.J. Pennington. Few passengers got the opportunity to travel with the driver when Kad Benz invented motor car. But many passengers got the opportunities to travel with the driver when Bus was invented. Even more passengers travelled when England's George Stevention invented Railway engine. The railways changed its fuel from coal to Disel, to electricity. People used to travel in boats where people had to be depended on favorable air. When Robert Fulton invented Steam boat journey on water became easier and faster. Wright brothers invented Aeroplanes.
Reading and writing help human beings to increase their knowledge. People used to write on stones and on leaves of the trees. Sai Lun invented papers. People used to write by the branches of the trees and feathers of the birds. Lois waterman invented fountain pen. Ball point pen was invented by Biro of Hungery. Many handwritten books could not be produced. Many books could be produced when Gutenbueg invented printing press. Many people need glasses to read. Salvino Darmet invented spectacles.
New inventions have helped improve medical treatments. As various people helped by inventing new medicines, new methods, new machines etc. we can't mention so many names. Birth control methods helped the women. In the past all their time used to be taken in giving birth and in bringing up children. They could not contribute to the society. But they can now. These inventors are great people. People of all nations and all religions use their inventions. They are beyond any boundaries created by human beings.
The writer is a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
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