Every year we see new inventions released which change the way which we live. Recent examples of this include wireless tech, smart phones and online banking.
However, after a short time in existence, it is easy to forget the brilliance of an invention and as a result, we begin to take it for granted.
This is no more apparent than in the world of engineering, where brilliant developments soon become part of the cultural furniture because of their widespread use.
Here are three great examples of engineering inventions which you have probably never noticed, but use or are influenced by them regularly.
If we step back a mere 100 years, aeroplanes were really in their teething stage, with people like the Wright brothers beginning to discover the potential of this new vehicle.
Commercial flights did exist, just not as we know them today. Zeppelins (or airships) which were invented in the 1890s and then used as bombing craft in the First World War, soon became a mode of transport for many people post-1918.
However, airships became known as too dangerous and slow in comparison to planes, the most notable example being the Hindenburg Disaster which you can read more about here.
Commercial flights began widely in the 1940s; however, it wasn’t until the late 1970s/early 1980s that they became affordable to the majority of the public.
In the modern day, people fly weekly for work commitments, while the majority of us fly at least once a year to get away to the sunshine in the summer months.
A mode of transport that can get you from London to New York in under eight hours should be seen as an incredible achievement when you consider it would take closer to four days aboard an ocean liner.
Probably the least known of the inventions on this list is sheet piling, a construction material used in a variety of ways to create support, both on land and in water.
A corrugated material, sheet piling can come in many different shapes and sizes and can be made from a number of different materials. Its most common use is creating a stable foundation for the construction of new builds.
The metal sheets line the perimeter of the foundation, partly stuck into the ground, to hold back the higher ground from collapsing in.
Elsewhere, sheet piling is used to build the walls of canals, flood barriers and stable marinas amongst other things.
Speaking to experts Sheet Piling UK, they explained that the brilliant innovation “can be seen as the unsung hero of modern construction.
“Sheet piling creates a safe and workable environment so that the brilliant architecture we appreciate can be created.”
Before sheet piling, we relied on things like wooden beam supports (you know the stuff which lines mines and caves in the movies) which were both nowhere near as durable or safe.
Something all of us use every day of the week, be it in our own homes, at a friends or at work is the refrigerator.
The refrigerator wasn’t really commonplace in the home till the 1950s before which we had more inventive ways to keep our food from going off.
Everything from cold rooms, cold boxes or salting meats were the best ways to preserve food before the refrigerator, all of which were much less reliable than what we use today.
Imagine the time and preparation it would take to make sure your food would last more than a day without a modern day refrigerator? Now the only hassle we have is unloading our goods into the refrigerator.