Technology plays an important role in making your everyday easy, simple and quick as it also helps you to save a considerable amount of time with the use of different home appliances. As there are different kinds of home appliances like washing machine, refrigerator, dryer, mixer grinder and other home appliances that are designed for different tasks and as a homeowner, you should know who invented the washing machines, and other home appliances? Home appliances are known to make your life significantly easier and convenient so that you can pay attention to the other important tasks of your life.
Every once in a while, we like to have a look at some of the world’s greatest, historic inventions. While inventing new things is mostly geared towards changing the future, sometimes it can help to reflect upon the unchangeable past. To spend a few seconds in awe of how our ancestors have changed the course of history with inventions that were once revolutionary, but which we have now grown accustomed to. Once such invention is footwear. Do you ever think about what you’re wearing? Probably not. And that’s because footwear is now so ingrained in our society, that we don’t even give it a second though. We simply accept the fact that it is here. This is truly the hallmark of a great invention.
The Birth Of FootwearThe earliest footwear that we know of mankind’s history, are sandals that are thousands of years old, first made in 7000 to 8000 BC. These shoes were found in a cave near Oregon in 1938. These shoes were made of cowhide and were laced with a leather cord. It had seams in the front and the back. Since people didn’t have advanced technology back then, this was as good as it was ever going to get. Since cowhide protects you from outside elements, but it doesn’t cushion you, they stuffed the the shoes with straw. Imagine having to wear those kinds of shoes, after being used to your New Balances and your Sketchers. Just because these shoes are the oldest that have ever been found, it doesn’t mean that these are in fact the oldest shoes that have ever existed. It is thought that before this time period, people were also making and wearing shoes. But since the material used before this time were so perishable, nothing is left of the shoes. The cowhide shoes from the 7000 to 8000 BC period, is how people made shoes all the way up until the middle ages.
The Middle Age RevolutionThe middle ages are sometimes known for being a period in time when people were stubbornly backwards and wanted to halt all progress. But that’s not entirely correct, as there most definitely has been a lot of progress in this era. Take for example the middle aged shoes called ‘espadrilles’. These are a type of sandals that have jute soles which are braided. The uppers are made of fabric. They also used to include laces made of fabric, which would tie around the foot’s ankle. The espadrilles were named after esparto grass, the fiber from which they were made. Espadrilles find their origin in the Catalonian region, which you will find in Spain. The first espadrilles were made in the 13th century. They were very popular with the peasants in the farming communities that were situated close by. Espadrilles were constructed using the so called ‘turnshoe’ method. With this method, the upper was turned inside out and was then lasted onto a sole. A seam was then used to join them at the edges. You could get all sorts of espadrilles, such as ones with drawstrings or toggled flaps. This would allow the wearer to tighten the shoe around the foot and make it fit better. The turnshoe method was used up until the 15th century. At this time it became obsolete and was replaced by the so called ‘welted rand’ method. With this method, the uppers are sewn to a sole which is much stiffer and it is impossible to turn the shoe inside out. You’d think the turnshoe method would be a historic relic in the 21st century. But to this day, it is still used for some specialty shoes, such as dance shoes.
The Industrial RevolutionWhen the 18th century came about, shoe making became way more commercialized than it had ever been before. It became what is known as a cottage industry. A cottage industry is an industry that could be called small scale, because the creation of goods is home based rather than factory based. Goods aren’t mass produced, so the quality of the produced goods could vary from home to home. Or even from one week to another within the same home. The total amount of shoes produced from this cottage industry was large enough that they had to be stored in warehouses. Then came the 19th century. By this time, the making of footwear had been almost entirely mechanized. The industry was transforming from a cottage industry into a factory industry. Shoes were now being mass produced. But since many different people have many different foot sizes, factories still produced shoes of many different shapes and sizes. Check out these standing shoes on Boot Bomb to see what I mean. Just like the cottage industry had been able to do in the previous century. The mass production of shoes was, unfortunately, powered by war. During the time when Napoleon was waging battles, it was inventor Marc Brunel who came up with a machine for mass producing footwear for Brittish soldiers. Thanks to Brunel, the Brits were capable of providing their soldiers with a way of standing, walking and running for miles on end, without fearing they’d ever run out of good boots. It was the year 1812 in which Brunel came up with his automated boot making machine, which fastened soles to the uppers using nails or pins made of metal. You’d think that, after having automated boot production, Brunel would’ve kept generating riches for decades on end. But as bad luck would have it, the war ended in 1815. This resulted in manual labor becoming much cheaper and the demand for footwear declined. Brunel’s invention was no longer profitable and he was forced to cease his business.
The Modern Day RevolutionThis day and age, automation in shoe making has advanced much beyond Brunel’s machine. More and more aspects of the creation process have become automated. But make no mistake, there are still many manual actions being performed in the creation of a shoe. These days, you hear more and more about artificial intelligence and robots taking over our work. It could very well be that, one day, shoemaking will be entirely automated. However, we are not quite there yet. We’d love to see the day, though. And something tells us we won’t have to wait many more decades to find out!
Since the distant past, man has sought his comfort in handling his tools all this with the purpose of finding a better precision, scope, mobility, force, etc. From the first rock tools to the most modern ergonomic mouse and keyboard, we made great strides throughout history.
PrehistoryPrehistoric man adapted his tools and weapons to facilitate their use in hunting (projectile points, spear), harvesting (baskets) and fishing (hooks, plumb). In this sense, it can be said that hunting, fishing, and agriculture were the first occupations of labor. However, all these day-to-day activities of older populations were the first steps for innovations in ergonomics throughout history. The latter is the product of a long process of analysis, research and development. With this we realize that the concept of ergonomics began to apply from previous years and today we can realize that it is not easy to adapt effectively to the work process, therefore it is necessary to adapt the work to us. That the application of ergonomic principles is desirable and necessary, because of the undoubted increases in productivity that can be achieved while the best use is made of the abilities, skills, and abilities of human beings.
19th CenturyThe first time the term of ergonomics was used was in 1857, by the Polish scientist Wojciech Bogumil Jastrzebowskl, in his writing “Science of Labor”, which deals with truths taken from nature, but was still very far from reaching the content Accurate given a hundred years later by the English. Ergonomics as a multidisciplinary science has not emerged spontaneously but has been the fruit of a long evolution, developed through the analysis of work situations, seeking an adaptation of the work and environment surrounding the man who performs an activity.
20th CenturyJules Amar, at the beginning of the 20th century, provides the basis of ergonomics by investigating static and dynamic muscle contractions. He is concerned with the problems of fatigue, environmental ergonomics, temperature, noise and illumination and establishes the first research laboratory of physical work. In World War I (1914-1918), the British government was concerned about the fatigue of the workers in the armament factories. Physiologists and psychologists conducted various investigations that were aimed at studying the improvements of workers. In World War II (1939-1945), aircraft designs and cabinets caused a high number of human errors, caused by excessive physical and mental fatigue, due to the correct reading of the devices. For the solution of these problems, multidisciplinary teams were created with engineers, psychologists, physiologists, anthropometrists and others. As a result, the “rational ergonomics” of aeronautical materials arises, and ergonomics specialists are hired. From the application in the military material, one passes to the industrial material, where emerges an ergonomics with multiple disciplines. The English psychologist Hywel Murrell defined ergonomics as the “set of scientific studies of the interaction between man and his working environment”.
Modern TimesIn April 1959, the International Association of Ergonomics (IEA) was created in Stockholm Sweden, which has registered 33 federated societies and its function is to promote ergonomics at an international level. The objective of the IEA is to bring together organizations and stakeholders in ergonomic research, through the promotion and organization of other activities. Its main objectives are: to establish international contacts between people working in the field of ergonomics and to promote the knowledge and practice of ergonomics at international level and in developing regions, to cooperate with international associations to develop the practice and application of ergonomics in the industrial sector and in other areas of interest, besides promoting scientific research, rewarding future developments of ergonomics.
We at MinnesotaInventorsCongress.org will like to take a moment to spread some love to our gracious sponsors. All coming from the Minnesota/Twin Cities area, these local companies have really stepped up to help support the wonderful innovation and advancement that is provided by the congress each year. First shout goes to Aagard, a Case Packer solution company based out of Alexandria, MN. With a history stretching back over 20 years, they have been a staple of the local economy, and have graciously supported the congress. See their contact info below:
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Inventors usually perceive themselves as pioneers in their own field. To some extent, that may be true. However, you must understand that you will not be setting out on your own for the sake of pure knowledge and innovation. Rather, prospective inventors need to understand that they have to treat their inventions as they would any new business venture. It’s important to understand the invention definition in business. This is because essentially that is what we do – the very process of inventing is a form of business. Learning the trade is the first step. Like with any industry, you will need to give yourself a proper education on how the business of invention works. This is crucial because you cannot go around spending money without having a clear understanding of the basic processes. You will need to pay particular attention to the patenting process. You need to understand how your idea can eventually lead to royalty payments. Basically, you need to know how your ideas can be transformed into a prototype and how that can reach your target market. Memorize the steps by heart, as that will most likely be your bread and butter for the years to come.
Inventors must always have a firm grasp of the things they want to do. That is why it is crucial that once you have a concept in mind, you do your best to take that idea further. You must understand that just because you thought of something great does not mean that you were the first to do so. That is why research is the first thing you have to do. This is pretty basic. For instance, you can simply look it up online to see if there are any matches. You can also look at those big retail stores to see if they are carrying any products that may seem similar to the one you have in mind. Finally, you have to check with the patent office if there is an existing patent on that particular idea. If everything checks out, then you can go ahead and develop it further. If not, then do not be discouraged. It just means that your mind was on the right track. That being said, it is just a matter of time before another brilliant idea comes along. So just keep doing what you’re doing.