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The Four Ages of Technology

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By Arinze Okigbo


For the longest time, technology has existed and has aided the evolution and development of humanity. There are four ages of technology, listed in order below:


1.The Premechanical Age: 3000 B.C.- 1450 A.D.
2.The Mechanical Age: 1450 – 1840.
3.The Electromechanical Age: 1840 – 1940.
4.The Electronic Age: 1940 – Present.

The Premechanical Age: 3000 B.C.- 1450 A.D

This age is the earliest age of information technology. In this age, human first started communicating using petroglyphs- drawings on the wall of caves, and through the oral form of the Sumerian language. Soon after, the Romans gave letters Latin names to create the present-day alphabet.
They used petroglyphs to either tell a story, keep accounts on how many animals they owned, to map their terrain, etc.
This age affected how we read, write, and speak today.

The Mechanical Age: 1450 – 1840

This age is the time that there was an increase in interest in information and computation. During this time a lot of new technologies where developed. For example, the slide ruler- an analog computer that was used for mathematical operations like division and multiplication.


The Victorians usmechanisation of the cotton industry, the invention of the steam engine.


The cotton industry mechanization and the invention of the steam engine by the Victorians are emblematic of nineteenth-century economic progress.


During this time, humans started making considerable advances in the technology field like the invention of the car, the typewriter, the spectroscope which was used for the chemical analysis of glowing objects, and so many more. This is also the period that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity in 1759.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840 – 1940

This century was the beginnings of telecommunications. During this time, the telegraph was created by Samuel F.J. Morse, and Abraham Graham Bell made the telephone.


During this time, The Voltaic Battery was created which is made of a chemical known as Volta, and it is credited as the first electrochemical cell.


The Comptometer, which was a mechanical (or electromechanical) adding machine, was created.


The Vacuum tube was developed by Lee De Forest which provided electricity controlled by a switch, and many more notable inventions.


The Electronic Age: 1940 – Present

Last but not least, we have our present age. Since this is our current age, I will list some of the unique technologies of our generation. As the age’s name implies, this is a period where most inventions run on electricity so, some notable innovations of this age are, GSM/Mobile phone, the Internet, digital cameras, electric cars, space rockets, television, solar panels, etc.

Here is a list of notable technologies invented or discovered since every decade in this age till date. They are:

1800’s – Battery
1810’s – Miner’s Lamp
1820’s – Mackintosh (raincoat)
1830’s – Electric Dynamo
1840’s – Facsimile
1850’s – Gyroscope
1860’s – Typewriter
1870’s – Cylinder Phonograph
1880’s – Seismograph
1890’s – Carborundum
1900’s – Zeppelin
1910’s – Morgan Gas Mask
1920’s – Band-Aid
1930’s – Jet Engine
1940’s – Atom Bomb
1950’s – Fortran (Computer Language)
1960’s – Mouse (Computer)
1970’s – Intel 4004
1980’s – Apple MacIntosh
1990’s – World Wide Web
2000’s – Bluetooth
2010’s – Drones

About the Author

Arinze Okigbo is a 15-year-old tech-enthusiast. He writes about tech and how it can help Africa. Check out his website at Arinze’s World of Tech


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