"Invented" redirects here. For other uses, see Invention (disambiguation).
Further information on inventions throughout history: Timeline of historic inventions
An invention is a unique or noveldevice, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough. Such works are novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. An inventor may be taking a big step in success or failure.
Some inventions can be patented. A patent legally protects the intellectual property rights of the inventor and legally recognizes that a claimed invention is actually an invention. The rules and requirements for patenting an invention vary from country to country and the process of obtaining a patent is often expensive.
Another meaning of invention is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social behaviours adopted by people and passed on to others. The Institute for Social Inventions collected many such ideas in magazines and books. Invention is also an important component of artistic and design creativity. Inventions often extend the boundaries of human knowledge, experience or capability.
Three areas of invention
Inventions are of three kinds: scientific-technological (including medicine), sociopolitical (including economics and law), and humanistic, or cultural.
Scientific-technological inventions include railroads, aviation, vaccination, hybridization, antibiotics, astronautics, holography,the atomic bomb, computing, the Internet, and the smartphone.
Sociopolitical inventions comprise new laws, institutions, and procedures that change modes of social behavior and establish new forms of human interaction and organization. Examples include the British Parliament, the US Constitution, the Manchester (UK) General Union of Trades, the Boy Scouts, the Red Cross, the Olympic Games, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as movements such as socialism, Zionism, suffragism, feminism, and animal-rights veganism.
Humanistic inventions encompass culture in its entirety and are as transformative and important as any in the sciences, although people tend to take them for granted. In the domain of linguistics, for example, many alphabets have been inventions, as are all neologisms (Shakespeare invented about 1,700 words). Literary inventions include the epic, tragedy, comedy, the novel, the sonnet, the Renaissance, neoclassicism, Romanticism, Symbolism, Aestheticism, Socialist Realism, Surrealism, postmodernism, and (according to Freud) psychoanalysis. Among the inventions of artists and musicians are oil painting, printmaking, photography, cinema, musical tonality, atonality, jazz, rock, opera, and the symphony orchestra. Philosophers have invented logic (several times), dialectics, idealism, materialism, utopia, anarchism, semiotics, phenomenology, behaviorism, positivism, pragmatism, and deconstruction. Religious thinkers are responsible for such inventions as monotheism, pantheism, Methodism, Mormonism, iconoclasm, puritanism, deism, secularism, ecumenism, and Baha’i. Some of these disciplines, genres, and trends may seem to have existed eternally or to have emerged spontaneously of their own accord, but most of them have had inventors. 
Process of invention
Practical means of invention
Idea for an Invention may be developed on paper or on a computer, by writing or drawing, by trial and error, by making models, by experimenting, by testing and/or by making the invention in its whole form. Brainstorming also can spark new ideas for an invention. Collaborative creative processes are frequently used by engineers, designers, architects and scientists. Co-inventors are frequently named on patents.
In addition, many inventors keep records of their working process - notebooks, photos, etc., including Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Evangelista Torricelli, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.
In the process of developing an invention, the initial idea may change. The invention may become simpler, more practical, it may expand, or it may even morph into something totally different. Working on one invention can lead to others too.
History shows that turning the concept of an invention into a working device is not always swift or direct. Inventions may also become more useful after time passes and other changes occur. For example, the parachute became more useful once powered flight was a reality.
Invention is often a creative process. An open and curious mind allows an inventor to see beyond what is known. Seeing a new possibility, connection or relationship can spark an invention. Inventive thinking frequently involves combining concepts or elements from different realms that would not normally be put together. Sometimes inventors disregard the boundaries between distinctly separate territories or fields. Several concepts may be considered when thinking about invention.
Play may lead to invention. Childhood curiosity, experimentation, and imagination can develop one's play instinct. Inventors feel the need to play with things that interest them, and to explore, and this internal drive brings about novel creations.
Sometimes inventions and ideas may seem to arise spontaneously while daydreaming, especially when the mind is free from its usual concerns. For example, both J. K. Rowling (the creator of Harry Potter) and Frank Hornby (the inventor of Meccano) first had their ideas while on train journeys.
In contrast, the successful aerospace engineer Max Munk advocated "aimful thinking".
To invent is to see anew. Inventors often envision a new idea, seeing it in their mind's eye. New ideas can arise when the conscious mind turns away from the subject or problem when the inventor's focus is on something else, or while relaxing or sleeping. A novel idea may come in a flash—a Eureka! moment. For example, after years of working to figure out the general theory of relativity, the solution came to Einstein suddenly in a dream "like a giant die making an indelible impress, a huge map of the universe outlined itself in one clear vision". Inventions can also be accidental, such as in the case of polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon).
Insight can also be a vital element of invention. Such inventive insight may begin with questions, doubt or a hunch. It may begin by recognizing that something unusual or accidental may be useful or that it could open a new avenue for exploration. For example, the odd metallic color of plastic made by accidentally adding a thousand times too much catalyst led scientists to explore its metal-like properties, inventing electrically conductive plastic and light emitting plastic-—an invention that won the Nobel Prize in 2000 and has led to innovative lighting, display screens, wallpaper and much more (see conductive polymer, and organic light-emitting diode or OLED).
Invention is often an exploratory process with an uncertain or unknown outcome. There are failures as well as successes. Inspiration can start the process, but no matter how complete the initial idea, inventions typically must be developed.
Inventors may, for example, try to improve something by making it more effective, healthier, faster, more efficient, easier to use, serve more purposes, longer lasting, cheaper, more ecologically friendly, or aesthetically different, lighter weight, more ergonomic, structurally different, with new light or color properties, etc.
In economic theory, inventions are one of the chief examples of "positive externalities", a beneficial side-effect that falls on those outside a transaction or activity. One of the central concepts of economics is that externalities should be internalized—unless some of the benefits of this positive externality can be captured by the parties, the parties are under-rewarded for their inventions, and systematic under-rewarding leads to under-investment in activities that lead to inventions. The patent system captures those positive externalities for the inventor or other patent owner so that the economy as a whole invests an optimum amount of resources in the invention process.
Invention vs. innovation
Main article: Innovation
In the social sciences, an innovation is something that is new, better and has been adopted and proven to create positive value. This is a key distinction from an invention which may not create positive value but furthers progress in a given area of development. The theory for adoption of an innovation, called diffusion of innovations, considers the likelihood that an innovation is adopted and the taxonomy of persons likely to adopt it or spur its adoption. This theory was first put forth by Everett Rogers.Gabriel Tarde also dealt with the adoption of innovations in his Laws of Imitation.
Purposes of invention
An invention can serve many purposes, and does not necessarily create positive value. These purposes might differ significantly and may change over time. An invention or its development may serve purposes never envisioned by its inventors. Plastic is a good example.
Invention as defined by patent law
See also: Patentability
The term invention is also an important legal concept and central to patent law systems worldwide. As is often the case for legal concepts, its legal meaning is slightly different from common usage of the word. Additionally, the legal concept of invention is quite different in American and European patent law.
In Europe, the first test a patent application must pass is, "Is this an invention?" If it is, subsequent questions are whether it is new and sufficiently inventive. The implication—counter-intuitively—is that a legal invention is not inherently novel. Whether a patent application relates to an invention is governed by Article 52 of the European Patent Convention, that excludes, e.g., discoveries as such and software as such. The EPO Boards of Appeal decided that the technical character of an application is decisive for it to represent an invention, following an age-old Italians and German tradition. British courts don't agree with this interpretation. Following a 1959 Australian decision ("NRDC"), they believe that it is not possible to grasp the invention concept in a single rule. A British court once stated that the technical character test implies a "...restatement of the problem in more imprecise terminology."
In the United States, all patent applications are considered inventions. The statute explicitly says that the American invention concept includes discoveries (35 USC § 100(a)), contrary to the European invention concept. The European invention concept corresponds to the American "patentable subject matter" concept: the first test a patent application is submitted to. While the statute (35 USC § 101) virtually poses no limits to patenting whatsoever, courts have decided in binding precedents that abstract ideas, natural phenomena and laws of nature are not patentable. Various attempts were made to substantiate the "abstract idea" test, which suffers from abstractness itself, but eventually, none of them was successful. The last attempt so far was the "machine or transformation" test, but the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2010 that it is merely an indication at best.
Invention in the arts
Invention has a long and important history in the arts. Inventive thinking has always played a vital role in the creative process. While some inventions in the arts are patentable, others are not because they cannot fulfill the strict requirements governments have established for granting them. (see patent).
Some inventions in art include the:
Likewise, Jackson Pollock invented an entirely new form of painting and a new kind of abstraction by dripping, pouring, splashing and splattering paint onto un-stretched canvas lying on the floor.
Inventive tools of the artist's trade also produced advances in creativity. Impressionist painting became possible because of newly invented collapsible, resealable metal paint tubes that facilitated spontaneous painting outdoors. Inventions originally created in the form of artwork can also develop other uses, i.e., Alexander Calder's mobile, which is now commonly used over babies' cribs. Funds generated from patents on inventions in art, design and architecture can support the realization of the invention or other creative work. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's 1879 design patent on the Statue of Liberty helped fund the famous statue because it covered small replicas, including those sold as souvenirs.
The Timeline for invention in the arts lists the most notable artistic inventors
- ^Artificial Mythologies: A Guide to Cultural Invention by Craig J. Saper (1997); Review of Artificial Mythologies. A Guide to cultural Invention, Kirsten Ostherr (1998)
- ^Nicholas Albery, Matthew Mezey, Mary McHugh and Marie Papworth (editors). "Best Ideas: A Compendium of Social Inventions". The Institute for Social Inventions, London, 1995.
- ^Mikhail Epstein. Inventive Thinking in the Humanities. Common Knowledge (Duke UP), Winter 2017, Vol.23, No. 1: 1-18
- ^The Inventor's Notebook by Fred Grissom and David Pressman (2005)
- ^Leonardo da Vinci: Artist, Scientist, Inventor by Simona Cremante (2005)
- ^"Jefferson's Papers at the Library of Congress". Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- ^about Albert Einstein[dead link]
- ^"Continuation Patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Offices". Uspto.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- ^White, Lynn: The Invention of the Parachute, Technology and Culture, Vol. 9, Nremante (2005)
- ^ ab"Lemelson Centers Invention at Play : Inventors Stories". Inventionatplay.org. Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^Juice: The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors (2004), p.14-15 by Evan I. Schwartz.
- ^Claxton, Guy. "Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why intelligence increases when you think less". Fourth Estate, London, 1997.
- ^Smith, Sean. "J. K. Rowling: A Biography." Michael O'Mara Books Limited, 2001.
- ^Jack, Ian. "Before the Oil Ran Out: Britain 1977-87". Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, 1987.
- ^"Engines of our Ingenuity No. 1990: Max Munk". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- ^Einstein: A Life by Denis Brian p.159 (1996)
- ^Nobelprize.org, The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000Archived October 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition by Everett Rogers (2003)
- ^"ciadvertising.org". ciadvertising.org. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^Les lois de l'imitation Gabriel Tarde (1890)
- ^"Explore invention at the Lemelson Center :: Smithsonian Lemelson Center". Invention.smithsonian.org. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^Talk of the Nation (2004-12-24). "Exploring the Process of Inventing". NPR. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^Archived January 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^"United States Patent and Trademark Office". Uspto.gov. 1994-12-01. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^"Glossary". Uspto.gov. 2004-08-22. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- ^"at Directnic". Packagingtoday.com. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^"Plastic Materials (Aar - ACN)". Ides.com. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^"Plastipedia: The Plastics Encyclopedia - Plastics Processes". Bpf.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^"The Plastics Historical Society - Home". Plastiquarian.com. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- ^Archived September 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi by Howard Gardner (1993)
- ^Encyclopedia.com and Muybridge
- ^"Eadweard Muybridge (British photographer) - Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. 1904-05-08. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- ^1879, F. Auguste Bartholdi U.S. Patent D11,023
- Asimov, Isaac. Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery, Harper & Row, 1989. ISBN 0-06-015612-0
- De Bono, Edward, "Eureka! An Illustrated History of Inventions from the Wheel to the Computer", Thames & Hudson, 1974.
- Cameron, Julia, Cameron, Julia, The Artists' Way
- Fuller, Edmund, Tinkers and Genius: The Story of the Yankee Inventors. New York: Hastings House, 1955.
- Gowlett, John. Ascent to Civilization, McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992. ISBN 0-07-544312-0
- Meyer, Jerome S. Great Inventions. New York: Pocket Books, 1956.
- Platt, Richard, "Eureka!: Great Inventions and How They Happened", 2003.
- Patenting Art and Entertainment by Gregory Aharonian and Richard Stim (2004)
|Look up invention in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Post your essay. Get expert feedback. For free.We're trying to help students improve their writing the hard way. Do you know students who want critical essay reviews from a professor of English Literature? Click like to share. Click here to sign up and post your own essay. We offer no paid services. All reviews are completely free.
Greatest Invention Of All Time: The Computer - With A Free Essay Review
It is evident how life has changed since technology has been introduced in the human life. When we think about technology mostly the first thing that comes to our mind is the image of a computer. Technological advancements such as computers have been designed and created with the only purpose to help humans and make their lives easier. Computers have become indispensable in any workplace where they are basically considered a compliment for people to help them on developing their activities. In fact, computers are the greatest invention of all time because they have multi-tasking features that can minimize your work, they can display and let you manipulate stored information, and they are used in almost all fields for any purpose.
First of all computers have multi-tasking features that can minimize the work you have to do. The cheapest or even oldest computer has at least the basic tasks such as mathematic operations and word processing that help you when you need to reduce your time on doing something. For example, computers avoid you having to calculate any result on doing math, the only thing you must do is to type the information needed and your work is done. According to Sam Ewing, Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork. But it is not just the work you do or the time it takes; it also saves you money in some way.
Secondly, computers can display and let you manipulate stored information. In other words, you dont need to use paper in order to store any information on shelves. You dont even have to rewrite a whole paper because you did a mistake or you have to add more information to the written form. You can have as many files as you can in your computer and organize them the way you like it without having to use any extra material or space. As Bill Gates said, Paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online, and when I go to a meeting and want to jot things down, I bring my Tablet PC. Computers are becoming easier to carry and they can be used anywhere you need them.
Finally, computers are used in almost all fields for any purpose such as entertainment, education, and any type of job. For example, you can use computers to play videogames, watch movies, listen to music or chat on the internet for entertainment. In education or any job you can use them for videoconferences, PowerPoint presentations or just using their basic features discussed in the first point. Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living, Nicholas Negroponte said. So, computers have become a powerful tool used in several activity people do in their school, house or workplace.
Therefore computers are the greatest invention of all time because they reduce your time consumption on your activities, you can save your information and edit it anytime, and they let you do almost everything you need. Computers have become the most powerful tool ever created. They are tools of entertainment, tools of communication, and tools of education that can save you money, time and materials. You can have all your information organized in one place and dispose of it at the moment you need. No wonder why people fear technology if it is about to replace some of them in their workplace.
This is a nice paean to the computer, but the essay doesn't prove that the computer is the greatest invention of all time so much as it proves that the computer is a great invention. If you want to complete the argument, then I think you need to compare the computer with other contenders for the title you want to bestow here. The difficulty of course would be in deciding what to compare it to, and how. Presumably "sliced bread" doesn't cut it, but what about: the wheel, the pen, the plough, the sword, the printing press, the steam engine, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, the internet (if that's an "invention") and so on.
What you need to do, I think, instead of just creating a list of wonderful things about the computer, is to adopt a historical perspective, and make a historical argument: think of the place of several inventions in the history of human progress. What did the printing press make possible for instance in the early modern period of European history? What did the steam engine make possible in the history of industrialization? And so on. If you can make an argument that the computer is the most important invention in terms of what it makes possible in general for human progress, as compared to what other inventions have made possible, you will have a much more compelling argument for why it should be considered the greatest invention ever.
P.S. The final sentence is a bit of an anticlimax, I think. If you want to argue that the computer is the greatest invention ever, perhaps the right way to put it would be to say that computer will liberate us from work, instead of just taking our jobs. One day these reviews, for instance, will be written by a computer, and I'll be able focus on Barcelona's annihilation of Bayer Leverkusen.
Submitted by: jhonattan.perez