Gadgets and Style

What is Technology?


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A selection of gadgets both traditional and modern : Cutlery Set, Electrical Carving Knife, Egg Boiler and I-Pod MP3 Player
A selection of modern tools and gadgets from John Lewis Stores (2004)

From cave dwellers to inhabitants of country cottages or modern houses, people have been on a never-ending search to develop devices to make their homes more comfortable. However, most of the items we use today - from fridges to phones to flat packed furniture - were only invented, or became common, in the last century.

Household Items from 1949
Household items (1949) -
click to enlarge

Technology is the science and art of making things. Human beings use the materials of the natural world to make tools, machines and systems that help them live. Other animals can make things and use primitive tools, but the way they do this hardly ever changes. Modern houses look nothing like homes from fifty years ago. Yet birds’ nests look exactly the same as they did thousands of years ago.

Over the last few hundred years, scientists have found out why materials behave the way they do. Old materials have been improved, new materials invented, and science and mathematics used to create clothes, furniture, food, building materials, and … a list of things which would fill a library.

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