Read the example essay on the following page to complete this exercise.
Humans see problems and immediately start thinking of ways to fix them in the community, at work, at school, and at home by creating a new tool or technology. For example, microwaves were invented to heat food quickly, calendars were made to keep track of time, and computers were developed to process and store data. Many inventions have completely changed our lifestyles, like the invention of electricity. Other inventions merely make life more convenient, like dishwashers and lint rollers. Some of the most impactful inventions of the nineteenth century that changed the way we live were the telephone, the bicycle, and plastic.
The telephone was an important invention because it enabled real-time communication with people in another location. Before the telephone, real-time communication was limited by location. People physically had to be in the same location in order to get an immediate answer to a question or quickly make plans with someone. Once the telephone was invented, that changed. This new possibility for real-time communication inspired other, more updated forms of communication that we use today. The telephone was an invention that influenced the way we communicate with people who are not physically with us by making real-time communication possible.
Another very important invention from the nineteenth century was the bicycle because it was a unique form of transportation available to anyone. Like the telephone, the bicycle saved time. Before the bicycle was invented, people walked to many of the places they needed to travel to because it was inexpensive. However, it takes a long time to walk long distances. There were other, more expensive types of transportation like horses (or wagons that were pulled by horses) or the train. The bicycle was different from these forms of transportation because it was inexpensive and available to everyone. After the bicycle was invented, people began thinking about how to make the bicycle move without the rider providing the energy, and other forms of transportation were invented, like the motorcycle. Bicycles were one large influence on transportation.
Finally, plastic was a revolutionary invention because it made certain products cheaper, but it also introduced a new attitude into society. Instead of selling something like soda in a glass bottle, many people started producing plastic bottles, which decreased the cost of many products. The low cost of many plastic products brought an interesting attitude with it; since it was so inexpensive, people began throwing them away instead of washing them. In recent years, many campaigns have been started to encourage people to reverse this new disposable attitude and recycle more. Plastic definitely changed the way many people live and the way many people think about living.
It is obvious that these three nineteenth-century inventions dramatically changed the way people lived. Those changes were so profound that they have endured, and many of us could not imagine life without them. That's what many inventions simply seem to do: change the way people live. Hopefully these changes are for the better. Modern lifestyles will continue to change as new problems arise and people invent things to solve them. It is hard at times to think about life without these modern tools like microwaves and calendars. One thing is certain; we aren't done inventing things yet! There are still future problems to solve and innovations to create.
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