Happy Labor Day! - The Brilliance Mine

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day to you and yours!

This year, Labor Day is celebrating its 128th anniversary, i.e., Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894. The first Labor Day happened twelve years before then, in 1982, in New York City. Labor Day recognizes the many contributions the American worker makes to our society.

Some Fun Ponderings About How Our Lives Has Changed Since Then

Labor conditions – and many aspects of life – have changed drastically over that 128-year span. We take for granted things that even the wealthiest people could not have imagined 128 years ago.

When you look at the timeline of the history of technology inventions, it is eye-opening:

Technological inventions that occurred before the first Labor Day in 1882:

  • 3.3 million years ago: The first tools
  • 1 million years ago: Fire
  • 20,000 to 15,000 years ago: Neolithic Revolution (agriculture began, clay pots, clothing made from fabric, the invention of the wheel)
  • 6000 BCE: Irrigation
  • 4000 BCE: Sailing
  • 1200 BCE: Iron
  • 850 CE: Gunpowder
  • 950: Windmill
  • 1044: Compass
  • 1250–1300: Mechanical clock
  • 1455: Printing (The bible was the first printed book. Gutenberg’s printing press led to an information explosion in Europe.)
  • 1765: Steam engine (one of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution)
  • 1804: Railways
  • 1807: Steamboat
  • 1826/27: Photography
  • 1831: Reaper (mechanically harvesting of crops)
  • 1844: Telegraph (Morse code)
  • 1876: Telephone (voice communication) and Internal-combustion engine
  • 1879: Electric light

Look at how the pace of inventions has sped up.

Technological inventions that happened after the first Labor Day:

  • 1885: Automobile
  • 1901: Radio
  • 1903: Airplane
  • 1926: Rocketry
  • 1927: Television
  • 1937: Computer
  • 1942: Nuclear power
  • 1947: Transistor
  • 1957: Spaceflight
  • 1974: Personal computer
  • 1974: Internet
  • 2012: CRISPR (method for editing genes, i.e., making changes to DNA sequences. CRISPR has the potential to treat many diseases, but it also leads to the controversy about whether we will create designer humans)
  • 2017: Artificial intelligence

Britannica’s list of historic technology inventions cuts off at 2017, and off course, it can’t list all the inventions that have impacted our lives. The Microwave? The Smartphone?! The gluttony of apps that allow us to do so many different things? Social media? The list goes on.

Three Conclusions

  • There is a vast number of innovations that have completely changed our lives over the past 128 years since Labor day was first made an official federal holiday.
  • The modern pace of creating new innovations is way faster than was historically the case.
  • It makes me wonder what life will look like in another 128 years from now… the year 2150.

Today, I wish you a fantastic time! Enjoy your day off!

I’m Curious

How will you enjoy your Labor Day?

Live Brilliantly,

Dr. Stephie

P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this Brilliance Nugget with others. Thank you!

Stephie Althouse

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