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article imageVote for the best invention of all time

By Tim Sandle     Jun 11, 2017 in Lifestyle
London - English Heritage has recently conducted a poll of visitors to its historic places to find out what the greatest invention of all time is. There are some interesting selections, with the Internet and the humble tea bag among them.
The poll is more orientated towards fun rather than a serious critique of inventions, yet it gives a taster of what a section of the public today thinks is an important invention and something which makes a significant difference to their daily lives.
English Heritage is a charity tasked with managing England’s National Heritage Collection. This comprises over 400 of England's historic buildings, monuments and sites spanning more than 5,000 years of history. The poll is running to help publicize and exhibition for English Heritage's "Ingenious!" season. Here various innovative objects, including everything from Roman armor to a (then) state-of-the-art 1930s vacuum cleaner are on display.
Some of the findings, to date, are interesting, according to The Daily Express. From an historical perspective, the Victorian age (the time of the Industrial Revolution) is regarded by the public as the most inventive period in human history.
With individual inventions, the survey has put some interesting choices into the top 10. These included the wheel, the light bulb and the first antibiotic: penicillin. There were also some more unexpected additions, including the invention of the teabag. The teabag dates back to China, during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Here paper was folded and sewn into square bags, which was designed to preserve the flavor of tea. The first commercial teabags were hand-sewn fabric bags dating to 1903 (with larger production beginning in 1908, using a process devised by the American Thomas Sullivan). The commonplace rectangular teabag appeared first in 1944.
In a statement, Matt Thompson, head collections curator at English Heritage, explains how the results of the poll : "This summer, at our sites across the country, we're celebrating ingenuity through the ages and - from prehistoric axes to vintage vacuum cleaners - we're showcasing some of the most important inventions of all time.”
The curator adds: "History has been built on ingenious inventions, big and small, and it's fascinating today to hear what people find ingenious. The teabag was invented by accident but has stood the test of time."
There is still time to vote in the poll, via the English Heritage website.
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