By G.P. Avants
I can only imagine that growing up in the 21st Century one would think this was the Age of Technology. And it is. We have seen an amazing advancement in all sorts of scientific discoveries, electronic devices, communications fields branching into social media, health breakthroughs, etc. But we aren’t the only century to see an explosion of inventive ideas happen almost overnight.
The 1800s were also called The Age of Technology or as history records it, The Industrial Revolution. It was stated that more inventions that we commonly use today were birthed almost two hundred years ago. In this scene from Chonolocity: A Fistful of Chronotons, Levy has a discussion with Annie Oakley who was also born in 1850 right smack dab in the middle of an inventor’s paradise. She unexpectedly becomes a friend during his time of quarantine via the think bathroom wall separating them. Through Morse Code Levy is reminded who his is talking to and what a marvelous age of inventing from which she came.
Levy plops down next to the cold toilet. Why am I doing this? Levy rubs his face in slow circles. This is crazy.
“I L-I-V-E I-N A-N A-G-E O-F A-U-T-O-M-A-T-I-O-N, A-N-D T-E-C-H-N- O-L-O-G-Y .”
Just almost two hundred years before me. Yeah, the 1800’s. A lot of inventions came out of that century. In a flash, Brainiac recalls why the late 1800’s were called the Industrial Revolution. It makes sense that she would consider her time to be the peak of mechanical creation.
That would be something… to see where it all started. To meet the people who first had the ideas that would evolve into our modern technologies.
Think about some of the inventions from that time: 1800: Electric battery: Alessandro Volta
1802: Gas stove: Zachaus Andreas Winzler
1804: Locomotive: Richard Trevithick
1805: Submarine: Robert Fulton
1812: Metronome: Dietrich Nickolaus Winkel 1816: Miner’s safety lamp: Humphrey Davy 1821: Electric motor: Michael Faraday
1823: Electromagnet: William Sturgeon
1826: Photography: Joseph Niepce
1826: Internal combustion engine: Samuel Morey 1825: Insulated wire: Joseph Henry
1830: Lawn mower: Edwin Beard Budding
Levy chuckles at the mnemonic he used to remember the last one’s name. Trim that budding beard, Edwin, with your lawnmower.
The list pings around in his head: telegraph, refrigerator, revolver, of course Samuel Morse with Morse Code, the camera zoom lens, typewriter, telephone, ice cream maker, fax machine—crazy to think it was invented way back in 1843—tires, and so many others. The list would also eventually include the first incandescent light bulb.
I just had the weirdest thought. In light of all of this time traveling going on, I wonder why we had such an explosion of inventions during the 1800’s. It would be weird if someone or some people went back in time and had introduced ideas to folks in the past.
Scary. Very much like Mr. Cross.
Yes, that is an interesting hypothesis.
I am sure that’s not what happened, but sometimes I wonder. When you mess with history, anything is possible.
Edison wants so much to steal ideas from my time, but it’s definitely not going to happen if he keeps teasing me about Annie and I pound him silly. Levy sits up and processes that. Wait, that’s a plus, right? Maybe this solves one of my nagging fears.
Even if you don’t talk to him that kid is watching every little thing you do. You can see him processing.
Levy holds his head. He stops the extensive list of inventions, which seems to go on forever. A hundred years’ worth. Gawww.
“Oh, my gawww.” Thoughts pour through his head. Levy has been studying machines
and inventions since he was five. Why hadn’t I connected the dots before? What an amazing age Annie comes from. She understands how this all works. Maybe how I work. She knows how to speak my language.
Oh yeah, what is that quote that Dad and I always joke about? Some man from the end of the 1880’s said: ‘Everything that can be invented has been invented.’
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner U.S. Patent Office 1899.
Thank you, Brainiac.