History of Technology 5: Introduction to Health and Household Technologies

There are a bunch of health and household technologies to learn about, so buckle up as we introduce you to some of our favorites. Incidentally, the buckle is not one of our favorites. Sorry, buckle. Better luck next time.

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TechnologyHistory of Technology

Transcript

00:24

eyeglasses and toilets, yep a toilet less world that's what we'd be in folks. We

00:28

hope nose plugs exist in that world, yikes.

00:31

All right well in previous units we've talked about the big guys the atom bomb,

00:34

the steam engine, the airplane, electricity, all those colossal

00:38

inventions. That change the courses of wars, connected distant parts of the

00:42

globe and remade the nature of human energy use. [solar panels] Well they deserve their stars

00:47

on the Walk of Fame, but this unit isn't about the headliners. It's more about the

00:51

small indie band that never made it to the big time even though they totally

00:55

influenced music. We're talking about the little everyday technologies that

01:00

individuals rely on ovens, eyeglasses, soap, vaccines, vacuums and all the stuff [technologies playing instruments]

01:07

in between. In other words it's about how humans have lived, how they built their

01:13

homes, cooked, cleaned, dressed, and generally stayed healthy. It's about how

01:17

technology has changed the way we think about everything from hygiene to

01:20

nutrition to comfort. Well let's do a quick review of all the major topics

01:24

will be getting cozy with, like domestic technologies. These are the kinds of

01:28

technologies that everybody forgets about but have actually made big[man in kitchen cooking]

01:31

differences in our lives. They affect how we prepare our food, improve our health,

01:35

make our clothes and live our lives. You know the little stuff. And how about food

01:39

preservation? Well it's one of the earliest technologies that made human

01:43

life way more awesome and yeah that's the technical term we're going with way

01:46

more awesome W.M.A. All right well techniques like

01:50

fermentation, smoking, salting and just plain old cooking, helped humans save their [caveman couple cooking]

01:54

food and probably made it taste better. Sorry raw diet folks but it's true.

01:59

Industrialization dramatically changed the way we keep and prepare food.

02:02

Pasteurization preserved dairy products and chemical preservatives and factories

02:07

canning have made it possible for a can of peaches to survive the apocalypse.

02:11

Which is why we've built our bomb shelter inside a can of peaches,

02:15

brilliant right? Well cloth and clothing are pretty essential to human cultures[runway model]

02:19

as well. Early clothing was animal-based as in leather, wool and silk. But cotton

02:24

eventually came to dominate the world's cloth production. Let's show our t-shirts

02:29

some respect and be grateful we're not wearing a bearskin. Whoo! Once we got

02:33

industrialized, though, new synthetic materials got popular. Well most of them

02:38

were petroleum products, plastic, nylon, polyester anyone? None of these things

02:43

grow naturally in the wild folks. Human health has also been at the heart of

02:46

some of the most important technological developments. From early sewers and

02:50

plumbing to the microscope and vaccinations. But more recently we're[lab engineering]

02:54

heading into the exciting and slightly scary territory of bioengineering and

02:58

cloning. And eventually a massive clone army will create an interstellar Empire.[star wars soldiers, Yoda, and George Lucas]

03:03

Exactly as George Lucas hath foretold. All right well housing and building

03:08

materials have come a long way too. We started in caves and now hang out and

03:11

structures of concrete, bricks, plaster and glass. Turns out living in fancy

03:17

homes has also changed humans culturally. Instead of just making it a little

03:21

warmer in the winter. As a side note this unit is also about how much we do not[mother and son]

03:25

want to live in the Middle Ages, no matter how much we like Lord of the

03:28

Rings and Game of Thrones. Two words, chamber pots. Yeah, now a few more words,

03:33

unclean water supplies, rampant infectious disease and a belief that

03:37

taking a shower might kill us nasty[dirty man and dog in crumbling castle]