While many people are fascinated by the history of Europe and it plays a big part in why so many people from around the world take the time to visit it year after year, few people may be aware of the sheer wealth of technological advancements Europe has introduced over the years. Whether it’s early man’s first use of fire or the development of the space shuttle, innovations have always been the major catalyst behind the success of mankind. Some of the following breakthroughs have been able to bring about immediate change while many other humbly laid the ground work for important developments further down the road. From inventions that have pioneered our way of life, to the more bold scientific advancements, find out more about the following European innovations that changed the course of human history.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics have helped to save the lives of millions by killing and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and are considered to be a giant step forward in the field of medicine. Scientists like Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister were among the first to recognise and attempt to combat bacteria, but it was actually Alexander Fleming who made the first leap in antibiotics when he accidentally discovered the bacteria-inhibiting mould as penicillin in 1928. Antibiotics have helped create major improvements in antiseptics which killed human cells along with bacteria.

The Printing Press

If you think back to the time before we had the internet, there was no way to easily distribute news before the introduction of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. Developed in 1440 in Mainz, Germany, the printing press allowed the spread of knowledge to many people across the country and wider world. Assembly lines allowed there to be multiple copies of books made at speed, as opposed to man having to write them out by hand. It benefited us to freely spread new ideas.

The Telegraph

The telegraph was the first in a very long line of communications breakthroughs that later included the radio, telephones and email.  It was pioneered by a variety of inventors in the 18th and 19th centuries and used Samuel Morse’s Morse code in order to convey messages by intermittently stopping the flow of electricity along communication wires. The ability to easily send messages rapidly across great distances made an immeasurable impact on the government, trade, banking, warfare and news media (among many others) and formed the bedrock of the information age.

The Steam Engine

From cars to airplanes, factories, trains, spacecraft- none of these forms of transportation and technology would have been possible if it were not for the early breakthrough of the steam engine. The first practical use of external combustion dates back to 1698 when Thomas Savery developed a steam powered water pump. Steam engines then went on to be perfected in the late 1700s by James Watt and helped to fuel the most momentous technological leaps in human history. The basic principle of energy in motion led to innovations like the internal combustion engines and jet turbines.

If you are interested in retracing the steps of some of the aforementioned individuals who have all hailed from Europe and have made our world a better, more efficient and safer place, then why not apply for an E111 renewal online and take off on a whirl-wind tour of some of the most fascinating areas of historical discovery?