In the early 1400’s, the clever son of a well to do merchant spent his youth in and around the church, watching diligent monks spend countless hours handwriting copies of the Bible. He was convinced there had to be a better way to do this.

This clever young man happened to also know goldsmithing. His initiative combined with his skills led Johannes Gutenberg to invent the plated printing press.

And printing Bibles became much, much easier. Sample from the 1455 parchment edition of the Gutenburg Bible In 1712, a miner ran into a problem with an old coal mine.

They had dug so deep, that water was filling the mine faster than the livestock could pump it out. He began to explore ways to pump the water out faster.

After some experimentation, he replaced the animals with a piston pump that was powered by boiling water beneath it. Thomas Newcomen is now considered the father of the mechanical engine. Read more from forbes.com…

thumbnail courtesy of forbes.com