The magic washing machine

My grandmother was born in the early 1900s. She was probably at least 80 years old when I realized that she had seen almost all of what we consider to be the major inventions of our times enter the mainstream: cars, plastic, airplane travel, penicillin, TV, refrigerators, consumer electronics, computers, mobile phones, and on and on and on.

I asked her what she considered to be the most significant technological breakthrough. She didn’t hesitate at all, and I remember being surprised by her answer: the washing machine.

This TED talk by the always enlightening and entertaining Hans Rosling reminded me of this since it supports her opinion:

Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine

I do wonder what my answer to that same question will be, 50 years from now.