The past powers the future. It is therefore important to understand the past if one needs to prepare for a brighter and promising future. We must know about the history of our country, our cultures, and our evolution as a human race. To explore the latter, there is no better way than to understand when important discoveries made their debuts, where they were made, and how the inventors went about sharing their valuable discoveries with the world.
In this context, it is interesting to note that many of the day-to-day inventions and global landmarks that are world-renowned today actually made their debut during previous editions of World Expos.
Since the mid-nineteenth century, World Expos have been regularly organised and have brought to the world the most recent technical, intellectual, and scientific advancements that have benefited mankind for centuries.
As Dubai celebrates another edition of this international event, have a look at some of the most promising discoveries that you probably didn’t know were first shown to the world at one or the other edition of World Expo.
Constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Gustave Eiffel’s creation, which took two years, two months, and five days to build, was the tallest tower in the world at that time. As impressive as it was for the world of engineering, the builders expected it to live for only 20 years. Clearly defying those predictions, the Eiffel Tower is still one of the world’s most iconic constructs. Interestingly, when it was inaugurated during the World Expo in Paris, the Eiffel Tower had over 12,000 visitors each day.
The 1876 World Expo was held in Philadelphia, the first World Expo to be held in America. This event attracted 10 million visitors, one fifth of the total world population at the time. It was during this Expo that Alexander Graham Bell revealed the telephone to a skeptical group of audience members. Who would have thought the Expo would be the debuting ground for one of the world’s most important discoveries of all time? Telephones gradually changed the course of the communications industry from there.
Another device that we cannot imagine our lives without, television, made its Expo debut as well. Showcased at the 1939 World Expo in New York City, the television, invented by Philo Taylor Farnsworth in 1927, was displayed to a disbelieving audience. There, the first live TV broadcast in history was made, with an opening address for the event delivered by President Franklin Roosevelt and broadcast by NBC to homes all across the country for the first time. At the Expo, the television was also available for purchase, costing only $40. The colour counterpart of the device later made its debut at World Expo 1964.
The 1901 Buffalo Expo was rather a memorable one for more than one reason. Apart from the assassination of the American President McKinley, the Expo was the one that introduced the X-Ray machine to the world. Invented by Thomas Edison, the X-Ray machine caught the attention of the visitors. As you all know by now, technology has allowed medical practitioners over the years to look inside the human body without any need for cuts or wounds. Broken bones, sure, are a lot less painful now, thanks to the X-Ray machine that made its grand debut at this World Expo.
Last and the most interesting, rather sumptuous, of all is Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The red sauce, made by an American company, made its debut at the 1876 World Expo in Philadelphia and gradually became synonymous with ketchup. Did you ever think that the ketchup that you use was actually introduced to the world during an Expo?
Are there any other inventions you know of? Share with us what you feel has been the most important contribution of the World Expos to mankind thus far.
All images used are publicly sourced and available elsewhere on the internet.
READ – Dubai Expo 2020: All you need to know about the global event that is catalysing growth for businesses
Take a deep dive into everything that went into and continues to make Dubai Expo 2020 the world’s largest show to date.
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