- Measuring the distance 5. Expanding the function
- Multiple differences 6. To smell pleasant
- Easy to use 7. An ancient mail
- An important vegetable 8. A mistake in the origin
A. The Babylonians invented their number system in the second millennium B.C., and it still affects us. They created a system where one column indicated multiples of 1, one column indicated multiples of 60, and one column indicated multiples of 3,600. Since the system was not difficult to calculate, it was applied to the concept of time, giving us 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute.
B. Even though they were responsible for a number of great works like the Great Pyramids, the Egyptians also developed the first breath mints, the prototype of a modern chewing gum. Faced with the odor resulting from bacterial growth and tooth decay they mixed various ingredients, including frankincense and cinnamon, which were then boiled in honey and shaped.
C. While many people incorrectly attribute the invention of the parachute to Leonardo da Vinci, it was actually the ancient Chinese who came up with this idea. The stories talk about Chinese acrobats who were using parachute-like equipment to entertain the nobility more than 1,700 years before da Vinci’s supposed “invention.”
D. Even though the Aztecs didn’t technically invent popcorn, it played a large role in Aztec culture and was one of the key components in their society. The Aztecs often used it to make necklaces or headdresses, and it was commonly used to decorate religious statues. The later introduction of popcorn to the world was the result of the Spanish invasion.
E. The odometer, a measurement tool for travelling, is believed to be invented by an ancient Roman named Vitruvius. He explained how a wheel with teeth would be turned by a gear attached to the main wheel and a stone would be dropped into a box, indicating a Roman mile. He called this idea an odometer, the derivation from the Greek words for “way” and “measure.”
F. Assyria, a major Semitic civilization, was responsible for the creation of the first postal service in the world. Most likely created sometime in the ninth century B.C., the postal service utilized mules in order to transport letters between cities. Certain letters would even be sent with voice messengers to ensure that the tone of the writer’s words came across correctly.
G. Since the hourglass was one of the few reliable methods of measuring time at sea, it was in use from early Middle Ages. During the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan around the globe, his vessels kept 18 hourglasses per ship. However, from the 15th century they were already used not only at sea, but also in the church, in industry and in cooking.