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Technology in the Twentieth Century

Linda MacDonald
History 153
December 9, 2015

Linda MacDonald
Dr. Kimberly Lark
History 153
9 December 2015
Technology in American History
Technological advancements since the early 1900s have given America and the world a better
life. The early days were a struggle for mankind, but with these advances life has become
simpler, but more complex. While some prefer to still live the simple life with only the most
basis technologies in use, others have chosen to be fully on board and connected with the entire
universe. These advancements have helped shape me into who I am today. History has changed
my life forever.
Man has long relied on the food sources given to him to sustain life. The early days of food
preservation were primitive. These include salt curing, air drying, and storing food on ice in
sheds. "In 1913, refrigerators for home use were invented(Refrigerator)." No longer were the
days of hauling in ice from the lake or relying on an ice-making company. With this machine,
man no longer had to worry that all his food would spoil each day. It has provided a new way for
us to enjoy food year-round that is only available at certain times of the year. Fresher food
without all the additives used in some of the preservation processes, results in a more nutritious
food for man to eat. Refrigeration has prevented the spread of disease with the stabilization of
the food we eat.

The automobile has given us the freedom to travel to places in a few minutes or a few hours.
Man originally would walk, ride a horse, or take a train which could take days or weeks. The
automobile has expanded our work options, as well as where we vacation, or even where we
purchase our commodities. "It took Henry Ford to make the useful gadget accessible to the
American public.(The age of automobile )" With this invention, man has progressed from being
left behind to pulling ahead no matter what make or model you choose. The automobile has
given us the world to see.
"Technological changes brought dramatic new options to Americans living in the
1990s(Living in the Information Age). "The computer has advanced man with a wealth of
knowledge available at the click of a mouse or touch of a screen. From the early days of relying
on written material, to using encyclopedias, man can extend his knowledge base with the
computer and the internet. Younger people no longer rely on going to the library to do a research
paper or using the "Dewey Decimal Classification(Dewey)" system to find the information
needed. It has advanced how we store, retrieve, and apply information we receive today.4 The
latest movies and television shows can even be viewed on the computer. It is difficult to think
how we lived without this invention years ago. Even more difficult would be to see what would
happen if it were taken away and we advanced backward instead of forward.
These are just three examples of how America has progressed in the technological arena. The
advancements in technology have made me look back at my own life and how they have helped
me, help others. Without the use of the automobile, I would need to live in the city so that I
would be closer to my workplace. My nursing degree would be of no use to the numerous
patients I have taken care of in my thirty-three years of work if I would have not been able to
arrive at work. The computer has allowed me to give my knowledge to anyone no matter what

their level of learning or intelligence might be. From the simplest picture to giving an advanced
description, each individual is able to understand what I may be trying to teach them in an easy
to understand manner based on their leaning level. It is easy to pull up any language on the
computer to use if there is a language barrier to learning.
Many may not think that refrigeration technology may be something a nurse would use for
their benefit. Many vaccines and antibiotics rely on being kept cold to maintain a safe status of
not becoming contaminated. This has helped in eradicating many of the early diseases that killed
our ancestors by receiving a vaccine to prevent the disease or lessen the side effects of them.
Poverty has played a role in who may enjoy these technological advancements and who may
not.5 It is long known that the rich have more than the poor. In poverty, you need to decide what
are considered wants, and what are considered needs. Each varies with the individual. In order to
help out those who may have less, I contribute some of my bi-weekly earnings for those who
may not be as fortunate as I have been. It has been a blessing to be able to help someone in need.
I learned from an early age that I would be a giving individual. I have always been available to
help someone. In my life, no one individual is better than another. No one regardless of religion
or color receive different treatment than the other.
My best contribution to society is teaching others that even though you may have an advanced
knowledge base or skill, everyone is able to learn. If you take the time to listen to them first, you
will always be able to help them understand what you are trying to teach them. Whether they
choose to remember and apply the new knowledge is their choice, I know that by taking the time
with them, I may have been able to help. By encouraging advancing their education to the people
I meet, I am hopefully moving society into the next technological era no matter what its

outcomes will be. Culture has no barrier in learning if you just take the time and provide the
resources that they will need.

1. See Nummer for further types of historical food preservation.
2. See Information for Consumers CDC cite for food storage information and safe handling.
3. See Age of the Automobile Economic spinoffs for additional businesses created by the use
of the automobile.
4. See Living in the Information age for further information on internet use and access.
5. See the Underside of Urban Life for more on poverty and its effects.


"Dewey Decimal Classification." Encyclopedia Britannica. Ecyclopedia Britannica Online.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc, 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
<http://britannica.com/science/Dewey- Decimal-Classification>."
"Information for Consumers." Food Safety. CDC, 23 Oct. 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
Nummer Ph.D., Brian A. "Historical Origins of Food Preservation." National Center for Home
Food Preservation. N.p., May 2002. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
"The Age of the Automobile." U.S. History Online Textbook. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
"Living in the Information Age." U.S. History Online Textbook. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
"The Underside of Urban Life." U.S. History Online Textbook. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
"Refrigerator." wikipedia. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.