Technology has existed for almost as long as mankind itself. The word "technology" comes from the Greek words techne, meaning art, craft, technique, or skill, and logos, meaning word, thought, principle, or speech. We use the word today to refer to the application of scientific knowledge to develop practical solutions to real world problems, such as how we can communicate better, work more efficiently, and generally advance as a civilisation. The history of technology is thus an epic story that takes us from the simple stone tools used by early hunter-gatherer societies over two million years ago to the myriad mechanical and electronic marvels that characterise the modern era.
There have been many landmark moments in the history of our technological development. Many of those turning points are related to how we harness and control energy, from the first use of fire to the invention of the atomic bomb. Other milestones relate to the techniques used in construction and engineering, such as the use of the arch by the ancient Romans to enable them to build larger buildings and aqueducts. Arches are used in structural engineering to this day - typically over doors and windows - because they can support a lot of weight. They are also frequently used in bridge construction.
It is probably as important to understand the history of technology as it is to understand the history of the human race in general, because we still rely on many of the tools and techniques that were first developed thousands of years ago. Indeed, we need look no further than the invention of the wheel, which first appeared over six thousand years ago, to appreciate the importance of that technological legacy. In these pages we attempt to describe just some of the developments that have led us to where we stand today.
The main focus of these pages will be on developments that have contributed to the fields of telecommunications and information technology, since these areas are of importance to just about everyone living in the modern world. Having said that, there are really no constraints. You can (eventually) expect to see content in these pages that cover just about any aspect of technological history, if we feel it might be of interest to our visitors.