Right Now in Invention

The wheel is perhaps the most iconic of all inventions, and yet we are often too dismissive of wheel technology. We’ve been reinventing  the wheel for thousands of years and show no sign of stopping. In this Invention two-parter, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the earliest examples of wheel technology and discuss why some cultures barely used it at all.

The Wheel, Part 1

The wheel is perhaps the most iconic of all inventions, and yet we are often too dismissive of wheel technology. We’ve been reinventing  the wheel for thousands of years and show no sign of stopping. In this Invention episode, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the earliest examples of wheel technology and discuss why some cultures barely used it at all.

Roads

Roads go ever, ever on, but where do they come from? What key innovations link the animal paths of pre-human times with the massive highway systems we know today? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of Invention. 

The Saxophone

Few musical instruments are as associated with American music and culture as the saxophone, but it's origins go back to 19th century Belgian instrument maker's Parisian shop. Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of Invention. 

The Death Ray, Part 2

From ancient myth and the inventions of Archimedes to the work of Tesla and countless sci-fi authors, the concept of a death ray is a powerful expression of technological might. But here’s the catch: they don’t quite exist. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the various figures, inventors and frauds who claimed to have invented a death ray. 

The Death Ray, Part 1

From ancient myth and the inventions of Archimedes to the work of Tesla and countless sci-fi authors, the concept of a death ray is a powerful expression of technological might. But here’s the catch: they don’t quite exist. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the various figures, inventors and frauds who claimed to have invented a death ray. 

The X-Ray

Just try to imagine modern medicine without x-rays. How did we ever get by without them and who is responsible for this amazing technological invention? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for another eye-opening episode of Invention.

Sun Glasses

It’s hard to imagine how anyone looked cool before the invention of sunglasses, but just when did humans pop their first pair of shades? In this episode of Invention, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss everything from the blinding white hell of arctic wastes to the blood-soaked spectacle of gladiatorial combat. 

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is a vital substance in our war against tooth decay, but when did we first rub this stuff into our teeth and gums? In this episode of Invention, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick squeeze out the history and origins of toothpaste.

Chopsticks

Chopsticks are such an intuitive and precise eating utensil, it’s easy to assume they’ve been with us. But as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore, this neolithic invention didn’t really leave the kitchen for the dinner table in a major way till the fifth century CE. Prepare to explore the invention of chopsticks.

Guillotine

The 18th century Guillotine represents the absolute pinnacle of mechanical decapitation. In this episode of Inventions, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore its origins and legacy.

The Vending Machine

Automatons that sell goods on behalf of humans? Vending machines are so ubiquitous in our world that we tend to overlook the weirdness and wonder of the advancement. In this episode of Invention, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick quest after the first vending machines.

Invention Trailer: Daedalus

From agriculture to the X-ray machine, hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the inventions we created, and how they created us.

“Invention” offers an illuminating discussion of specific inventions, inventors and human history. The show tackles the big inventions and the sweeping changes they unleashed, but also the often-overlooked marvels of innovation’s history and the many surprising cascading effects. Human history is a story of inventions, and this show tells that story one invention at a time.

It Existed: The Tranquilizing Chair

Yes, this invention existed. Find out what it was all about...

It Existed: Churchill's High-Tech Flight Pod

Are you a World War II-era British prime minister looking to fly in style aboard a Royal Air Force transport plane? Well, we have an invention for you...

It Existed: The Camel-Mounted Gatling Gun

Nope, that's not a Photoshop job or an illustration for the latest alternate history book. During the mid 1850s, you really did find camel-mounted hand-cranked Gatling guns.