The History of Business

Tom Egelhoff

There have been five great inventions that have changed our world and the world of business — the automobile, electricity, telephone, radio and flight. As each of these innovations evolved, business has found more and more needs and applications for each.

In the late 1800s most of the production of America was done on the farm. Small town businesses were supported by the labors of farmers and ranchers. All that changed with the introduction of the industrial age. Let’s look at the history of each of these lifestyle-changing inventions.

The Automobile
The automobile put America on the move and business right along with it. Getting goods to market with trucks, the use of service and delivery vehicles, taxis, limo rentals all brought new ways of making money to the average entrepreneur with a few bucks in his or her pocket. The Model T to heated cup holders. Our future cars will do the driving for us while we do other things.

Electricity brought new methods of doing things in shorter periods of time. Housewives who used to do laundry by hand were now able to push a button and have more free time. Electric lights made production hours longer. Computers and battery operated devices soon followed. Life as we know it today would be impossible without electricity. Yet just 100 years ago hardly anyone had access to it.

Cell phones were once the size of small bricks. Now they are small enough to carry in your pocket. Where once they only made calls, now you can text, access the Internet, take photos and movies, check and send emails, and control your entire house all by remote signals. We’ve come a long way from the wire tied to the wall.

Radio was once on it’s way out but then the music revolution of the 60’s and 70’s along with talk radio revived it. Now we have satellite radio, pay channels devoted to particular tastes. Radio is everywhere and reaches almost all Americans at some point in their day.

The applications are endless. From carrying cargo, to passengers, to military applications, flight has reduced the physical size of our world. Transoceanic flights are being made in record times. Drone planes are uses by our military. Amazon is experimenting with delivering packages by drone. People now are able to own their own jet planes. We’ve come a long way from Kitty Hawk.

Some Final Thoughts
If there is an invention, business will find a way to use it and make a profit. That’s the great thing about America. We are the world’s greatest innovators. We find applications in all sorts of areas.

From Hula Hoops and Pet Rocks to transistors and microchips American ingenuity is boundless. If history proves anything it proves that tomorrow will be better than today as we build our tomorrows on the history of our yesterdays.

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