When talking about things that make life easier, you may immediately think of technical devices like cellphones and laptops, or household appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. Have you ever taken the time to realize that there are a lot of little seemingly insignificant things that also make life easier? If you haven’t, but you’re curious, take a look at these four small ideas that add up to big convenience.
1. Caster Wheels
If you have ever had to lift something substantial, you’ll appreciate why adding wheels to things would make things so much better. While wheels don’t work on everything, they do make some things more portable. Caster wheels are not regular wheels. They’re wheels that turn to make maneuvering things easier on any surface. If you have a big toolbox in your garage, it most likely has industrial steel caster wheels. This allows you to move the toolbox fully loaded (and heavy) freely from one place to another. Other common uses include bed frames and refrigerators.
Imagine trying to brave the cold in a coat that just wrapped around you and tied. Sure, it would be better than nothing, but imagine skiing down a mountain in below-freezing weather and having it flap open. Enter the zipper. Before it was invented in the late 19th Century, people had no practical way to increase and decrease the size of an opening allow the fabric to flex. Once the little invention caught on, it became an essential part of pants, dresses, coats, backpacks and tents.
Before Earl Dickson invented the Band-Aid for his wife, wounds took two people to dress. Dickson’s wife was always cutting and burning herself around the house, so he created a wound covering she could apply without assistance. Dickson brought the invention to his employer, Eric Johnson of Johnson & Johnson, who immediately started manufacturing the ingenious design. It is their biggest-selling item ever.
Think about what it would be like to live in a house that was built without nails. In the late 16th Century, the first appearance of a nail in construction appeared. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution in the late 18th Century that the more common nails were invented. These were some of the first items to be mass produced by machines.
Throughout history, people have continued to evolve and create items to improve upon existing ideas and concepts. When you reach for something like a Band-Aid remember: It was a small idea that makes life easier.