5 Oldest Technology Still In Use

5 Oldest Technology Still In Use

As the centuries have passed, humans have continuously pushed the limits of what technology is, and how it can be made better and more advanced. From the discovery and invention of the abacus to bluetooth technology, we’ve constantly found new ways to make our lives easier and more convenient.

Still, although many forms of modern technology have been invented in the recent past, some forms of technology have stood the test of time and refused to become obsolete. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the oldest technology that is still in use today. Let’s dive in.

5 Oldest Technologies Still In Use Today

5. Floppy Disks

Year invented or discovered: Mid-late 1960s
Country or place of origin: San Jose, California, United States of America
Used for: Backing up data, software distribution, and file transference

Floppy DisksPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

Even if you’ve never used a floppy disk, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of it before. Floppy disks were used for various computer-related tasks, like distributing software, transferring files, and backing data up. They were first developed in the late 1960s, but became commercially available only a decade later.

Although they aren’t as commonly used today as they were in the early 2000s, floppy disks are still used by people all over the world for various activities. For instance, certain airplanes like the Boeing 747 used floppy disks for downloading avionics software. Additionally, some embroidery machines and certain types of medical equipment also use floppy disks in their internal mechanisms.

Did you know? 

Floppy disks were extremely popular and commonly used in the late 90s and early 2000s, so much so that various computer icons were designed to resemble them.


4. COBOL

Year invented or discovered: 1959
Country or place of origin: United States of America
Used for: Business

COBOLPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

COBOL, also known as a common business-oriented language, is still in use today. It is a computer programming language that is used in various business, administrative, and financial systems. It was created specifically for readability, as well as portability.

It’s interesting to note that it was designed by Grace Hopper, who was an admiral, computer scientist, and mathematician; Hopper created it for the U.S. Department of Defense, which needed a portable language that helped them process data.

Did you know? 

You have indirectly used COBOL at some point in your life! Since this language was developed for processing data, it helps operate systems of banking and booking airline tickets.


3. Landline Phones

Year invented or discovered: 1877
Country or place of origin: United States of America
Used for: Communication

Landline PhonesPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

After the first telephone was invented, telephone lines were laid and switchboards began to be operated. Over the years, landlines became increasingly popular, and people all over the world began to use them.

While mobile phones are commonly used all over the world today, many households in various countries still have a landline connection. For instance, around 73% of homes in the United Kingdom have continued to use landlines. In data obtained from a 2022 study, research showed that over 82% of German households still maintained a landline connection on top of having a cell phone.

Did you know? 

Landlines are known for their ability to carry high-speed internet connections.


2. QWERTY Keyboards

Year invented or discovered: Early 1870s
Country or place of origin: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States of America
Used for: Communication through digital means

QWERTY KeyboardsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The QWERTY keyboard is one of the oldest forms of technology that is still in use today, and is also one of the most commonly pieces of technology that people use every single day. Its name comes from the order of keys at the top left corner of any keyboard.

This type of keyboard was first invented towards the end of the 1970s by an printer and editor named Christopher Latham Sholes. The first keyboard that he invented displayed the order of letters and numbers in their correct order, but he wasn’t satisfied with his work. After a lot of trial and error, Sholes developed the keyboard as we know it today. He changed the way the letters were arranged and settled on an arrangement that suited him. Eventually, he sold the rights to manufacture the keyboards, and further adjustments were made.

Did you know? 

The half QWERTY keyboard was similar to the QWERTY keyboard but was modified for mobile phones that had a limited number of keys.


1. Abacus

Year invented or discovered: Between 2700 and 2300 BCE
Country or place of origin: Ancient Mesopotamia
Used for: Mathematical functions

AbacusPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The abacus is one of the oldest inventions in the world that is used for calculations and various other mathematical functions. While the word “abacus” first originated from Middle English and Latin, the abacus device was first discovered in ancient Mesopotamia. Although it was used in ancient Egypt and Persia, the earliest historical evidence that we have of the abacus dates back to Greece in the 5th century. The Greeks used pebbles to count and a wooden or marble table. Research also shows that the Romans used a wax board, and beads instead of pebbles.

In more modern times, the abacus continues to be used in schools across the world to help teach young children the rules of arithmetic and the numerical system.

Did you know? 

Abacus-based mental calculation occurs when you use the abacus to do mental mathematics by visualizing an abacus in your head. People who are trained to do AMC have been known to display a higher capacity for numerical memories.


Conclusion

Everyone’s definition of technology is different. In this article, we took a closer look at some of the oldest forms of technology that are still being used today, and how they continue to play an important role in our lives. If you’ve ever used an ATM machine or typed out an email on your laptop, you’ve been using the old technologies mentioned in this article. We hope you learned something new and interesting today!

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