Creativity and innovation is a core component of the human experience.  From the invention of fire by our ancient ancestors to modern day inventions like the iPhone, impactful invention have helped to shape our society.

To better illustrate this point, the faculty at MidAmerican Nazarene University compiled and visualized a list of the most impactful inventions in each U.S. State.  Whether or not the invention was necessary or not is subjective, however each of the inventions depicted in the list has had an impact on our modern society in some way or another.

Some of the inventions on the list are impactful because of how they disrupted the economy and forced change.  Examples from the list include: the farmer’s almanac (New Hampshire), the cotton gin (Georgia), the assembly line (Michigan), the tractor (Iowa) and the airplane (North Carolina).

There are other inventions on the list that are impactful because they address common needs that people use in their everyday lives.  Some examples of these: the tampon (Colorado), the personal computer (Florida), television (Idaho), the gas pump (Indiana), air conditioning (New Jersey) the automobile (Ohio) and the credit card (New York).

And there are other inventions on this list simply because they are so impactful to our society that we can barely think of how our modern lives would function without these inventions.  The World Wide Web (Massachusetts) and the iPhone (California) are great examples of these.

The time range represented in the list of impactful inventions goes from 1787 (the steamboat) to most recently the iPhone (2005) so you can see the great time range that the list encompasses.

The list was determined by MidAmerican Nazarene University by looking at all of the inventions that were devised in a given state by someone who either spent a majority of their time living in that state or someone who was born in that state.  They then compared all the inventions from the sourced lists and determined which inventions had the largest impact on society, the economy, culture and the human race in general.

It’s also interesting to note some of the inventions that didn’t make their list that some people could argue might be more impactful.  A few inventions that didn’t make the list:

  • The integrated circuit (Texas)
  • Electric lightbulb (New Jersey)
  • The shopping cart (Oklahoma)
  • Rubberized asphalt (Arizona)

You can check out the full infographic below to see each states most impactful invention.

The Most Impactful Inventions in Each State  impactful invention