• 3-4-2017 Money does not lead to inventions. Few people really know how or why the industrial revolution happened. Most assume that it happened because James Watt invented a steam engine. That is a typical assumption, considering that we Americans are mostly interested in our gadgets. The steam engine has been reinvented and forgotten several times in the last 2,000 years. The first known inventor was an Egyptian named Hero or Heron, and he could not think of any use for it other than to open the doors to a shrine. The inventions that are unique to the modern period are: * mass production, invented by Sam Colt to make pistols * gonzo marketing, of which Diamond Jim Brady is the most famous example * consumer financing, invented by Isaac Singer to sell sewing machines * the savings bank, invented by Noah Webster. Prior to Mr. Webster, the dictionary guy, usury was condemned by almost everybody. Mr. Webster reasoned that it was ok for a man to own part of a business and to receive a portion of the profits, so it must be equally ok to deposit money with a steward who had a talent for investing in successful businesses. The depositor would not actually own a business, but he would have an interest in his steward's dealings and was entitled to be paid for his interest. Prior to that there was no such thing as retirement. People saved what they could of their earnings, or they hoped their children could support them, or they worked until they dropped. The savings bank was an obvious winner, and millions of people deposited their savings to get the benefit of compound interest, thereby providing huge amounts of investment money for new industries such as the recently reinvented steam engine.
    • officegirl
      Very excellent answer. +5

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