Monday, Oct. 25, 2010

How We Chose the List

Picking humanity's 100 greatest gadgets is no easy task. If we were starting from the beginning of humanity itself, the list would actually be a lot easier to compile: the wheel, the lever, the telescope, the syringe, movable type — the roster practically writes itself. But we're masochists and decided to limit the list to the 100 most influential personal gadgets created since 1923 — the year TIME started publishing. You'll see a lot of items that get the nod simply because they were the first of their kind. First may not always be best, but it's surely a sign of smart innovation. We're sure you won't agree with all of our choices, but what kind of list would it be without some controversy? Oh, and one thing we left completely up to you: our list is in no particular order, so feel free to pick your own No. 1.