In 1878 Thomas Edison took to the pages of this magazine to clear up a few misconceptions about a new invention of his: the phonograph. Seventy years later one of our correspondents wrote about a replacement for the vacuum tube, a device that could deliver “tinier hearing aids, really small portable radios [and] more compact electronic devices for aircraft.” It was called the transistor. To celebrate our 170th birthday, we have collected dozens of historic entries like these from Scientific American's past: you can read the full list here. And as we do every December, we have gathered 10 of the year's biggest advances for our annual celebration of “World Changing Ideas.” Maybe some of them will make the greatest-hits collection 170 years from now.
This article was originally published with the title "Innovation" in Scientific American 313, 6, 30-31 (December 2015)