“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” – Dave Barry
I believe most of the computer generation is about innovation and not as much invention. The greatest inventions I can think of no greater invention in the last 60 years than the transistor and integrated circuit.
I'd say the most far-reaching invention of the last thousand years was movable type. That made publication affordable, and was probably a prerequisite to the scientific revolution.
The most innovative century in technology would be the nineteenth, or the 1830-1930 period; still, that built on the industrial revolution, which began in the late 18th centuryl
The most innovative century in politics and society would be the 18th, though it built on important philosophical thinking of the 17th.
The most innovative century was the 19th. Coming into the 19th, people got around the way they always had - muscle or wind power. By the end of the 19th there was a worldwide rail system and powered ships (steam) and the beginnings of our oil driven transportation. There was a worldwide telecommunications network (telegraph & telephone). Oh, and slavery was abolished in most of the world.
That's easy. When god created us he gave us the human mind. That is easily the greatest creation. Sorry but all the other inventions came from this one! Man made innovation is difficult to pin point as a singular item. Possibly the use of easily obtained fire. Without it the rest of humanity would not have survived.
This subject is really flawed. The whole idea of technology is to borrow, grow, and build from earlier ideas. Needs to be narrowed down a bit or you end up with these fundamental issues of water, clothing, fire, food, shelter.
Anesthesia. Imagine a c-section without anesthesia. How many babies and women saved because of emergency c-sections. Or a heart bypass, brain tumor, kidney transplant; not even possible. Removing wisdom teeth would be unbearable. Antibiotics would be a close second since all of these can result in infection.