The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences

From the automobile to the rocket ship, from chewing gum to the TV dinner, from the first face in a photograph to the first voice on the telephone, the world has been forever changed by impossible technologies and startling ideas. But these inventions do not always make the world a better place.

These are the stories of The First, a podcast exploring the history of human innovation, focusing less on iconic inventors and more on the forgotten geniuses and everyday people that were responsible for bringing us the tools of the modern world.

How many episodes do you have?

There are 19 episodes in total as of September 2017.

What’s the show about?

This podcast details the stories of the world’s greatest inventions. But it doesn’t stop there! Usually each show will involve at least one unintended consequence of that invention. That consequence may be a negative one to the inventor (as with George Ferris and his invention, the Ferris Wheel) of a complicated one to the world at large (as with the invention of the vaccine).  Sometimes the show is about a conceptual invention (such as the Pledge of Allegiance). And sometimes the show is focused entirely on the consequence (i.e. the electric chair, a consequence of the War of the Currents.)

What’s the format?

This show is hosted by Greg Young in a narrative non-fiction format with guest voices bringing to life the words of famous individuals. Each show is on average about 30 minutes.