Once upon a time in the Western world, women lost countless hours heating up water and washing clothes. Then, an anonymous hero invented the electric washing machine at the beginning of the 20th century, and with it came freedom and progress for the entire human race. No, I'm not kidding.
The electric washing machine affected women directly, and everyone else too. Liberated from that hard tedious job, women got time to do other more important things than washing their husbands and children's clothes by hand. And with that, the planet became a better place, like world health and statistics exper Hans Rosling says in this video, an ode to the washing machine. Ten minutes well spent. [TED]