Stephen Fry: ‘Cigarette Lighter Is History’s Greatest Gadget’

Stephen Fry: ‘Cigarette Lighter Is History’s Greatest Gadget’

Stephen Fry’s a man with, as Douglas Adams would have put it, a brain the size of a planet, and a serious love of gadgets. His rundown of the 100 greatest gadgets of all time has a surprising conclusion, albeit one with a decent rationale.

Fry knows a thing or two about technology, and when he was approached by Britain’s channel four to head a rundown of the 100 greatest gadgets, he took to the task with an interesting perspective. Fry notes on his blog that his definition of a gadget was deliberately rather broad.

‘I didn’t really approach it as a beauty pageant. The winner might as easily be a kitchen essential as a digital doodad.’

The cigarette lighter wins out because, as Fry puts it, it’s ‘fire with the flick of the fingers’. I feel compelled to point out that using a cigarette lighter for actually lighting and smoking cigarettes is rather bad for you; why not take our own Elly’s lead and quit for good?

Among the more interesting entries are the iPod at #3, ahead of both the television and the typewriter, Nintendo Wii at #15 and GPS at #22. The list in full can be found here.[Channel 4 via Crave]