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In Part II of Hamlet's Blackberry, William Powers writes about inventions and tools that made significant changes in how societies of people lived, such as written communication (Ch. 5), mass-produced books (Ch. 7), writing tables (Ch. 8), railroads and the telegraph (Ch. 10). He does this to illustrate how inventions/tools can dramatically affect people's way of life. People in past historical times also had to adjust to change and to face challenges of establishing balance in their lives amidst the emergence of these new inventions/tools, just as we do now with digital technology.
For your research essay, write about a non-digital invention/tool that significantly affected people's way of life. (You are not limited to a certain historical period of culture/country.)