What object tells the story of life in 2010?

A History of the World in 100 Objects tells two million years of history through one hundred objects from the British Museum's collection.

For the 100th object, the British Museum wanted to choose an object to that told the story of the ingenuity and the challenges that shape humanity in the 21st century.

We asked the audience which object they would choose and why.

  • 23:39 16th October 2010 Some of the earliest objects were primitive stone tools. For my 100 th object I would choose a silicon wafer used to make micro chips. The same basic material but now influencing every aspect of modern life from communications, global finance and trade and the internet and computers - M Blee (Isle of Wight)
  • 09:52 16th October 2010 An implantable defibrillator. This commonly used device symbolises an ability to bring life back from near certain death. It is worn inside you and is the culmation of science, art and, to a certain extent, mystery. - Chris Theaker (London)
  • 09:51 16th October 2010 Television because of its effects both good and bad. It has made us aware of the rest of the world and its problems but it has turned the horrific into the mundane and acceptable. It has made people want things even if they are beyond their means and it has developed a celebrity culture which has nothing to do with real merit - Cheryl Dash (Warwickshire)
  • 23:12 15th October 2010 I love the solar powered lamp/phone-charger because it is truly epoch-changing. Football is but a footnote in history, the microchip only relevant for wealthy countries. But to have light and communication from the sun is truly ingenious, and combines current eco-technology with a commitment to support and develop emerging communities - Valerie Aston (London)
  • 20:25 15th October 2010 I think that the mobile is the most important object in today's world because it allows you to call people from all over the world, which is mind-blowing if you think about it - Josh (london)
  • 17:10 15th October 2010 Smart phone: computing, communication and mobility in a hand-held device I would have also included the TV, car and aeroplane in the lastten - Anthony Cutler (Malvern)
  • 14:36 15th October 2010 An item connected with Apollo 11 - the first time that man left his own world, going on to colonise and explore others. - Rod Pickup (Blackburn)
  • 13:24 15th October 2010 I think it has to be the solar lantern. The stunning divides between rich and poor, technological cutting edge and off-grid subsistence are elegantly chronicled in this device. - Jim Martin (Arlington VA, USA)
  • 11:10 15th October 2010 A football. Football is the world's greatest ritual, the people's game that brings people together. Isn't it time that football is given its rightful place in the pantheon of human cultural achievement? - John Kimber (London)
  • 10:43 15th October 2010 A walking stick: reminds us that one of the greatest global challenges is ageing populations. The UK needs to change attitudes, policies and models of support from the notion of older people as a burden to older people as a resource. - Maria Parsons (Oxford)
  • 07:06 15th October 2010 My 100th object would be the micro chip. Without exception the micro chip has found it's way into every corner of modern life from a simple battery operated watch to most modern gadgets in the home, every car on the road and, of course, computers that control all our lives. - John Price (Bishops Waltham, Hampshire)
  • 22:31 14th October 2010 The micro chip. The single and possibly smallest thing that has had the largest impact on our lives since probably the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel. We certainly wouldn't be writing our opinions on websites without it! - Amanda Naylor (London)
  • 21:14 14th October 2010 Mirror for Sopwith Dolphin 1st World War fighter plane. A convex mirror silver on one side and black on the other so the mirror could be turned for planes coming out of the sun. Mounted by his engineers when my grandfather left the Royal Flying Corps. - Chris Aldridge (Basingstoke Hampshire)
  • 19:43 14th October 2010 Please,please, the British Museum is NOT a Museum of Technology. All the objects within are handmade. I suggest something made from the detritus of the modern age - an African bag/container made from bottle tops.... - Jessica Johnson (Malmesbury)
  • 15:03 14th October 2010 A solar-powered ( with battery ) lamp AND radio would have been better: is there such a product ? - Philip Bradfield (Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland)
  • 13:29 14th October 2010 I would like the microchip to be the 100th object. I wish to say I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the stories and marvelling at Mr N.Mcgregor's command of English. - Susan Weston-Browne (London)
  • 10:43 14th October 2010 Solar-powered lamp. This object, as a token for all the developing alternative technologies to produce power in our over-stressed planet, should be number 100. - Jenny Suthrell (Oxford)
  • 10:10 14th October 2010 The Phoenix tube that has carried Los 33 to safety and in its wake unified this fractured planet in a way no politician could possibly achieve. - Debbie Beevor (Deal)
  • 10:04 14th October 2010 A packet of contraceptive pills - reliable and accessible contraception has revolutionised life for many women. - Barbara Paul (Rattery, Devon)
  • 09:57 14th October 2010 A mobile phone. No object of the last 25 years has had greater impact on the way people across the world - work - live - bank - text - work - play - get up in the morning - love - organise - rebel - help - hinder - and talk. - Craig (Canterbury)
  • 09:48 14th October 2010 Rock that was brought back from the moon. This represents not only an amazing feat of technology, in some sense a symbol of the achievements of mankind, but also is a symbol f the past turning into the future. - Neville Moray (Magagnosc , France)
  • 09:35 14th October 2010 A solar-powered watch, controlled by radio from the National Physical Laboratory. Even more than the solar-powered lamp actually chosen, this could only be an artifact from our time. - Michael Rogers (Sevenoaks Kent)
  • 08:36 14th October 2010 The internet. Without it, life would be a lot more time consuming. - Mark MacLachlan (Dumfries, Scotland.)
  • 01:11 14th October 2010 The Solar Lantern/Mobile Phone Charger. The object is transformation, it's brightening up people's lives in the far corners of the globe - particularly, to those that are off the grid and sporadic electricity supply. What an amazing product. - Bolaji Idowu (New York)
  • 21:55 13th October 2010 The British Museum itself - from its eighteenth century origins to its 21st century makeover it is the most contemporary living history of the development of our very concept of what history is, and thereby what we are. - Michael Ball (London)
  • 20:38 13th October 2010 An axe -because the world is divided - Helen (Manchester)
  • 19:03 13th October 2010 The Solar Powered Torch. This will bring not only light, but better health to billions, along with the power of communication, as they will be able to charge a mobile phone. Phones are key to easy financial transactions in many parts of the World, and so open up a whole raft of the population to economic development. - Jonathan Knowles (London)
  • 18:51 13th October 2010 Solar lantern. The major challenge facing humankind in the 21st century is equitable energy access. Solar lantern is an innovative solution to meet the energy needs of billions of people all over the world. - Suyash Jolly (Dehradun)

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