01/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Popular Mechanics: Top 10 Best Gadgets Of 2008

The early 20th century produced a breathtaking succession of innovations--the Wright Flyer, the Model T, the Panama Canal. It was a golden age of engineering. A century hence, observers may well look back at our era in much the same way: Cars are being reimagined from the wheels up. Advances in solar energy show the way past fossil fuels. And space probes explore planets that could become our future homes. These pages salute the product designers who have already transformed the present.

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