Photos: 20 most important tech inventions of the past 100 years

​1918: Artificial fertilizer revolutionizes agriculture

German chemist Fritz Haber invented a method of pulling nitrogen out of the air to create ammonia, for which he was awarded a Nobel prize in 1918.

The Haber method, as it is now known, was initially used to create explosives and chemical weapons during World War I, but by the end of the war it became the main method of creating artificial fertilizer.

Without the Haber method, the expansion of modern agriculture to support growing populations may not have been possible.

Image: Find a Grave

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.