Your favorite alternate technology

What would be your favorite "what if" alternative development in technology? This could be the one you simply think is the "coolest" or one which you believe really could have had major impact on history. Sorry, this would be a poll, but I haven't figured out how to do this.

(1) No domestication of horses
(2) Earlier (pre AD1000) invention of hot air balloons or man-carrying gliders
(3) No powered aircraft (planes or airships) ever, or until 1930
(4) Steam powered cars rule roads
(5) Zeppelins rule the skies in 1980
(6) No atomic weapons
(7) German jets operational in wide service in 1943
(8) No jets for another 20 yrs
(9) No Soviet Space Program
(10) Solid state electronics 30 years earlier than OTL

What would it take for these alternatives to develop and what might effects on broader history/culture be?

I guess airships are my fave here, but the 1960s is too late, the 1930s is more like it, with aeroplanes delayed and airships dominant

Grey Wolf


I'd vote for a combination of #'s 3,4,5, and 6. Gives you a nice pseudo-Victorian '2 Georges' feel.

If I have to pick just one, its #5.

And to create a poll: when you create a new thread, down at the bottom, in 'additional options', there's a box for 'create new poll'. After you complete the text of your initial post, click 'submit'. Then you'll be taken to the 'create poll' screen. Just make sure you click the 'poll' box!!
I'll go with #4 and #5. From reading various articles on Steve Jackson's Pyramid Magazine zeppelins are the hallmark of alot of alternate histories. I'm surprised the difference engine didn't make the list, but there are so many things to choose from anyway.
I like #10 simply because I wrote a timeline on it, and really liked it. Other than that, #7, particularly if we get to see some of the more crazy aircraft, and especially the Go 229 in service.
No semiconductors.

Remove Germanium and Silicon from existence entirely, replace them in the periodic chart with a perfect insulator and a superconductor.

Vacuum tubes rule!
I know this wasn't one but I would've liked to see a earlier development of
producing aluminium. It is a major factor in the electricity transmission cycle and who knows it may have led to a much earlier jumpstart on electrical technology.
Airships lasting longer

It was the Hindenburg disaster, in part, that killed commercial airships. Therefore, lets find a way to prevent it.
To prevent this, we need to fill the airships with Helium. This would make them safer, although not perfect.
The USA had a monopoly on Helium, and wasn't selling it to Nazi Germany. If the Great War ended (for Germany) with nothing worse than a minor defeat--say loss of some colonies, and withdrawal to Status Quo ante bellum borders, perhaps the USA would be on better trading terms with a non-Nazi Germany--Germany gets American Helium, and the US gets German airship expertise. Airships remain a viable method of travel.
If WW II doesn't happen for a while longer, perhaps long range airplanes are slower in coming, and the airship stays in service for a lot longer--perhaps until the 50's or 60's.
no. 7

I'll take no. 7, the question of earlier German jetfighters in large nos. over the Reich would've been very significant in affecting the war's outcome.