I will admit to the hardware tag being tongue-in-cheek, but I submit this because I think there’s a real value in understanding how things we take for granted are technological artifacts. My only gripe with this article is that it doesn’t also talk about advancements in textiles and sewing making pants affordable (or being driven by cavalry needs), because my gut says that must have played in somehow. Clothes were crazy expensive until approximately a century ago.
I can’t for the life of me find a reference, but I vaguely remember a Neal Stephenson reading where he noted that it’s a significant (end?)point for a technology’s maturation to become an almost unoticeable part of the environment.
His example was of clothing buttons.