1. Ancient Greeks use boiling water to sterilize medical tools.
2. 1679: French engineer Denis Papin (1647–1712) invents the steam pressure cooker—an important step in the development of steam engines.
3. 1860s: French biologist Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) helps to confirm the germ theory of disease. He realizes that heating things to kill germs can prevent diseases and extend the life of foodstuffs (which leads him to the invention of pasteurization).
4. 1880s: Pasteur’s collaborator Charles Chamberland (1851–1908) invents the modern autoclave.