There would have been a first human to pick something up. Off of the ground. This act was the first advance in human history, for all the other humans who never picked anything up would immediately have been at a disadvantage, in fact I imagine that the first human to pick things up became a tribal leader. His or her tribe, taught how to pick things up, would have quickly become the dominant tribe in the area, for suddenly they would have all sorts of things previously left on the ground.
Quickly though, other tribes would have had to adapt, scouts must have been sent out to discover where all the things that were on the ground had gone. Spying the new discovery and passing on the trick, soon all tribes would have begun picking things up, with equal success: once learned the skill was never forgotten and easily adapted to many different sizes of objects.
The first tribe was in trouble, how could they maintain their dominance? The only answer could be to get up early and start picking things up before the other tribes. Soon tribes were competing to get up earlier and earlier, but, limited by the sun, this too was a level playing field. What was needed was a way to see in the dark, they had it in fire and briefly power swung to the innovators of the night-shift, for now there could be round the clock picking things up, and this combined with putting out the best teams of small, close to the ground, knuckle dragging big handed cavemen proved a recipe for unrivaled success.
Human invention soon took off, with the need for ever cleverer ways to pick a lot of things up, sacks made of animal stomachs, poles to hang bigger and bigger sacks off gave way to the wonder of the wheel barrow - still in use today. The advances in picking things up seem to have peaked with the Mechanical digger. And it is still true today that the most advanced civilizations compete for the best methods of picking things up, compare poor Czech peasant women, working in the field, all day bent over double picking up handfuls of dirt with the great JCB diggers bought on the cheap from dodgy UK exporters by scheming African nations to make sure they leapfrog Eastern European states in the rank of humanity.