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Things the Chinese invented…

Written By: Due-East on February 22, 2008 4 Comments
I’ve joked before about how many things the Chinese invented, but I didn’t really know what all they had invented. I mean, a few things I knew, but for the most part, I was clueless as to what all we use in our lives that the Chinese came up with. So I did a little searching and found that Wikipedia has an incomplete but pretty good list. Here it is, for better or for worse…
  • Battens in cloth
  • Belt drives
  • The blast furnaces
  • Bituminous coke
  • Cast iron
  • The chain drive
  • The repeating crossbow
  • The escapement mechanism
  • The exploding cannonball
  • The fire arrow
  • Firearms
  • Fireworks (not Adobe Fireworks, the real thing)
  • Gun powder
  • The horse collar
  • Hulk compartments/Bulkheads
  • The kite
  • Land mines
  • The lottery
  • Noodles
  • Paper
  • The pound lock
  • Woodblock printing and movable type
  • The multistate rocket
  • The rudder
  • The sailing carriage
  • The seismometer
  • Silk (ok, technically they didn’t INVENT it, but you get the point…)
  • The sluice gate
  • Stirrups
  • The toothbrush
  • Toilet paper
  • The trebuchet
  • The trip Hammer
  • The wig
  • The wheelbarrow
  • The winnowing machine
And here are some inventions that, according to Wikipedia, “are considered by various authors to have been first discovered, discovered contemporaneously with other civilizations, discovered separately after other civilizations, or simply used by the Chinese:”
  • The abacus (first appearance: Mesopotamia, 2400 BC. First certain appearance in China: 12th century AD) – Is it just me, or is this a pretty huge difference in time???
  • Armillary sphere (invented by the Greek Eratosthenes), with the world’s first water-powered armillary sphere by Zhang Heng
  • Various automata
  • Bellows
  • The compass (wet and dry)
  • Camera obscura
  • The cannon
  • Chain pumps
  • Crossbows
  • Drydocks
  • Flamethrowers
  • Flash locks
  • Early explosive grenades
  • The Odometer (also by Archimedes and Heron of Alexandria)
  • Paddle wheels for boats
  • Paper money
  • Parachutes
  • Pontoon bridges
  • Porcelain
  • The postal system
  • The saw
  • Segmental arch bridges
  • Star catalogues
  • Tea
  • Teeth (I’m pretty sure this one doesn’t belong on the list, guys)
  • Collapsible umbrellas
  • Vaccinations
  • The water clock
  • The water wheel (also of Greco-Roman tradition)
  • Windmills
That’s a lot of stuff…

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4 Responses to “Things the Chinese invented…”

  1. teople says on: 23 February 2008 at 12:47 am

    还有Chinese Characters!

  2. teople says on: 23 February 2008 at 2:20 am

    对了 说到发明

  3. Demerzel says on: 9 March 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I noted an additional ones as well over at my blog on Chinese Floating Fortresses, and even water mines as well. Amazing parts is seeing how advanced the Chinese were in so many areas of technology that eventually got lost again later for another thousand years until what we consider today to be the modern age.

  4. 孙智谦 says on: 10 March 2008 at 12:16 pm

    @Demerzel – Yeah, it is pretty amazing how that works, isn’t it?

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