To Your Heart's Content

Friday, September 08, 2006

Chinese Inventions, Discoveries, etc.

A list of some Chinese inventions, discoveries, etc. (from "Riding the Iron Rooster"):
  • mechanical clock (Tang dynasty, lost and then reintroduced from Europe)
  • first to make cast iron and soon after invented the iron plow
  • Chinese metallurgists first to make steel
  • crossbow
  • first to notice all snowflakes have six sides
  • umbrella
  • seismograph
  • phosphorescent paint
  • spinning wheel
  • sliding calipers
  • porcelain
  • stink bomb
  • chain pump (1st centure A.D., still in use)
  • kite (2000 years before one was flown in Europe)
  • movable type
  • devised first printed book ("Diamond Sutra", 868)
  • possibly the printing press (Gutenberg got it from Portuguese, who got it from Chinese)
  • suspension bridge and first bridge with segmented arch
  • playing cards
  • fishing reels
  • whiskey
  • first sailors to use rudders
  • paper money
  • fireworks
  • lacquer
  • first people to use wallpaper
  • paper (including toilet)
  • wheelbarow
  • first design of steam engine
  • poison gas
  • mechanical pump
  • compass
  • gunpowder
Wow! And this list is not comprehensive.


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