Chinese Inventions

This article is dedicated to all of the fascinating Chinese inventions that have been created. China is a country rich in culture and tradition and the inventions are no different. When researching this topic the only thing I was certain of was that the Chinese invented fireworks sometime around the Han Dynasty (206-220 BC). While that is true this great country invented so much more. Here are some of the more popular Chinese inventions:

Paper and paper currency – Some say the Egyptians used paper as far back as 3500 BC. However, conventional paper as we know it, made from wood pulp, was devised around early 80 AD by the Chinese. Older forms of paper were expensive and inefficient to be used by the masses but this invention of paper allowed everyone to have access to the benefits of paper.

Gun powder – The invention of gun powder was sometime around 300 AD. The primary reasons for gun powder were for wartime efforts but the more popular reason was to mix the gun powder with other materials like strontium (red) and bromium (green) for the awesome release of fireworks into the air.

Wheelbarrow – The useful invention of the wheelbarrow was sometime around late BC and early AD. Different Chinese people claim the invention but the primary reason for the invention of the wheel barrow was to transport goods to injured soldiers in wartimes. It proved to be a very useful tool in dangerous times and it was actually kept secret for some time.

Parachute – The 1st known parachute documentation was in 90 BC by China and they had working parachutes as early as the 12 Century.Later, Sebastian Lenormand created a parachute in 1783. However, the infamous sketches are the work of Leonardo Da Vinci a few centuries earlier. Also, rumor has it that sometime around 850 AD a Arab man, Armen Firman, jumped from a tower in Spain and his device used for his landing malfunctioned and actually acted like a parachute. He only had minor injuries

Gas deep drilling – Around the 1st Century, the Chinese developed a method of drilling boreholes up to 4,800 feet. These devices were extremely large stones with doughnut centers stretching from the surface to the drilling depths. ideas for an invention They would use hemp ropes and bamboo cables to extract brine from water for salt. The natural gas was transferred using bamboo tubes.

Compass – The invention of the compass by the Chinese actually began around the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). as a fortune teller tool. They would use lodestones, which contained iron oxide mineral that naturally aligned to a north-south direction, to build their fortune teller boards. Someone figured out they were better for marking directions and created a slab with help from the constellations for markings.

Crop rows for farming – Sometime around the 6th Century BC the Chinese developed a more improved method of farming. By aligning the crop fields in straight rows and “in tune” with the natural wind patterns crops grew better and faster ideas for an invention. Why? When the wind blows the crops aren’t damaged because there is a nice straight path for the wind to roll through.

Origami – Origami by definition is folding paper to create a piece of art. So if the Chinese invented paper then they probably had a hand in inventing origami. However, it is mostly understood that the Japanese took the invention of origami to the level it is now. This was done around 6th Century AD and later popularized by a book in 1797, “How To Fold One Thousand Cranes”. Then again in the 1950’s, Master Yoshizawa Akira brought it to the mainstream we know of today.



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