Ancient China – Inventions and Innovations

History of Science and Technology in China considered being rich. There are four major inventions such as the Compass, Gunpowder, Papermaking and Printing. However, there are many more Ancient inventions which make China, extremely productive and artistic. China is the source of many inventions, innovations and fantastic discoveries. Today, we are dedicating the entire article to Ancient China. What were the major inventions and innovations? Yes, we will tell you more about the four great inventions as well. However, it is important to know about other Chinese inventions as well. Ancient China has given the world many innovations and inventions which are praise-worthy. Read on to find out more about Ancient China and the inventions.

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The Contributors

Ancient Chinese engineers, scientists, astronomers, doctors, mathematicians and philosophers, made significant contribution to Science and Technology. They made great scientific discoveries, invented great devices and also contributed technological inventions for different fields such as medical, engineering, technology, military, astronomy, mathematics, etc.

 

The First Inventions in Ancient China

The earliest invention in Ancient China was the abacus. The Kongming Lanterns and shadow clock was also invented in Ancient China. However, the greatest invention has been the compass, gunpowder, paper making and printing. Do you know that these inventions were only known to Europe? It was not instant because they got to know about the invention 1000 years later. It was during AD 610 – 906 when Ancient China’s scientists, mathematician and inventors invented the finest discoveries. It was during the period of Tang Dynasty.

There have been many inventions in Ancient China. You will be amazed to know that the great thinkers and inventors in Ancient China invented some really useful instruments. They are being used in different parts of the world. It was the Chinese people, who invented the greatest technologies. Those inventions have improvised by different scientists and inventors. However, the fact will remain that the instruments were invented in Ancient China.

 

Four Great Inventions

Paper – Pulp paper-making was invented by Cai Lun from Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) Cai Lun was a eunuch and other than pulp paper-making, he discovered the new materials that can be used to make paper. He used fish net, mulberry tree bark, old linen and hemp to make the pulp for paper making. He made a paste out of this and added water to it. He used the heat of sunlight to dry the sheets of paper that he made with the pulp. The process improved later.

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Printing – The earliest book that has been printed was the Diamond Sutra. It was during Tang Dynasty when the book got printed. However, the earliest print has been the dharani sutra which is written in Sanskrit. It was printed on Hemp paper.

This is the image of Diamond Sutra. It is the first ever printed book!

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Compass – Originally the compass was first found in Mexico but Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) started using the north-south bowl and ladle shaped compass. The instrument used as a compass resembled a large spoon. It was placed on the ground and it could show the south direction. It was Zhu Yu, who wrote about the use of the compass for navigation.

Gunpowder – The first use of gunpowder was in Tang Dynasty (618-907). The first recipe of gunpowder was given by Zeng Gongliang, Yang Weide and Ding Du. It was written on a military manuscript called the Wujing Zongyao. These were used in bombs which were launched by the catapults.

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A List of Great Inventions in Ancient China

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#1 Alcohol

Du Kang and Yi Di were the earliest alcohol makers from the Xia Dynasty. They invented beer which had 4% to 5% alcohol content. It was also offered to spirits in the Shang Dynasty. Later, the Chinese people discovered that by fermentation, they can increase the content of alcohol. This way, they invented alcohol.

#2 Mechanical Clocks

According to sources, Yi Xing was the first one, who invented the mechanical clock. He was a mathematician and Buddhist Monk. He belonged to the Tang Dynasty. It was Su Song, who created the actual clock from the Song Dynasty (960-1279)

#3 Invention of Tea

Tea culture is popular in China. Shen Nong was the first person to drink tea. He was the emperor in 2,737 BC. The inventor is unknown but he used a tea shredder to make the tea. The shredder was made with a sharp wheel and wooden pot. It was during the Tang Dynasty when the tea culture became popular. The tea became more refined during this period.

#4 Silk

Chinese people were the one, who harvested the silk. We all know that silkworms create silk but the Chinese people harvested it. It was an important invention because China could make trade relations with rest of the world through silk. The kimonos are made with silk. Kimono is a traditional outfit. You will find many Chinese women wearing silk kimonos.

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China – The Land of Great Inventions

There are so many inventions like porcelain, umbrella, and iron smelting, acupuncture, and earthquake detector. How did the great thoughts come to their mind? We usually talk about how we should not buy Chinese technological products but if we look at their history, they are the inventors. Today, if we wish to buy a phone, it is the Chinese market which gives us reasonable phones. The kite was also invented in Ancient China 3,000 years ago. In fact the toothbrush that we use was invented in China. It was invented in the year 1498 by a Chinese, who made it with horse hair. He attached the bristles to a bamboo stick or a bone. Do you know that paper money was discovered by Ancient Chinese? It is the Chinese people, who have made important contributions for the world’s welfare. They are responsible for the greatest inventions. We can only thank them for their innovations and inventions. The world would not be so progressive if the Ancient Chinese were not there. Kudos to you, Ancient China!