China has always prided itself with its ancient and ground breaking discoveries. In fact, some of the world's most important inventions were made by the Chinese. Their inventions have shaped our history. A cursory look at the list of Chinese inventions will give you a sense of how critical these discoveries were when it came to building civilizations.
Joseph Needam, a British scholar, recognized the importance of these discoveries. He studied these inventions extensively, even listing four of them as being the greatest inventions of ancient China. These include the compass, gunpowder, paper, and printing.
The list of Chinese inventions includes familiar tools and some lesser known materials. A lot of these are even still used today. Many more are considered as direct descendants of modern day tools and methods. Let's take a look at some of these inventions shall we?
First up on our list of Chinese inventions is the compass. Without a doubt, this tool has greatly expedited and eased how our ancestors navigated the globe. To this day, the compass is still considered as an important navigation tool, and little has changed on how compasses are manufactured.
Next up on our list is gunpowder. It was first discovered in China during 1000 A.D. This was about 300 years before the first recorded gunpowder use in Europe. Unlike their European brethren, the Chinese never really pursued the use of explosives as a weapon. This was a tragic irony for the Chinese; since with the aid of gunpowder, the Europeans went on to win their wars against the Chinese.
Another important material included in the list of Chinese inventions is paper. First invented somewhere around 105 A.D., we can all thank the Chinese for this wonderful and infinitely important piece of discovery.
Printing was also first discovered by the Chinese. This includes both moveable type, and block printing. Europeans seem to have learned about block printing from the Chinese playing cards which they introduced to Europe.
Tea lovers should be thankful to the Chinese since tea drinking was first invented in China. Two other forms of beverage - this time alcoholic ones - also originated in China, brandy and whiskey. Distillation was discovered in China during the seventh century A.D., well before its twelfth century discovery in the west.
These are but a few of the items included in the list of Chinese inventions. Some of them have been of significant import to us, others, well we can do without. One thing is for certain, those ancient Chinese inventors made a lot of impact on our history.