Why are inventions important

German inventions: 17 inventions from Germany that changed the world

Germany is known as the land of poets and thinkers. But German engineers have also invented some important things with their work for industry that we take for granted in our everyday life today. It does not matter whether in science or medicine, many of these inventions have already promoted technological progress in our country in the past. The most important German inventions at a glance.

List of German inventions from Germany at a glance

Book printing - Johannes Gutenberg (1440)

The goldsmith at that time was developing this almost 600 years ago Johannes Gutenberg the Letterpress. Even today, his invention is considered one of the most important in history. Gutenberg used his knowledge of blacksmithing and built a device from movable letters that could be moved as desired on a rail and also given color. A white sheet of paper was then placed on top of these colored letters and pressed together with the aid of the machine. A short time later, Gutenberg produced the first printed version of the Bible.

Together with the Reformation of Martin Luther, letterpress printing marked a revolution in language and writing. For the first time, even ordinary people could get printed texts, which could now be produced in larger quantities in a much shorter time.

The Purity Law - Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria (1516)

There was beer long beforeDuke Wilhelm IV. further developed it through the purity law. At that time, beer was often adulterated with pitch, ox gall or snake weed. First 1516 it was stipulated that beer could only consist of barley, water and hops. This composition is known as the German Purity Law and is the first food regulation in the world that is still valid today.

Homeopathy - Samuel Hahnemann (1797)

Samuel Hahnemann was a doctor, pharmacist and chemist and developed homeopathy, one of the most controversial German inventions. It was an alternative medical treatment that was supposed to complement the medical technology used to date. Brutal methods, such as bloodletting, were questioned and occasionally relied on the less brutal treatments of homeopathy. Patients were initially interviewed in order to understand their mental and physical condition. Afterwards, those affected were given sugar globules - also known as globules - of which only a very small proportion of the active substance is present.

Hahnemann pursued a chance discovery with this method: If the affected person is given a remedy for their suffering that is similar to the disease, an artificial disease is created. This dominates the natural disease and can thus help to alleviate the symptoms of those affected. Today, however, homeopathy is also questioned by many critics. Their effect, which goes beyond a placebo effect, has not been scientifically proven.

The light bulb - Heinrich Göbel (1854)

Many people believe that the idea for the light bulb came from the American inventor Thomas Edison. He was the one who manufactured the first carbon filament lamp in 1879 and applied for a patent for it. Heinrich Goebel however, developed the first Lightbulb already in the year 1854 - so 25 years earlier. However, the German entrepreneur and inventor failed to apply for a patent on his invention, which is why this invention is now largely awarded to Thomas Edison.

The "Otto engine" powers most modern cars. However, it was not Nicolaus Otto, but a watchmaker who invented the four-stroke engine. Who is the man who grew up as the son of destitute parents and made a career in Munich?

The Telephone - Johann Philipp Reis (1859)

Of Johann Philipp Reis originated the invention of the telephone. The math teacher succeeded for the first time in converting sounds and tones into electrical currents and thus reproducing the sound in a different location. Similar to Göbel, however, Reis did not register a patent for his invention and it was not until 1875 that the telephone was further developed by Graham Bell and finally patented by him.

By the way, the first sentence that was transmitted from one place to another over a telephone reads: The horse does not eat cucumber salad.

The Periodic Table - Lothar Meyer (1864)

Anyone who remembers their chemistry class inevitably thinks of that Periodic table. This invention comes from the German chemist Justus Lothar Meyer. In parallel with the Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev, he developed an order of chemical elements. At that time only 63 of the 118 chemical elements today were known.

With the help of the periodic table, Meyer was able to arrange the elements with one another and thus recognize that chemical properties that are similar to one another repeat themselves periodically. In contrast to then, the number of protons within a nucleus is used today instead of the atomic weight to determine the position of the element in the periodic table.

The dynamo and the tram - Werner von Siemens (1866)

Werner from Siemens first discovered that dynamo-electric principle in the year 1866. The electromagnetism remains in the iron of an electromagnet, which is sufficient to generate a voltage. This was a revolution for power generation.

13 years later, in 1879, Werner von Siemens invented the "Electric Railway", which we call it today tram know. To begin with, he converted two horse-drawn carriages that could move independently on rails without human or animal strength. At that time, the cars were not supplied with electricity via an overhead line, but a generator connected to a steam engine at the station, which served as an energy source, supplied the first tram with electricity via the rails.

The first route traveled by the tram was in Berlin and was 2.5 kilometers long. It stretched from Groß-Lichterfelde to the Prussian Hauptkadettenanstalt and began operations in 1881. The tram only took ten minutes.

The first motorcycle and the first automobile - Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz (1885)

The first motorcycle was 1885 of Gottlieb Daimler invented and was given the illustrious name "Reitwagen" (riding carriage). The vehicle was an important step in the development of the automobile and so the first motorized carriage followed in 1886. It is considered the first car in the world and was also the result of the development of a boat powered by the new gasoline engine that Daimler and his friend developedWilhelm Maybach was invented.

However, the patent for the first car was filed Carl Benz at. At the same time as Maybach and Daimler, he worked on a similar invention and officially registered the "vehicle with gas engine operation" in 1886. However, Benz did not undertake the first trips in the new automobile himself, as he was in awe of the noisy vehicle. Rather, it was ultimately his wife Bertha Benz who, together with their sons Eugen and Richard, undertook trips of up to 100 kilometers. The German citizens were quite skeptical after the invention of a horse-powered carriage became more and more popular. Accordingly, it was not until 1908 that the first cars were on German roads. Due to the high number of accidents at the beginning, the first automobile liability law came into force almost a year later.

The glider - Otto Lilienthal (1894)

1894 recognized the German researcher Otto Lilienthalthat the power when flying is primarily generated by the curvature of the wings. In order to try out his thesis, Lilienthal had a 15 meter high hill built in Berlin-Lichterfelde. It still exists today and is known as "Fly Mountain". From there, Lilienthal started numerous flights with the first glider planes. He could travel up to 80 meters in the air. Lilienthal is considered to be the world's first aviation pioneer.

X-rays - Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1895)

As with many inventions, the X-rays by the namesake and physicistWilhelm Röntgen chance plays a crucial role. During an experiment he observed a light that shouldn't have been there. This light represented the X-rays which, to Röntgen's surprise, could penetrate matter. The English term for X-ray radiation also comes from X-radiation.

After the discovery of the new type of radiation, it was mainly used in medicine to examine organs. X-rays are also suitable for viewing tissue structures. For example, teeth can be seen as white shadows on the X-ray image and the gums can be seen darker in the images as soft tissue.

With his discovery, Röntgen revolutionized medical technology and received the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.

The theory of relativity - Albert Einstein (1915)

Through the from Albert Einstein formulated theory of relativity the previous understanding of time and space was turned upside down. He found that time specifications had to be viewed relatively based on their reference system, because time always depends on the object to be moved. Through these discoveries, he paved the way for further discoveries in the fields of nuclear research and astronomy. Quantum physics also benefited from Einstein's discoveries. He received the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.

The 35mm camera -Oskar Barnack (1925)

The inventor and amateur photographer Oskar Barnack wanted to find the right exposure time on his excursions in order to be able to take the best possible photographs. He tested the sensitivity of a film strip in a box he had specially developed. He did not use the large plates customary at the time, but reduced their format to 35 millimeters.

The then head of film camera development in the Leitz company then created the 35mm camera. Nice 1925 the so-called Leica went into production. Leica stands for Leitz Approxmera. Due to its handy size, it gradually replaced bulky plate cameras for static single shots and so the first handheld camera was born long before the digital camera.

Television - Manfred von Ardenne (1930)

1930 invented the German researcher Manfred von Ardenne the watch TV. Thanks to the latest technology at the time, he succeeded in dismantling images on the side of the transmitter and reassembling them on the receiver. Von Ardenne used the light spot of a Braun tube to help make electrical currents visible. Five years later, the first regular television program flickered on the screens.

Nuclear fission and the atomic bomb - Otto Hahn (1938)

Together with Lise Meitner did Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann a momentous discovery. During the Second World War they researched radioactivity and in the field of atomic physics. Hahn discovered that the element barium is formed when neurons are bombarded with uranium. That was the Nuclear fission born. But it was Lisa Meitner who, with her analysis, provided scientific information about how a uranium atomic nucleus disintegrates when neurons are bombarded.

Since she was Jewish, however, she had to leave the country due to the National Socialist government in Germany and also renounced her professorship. Hahn continued to work with her in secret, and finally he and Straßmann were able to publish the results of her research. In 1944 Hahn received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Meitner and Straßmann were also nominated for the Nobel Prize, but received nothing.

The first computer - Konrad Zuse (1941)

Because he had no desire to calculate, developed Konrad Zuse a machine that was able to calculate independently. The civil engineer set up a workshop in his parents' house and developed the first model of one with the Z1 Computers. However, this only ran mechanically. In the year 1941 he finally developed the Z3, the first programmable computer. It is considered to be the world's first computer.

The chip card - Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Gröttrup (1969)

The Chip card made cashless payments possible for the first time and caused a revolution in payment transactions. With his business partner HelmutGröttrup developed the radio mechanic JürgenDethloff an electronic data storage device that could be built into a small plastic card. 1968 they applied for a patent for it. This is considered the first version of a chip card. Some time later, in 1977, the first microprocessor was built into a chip card. This new technology is considered to be far more secure than the magnetic stripe that was previously used for data transmission. The 25 square millimeters of silicon that were built into the chips for this purpose can still be found in all bank and insurance cards.

The MP3 format - Fraunhofer Institute (1988)

The Fraunhofer Institute put with the development of the MP3 format the foundation for Walkmans, iPods and other MP3 players. Some researchers from Erlangen wanted to compress music in 1987 and created it after putting in a lot of effort 1988 the MP3 format. It was able to shrink the original file format by twelve times. Now it was possible to simply exchange music and the music industry, which had previously only made its sales through records and CDs, later benefited from the invention from Germany.

List of German inventions in the table




LetterpressJohannes Gutenberg1440
beerDuke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria1516
homeopathySamuel Hahnemann1797
LightbulbHeinrich Goebel1854
phoneJohann Philipp Reis1859
Periodic tableLothar Meyer1864
Dynamo and tramWerner from Siemens1866
Motorcycle and automobileGottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz1885
GliderOtto Lilienthal1894
X-raysWilhelm Conrad Röntgen1895
theory of relativityAlbert Einstein1915
35mm cameraOskar Barnack1925
watch TVManfred von Ardenne1930
Nuclear fission and atomic bombOtto Hahn1938
computerKonrad Zuse1941
Chip cardJürgen Dethloff and Helmut Gröttrup1969
MP3 formatFraunhofer Institute1988
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