One of the most ancient civilizations on this Planet, China is known for its remarkable feats in the realm of the inventions. They have productive scholars who helped the entire empire to develop at an accelerated rate. This is why some of the inventions made by the Chinese are still useful today and they have represented steps forward into the development of the entire human race. Here are the most known 10 inventions that China made first.
10. The compass
The Han Dynasty was the one in whose period the first iron compass was invented. However, it was not used to navigate, but to predict the future. In order to get the necessary magnetic force they heated a metal object in some water. Another type of compass looking like a chariot used to point out south. In 1088, Shen Kuo described for the first time the notion of magnetic declination. They started using the compass for navigation in 1119.
9. Coffins and urns
The Chinese seemed to be quite interesting in burying the dead and caring for their bodies. In that respect, the oldest coffins were dated around the year 5000 BC. The way the coffin looked and how thick it was, were signs of nobility and power. They used to make coffins from trunks and even had coffins looking like boats.
8. Chopsticks and forks
The famous Asian chopsticks are considered to be totally Chinese inventions. What this is true, the fork seems to be also a Chinese discovery. They were first made of bones and were considered to be the tool of the upper class. The traditional eating habits which required the food to be chopped into small pieces favored the use of the chopsticks over the fork.
7. Paper Money
Money was a trading way for the ancient Chinese. The paper ones appeared in the 7th century. It was a great thing for merchants who did not need to carry around copper coins. They looked much like deposit receipts. Only the very wealthy people had access to them. The shortage of coins during the Song Dynasty made the paper money very popular. They were named jiaozi. An actual currency was made available on woodblocks in the 11th century.
Chinese people were keen to put their words on paper. This is why they have created the woodblock and the movable printing techniques. The first one implied carving the desired thing into a wood block. After that the block was covered with dye and stamped on a piece of paper. The movable printing was officially started by the Yuan Dynasty. The characters were settled in a certain pattern on a table. The used materials for the characters were now bronze and porcelain blocks.
The paper was considered to be rather cheap and fast to be printed than other materials like silk or clay. The process of producing paper started around the second century BC. It was an elaborate process of mixing tree bark, linen, water and so on and putting them into a wooden frame. After the process of blending was completed the frames were dried in the sun which would also bleach them.
The invention of gunpowder was made by sheer accident in the 9th century. They used it in order to make fireworks which will cast the evil out. From 1044, the gunpowder started to be used as an explosive which would cause destruction. However, the first formulas were not capable of making huge explosions, but could burn really fast. In the 15th century, there were six recipes for gunpowder which allowed it to explode.
3. Chinese Medicine
The Chinese were preoccupied with the health of their bodies and believes that a good and healthy diet would make all the difference. It is amazing to notice that there were dieticians hired at the imperial courts in order to give guidance towards proper eating habits. It was the first time in 1330 that a book regarding diets was published with all the gathered knowledge of centuries. The Chinese also used hormonal treatment which they extracted from urine. These hormones would treat sex issues caused by hormonal imbalances.
2. The Restaurant Menu
Handling paper was one of the strong points of the Chinese. The merchants were the first ones who benefited from the food which was offered in a variety of places. The downside of this fact was that in many regions they were not familiar with the dishes served. This is why the first menu was born out of the desire to offer the travelers and the merchants a clear perspective over the food served. After this first trial, the menu trend took over every place where food was served, from the temples and theaters to the brothels and tea houses.
1. Toilet Paper
It is something that today everyone finds very normal to have in the house. Actually no one would give much thought over the origin of the toilet paper. But this was also a Chinese invention from 589BC. The Chinese were the first ones to use paper to wipe themselves, while the rest of the world would use a sponge, lace, wood, water or even their own hands. The things went on as the Chinese started to flavor the paper by using perfumes. In that way the royal family had the honor to use scented paper for their daily restroom needs.