The ancient Chinese are famous for their inventions, and the four notable inventions are paper, printing, the compass, and gunpowder. These great inventions have lasting impact on the entire world.
Invention 1: Paper
The Chinese invented paper (Zhi in Chinese) as well as many interesting uses for paper such as paper money and playing cards. The first paper was invented by Cai Lun in 105 A.D. Before its invention, woods, bones, shells, and bamboo slips were used as writing surface.
Invention 2: Printing
The Chinese invented wood block printing in AD 868 and then moveable type around 200 years later. The shortcomings of wood blocking printing were noticeable. It was time-consuming to create a model, and not easy to make changes and store.
Invention 3: The compass
The Chinese invented the magnetic compass to help determine direction. Later, it became very important to map makers and to navigate ships when traveling long distances. In the beginning of the 14th century, compass was introduced to Europe from China.
Invention 4: Gunpowder
The Chinese invented gunpowder (Huo Yao in Chinese, meaning flaming medicine) in 9th century accidentally when chemists tried to find the elixir of immortality. It was a mixture of elements such as sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal. Later, people used gunpowder to make bombs, guns, and cannon balls. Chinese people also invented fireworks for celebrations.