China is a country which has given the world some of the most important inventions. Here, in this article, we tell you about some of the most significant inventions by the ancient China.
- Paper Currency - The paper currency was first introduced in China and it is now widely used in most of the countries. According to the earliest documentations which have been found, the paper currency was invented in the 800 B.C. Since the time of its invention, paper currency has been a very popular form of trading commodities and products. The first use of paper currency was for letters of credit. The first major use of the paper currency was found in the province of Szechwan, which is an isolated area in China.
- Row cropping – Row cropping was first introduced in China, during the 6th century B.C. The crops were planted in rows, which allowed the crops to grow faster and in large quantities. Cropping in rows also meant that the wind would hit these crops in a perfectly straight row and roll through it.
- Fireworks - Fireworks were first invented in China as a medium of entertainment some 2000 years ago. But as time passed, the usage also changed. Eventually, it was used to scare off enemies in battles. According to various stories, fireworks were discovered by accident when a Chinese cook working in a field kitchen happened to mix charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter by mistake. According to yet another story, it was invented by a Chinese monk named Li Tiam who lived near Liu Yang, which is a city in China. Chinese celebrate the invention of firecracker every year by offering various sacrifices to Li Tiam.
- Gun Powder - This is yet another innovation that has literally changed the world. When gun powder was actually invented is not known, but it is believed that it came into existence at the same time when fireworks was invented. It is said that the gunpowder was, at first, discovered to be a potion of immortality. But eventually, it came to be used in various wars. The invention of gunpowder is credited to the centuries old alchemy experimentation.
- Flame Thrower - A flame thrower has been a very important invention that is even used to this day. It is basically used to weld metals together, and comes in very handy when building strong structures. A flame thrower is a device that shoots flames. While most flame throwers used by the military use liquids, the commercial ones use high pressure propane gas coupled with natural gas. Flame throwers have existed since ancient times. For example, the Pen Huo Qi which was a fire throwing machine was a Chinese invention that used naphtha, and was invented around the 919 A.D. The flame thrower was also used during the World Wars, especially during World War-II where it was used extensively.
- Rudder - A rudder is a device situated on a boat or ship, which helps to turn the boat towards the desired direction. It is also used in aeroplanes as well. Before rudders were invented, boats had to be turned using a device known as oars, which resulted in wastage of a lot of time and energy. It is said that the rudder was invented in China way back during the 1st century AD. It was during the reign of the Han Dynasty that the first use of rudder was seen. Rudder was discovered in the Guangzhou district of China. It is interesting to note that the world's first and oldest model of a ship's rudder was found on a model made out of pottery, in China.
- Compass - Now, the compass has arguably been one of the most significant inventions. It is widely used in planes and boats and also comes in very handy to find the way if someone gets lost. The magnetic compass was discovered by the Qin Dynasty between 221-206 B.C. At first, the compass was used by the fortune tellers to construct their boards of fortune. But, later it was seen that instead of telling fortunes, a compass was more adept at telling and pointing to the right directions.
- Deep drilling - This technique of drilling was invented by the ancient Chinese in 100 B.C and is still being used today. Deep drilling is basically used to drill through the ground in search of gas. The earliest deep drilling devices were huge and were really well crafted. The latest ones are not so large but are immensely powerful.