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Chinese Inventions

Here are a few notable inventions of the Chinese:



Paper was one of the greatest inventions ever created. Paper was first created in the early 2nd century using the Chinese’s first standard papermaking process. Before it was invented, however, people wrote on bone or bamboo. These materials were heavy though, and were awkward to carry. Occasionally light silk was used to write on, but it was rather expensive and therefore not widely used. All of these materials were costly and not many people used them. During the Han Dynasty, a Chinese court official named Cai Lun is thought to be the first person to invent standard paper. Cai was inspired by watching bees and wasps build their hives, then later thought about making his own paper, starting from wood pulp. This creation made recording things in China a lot easier and influences us today because we still use paper for nearly all our daily needs.

Magnetic Compass

The compass is an invention used in navigation and was created in China. At first, explorers relied on celestial bodies to help them find their way at sea. In some places, it was difficult to do so. Sometimes it was cloudy outside or the sea was too deep to try sounding. In China, people started to discover that rubbing a needle on silk magnetized it, and when placed on water, the needle pointed towards the North or South Pole. This invention was universally used until the dry box compass came out. The magnetic compass worked by allowing a magnetized needle to freely move about and point towards the poles. This invention helped the Chinese very much in navigation and allowed mariners to travel more accurately and safely. The compass also influences us today because without it, we would not have the infrastructure for our modern navigational equipment.

Mechanical Clock

The mechanical clock is an invention we all use today thanks to the Chinese. Yi Xing, a Buddhist monk and mathematician, made the first model of a clock. Yi’s clock worked by steadily dripping water on a wheel that made a full revolution every 24 hours. As time went on, clock were made with an iron and bronze system of hooks, pins, locks and rods, but still followed Yi’s clock’s idea. Inspired by his ideas, three hundred years later, a man named Su Song created an even more sophisticated clock. The mechanical clock helped the Chinese people keep track of time so it made easier to go to events or do certain things at a certain time. The mechanical clock is still used today by many people to help keep on schedule or too keep track of time.

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