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1. Compass. Feudal period – 4th Cent BC The Chinese developed a lodestone compass to indicate direction sometime in the 4th century BC. These compasses were south pointing and were primarily used on land as divination tools and direct finders. 2. Seed Drill.

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1. Compass

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1 compass

1. Compass

  • Feudal period – 4th Cent BC

  • The Chinese developed a lodestone compass to indicate direction sometime in the 4th century BC. These compasses were south pointing and were primarily used on land as divination tools and direct finders.


2 seed drill

2. Seed Drill

  • The Seed Drill is used to plant seeds into the soil at a uniform depth and covers it. Without this tool seeds are tossed by hand over the ground resulting in waste and inefficient, uneven growth. Chinese farmers were using seed drills as early as the 2nd Century BC. The first known European instance was a patent issued to CamilloTorello in 1566, but was not adopted by Europeans into general use until the mid 1800’s.


3 iron plow

3. Iron Plow

  • One of the major developments of the ancient Chinese agriculture was the use of the iron plows. Probably first developed in the 4th century BC, they were popular and common by the Han Dynasty. This technology was not instituted into England and Holland until the 17th century, sparking an abundance of food which some experts say was a necessary prerequisite for the industrial revolution.


4 gunpowder

4. Gunpowder

  • Gunpowder was invented in China, probably during the 1000's. The Chinese used gunpowder to make fireworks and for signal flares. Soon after its invention, the Chinese used gunpowder for weapons (which they called fire arrows). Fire rockets were made by filling capped bamboo tubes with gunpowder and iron bits (shrapnel). These lethal weapons were attached to an arrow, lit, and shot from a bow. These were the first solid-fuel rockets. The Chinese used them to fight the invading Mongol hordes.


5 rudder technology for boats

5. Rudder Technology for Boats

  • The first recorded use of rudder technology in the West was in 1180. Chinese pottery dating from the 1st century have been found show sophisticated rudders. Early rudder technology (c 100 AD) also included the easier to use balanced rudder (where part of the blade was in front of the steering post), first adopted by England in 1843 – some 1700 years later.


6 harnesses

6. Harnesses

  • Throat harnesses have been used throughout the world to harness horses to carts and sleds. These harnesses press back on the neck of the horse thus limiting the full strength of the animal. This critical invention was introduced into Europe approximately by 970 and became widespread within 200 years. Because of the greater speed of horses over oxen, as well as greater endurance, agricultural output throughout Europe increased significantly.


7 toilet paper

7. Toilet Paper!!!

  • Paper was an early invention of China. One of the first recorded accounts of using hygienic paper was during the Sui Dynasty in 589. In 851 an Arab traveler reported (with some amazement) that the Chinese used paper in place of water to cleanse themselves. By the late 1300’s, approximately 720,000 sheets per year was produced in packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets. In colonial times in America (late 1700’s) it was still common to use corn-cobs or leaves.


8 printing paper

8. Printing & Paper

  • That paper was invented by the Chinese is well known (by CaiLun c 50-121 AD), and it is one of the great Chinese inventions. The recipe for this paper still exists and can be followed by today’s artisans. In 868 the first printed book, using full page woodcuts, was produced. By contrast, Gutenberg’s bibles – the first European book printed with movable type – were printed in the 1450’s.


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