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Top 5 Ancient Inventions in China

you see articles about Chinese people not being creative, but that hasn’t always been the case. Here are the top 5 ancient Chinese inventions that changed the world.


Top 5: Kites and Movable Sails


That’s right before Homer wrote about the great conquest of Troy and long before Columbus discovered America; the ancient Chinese kingdoms mastered the seas. As a matter of fact, according to many historians, “China had one of the most advanced maritime forces in the world at the time. This is in part due to their invention of movable sails. Today, we still use movable sails on many maritime ships.


Top 4: Spinning wheel


Due to the high demand for silk, the Chinese developed the spinning wheel, which allowed silk workers to increase production and quality of silk treads.

Evidence suggests that the Chinese invented the spinning wheel in the 11th century and this revolutionary device made its way into Europe via the Silk Road, with stops in India, Baghdad, and eventually Europe.

Today, most of our cloth is spun with newer technologies that offer even faster yarn production including friction spinning, an open-end system, and air jets.


Top 3: Compass


Were you a boy scout when you were little? Or have you ever been camping? Chances are when you were little you learned to use a compass.

One of the reasons China had a powerful navy in ancient times was because they could navigate the high seas. The magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Han Dynasty, and later adopted for navigation by the Song Dynasty during the 11th century.

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The first usage of a compass recorded in Western Europe and Persia occurred around the early 13th century, almost two centuries later! Today, the compass is still a powerful tool for navigation!


Top 2: Paper


The pulp papermaking process is said to have been developed in China during the early 2nd century AD, possibly as early as the year 105 A.D., by the Han court eunuch Cai Lun, although the earliest archaeological fragments of paper derive from the 2nd century BC in China.

Popular belief is that Egyptians invented paper, but it was the Chinese who invented the pulp papermaking process and we still use this technique today.

Top 1: Gunpowder


Chinese are well known for their creation of gunpowder and contrary to popular belief they did use it in warfare. The common story is Chinese created fireworks and when Westerners came across the invention they turned it into gunpowder, but this is just a story. As a matter of fact, this invention has changed warfare forever.  From guns to cannons to rockets, without this invention we might have never made it to the moon!


The top 5 ancient Chinese inventions that changed the world. Do you agree with our list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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