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20 of the many German inventions and innovations

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Every country has it’s great inventors and innovators. However there is one country and ethnic group that rarely gets credit for their contributions. They are the Germans a group of people who were once considered to be more “Asiatic” than European. Whether they be German nationals or German diaspora, their contributions to the world are too many to list here. However, here are 20 of the many inventions and innovations they’ve contributed to the world. Note that there are many scientific discoveries made by Germans as well but I’ll save that for a different post. Here I’ll only list inventions and innovations that can be attributed to the Germans.

The Car: The man who created the first successful car was a German by the name of Karl Benz in the year 1885.

Karl Benz
Karl Benz

The airplane: The airplane was invented in the early 1900s by the Wright brothers who were Americans of German, Swiss and English ancestry. While several other inventors did create experimental flying vehicles prior to the Wright brothers. It was the Wright brothers who created the first successful airplanes that could make lengthy flights.

Wright brothers
Wright brothers

The Hotdog: Sausages have been part of German cuisine for years but the concept of putting a sausage into a bun is attributed to the Feuchtwanger family who were German-American immigrants.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Hamburger: If the name isn’t a giveaway, the hamburger can trace it’s origins to Germany but the person who created it is unknown.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Pretzel: Much like the hamburger, nobody actually knows who created the pretzel but the earliest records imply it’s of German origin.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

The Assault rifle: While the Russians did create something called the “Fedorov Avotomat” in 1913, it never really caught on and it was more of a battle rifle/light machine gun hybrid than an Assault rifle. The first truly successful assault rifle designed was known as the “Stürmgewehr 44” which was designed between 1942-1944. It was designed by a German named Hugo Schmeisser. It was the most innovative infantry weapon of the Second World War that would go on to inspire the design of just about every assault rifle that exists today.

MP43/STG44
MP43/STG44

The semi-auto pistol: While many gun enthusiasts may know that the first assault rifle is of German origin, what many don’t know is that the first ever semi auto pistol is also of German origin or to be more precise German-Italian origin. The Salvator-Dormus pistol was designed by a German-Austrian gunsmith named Georg Von Dormus and an Italian born Austrian archduke named Karl Salvator.

M9 pistol incorporates both German and Italian aesthetics.
M9 pistol incorporates both German and Italian aesthetics.

The Gutenberg printing press: Considered to be one of the most important inventions invented is the Gutenberg printing press which was invented by a German named Johannes Gutenberg in 1440. Although, there were some types of printing presses already in existence, Gutenberg’s contributions were a major breakthrough.

Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gutenberg

Hole punch and ring binder: Both of these household items were invented by a German named Friederick Soennecken in 1886. There where two other guys who created a similar tool but they were slightly different than to the hole puncher Soennecken created which gradually evolved to be the common hole punchers used today.

Frederich Soennecken
Frederich Soennecken

Gun barrel rifling: It is not known who exactly came up with this concept, all that is known is that it was a German from Augsburg in 1498.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Carabiner: That common loop with a spring latch used to secure ropes is of German origin hence the Anglicized word carabiner from the German word “Karabiner” or rifle man. The inventor was known as Otto “Rambo” Herzog who was also a rock climber.

Karabiner(anglicized: Carabiner)
Karabiner(anglicized: Carabiner)

missile technology: The first ever usage of missiles as weapons can be traced to Germany in 1944 as Robert Lusser created the V1 cruise missile while Wernher Von braun created the V2 guided ballistic missile.

Wernher Von Braun
Wernher Von Braun

Bandondeon: An accordion like instrument that was designed by a German named Heinrich Band sometime in the 1880s and has been primarily introduced to Argentina.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Harmonica: A pocket sized instrument invented by a German named Christian Frederich Ludwig Buschmann in 1821 who is also credited with inventing the accordion.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Bicycle: The first bicycle was designed by a German named Karl Freiherr Von Drais around the early 1800s.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Paper coffee filter: The paper filters everyone uses to make coffee were invented by a German woman named Mellita Bentz in the year 1908. She also founded the coffee company named “Melitta”.

Melitta Bentz
Melitta Bentz

Wire rope: The wire rope is an invention of a German named Wilhelm Albert circa 1831-1834.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Gummy Bears: This popular candy was invented by a German named Hans Riegel Sr. in 1920 who also founded the Haribo company which was the first company to make gummy bears.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations

Modern combat helmet: The first country to use bowl or pot shaped helmets was Germany in the later stages of WWI. These helmets were known as the “Stahlhelm”. Most other countries either had no helmets or used the French Adrian and or English Brody helmets. And after both world wars, most countries started to create helmets based off the Stahlhelm design.

Chilean Army wearing stahlhelms
Chilean Army wearing stahlhelms

First modern computer: In the year 1941, a German by the name of Konrad Zuse created what is considered to be the first modern computer. The computer was known as Z3. A replica of the Z3 computer can be found at the Deutsches Museum in Munich Germany.

Apple computer
Apple computer

There are so many more inventions and innovations that can be attributed to German minds. Furthermore, many companies and scientific discoveries can also be attributed to people of German ancestry.

20 of the many German inventions and innovations
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Feelicks
    Much of this comes down to creating an environment in which inventions and breakthroughs are possible. Unfortunately crushing poverty and mindless busywork stifles creative minds.

    Chances are that the brightest minds of our species have died in obscurity doing menial subsistence labor. It's that kind of world.

    What's interesting about the German heritage is that they were the last group of Europeans to enter the iron age, and pretty much skipped the bronze age due to material scarcity.

    So since the Roman era, they went from a primal stone leather wood and bone level of technology, to the pinnacle of technology.

    Would be really interesting to study the economic situation that set the stage for such transformation
    Is this still revelant?
  • Hispanic-Cool-Guy
    Germans created hot dogs, burgers and gummy bears? Makes me love Germans!!! 🙌😂
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girls

  • You forgot Christmas, much of our modern Christmas traditions are German.
    Is this still revelant?
  • juliaanita
    Probably the hotdog was the most important invention of all. :)
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

15
  • Rob17792
    you forgot mustard gas, the zepplin balloon, biological warfare and chemical warfare and that's not even getting into time travel during the manhatten project
  • Daniel_Dano
    You forgot V2 , the first tactical missile to be created
  • Mia-Wallace
    👌🇩🇪
  • Avicenna
    MP3s As Well
  • SuccessfulHornDog
    They have contributed a lot
  • monkeynutts
    mmmmmmmm gummy bears!
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