Although magnets were not invented, they were discovered by either the ancient Greeks or the Chinese. According to a legend, a Greek shepherd accidentally discovered lodestones in an area called Magnesia. Lodestone contains magnetite, which is a mineral found in nature as an iron ore.Know More
However, the ancient Chinese also were familiar with lodestone and its magnetic properties. Nearly 4,500 years ago, they used lodestones in divining devices and mariner compasses. For these ancient people, lodestone magnetism was a natural phenomenon that was not understood.
It was not until the 1600s that magnetism began to be studied and understood by men like Peregrinus and William Gilbert. In 1820, Hans Oersted showed that there was a relationship between electricity and magnetism. Another important person that worked on magnetism and its relationship with electricity was James Clark Maxwell.Learn more about Inventions
The discovery of silk production was made by the Chinese around 2700 B.C. Sericulture, the commercial production of silk from the silkworm (scientific name bombyx mori), remained an important Chinese commodity for centuries.Full Answer >
The first compasses were invented by the Chinese around the 4th century BC. The earliest compasses, however, were not used exclusively for navigation. They were used primarily as figurative symbols to help people find order and harmony in their surrounding environments and lives.Full Answer >
While the specifics regarding who first invented the cannon are not known, it is believed that the Chinese fielded the first small hand cannons in the year 1260. Cannon designs in Europe continued to evolve throughout the 17th century.Full Answer >
The horse collar was invented by the Chinese, in approximately the fourth century BC. Other inventions of ancient China include the wheelbarrow, seismograph, paper money and the moldboard plow.Full Answer >