Chinese Inventions

Topics: China, East Asia, Invention Pages: 3 (898 words) Published: October 16, 2008
Great inventions from the East.
Although not many people know, perhaps more than half of the inventions and discoveries which the modern world relies on were originated from East Asia. The East Asian culture has contributed to our world civilization achievements in the fields of agriculture, shipping, astronomy, printing, paper money, oil, martial arts, ammunition and mathematics. These inventions were essential blocks in the building of the world as we know today. Therefore, this museum report will focus on four main innovations which I consider to be indispensable aspects of our contemporary lives: paper, printing, the compass, and Gun powder. Perhaps the most important invention of an East Asian culture is paper. Paper was invented in China by the second century BC at the latest; however, it seems that paper wasn’t originally used for writing. Apparently, its early uses were for clothing, wrapping, lacquer ware and personal hygiene. Early paper was produced from the bark of the mulberry tree. This paper was found practical for the use of clothing. Evidence shows that Chinese used paper as hats, belts and even shoes. Further, the Chinese were the first to use paper for hygiene. In 1393, the Bureau of Imperial Supplies manufactured 720,000 sheets of toilet paper. In addition, 15,000 specially perfumed and soft paper sheets were produced for the exclusive use of the imperial family. It was only a century later that paper was used as medium for writing. The secrets of paper making were discovered to the Arabs from Chinese war prisoners who were captured after the battle at Samarkand. The Arabs had kept the secret of paper making from the Europeans for five centuries and sold them paper in great profit. It was not until the thirteenth century that the Italians had started to industrialize paper, 1400 years after the Chinese had started producing paper!^(Temple,1986.p 81-84)

As a result of the invention of paper, by the7th century, woodblock printing...

Bibliography: "Spurlock Museum", East Asian exhibition.
"The genius of China: 3,000 years of Science, Discovery and Innovation". Robert Temple, 1986.
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