Chinese Invention Tuesdays: Longlist


It's an old saw that the Chinese invented most everything, including saws. But how many can you name to impress people at dinner parties? The four big ones are paper, printing, the compass, and gunpowder (while trying to create an elixir of immortality, ironically). Lesser known are golf, wheelbarrows, helicopters and – logical when you think about it – toilet paper.

We thought it would be interesting to list one Chinese invention for each letter of the alphabet. Most of these are well established, some are a stretch from the current version of the thing but the original idea was Chinese, or so they claim. Pity they didn't invent copyright.

  • Alchohol
  • Bells
  • Chess
  • Decimal system
  • E-cigarettes
  • Fireworks
  • Golf
  • Helicopters
  • Incense
  • Junks
  • Kites
  • Land mines
  • Mechanical clock
  • Noodles
  • Oil wells
  • Parachutes
  • Qigong
  • Rudders
  • Suspension bridge
  • Toilet paper
  • Umbrellas
  • Viagra (sort of)
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Xiangqi
  • Yo yos
  • Zoetrope