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.Continue Reading
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
In 1498, the Chinese created the first toothbrush as it is known today with bristles and a thin handle.Toothbrushes were mentioned as far back as 3,000 BC. They were described as chew sticks that were made of twigs with split threads at the end that could be rubbed vigorously against the teeth to remove food and plaque.Full Answer >
Porcelain was invented by the Chinese sometime during the Tang Dynasty, which lasted from 617 to 907 A.D. However, they had been making ceramics and proto-porcelain materials for as many as 1,000 years before this time.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 >
Although the first concept of a threaded bolt, or screw, is believed to have been developed during the time of the Ancient Greeks by either Archytas of Tarentum or Archimedes, the first record of a threaded bolt used with an accompanying nut as a fastening device dates back to a 15th century book. The practice of using a screw as a fastening device gained acceptance about that time when it was used in Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press.Full Answer >