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5 Inventions to Thank Germany For Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in History, Language

Many of the useful and practical Gegenstände (objects) that you use today were invented by Germans. As Germans are known for being very efficient when it comes to working, it’s no wonder that so many inventors are Deutsch! Here’s a list of some of them:

Die erste Glühbirne:

The First Ever Lightbulb:

Although it is said that Thomas Edison and other inventors invented the light bulb, a man called Heinrich Göbel is also to thank for. He invented the first moderne (modern) light bulb in 1854 that could last up to 400 hours – whereas other inventors in that time couldn’t figure out how to keep the light bulb from burning out! He was born in Springe in Hannover and then later moved to New York.

Das erste Auto der Welt:

The World’s First Car:

This was invented by Karl Benz in 1886, which was the first Auto (car) to be powered completely alone with just gas, also known as the horseless carriage. Karl Benz came from Mühlberg in Germany and then moved to Mannheim where he lived for most of his life. His first Erfindung (invention) was actually in 1885, but as the car was too gefährlich (dangerous) and ausser Kontrolle (out of control) he made a second model in 1886. As you’ve probably guessed by his name, Benz turned into Mercedes Benz in 1926 when he merged with a company and decided to rename all cars with Mercedes – inspired by one of the car models named after Emil Jellinik’s daughter – Mercedes Jellinik.

Karl Benz’s first automobile in the Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart. (Photo by ptwo on Flickr.com licensed under CC BY 2.0)


Der Computer:

The Computer:

You can thank Konrad Zuse (born in Berlin) for this invention, who invented the first modern (programme controlled) computer in 1941. His first computer model: the Z1 was called Rechenmaschine (adding machine) with a keyboard to type data in.

Der Strandkorb:

The Beach Chair:

Der Strandkorb. (Photo by Dave Collier on Flickr.com under CC BY 2.0)

It might not be as world changing as the other inventions, but it’s still practical for any holiday makers along the North Sea and Baltic Sea – where it’s very windig (windy)! Der Erfinder (the Inventor) was a German basket maker called Wilhelm Bartelmann who lived in Rostock in Northern Germany. He invented the Strandkorb in 1882 by request from a tourist.


Die Petrischale:

The Petri dish:

Germany has also invented a lot of things for medicine, physics and chemistry. Julius Richard Petri invented the Petri dish, which is of course named after him. He was a Bakteriologe (bacteriologist) and lived in Berlin. He invented the Petri dish in 1887 whilst working with Robert Koch – a German physician who contributed greatly with his Forschung (research) on Tuberculosis, Cholera and more.

These are just a few inventions created in Germany that I thought were interesting! What’s also interessant (interesting) is that a lot of inventions have more than one inventor that contributed to the making of it. Do you know of any other German inventions?


Bis bald,


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About the Author:Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Alcazar:

    Nice article, but knew this (being german 🙂
    But there is more german inventions, like the cuckoo clock (black forest), the (figurine) nut-crackers (ore mountains) and the MP3 music format (Fraunhofer Institut).
    Have a nice week.

    • Larissa:

      @Alcazar I know I was amazed at how many inventions there were that had been invented by Germans! I forgot about the cuckoo clock though, we have two at home in England, I love them 🙂
      Thanks for commenting!