German Inventions

German inventions and technology have played a huge part in the development of the world today. There’s no denying that Germany managed to produce some of the best scientists and inventors who helped pave the way to civilization as we know it.

Following are some of the inventions that may be forerunners to the things you’re using right now. They might have not come up with the original first concept, but they helped make huge leaps in the journey to the prototypes we know of today. 

Inventions From Germany 1# - Toothpaste

Although the ancient Egyptians first came up with the idea of toothpaste, their version was made from pumice and vinegar. Imagine how that will taste in your mouth if we have continued to follow the original recipe.

It was a Dresden pharmacist named Ottmar Heinsus von Mayenburg who decided to make the flavor more pleasant. He first experimented with peppermint, adding some calcium carbonate and various other ingredients in 1907. Needless to say the experiment became successful and was given the name Chlorodent.

German Inventions 2# - Sneakers

Chances are you’ve worn sneakers at least once in your lifetime. They’re light, easy and comfortable—the perfect footwear for a day out in the sun.

The concept for sneakers actually came to light from the imagination of Adolf Dassler. What he did was exchange his football boots for a bootless version and added in cleats.

The result was tested during the 1954 FIFA World Cup where a torrential downpour resulted in a muddy field. Dassler’s invention however managed to fare well on muddy ground while the competitor’s started to sink, leading to Germany’s victory.

One of the most famous inventions from Germany of all time, this led to today’s popular brand—Adidas.

German Inventions 3# - Coffee filter

Melitta Bentz’s invention of the coffee filter wasn’t intentional, but it still managed to impact people all over the world. Since she was tired of cleaning coffee cups with dregs at the bottom, Melitta started using the blotting paper from her kid’s books. This eventually became the forerunner of today’s coffee filter that helps keep our coffee deliciously smooth.

German Inventions 4# - Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell has always been credited as the maker of the telephone. While he was the first to be granted a patent for his invention, there is a long line of early inventors who dabbled with the same innovative idea.

Exactly 15 years earlier someone by the name of Johann Philipp Reis created a telephone without the level of technology that Bell enjoyed. Reis’ telephone was made from a wide array of items from casing to sealing wax. It’s interesting to note that the 27-year old Reis freely divulged information about his experiment, allowing Bell to use a fairly related concept when creating his phone. Reis never applied for a patent over his invention.

Fun fact: the first phrase sent through the German telephone was, “The horse does not eat cucumber salad.”

German Inventions 5# - Automobile and air bag

Who hasn’t heard of Mercedes Benz and how many people do you know that dream of owning a car by this manufacturer? The creators were named Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler who were first ridiculed for their automobile invention.

In fact, some people proclaimed that it was too dangerous to be driven. In truth, however, this automobile line also gave rise to a safety feature available in all cars today—the air bag, which was released around 1981.

Nowadays, the air bag is considered a life saver when it comes to crashes or collisions and can be found and all cars.

German Inventions 6# - Video games

Ralph Baer originally came from Germany but continued his work on American soil. He is often referred to as the “Father of Video Games”. Baer is one of the reasons why we get to enjoy inventions like the Xbox and Playstation.

As recently as 2006, Baer was awarded the National Medal of Technology by George W. Bush for his contribution to video games.

Read more about the history of video games and some of the first ones ever invented on out page: the invention of video games.

German Inventions 7# - Hand-held metal detector

Another German who found his feet on US soil, Gerhard Fisher, is credited with the invention of the handheld metal detector, for which a received a patent in 1931. He actually shared the idea with Albert Einstein who immediately recognized how useful it would be in the future. Some claim that the original invention of the hand held metal detector was actually created by Alexander Graham Bell, who created one ad hock in 1881, in order to withdraw a bullet from a hurt American president.


Those aren’t the only inventions conceptualised by Germans that have helped society as we know it. The Germans were also responsible for various developments in the medical field and paved the way for numerous techniques and concepts that are still relevant today. In fact, the aspirin is actually a product of German intellect and is still providing relief from pain and fatigue. Even the first gummy bears are an innovative German invention by Hans Riegel in 1922.

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