Magnificent Italian Inventions

Is Pizza the most well known of all Italian inventions? some would say so. It was ‘invented’ in Naples around the 1860s.  

However, many more inventions are either the brainchild of Italians or came to be in Italy. The thermometer, the nuclear reactor, the first ice cream cone, the first typewriter and the first battery, all have Italian connections.

Following are some inventions from Italy still popular today, that have made a clear impact on our modern way of life.

Italian inventions #1 – The Battery

The first chemical battery (known also as the voltaic pile) was invented by an Italian physicist: Count Alessandro Giuseppe Volta in the 1800.

The first battery was the first invention to generate a continuous electrical current. It was made of metal discs (originally made of zinc and copper) stacked on each other and separated with brine soaked cloth or cardboard. Brine was used as an electrolyte liquid. It has managed to produce a current which didn’t lose charge as time went by and it was unused. The volt, the unit by which we measure electrical current is named after Volta.

Italian inventions #2 - Telephone

The first telephone is nowhere near the type you’re using today. It typically occupied a specific space in the house rather than conveniently in your pocket at all times. Alexander Graham Bell is credited for the invention of the telephone.

However, not many people are aware of the fact that the telephone as we know it, went through a long development process and several prototypes, and the Italian Antonio Meucci is credited as the first one to have developed the first fully functional prototype.

Bell is credited for the phone’s invention, amongst other reasons, since he was the first one to apply and obtain an approved patent for the invention.

In 1856, Meucci has come up with an invention known as the voice communication link that allowed him to connect his lab on the ground floor of the house with his bedroom on the second floor.

The phone worked on the same principles of electromagnetic voice transmission as Bell’s invention, and was functional.  He then continued to build 30 more prototypes on the basis of his original invention – but he never found enough funds to bring his ideas to life.

Italian inventions #3 - Anemometer

The anemometer is a wind speed measuring device, and it was first invented by Leon Battista Alberti in 1450.

Alberti used a disc placed perpendicular to the wind, and the force of the wind would rotate it and change its incline. It was a mechanical wind measuring device but served as the basis of future anemometers.

You can see examples of modern anemometers to these days in weather stations and they can be used for different purposes the most popular of which is predicting the weather conditions.

Italian inventions #4 - Liposuction

Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery that removes fat in certain areas of the body. It used to be popular among celebrities when it was first introduced commercially in 2006.

Italian medical practitioner Dr. Giorgio Fischer invented the surgery in 1974 though it has only become popular in the United States in the 80s.

Italian inventions #5 - Internal combustion engine

Ever wonder how fossil fuel is converted to mechanical energy to make our cars, motorcycles, boats and aircrafts work? That could not have been possible if Italian inventors Eugenio Barsanti and Felice Matteucci have not thought of making the first internal combustion engine.


Italian inventions #6 - Nails

You know those sharp metal objects you use to connect wood, metal and different materials together to build structures or put frames on the wall? Nails were first forged by the Romans and are still used today for construction purposes. Originally, they were made by hand but are now created by the bulk since demand for them has increased. Aside from the United States and Canada, all countries use the metric system for defining nails by their size.

Inventions from Italy #7 - Scissors

You might find yourself using scissors practically every time you need something cut. One of the most well-known inventions from Italy , scissors today are made for cutting paper, wires, metal and a wide range of other materials. It isn’t surprising that there have been so many variations of scissors considering that it was created around 100 AD by the Romans.

The Romans actually held scissors in high-esteem and have even formed craft guilds just for this device. The demand for scissors increased when skills such as dressmaking and calligraphy became known to man. Some texts are pointing to Leonardo da Vinci as the inventor of scissors. He is most likely has improved on the original concept, but was not the first to come up with a working prototype.

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