St.Peter Renaissance History Museum

Inventors and Their Inventions

New Exhibit: Inventors And Their Inventions

The St. Peter Renaissance History Museum is proudly opening a new exhibit this fall of 2017. This new addition will include a look at inventors and their inventions during the Renaissance time period. Some inventors whose inventions will be displayed are Johannes Gutenberg, Zacharias Janssen, John Harington, and Cornelis Drebbel.

Contact info:

St.Peter Renaissance History Museum


Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, and printer. He was also given the title "inventor". He is most notable for inventing the printing press around 1440-1450. His invention is considered to be the important and influential invention of the Renaissance because it helped spread knowledge and information throughout the world. With the printing press, Europeans became more literate, well informed, and made life a little bit easier.

Zacharias Janssen

Zacharias Janssen is associated with two inventions: the compound microscope and the optical telescope. Although Hans Lippershey, a spectacle-maker, filed the first patent for a telescope, there is evidence to support Zacharias Janssen, also a spectacle-maker, as the other inventor of the telescope. Janssen and Lippershey lived in the same town which led some scholars to argue that they both contributed to the invention of the optical telescope. In the end, Lippershey was given credit for the telescope, but it still remains a mystery today on who really invented the optical telescope. The second invention Zacharias Janssen is associated with is the compound microscope. Some historians say that Zacharias' father helped him with the invention because Zacharias was still a teenager when it was invented. And like the optical telescope, some scholars argue that Lippershey also invented the first microscope, but Zacharias Janssen is the one who is given credit. Later on, Galileo improved both of Zacharias' inventions.

John Harington

John Harington(either spelt Harrington or Harington) is known as the inventor of the flush toilet. He was a writer and poet, and had been banished from court once because he told unsettling stories. During his 'exile', he installed the first flushing lavatory. Queen Elizabeth I was his godmother so she eventually forgave him. He couldn't wait to show her his invention, and the Queen tried it out and ended up loving it. Although, the public sill faithfully used the chamber pot at this time, and it wasn't until 1775 that a device similar to John's was patented and became universal. This innovative version was created by Alexander Cumming.

Cornelis Drebbel

Cornelis is associated with multiple innovations and inventions. Some of these include: the first navigable submarine, scarlet dye, mercury fulminate, and improved telescopes. He is considered to be the Einstein of his time. He has been honored by being on postage stamps, and being referenced in many books, television shows, and movies. Also, a lunar crater and a street in the Netherlands have been named after him.
Beneath the Surface of History: The Submarine