Saint Peter Science Museum

Renaissance Inventors

Renaissance Inventors Exhibit

The Renaissance was a cultural rebirth that took place during the 14th-17th century in Europe. Everything from literature, arts, science, and culture were developed during this era. During the Renaissance, many inventions were created - inventions that we still use to this day. Some of these inventors include Peter Henlein and Johannes Gutenberg. Come to the Saint Peter Science Museum to see our exhibit on Renaissance inventors!


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Hans Lippershey 1570-1619

Hans Lippershey is a German-Dutch spectacle maker and is credited for inventing the refracting telescope in Middelburg, Netherlands. He was the first to file a patent for his telescope in 1608. His telescope had a concave eyepiece aligned with a convex objective lens, creating a 3x magnification scope. The next year in 1609, Galileo made is own optical telescope, with many similarities to Lippershey's model.
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Peter Henlein 1485-1542

Peter Henlein was a locksmith and clock-maker in Nuremberg, Germany. He is credited for inventing taschenuhr - small, ornamental, portable clocks. Many considered these the first watches, which were invented by him in 1510. His watches were over three inches long, and were bigger than the pocket-watches that were popular a century later. However, his spring-powered watch designs remained mostly the same, although improved and modified upon.

Johannes Gutenberg 1398-1468

Johannes Gutenberg began designing a printing press in 1436. It is unclear on the year that his designs were completed, but many sources say that around 1440 is when he created his printing press. In 1452, Gutenberg's Bible was the first book to be published in mass amounts. Because the patent system never existed at that time, many developed printing presses similar to Gutenberg. As a result, Gutenberg never became wealthy because of his invention.

Cornelius Drebbel 1572-1633

Debbel is credited for successfully building the first navigable submarine in 1620 while working for the English Royal Navy. He was inspired by William Bourne's early sketches and submarine ideas from 1578. William Bourne only gave a general outline of an idea of a submarine, and Debbel put it into action, successfully building and testing a model which held up to 16 people. The submarine could stay submerged for three hours at a depth of 15 feet and was propelled by six oars.