Inventions of the Chinese

...they really made all of that?

Did You Know?

It is well known that China has an ancient and glorious history, from the feudal periods ending in 222 BC through the three Imperial and Intermediate Eras, up to the Modern era – over 4000 years of dynastic reigns. It may also be well known that China is the source of many wonderful and useful inventions from spaghetti to gunpowder. This list will showcase Chinese inventions and developments that were not known to or adopted by the Western (European) world for many decades and sometimes centuries after they were common place in China.

Row Planting

The Chinese started planting crops in rows sometime in the 6th century BC. This technique allows the crops to grow faster and stronger. It facilitates more efficient planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. There is also documentation that they realized that as the wind travels over rows of plants there is less damage.



The Chinese developed a lodestone compass to indicate direction sometime in the 4th century BC. These compasses were south pointing and were primarily used on land as divination tools and direct finders.


Seed Drill

The Seed Drill is used to plant seeds into the soil at a uniform depth and covers it. Without this tool seeds are tossed by hand over the ground resulting in waste and inefficient, uneven growth. Chinese farmers were using seed drills as early as the 2nd Century BC.