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Inventions Of Acient Chinese Essay

1191 words - 5 pages

The Inventions of the Ancient Chinese
To win a trip to China I have to enter a contest to determine the four most useful inventions in Chinese history. In this I will determine eight to ten inventions and nominate the four that I believe to be the most ingenious of all. The first of these inventions is that of silk; which although silk is known to be created naturally through silkworms, China invented how to gather the silk and use it in clothing and paper. Silk was vital to the Ancient Chinese economy because Europe imported a large amount of silk. The creation of silk permitted China to associate with the outside world through trade and led to the creation of the Silk Road. Silk was ...view middle of the document...

A metal ladle was placed atop the lodestone and was used to tell direction (Country Facts, 2010).
The fourth invention is that of paper, which was created out of need. In China texts were highly valued and before the invention of paper, the Chinese were forced to use stone or bone to record their texts. By using stone or bone this created heavy, bulky books which were hard to transport. Through the use of a previous invention, that of silk, the Ancient Chinese were able to create a mixture of fibers that when dried created the first of modern day paper (Country Facts, 2010).
The fifth invention is that of printing, the Chinese invented what is called block printing during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The text to be formed into a book was first written on a thin piece of paper and glued face down onto a wooden plate. The Characters on the piece of paper were then carved out of the wood block printing plate, which was then used to print the text. This process was time consuming and a new block had to be made for each new page of a book so there had to be a new invention to better the printing process. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), a man named Bi Sheng created what is known as the moveable type. He carved individual characters on identical pieces of fine clay and each of these movable type pieces had one Chinese character that was carved in relief on a small block of moistened clay (Chineseulture.org, 2004). After being hardened by fire, the type was then durable enough to be used for what was required. The movable type could be glued to iron plates and removed from the plate easily. Each character could easily be assembled to print a page and then disassembled and redistributed as needed to create additional pages. When printing was finished, the pieces were stored for future use (Chineseulture.org, 2004).
The sixth invention of the Ancient Chinese is deep drilling of boreholes. The Chinese used rigs that would rise as much as 180 feet above the borehole that they made. They stacked rocks with a doughnut shape from the surface to the stone layer deep into the ground as a guide for their drills. By utilizing bamboo cables and hemp rope to reach far into the ground the Chinese used cast iron drills to reach far down to the natural gases that they used...

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