Life scissors that invented

The inventions of the Germans

No other EU country has produced so many innovations

Philipp Reis invented the telephone in 1859. It was not the American Thomas Edinson who uttered the first remotely broadcast sentence: "The horse does not eat cucumber salad."

"... and who invented it?" The bald Swiss male dances wildly and excitedly around the Finnish pachyderms, who after the sauna first suck a herbal candy and pretend to have come up with the sweet treats. But the Swiss waved the end of his tie, with the Alpine cross emblazoned on the back, until they shiveringly admit it: "The Swiss!" . The Alpine people are at the top of the official statistics of successful European brooders (fifth place ahead of the British), but the ranking reads somewhat differently in relation to the absolute numbers: In 2005, Switzerland received 5,000 applications at the European Patent Office in Munich, Germany to 23,800. Somehow we are also the people of poets and thinkers, but we determine that of the dowels and nozzles.

The new cinema is coming

The latest idea, but not as a purely German product: "WorldScreen". The good news is that cinema images will in future reach cinemas via satellite and in digital quality, the bad news that the projectionist can pack up and go home. This is what the researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen want, who are driving the 6 million euro project together with companies like Kodak and Deutsche Telekom Laboratories. The stroke of genius: If, similar to MP3 technology, which was also developed by the Erlangen scientists, it succeeds in compressing the enormous amounts of data without any loss of quality, we will soon see dramatically improved images on the widescreen. And cinema would be one step ahead of television again. A molar prosthesis called “Intellidrug”, which automatically releases active pharmaceutical ingredients to the oral mucosa, also comes from Fraunhofer. The doctor sets the dose using a remote control.

Do we need all of this?

At this point at the latest, the question arises: What do people need and what do not? Definitely, even if it should also be banned, the normal light bulb! It shone for the first time in 1854 for 40 hours and consisted of glass and bamboo fibers that glowed in a vacuum. The German Heinrich Göbel had previously tried in vain to generate artificial light for 17 years. Perseverance therefore seems to be one of the inventors' most important virtues. Because they all have one thing in common: Nobody gave up. Not Artur Fischer, who invented the nylon dowel in 1958, although many previous attempts failed due to poor material. Not Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg, who will go down in history as the “MP3 father”. He had the flash of inspiration back in 1986. While showering. Afterwards he knew how it would be technically possible for thousands and thousands of pieces of music to fit into a matchbox. MP3 suppresses superfluous frequencies that humans cannot perceive in a "psychoacoustic selection process". It's that simple. But the road was rocky before Brandenburg, who mentions “visions, overtime and stubbornness” as companions, was able to present MP3 to the public in 1987. It would take another eleven years for the first industry-developed player to hit the market.

We also devised destructive things

Useful, exciting, sweet, healthy and - how could it be otherwise - also destructive come from German inventors. Otto Hahn began bombarding the radioactive element uranium with neutrons in 1938. The result was spectacular. A chain reaction that released enormous energies. The basis of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy had been discovered. 16 years earlier, the Bonn-based confectionery manufacturer Hans Riegel had the idea of ​​pouring a fruit-tasting mass into a small mold together with gelatine. The foundation for Thomas Gottschalk's princely pension was laid, the gummy bear saw the light of day. And in 1907, three complaining sons and a long, hard winter forced Bavarian Josef Schmidt to think about how to keep the boys busy. He drew a fairway with lots of dots on a board and handed the children over to minifigures painted in different colors. The premiere game “Mensch ärgere Dich nicht” was played on the crackling stove, which is still missing a comma and an exclamation mark, despite more than 70 million boxes sold.

Tea bags & Co.

Airbag (1971), birth control pill (1979), aspirin (1897), updraft power plant (1982), car (1886), chip card (1968), computer (1941), diesel engine (1890), jet engine (1936), fax machine (1959), Television (1930), helicopter (1936), hybrid engine (1973), jeans (1873), coffee filter (1908), motorcycle (1885), harmonica (1821), scanner (1963), studded shoe (1953), glider (1894), Tea bags (1929), thermos (1903), vacuum (1650), spark plug (1902) and - let's not forget - the currywurst (1949). Everything devised in Germany.

World Champion USA

Even if the long deceased Herta Heuwer on September 4th of the fourth post-war year with her Indian variant of the pig stuff pressed into the skin could not really enter the list of German inventors because it was not an innovation recognized under patent law. You deserve at least credit. After all, she created something unique with the currywurst that, on the other hand, usually ends up in local stomachs 800 million times. Year for year. The real tinkerers, the newbies, invented the telephone and the airplane. Just like Philipp Reis the telephone (1859). It was not the American Thomas Edinson who uttered the first remotely broadcast sentence, which was: "The horse does not eat cucumber salad." It was not the Wright brothers who developed the principle of buoyancy, not only in water, but also in the water There is air, used to take off. It was the German Otto Lilienthal (1894) on board a glider. Nevertheless: With 32,000 patent applications in 2005, the USA remains world champion in imagination (Japan: 21,500).

The explanation is called Philips

However, warns the press spokesman for the European Patent Office, Rainer Osterwalder, it would be a mistake to deduce the inventive spirit of a nation from absolute numbers. Although the so-called “small applications” (individuals) account for 80 percent of all submissions, the business with patents among the global players is so unmanageable that it is not possible to make a reliable “population mapping”: “The Netherlands is with its high number of inventions only so far ahead because the explanation for it is called Philips. The Korean company LG, for example, filed 11,050 patents two years ago. Nobody can trace where the ideas come from. It can be German engineers, American, Dutch, Japanese. "

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