Which invention has improved everyday life the most?

10 German inventors and their brilliant ideas

Germany is called the land of poets and thinkers. We think of the poet and natural scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or Albert Einstein, the inventor of the theory of relativity. In 1905 he changed the way we view space and time around the world. Germany has produced numerous inventors with ingenious ideas. Here are some great examples:

In this country

Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach build the first functional combustion engine in 1885 and attach it to a bicycle. This "riding car" was presented to the public in 1889 at the World Exhibition in Paris. A year later, Daimler and the designer Carl Benz invented a three-wheel motorized carriage that made mankind mobile and shortened travel times in the 1920s.

The first motorcycle in the world

In the air

Aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal constructed the first aircraft and in 1894 undertook the first successful attempts at flight with his hang glider. Henrich Focke is considered to be the inventor of the modern helicopter. After many years of development, the engineer demonstrated the first fully functional helicopter in Berlin in 1936. The jet engine, which is still used in aviation today, is also the invention of a German researcher. The physicist Hans von Ohain had the idea for this new type of drive. In August 1939 a jet-powered airplane, a Heinkel machine, made its first laps over Rostock.

Otto Lilienthal's flying machine

Long list of inventions

Konrad Zuse developed the first functional computer in 1941 and was thus also the initiator of today's digital age. Fritz Pfleumer designed the first tape recorder in 1928. He had discovered that you can record sound waves of very good quality with magnetized paper. In 1895, Conrad Röntgen surprised mankind with a device that made our bodies transparent. It is still used in medicine today.

The list of German inventors and inventions could be continued even further - with the book printing by Johannes Gutenberg, the bacteriology by Robert Koch or the refrigerator by Carl von Linde. But there is also a size smaller:

Our picture gallery shows inventions from Germany that are less phenomenal, but have become an integral part of our everyday lives.

You can find even more content about Germans, their traditions and peculiarities on our page dw.com/MeettheGermans_de.