• Baerli
    Baerli ©HARIBO GmbH & Co. KG
  • Close-up of text AIRBAG on a car dashboard
    Close-up of text AIRBAG on a car dashboard ©iStockphoto (Jaap2)
  • Medicaments
    Medicaments ©iStockphoto (Sverdelov)
  • Tryposonoma forms in blood smear
    Tryposonoma forms in blood smear ©Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Ecoflex® and Ecovio®
    Ecoflex® and Ecovio® ©BASF
  • Showcase of Old German Brewery
    Showcase of Old German Brewery ©Photo Deutsches Museum
  • Benz-patent motor vehicle "Velo"
    Benz-patent motor vehicle "Velo" ©Soteis
  • Realistic looking vector credit card
    Realistic looking vector credit card ©iStockphoto (Anthony Taylor)
  • Konrad Zuse and the first program-controlled calculator
    Konrad Zuse and the first program-controlled calculator ©Photo Deutsches Museum
  • First MP3-player, IFA 1997
    First MP3-player, IFA 1997 ©Deutsches Museum
  • Scanner "Hell Vario-Chromatograph C296"
    Scanner "Hell Vario-Chromatograph C296" ©Deutsches Museum
  • Glider of the Berlin Segelflugverein at the Rhönwettbewerb 1923
    Glider of the Berlin Segelflugverein at the Rhönwettbewerb 1923 ©Deutsches Museum
  • Lighweight multi-functional-helicopter "Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) BO 105"
    Lighweight multi-functional-helicopter "Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) BO 105" ©Deutsches Museum
  • Heinkel Jet Engine
    Heinkel Jet Engine ©Deutsches Museum
  • Graphic depiction of nuclear fission
    Graphic depiction of nuclear fission ©Deutsches Museum
  • Nylon plugs
    Nylon plugs ©iStockphoto (Lucato)
  • Birth control pill
    Birth control pill ©iStockphoto (Meltonmedia)
  • Bones of the hand, photographed by Röntgen using X-ray technology
    Bones of the hand, photographed by Röntgen using X-ray technology ©Deutsches Museum
  • Wristwatch Megarsolar, built in 1993
    Wristwatch Megarsolar, built in 1993 ©Deutsches Museum
  • Grammophone with wooden hopper
    Grammophone with wooden hopper ©Deutsches Museum
  • Letter from Albert Einstein to Ernst Mach
    Letter from Albert Einstein to Ernst Mach ©Deutsches Museum
  • Leica IIIf, Ernst Leitz, first modell with built-in flash
    Leica IIIf, Ernst Leitz, first modell with built-in flash ©Deutsches Museum
  • First Compact-Cassette-Player EL 3301 for music tapes
    First Compact-Cassette-Player EL 3301 for music tapes ©Deutsches Museum
  • Braunsche Röhre with 65 cm diameter, and until then unreached picture clarity
    Braunsche Röhre with 65 cm diameter, and until then unreached picture clarity ©Deutsches Museum
  • TWIN Elevator System
    TWIN Elevator System ©ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
  • Blue Toothpaste on toothbrush on blue background
    Blue Toothpaste on toothbrush on blue background ©iStockphoto (Rtimages)

German Inventions – Ordinary, yet ingenious

Imagine the world without beer – one of the many great German inventions. Aside from the suds, it was Germans behind the discovery of the science of Radiology and the Theory of Relativity. The computer, television, automobile and MP3-format originated in Germany as well. You’ll be surprised to learn how very German the most trivial things in your daily life are. Many of them are on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Brush up on your knowledge of inventions here.
Bones of the hand, photographed by Röntgen using X-ray technology
X-ray technology

1895 | Wilhelm K. Röntgen

To see through something impenetrable, people often wish they had x-ray vision. This way, secrets, the unexpected, or undesirable can be uncovered. In 1895, in contrast, the inventor of the x-ray was not driven by the desire to look through anything.

Simply by chance, the physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered light in a test setup, where, according to previous physical knowledge, there should have been none. The special thing about this light is its ability to penetrate matter.

This gave him the idea to photograph the inside of people. In contrast to soft tissue, the hard tissue absorbs the radiation especially well and leaves behind white shadows in the x-ray image. This makes it especially easy to diagnose broken bones. A medical revolution!

(Information taken from “German Stars – 50 innovations,” produced by the Federal Foreign Office, the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government, Invest in Germany, and the Goethe Institut.)