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Made in Germany: How the Germans Invented the Invention

The Germans have invented so much, their complete series of inventions would create a list so long it would have to be invented first. With all of those inventions it is safe to say the Germans invented the invention.

This is not even about the obvious stuff, such as the wall plug or the bratwurst, but even more useful things or characters like the Easter Bunny or the Fahrenheit temperature scale. Mr. T. Scale was a smart fellow. Yes, we were only testing your attention. The inventor was actually Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. All of these conversions. It’s all his fault.

Homeopathy and Aspirin

How about the universal medication called Aspirin? It helps people get through colds, it keeps fever down and decreases pain. When given shortly after death, it decreases the risk of a heart attack. Aspirin probably works against everything. It might even cure a terrible taste in music.

Samuel Hahnemann from the town of Meissen developed alternative medicine by coming up with Homeopathy. Hahnemann lived from 1755 to 1843 and tested his plant-based medication on himself. By the way: There is a Hahnemann statue in Washington D.C., not so far from Dupont Circle.

Aloysius Alzheimer, another German, discovered … What did he discover again? Yes, we know Alzheimer and dementia are usually not funny at all. It is tough for those affected and their families and friends.

Merkel Cells and Cocaine

Walter Bruch invented a so-called color encoding system for analogue television called PAL. “Yes, my TV set uses PAL, pal.” It became the European format, while most of America uses a system called NTSC. What in the hell is the difference? No clue.

Germany even invented Merkel Cells, seriously. Those are “oval-shaped mechanoreceptors essential for light touch sensation and found in the skin of vertebrates”, according to Wiki. Sure. Friedrich Sigmund Merkel is the inventor. And no, he is not related, as far as we know.

Cocaine is another useful German invention. That’s what Pablo Escobar, George Jung and many others must have thought while weighing their Dollar bills, but not those who were exploited, threatened or even killed for or by that stuff. Friedrich Gaedcke first isolated cocaine alkaloid in 1855. Shortly after, it was used for medication.

Diesel Scandal and Marxism

Konrad Zuse, a Berliner by birth, invented the first programmable computer, the ‘Z3’. It became operational in May 1941, during WW II. The Nazis supported Zuse’s work. Because of Nazi Germany’s terror, the news about the first computer hardly spread at the time.

The list of German inventions is much longer than this. It includes the ‘Frankfurter’ sausage, the rocket, Marxism, the Geiger Counter, the Teddy Bear, the ‘Settlers of Catan’ board game, the Diesel engine, Diesel fuel and the Diesel Scandal. Thanks, Rudolf Diesel. The Germans invented the car, obviously, the motorcycle and something called health insurance.

The MPEG Audio Layer III was invented by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute in 1989. The problem was that nobody needed that compression format back then. A few years later, things looked better. The entire world knows and uses MPEG Audio Layer III, a.k.a. mp3, today.

Porsche 911 and Morphine

Decades before, in 1928, the German-American inventor Fritz Pfleumer introduced paper tape with oxide power. It was the first step towards magnetic tape that was used for audio recordings a lot. Nazi Germany developed the ‘Magnetophon’ recorder for that purpose. The Allies grabbed two of those machines in Luxemburg during the war.

Robert Bunsen invented the Bunsen Burner we all know from our chemistry classes. His colleagues Ernst Ruska and Max Knoll came up with the electron microscope. The contact lens is a German invention too. Everything is, it seems.

Oh yes, the anti-tank missile, morphine, the Porsche 911, the printing press, adhesive tape, the hole puncher, recyclable paper and radioactive toothpaste (seriously) are German inventions as well. And oxygen. What people breathed before Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovered it in the 18th century is a mystery.

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