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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

May 15, 2009

Written by C.N.

Top 10 Ancient Chinese Inventions

As we continue celebrating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a common question I get from readers is, what are some common inventions that came from Asians? Basically, this question relates to the larger inquiry of what have been the contributions of Asians and Asian Americans to American society and the world through the years/centuries?

While I can’t give an exhaustive list, to help us answer one part of that question, HowStuffWorks recently featured the Top 10 Ancient Chinese Inventions. Their article includes an extended description and historical summary for each invention (certainly worth reading) but for those who want to cut to the chase, here is their list in reverse order:

10. Gunpowder
9. The Compass
8. Paper
7. Pasta
6. The Wheelbarrow
5. Seismograph
4. Alcohol
3. Kites
2. Hang Gliders
1. Silk

As probably the oldest and most well-known Asian culture, the Chinese and their inventions certainly deserve to be recognized since such inventions undoubtedly have had a significant impact on world civilizations and events throughout history. At the same time, we should remember that many other Asian cultures, along with Asian Americans, have made other contributions to benefit their society in many other ways.


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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Top 10 Ancient Chinese Inventions" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2009/05/top-10-ancient-chinese-inventions/> ().

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