Ming Dynasty Inventions

Rudders on a ship.jpgThe Ming Dynasty is considered to be one of the most prosperous and glorious periods in the history of China. Apart from the enchanting attractions, spectacular artifacts, and the Great Wall, the Ming Dynasty was also known for its wonderful innovations.

Paper and Printing

One of the reasons that the Ming Dynasty was so prosperous and successful was due to the invention of woodblock color printing. This invention surpasses all the previous printing techniques of the earlier eras.

Woodblock carving and wood movable type were all enhanced to perfection during this era. Massive production of documents was also made very easy and possible because of the invention of the two-color printing process.

The Yongle Encyclopedia

The Yongle Encyclopediawas the first of its kind and it contains a wide coverage of subjects such as art, agriculture, history, astronomy, drama, medicine, technology and religion. This makes it the world’s largest known general encyclopedia from ancient times and the first to be written on earth. This was one of the greatest Ming Dynasty inventions and was introduced in 1403. This inspired today’s encyclopedia.

Bristle Toothbrush

This invention occurred around 1498, during the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. This was mass-produced in 1780, several years after the fall of the Ming Dynasty.

Before the toothbrush was invented, people used sticks and flared edges called chew sticks. After this, pig bristles were used. The toothbrush innovation has become an important part of modern society. Today, almost everyone in the world uses a toothbrush.

Ship Rudders

Another great invention during the Ming Dynasty was ship rudders. This innovation in marine life made the steering of large ships easier and also served as a guide to sailors as they traversed the deep waters.

The ship rudders and other Ming Dynasty inventions have swept through the ages all over the world. Today, these contributions are widely used, leaving a mark in the history of China and the entire world.