Dutch scientists, opticians, architects, and architects created many significant inventions, including the great little drink known as gin (no, it wasn’t created by the Brits)!
Many Dutch inventions have been quite ground-breaking. You might be shocked to learn that some of the inventions on this list are Dutch if you’re anything like me. Therefore, without further ado, let’s begin!
The submarine – Dutch Inventions
No, neither William Bourne, an Englishman, nor the Beatles invented the (yellow) submarine. He was the first to build the idea around it, though. Dutch inventor Cornelis Drebbel built the first watercraft that could be sailed underwater in the 1620s.
He worked with the English Royal Navy, which tested its submarines on the Thames. The submersible was made of a wooden frame covered with leather, and oars propelled it. The idea that the only thing keeping you from the icy water was a piece of oiled leather is quite terrifying.
Flame of the Olympics – Dutch Inventions
I bet you had no idea that the Olympic flame originated in the Netherlands! You must be impressed right now. However, it was “accidentally” created when architect Jan Wils created the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. To draw attention, he built a towering tower with a smoke effect. Using the now-famous flame at the Olympics so became a tradition.
The microscope and telescope
Yes, they are both Dutch innovations. Spectacle makers Zacharias Janssen and Hans Lipperhey from Middelburg invented the telescope in 1608 (a year before Galileo, say what?). The original star spyglass consisted of a straightforward tube and a single biconvex and biconcave lens.
Dutchmen like Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Zacharias, or Hans Jansen are credited as the creators of the microscope. Van Leeuwenhoek utilized a single-lens magnifier with a 237-fold magnification power.
The eye exam
Do you remember the time you had to read letters off of a board, varying in size from large to little, at the eye doctor? Yes? It’s because the Dutch are concerned about our vision, I suppose. This chart, often known as the Snellen-Chart, was created by Herman Snellen in 1862.
The speeding ticket
I’m not sure if we should thank the Dutch for this, to be honest. The first automatic speedometer was created by rally racer and inventor Maus Gatsonides, who began manufacturing and selling them in 1958. He employed two rubber tubes so that when the wheels of the car struck them, the chronometer would begin to record the speed.
Blu-ray, DVD, and CD – Dutch Inventions
Joop Sinjou and Kees Schouhamer Immink conceptualized the Sony and Philips compact disc. They used a 10-cent Dutch coin as the model for the CD’s hole size. Philips also developed the cassette tape, DVD, and Blu-Ray in addition to the CD.
Bluetooth – Dutch Inventions
Okay, I have another of these Dutch inventions! When Dr. Jaap Haartsen was employed by the Swedish business Ericsson, he developed the concept for Bluetooth.
And guess what? If that still doesn’t persuade you that the Dutch are truly amazing inventors? Cees Links played a crucial part in the development of WiFi in 1997, providing the foundation for the technology we know and use today. WiFi even has Dutch roots (it was developed by an Australian organization, CSIRO).