Which country is responsible for the most inventions in history? Is it England or Scotland?


4 Answers

Andy Cola Profile
Andy Cola answered

I'm not sure it's either England OR Scotland... More likely to be China. They have a long history of inventions. Such as:

  • The compass
  • Acupuncture
  • Coffins
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Bells

There are many more things that were invented in ancient China, which were later "re-invented" in the West.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

The answer
is NEITHER if we're talking about single countries? France invented more
than both. The only way England & Scotland dominate is if you
combine them into one country. Seperately France stomps them (just look
at the graph of human acomplishment)

Secondly we must take time
frame into account. If its about who invented more things in current
times then England or France (or both) might be a logical choice. But if
we're including OF ALL TIME. Latin nations stomp the rest pretty easily
as. They brought along civilization, philosophy, scientific method,
art, complex archictecture, and just about everything that makes Western
Civilization western. At the time the whole of Northern Europe was
still a backwood.

There is a reason why it is standard to learn
about the Latins in every college in every western nation. You can't say
the same for Scotland.

The French had a hand in many inventions
often given credit to others. The car for example, Nicholas Cugnot
designed the first considered car. The Germans just designed the first
modern one. The French also had a hand in photography, Cinema, the
internet (Cyclades was a major influence on the internet) and various
different fields.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous , Historian, answered


.some of the best inventions and among, if not , the most influential country, with its most important history is by far Italy. Ancient Rome created what we now call "Western society" -- including our laws, our culture and our religion. After Rome fell and Europe spent 1,000 years in darkness, Italy reclaimed it with the Renaissance. To create a civilization is achievement enough -- but to save it 10 centuries later is truly remarkable . Today the influence from the Roman Empire is still here with its religion ,laws , architecture, and many important inventions, road system, concrete, aqueducts,Latin that influences all western language, roman alphabet etc,etc I could use many many more examples .Secondly!!! The birth of the enlightenment ,new learning in Italy The renassiance where modern science was born ,art , music, mathematics, the banking system.With the inventions of many a musical instruments,violin, piano, flute, cello , opera and some of the most important inventions that changed the world, the telephone, the internal combustion engine , nuclear reactor, battery, electric generator , induction motor, spectacles ,wireless telegraphy ,first motorcar and motorcycle ,  arguably first photograph ( the Turin shroud by Leonardo da Vinci ) I could go on ,there are many more inventions ,and I'm not surprised considering Italy has the oldest university in the world .one of the most visited countries In the world , and is second to none in the amount of unesco protected heritage sites . Today Italians produce some of the best made motor cars, aircraft ,ships, designer labels, jewelry ,  cuisine  ,  I could go on and on. Italy never had a large empire in the 1600s to the 1800s because the country of Italy did not exist, only in the 1900s did Italy gain a second empire in parts of Africa where they started to build, railways roads an infrastructure in parts of Africa where there was nothing . Italians were amongst the best explorers and discoverers that helped countries such as Britain and Spain discover other lands, they include Giovanni cabotto, Sebastian's cabotto, Christopher Columbus , Marco Polo ,Amerigo  Vespucci , which America was named after . As with every country Italy has had its past problems and embarrassments but from it's history to today ,Italy has lead and  leads the world in many areas.



Aircraft- Leonardo da Vinci' s designs of air machines were later built to his specifications which flew a man across enough distance to consider it a flying machine, without the aid of an engine -glider- 500 years before the wright brothers

There appears to be no field of knowledge where Leonardo DaVinci has not made a contribution to the world: Anatomy, physiology, mechanics, hydraulics, physics, mathematics, writing, engineering, philosophy, orbital mechanics, botany, optics were all studied and revealed by his genius

Alpini - Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world

Amici prism - An Amici prism, named for the astronomer Giovanni Amici, is a type of compound dispersive prism used in spectrometer

Amici roof prism - named for its inventor, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Amici, is a type of reflecting prism used to deviate a beam of light by 90° while simultaneously inverting the image. It is commonly used in the eyepieces of telescopes as an image erecting system

Anemometer Leon Battista Alberti 1450

Atomic Bomb - The Via Panisperna boys (Italian: I ragazzi di Via Panisperna) were a group of young scientists led by Enrico Fermi. In Rome in 1934, they made the famous discovery of slow neutrons which later made possible the nuclear reactor, and then the construction of the first atomic bomb.

Franco Dino Rasetti (August 10, 1901 – December 5, 2001) was an Italian scientist. Together with Enrico Fermi, he discovered key processes leading to nuclear fission. Rasetti refused to work on the Manhattan Project, however, on moral grounds.

Edoardo Amaldi (was born in Carpaneto Piacentino, son of Ugo Amaldi, professor of mathematics at the University of Padua, and Luisa Basini.Amaldi graduated under the supervision of Enrico Fermi and was his main collaborator until 1938, when Fermi left Italy for the United States. In 1939, Amaldi was drafted into the Royal Italian Army and returned to physics in 1941.

Oscar D'Agostino (29 August 1901 – 16 March 1975) was an Italian chemist and one of the so-called Via Panisperna boys, the group of young scientists led by Enrico Fermi: All of them were physicists, except for D'Agostino, who was a chemist.

Ettore Majorana (Italian:born 1906; missing, presumed dead on 27 March 1938) was an Italian theoretical physicist who worked on neutrino masses. He disappeared suddenly under mysterious circumstances while going by ship from Palermo to Naples. The Majorana equation and Majorana fermions are named after him. In 2006, the Majorana Prize was established in his memory.

Bruno Pontecorvo ( August 22, 1913 – September 24, 1993) was an Italian nuclear physicist, an early assistant of Enrico Fermi and then the author of numerous studies in high energy physics, especially on neutrinos. He defected to the Soviet Union in 1950, where he continued his research on the decay of the muon and on neutrinos. The prestigious Pontecorvo Prize was instituted in his memory in 1995.

Emilio Gino Segrè (30 January 1905 – 22 April 1989) was an Italian physicist and Nobel laureate who discovered the elements technetium and astatine, and the antiproton, a sub-atomic antiparticle, for which he was awarded the in Nobel Prize in Physics in 1959.

In 1938, Benito Mussolini's fascist government passed anti-Semitic laws barring Jews from university positions. As a Jew, Segrè was now rendered an indefinite émigré. At the Berkeley Radiation Lab, Lawrence offered him a job as a Research Assistant. While at Berkeley, Segrè helped discover the element astatine and the isotope plutonium-239, which was later used to make the Fat man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. From 1943 to 1946 he worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a group leader for the Manhattan Project. He found in April 1944 that Thin Man, the proposed plutonium gun-type nuclear weapon would not work because of the presence of plutonium-240 impurities.

Architonnerre - The Architonnerre was a steam-powered cannon, a description of which is found in the papers of Leonardo da Vinci dating to the late 15th century, although he attributes its invention to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC.

Leonardo's description was hidden amongst his papers until it was rediscovered by Étienne-Jean Delécluze of the French Institute in 1838 and published in the magazine L'Artiste in 1841, well after the modern high pressure steam engine had been independently invented.

Artificio de Juanelo -  Juanelo Turriano, an Italian-Spanish clock maker, engineer and mathematician. The Artificio de Juanelo was the name of two devices built in Toledo in the 16th century by Juanelo Turriano. They were designed to supply the city with a source of readily available water by lifting it from the Tagus (Tajo) river to the Alcázar.

Aquaduct - Roman invention - 1,000 cubic metres (260,000 US gal) of water were brought into Rome by 14 different aqueducts each day. Per capita water usage in ancient Rome matched that of modern-day cities like New York City or modern Rome. Most water was for public use, such as baths and sewers.


Ball Bearings Leonardo da Vinci 16th Century

Bank - Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the rich cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had its roots in the ancient world. The oldest existing bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, was founded in 1472 in Siena, Italy.[1]

Barometer Evangelista Torricelli 1643

Big Mac Jim Delligatti 1967

Barsanti-Matteucci engine ( see internet combustion engine below )

Battery (electricity) Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was an Italian physicist inventor of the battery in the 1800s.

Bridges - worth a mention -Roman bridges were among the first large and lasting bridges ever built. They were built with stone, employing the arch as basic structure. Most utilized concrete as well. Built in 142 BC, the Pons Aemilius, later named Ponte Rotto (broken bridge) is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy.

Binishell - binishells are reinforced concrete thin-shell structures that are lifted and shaped by low air pressure. They were invented in the 1960s by Dr. Dante Bini who built 1,600 of them in 23 countries.

Bossi-Bonomi Pedaliante - The Pedaliante (Italian for "Pedal Glider") was a human-powered aircraft designed and built by Enea Bossi and Vittorio Bonomi and disputably credited with, in 1936, making the first fully human-powered flight. The source of contention is that the flights were performed by Emilio Casco - a pilot with exceptional physical endurance such that sustainable flight was not considered feasible for a typical person. Incorporating a catapult launch, the aircraft successfully traveled 1 km (0.62 mi) as part of an Italian competition.

Bobbin Leonardo da Vinci 15th/16th Century

Buffalo Chicken Wings Teressa Bellissimo 1964


Calendar - Romans invented the modern day calendar

Carbon Paper Pellegrino Turri 1806

Central heating - The Romans

Cologne Johann Maria Farina 1709

Concrete - Roman invention

Condom Gabriele Fallopio 1564

Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei - human torpedoes or manned torpedoes are a type of rideable submarine used as secret naval weapons in World War II. The basic design is still in use today; they are a type of diver propulsion vehicle.Italy was the first nation to use frogmen and human torpedoes.

Cosmos CE2F series  - CosMoS CE2F were series of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) built by M/s Cos.Mo.S Spa Located in Livorno, Italy.The craft has a weight of 2,100 kilograms and a length of 7 meters. It resembles a torpedo but with two open compartments amidships for the crew, although some models has enclosed cockpit

Crossword - Giuseppe Airoldi - The crossword puzzle appeared on September 14, 1890, in the Italian magazine Il Secolo Illustrato della Domenica. It was designed by Giuseppe Airoldi and titled "Per passare il tempo" ("To pass the time"). Airoldi's puzzle was a four-by-four grid with no shaded squares; it included horizontal and vertical clues.[7]

Caesar Salad Caesar Cardini 1924


Decompression Chamber Alberto Gianni 1916

Diving chamber - Alberto Gianni invented the hyperbaric chamber in 1916. He was an Italian engineer and underwater diver. The hyperbaric chamber is used to prevent decompression sickness.

Doppio Borgato - Doppio Borgato is a double piano of extensive form, joining a concert grand together with a second piano, activated by a pedal board with 37 pedals (A0 to A3), similar to that of the organ. Designed and hand-crafted by Luigi Borgato, it was patented in 2000.

Double Entry Accounting Amatino Manucci 14th Century

Dynamo - DC Electrical Generator Antonio Pacinotti 1860


Electric Battery Alessandro Volta 1800


The equation E=mc2, which has been forever linked to Einstein & his Theory of Relativity was not originally published by Einstein. According to Umberto Bartocci, a professor at the University of Perugia and a historian of mathematics, this famous equation was first published by Olinto De Pretto, who was an unknown industrialist from Vicenza, two years prior to Einstein's publishing of the equation. In 1903 De Pretto published his equation in the scientific magazine Atte and in 1904 it was republished by the Royal Science Institute of Veneto. Einstein's research was not published until 1905

Electromagnetic Seismograph Luigi Palmieri 1856

Electroplating Luigi V. Brugnatelli 1805

Endo-Flex Endotracheal Tube Andrew Toti - co-invented 2004

Espresso Machine Achille Gaggia 1946


Flight-Ejection System Gino Santi 1947

Football - Not claiming it was an italian invention but a type of football was played in an arena by the Romans and ancient Chinese , the British did not invent football but are credited for inventing the organised event of a football tournament together with today's rules of the game.

Fax -  The Pantelegraph was invented by the Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli. He introduced the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1865.


Gelato ( ice cream )

Geothermal Electricity Prince Piero Ginori Conti 1904

Girandoni Air Rifle - ( Austrian-Italian ) Girandoni Air Rifle was an airgun designed by Tyrolian inventor Bartholomäus Girandoni circa 1779. The weapon was also known as the Windbüchse ("wind rifle" in German). One of the rifle's more famous associations is its purported use on the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore and map the western part of North America in the early 1800's.

Glasses  - Eyeglasses Salvino Armati 1280

Grape Harvesting Machine Andrew Toti 1972


History of patent law - There is evidence that some form of patent rights was recognized in Ancient Greece. In 500 BC, in the Greek city of Sybaris (located in what is now southern Italy), "encouragement was held out to all who should discover any new refinement in luxury, the profits arising from which were secured to the inventor by patent for the space of a year." [2] Athenaeus, writing in the third century CE, cites Phylarchus in saying that in the Greek city of Sybaris (located in what is now southern Italy)Development of the modern patent system

Patents were systematically granted in Venice as of 1450, where they issued a decree by which new and inventive devices had to be communicated to the Republic in order to obtain legal protection against potential infringers. The period of protection was 10 years.These were mostly in the field of glass making. As Venetians emigrated, they sought similar patent protection in their new homes. This led to the diffusion of patent systems to other countries.

Human torpedo  - see above

Hydrofoil       Enrico Forlanini 1900

Hydrostatic Balance Galileo Galilei 1596?


Ice Cream Cone Italo Marcioni 1896

Internal Combustion Engine Eugenio Barsanti 1854

Father Eugenio Barsanti (12 October 1821 – 19 April 1864), also named Nicolò, was an Italian engineer, who together with Felice Matteucci of Florence invented the first version of the internal combustion engine in 1853. Their patent request was granted in London on June 12, 1854, and published in London's Morning Journal under the tile "Specification of Eugene Barsanti and Felix Matteucci, Obtaining Motive Power by the Explosion of Gasses", as documented by the Fondazione Barsanti e Matteucci,They patented their invention in London, on 12 June 1854 as Italian law at that time could not guarantee sufficient international protection on the patent. The construction of the prototype was later completed in the 1860s.

The main advantage of the Barsanti-Matteucci engine was the use of the return force of the piston due to the cooling of the gas. Other approaches based on the pushing force of the explosion, like the one developed by France's Etienne Lenoir, were slower. The Barsanti-Matteucci engine was proven to be much more efficient, and won a silver medal from the institute of science of Lombardy.

In 1856 they developed a two-cylinder 5 HP motor and two years later they built a counter-working two-piston engine.

Barsanti thought that the new engine was a great improvement over the steam engine; it was much safer and less cumbersome and quick to operate. It was however not light enough for use as automotive engine. The main target was to provide mechanical energy in factories and for naval propulsion.

After some searching, Barsanti and Matteucci selected the John Cockerill foundry in Seraing, Belgium to mass-produce a four HP engine. Orders for the engine soon followed from many countries within Europe.

Barsanti died suddenly at Seraing of typhoid fever, on 30 March 1864, and Matteucci was left alone to lead the business. The development of the engine failed and Matteucci returned to his first occupation, hydraulics.

When Nikolaus Otto patented his engine, Matteucci unsuccessfully argued that he and his partner Barsanti were the originators.

Induction motor Galileo Ferraris 1885

Induction regulator

Inflatable Lifevest Andrew Toti 1936


Jet engine- Italy was the second country ( after Germany ) to have had a jet engine

Secondo Campini (August 28, 1904 - February 7, 1980) was an Italian engineer and one of the pioneers of the jet engine.

Campini was born at Bologna, Emilia-Romagna. In 1931 he wrote a proposal for the Italian Air Ministry on the value of jet propulsion and in 1932 demonstrated a jet-powered boat in Venice. With support of the Air Ministry, he began work with Italian aircraft manufacturer Caproni to develop a jet plane, the Campini Caproni CC.2, which first flew in 1940.

Jacuzzi Jacuzzi Brothers 1968


Liposuction Giorgio Fischer 1974


Mandolin - Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the deep bowled mandolin, produced particularly in Naples, became common in the nineteenth century.

Microprocessor Federico Faggin 1970-1971 The father of the microchip

Mining. - The Romans were the first to exploit mineral deposits using advanced technology, especially the use of aqueducts to bring water from great distances to help operations at the pithead. Their technology is most visible at sites in Britain such as Dolaucothi where they exploited gold deposits with at least 5 long aqueducts tapping adjacent rivers and streams. They used the water to prospect for ore by unleashing a wave of water from a tank to scour away the soil and so reveal the bedrock with any veins exposed to sight. They used the same method (known as hushing) to remove waste rock, and then to quench hot rocks weakened by fire-setting.

Motorcar , motorcycle -- Enrico Zeno Bernardi (Verona, 20 May 1841 – Turin, 21 February 1919) was an Italian engineer and one of the Italian automobile pioneers. As a child growing up in Verona, Bernardi spent much of his free time in blacksmiths' workshops learning the skills to put his inventive abilities into practice. In 1856, he entered a mechanical model of a steam engine and locomotive in the Verona Agricultural Exhibition, where he earned an honorable mention for his work.

In 5 August 1882 he prototyped the “Motrice Pia”, the first petrol combustion engine (one cylinder, 121.6 cm3 displacement), almost at the same time as German Karl Benz. The engine was used to operate his daughter Pia's sewing machine and was fitted to his son's tricycle in 1884 , Making it the worlds first car and motorcycle ( in 1886, Benz was granted a patent for his first automobile ) A company called Miari and Giusti in Padova started produtction of Bernardi's engines and cars in 1896, soon the company was taken over by Società Italiana Bernardi and it finally stopped production in 1901.

Magic lantern - In the fifteenth century, Giovanni Fontana, a Venetian engineer, had created a lantern that projected an image of a demon

Modern Baseball Pitching Machine Lorenzo Ponza 1952

Modern Musical Notation                 Guido of Arezzo 11th Century

Mole-Richardson - Mole-Richardson, also known as Mole, is a stage lighting instrument and motion picture lighting manufacturing company based in Hollywood, California. The company was started in 1927 by Sicilian immigrant Pietro "Peter" Mule (changed to Mole). Born 10 Nov 1891 in the Italian town of Termini Imerese, Palermo, Sicily, he first worked for General Electric (GE) in New York.

Mole-Richardson invented the first Fresnel Solar Spot unit in 1935, adapting the fresnel lighthouse lens for use in motion pictures. During World War II, Mole-Richardson concentrated their efforts on developing searchlights for battleships, tanks and artillery units to aid the Allied Forces' battle in Europe and the Pacific. In 1945, Peter Mole was invited to light the first United Nations conference held in San Francisco.

Monte Cervino Battalion - The Alpini Parachutist battalion Monte Cervino is the sole battalion of the Italian Army's 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment. The 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is one of the Italian Army's (Forces for Special Operations) units. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II. To this day this is the only unit of "mountain paratroopers" in the world.

MPEG (Father of the MP3) Leonardo Chiariglione Started in 1988


Nitroglycerin Ascanio Sobrero 1846

Nuclear Reactor - Enrico Fermi 1942 - ( September 1901 – 28 November 1954) was an Italian physicist . Fermi graduated from high school in July 1918 and applied to the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. Best known for his work on Chicago Pile-1 (the first nuclear reactor), and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics. During their time in Rome, Fermi and his group made important contributions to many practical and theoretical aspects of physics. In 1928, he published his Introduction to Atomic Physics (Italian: Introduzione alla fisica atomica), which provided Italian university students with an up-to-date and accessible text. Fermi also conducted public lectures and wrote popular articles for scientists and teachers in order to spread knowledge of the new physics as widely as possible.Part of his teaching method was to gather his colleagues and graduate students together at the end of the day and go over a problem, often from his own research.A sign of success was that foreign students now began to come to Italy. The most notable of these was the German physicist Hans Bethe, who came to Rome as a Rockefeller Foundation fellow, and collaborated with Fermi on a 1932 paper "On the Interaction between Two Electrons" (German: Über die Wechselwirkung von Zwei Elektronen). Fermi is one of the men referred to as the "father of the atomic bomb"( he was in charge of the Manhattan project in the construction of the first Atom bomb  ) In 1938 Fermi received the Nobel Prize in Physics at the age of 37 for his "demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons".Fermi  held several patents related to the use of nuclear power, and was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment and the discovery of transuranic elements. He was widely regarded as one of the very few physicists to excel both theoretically and experimentally. After Fermi received the Nobel prize in Stockholm, he did not return home to Italy, but rather continued on to New York City along with his family, where they applied for permanent residency. The decision to move to America and become American citizens was primarily a result of the racial laws in Italy, as his wife was Jewish .

Fermi was the first to warn military leaders about the potential impact of nuclear energy, giving a lecture on the subject at the Navy Department on 18 March 1939.


Parachute Leonardo da Vinci 1480

Pantelegraph - Giovanni Caselli 1862.    The  pantelegraph was an early form of facsimile machine transmitting over normal telegraph lines developed by Giovanni Caselli, used commercially in the 1860s, that was the first such device to enter practical service, It could transmit handwriting, signatures, or drawings within an area of up to 150 × 100 mm.

Pendolino - Pendolino (from Italian pendolo [ˈpɛndolo] "pendulum", and -ino, a diminutive suffix) is an Italian family of tilting trains used in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Switzerland, China and shortly in Romania and Poland. Based on the design of the Italian ETR 401 and the British Advanced Passenger Train, it was further developed and manufactured by Fiat Ferroviaria, which was taken over by Alstom in 2000.

Power technology - Water wheel technology was developed to a high level during the Roman period, a fact attested by Vitruvius and Pliny the Elder in De Architectura and Naturalis Historia respectively.

Piano Bartolomeo Cristofori 1709

Pizza - The modern pizza was invented in Naples, Italy, and the dish has since become popular in many parts of the world

Porro prism - In optics, a Porro prism, named for its inventor Ignazio Porro, is a type of reflection prism used in optical instruments to alter the orientation of an image.

Pretzels Italian Monks Circa 610 AD


Quick Release Skewer Tullio Campagnolo 1927


Radio - Many individuals—inventors, engineers, developers and businessmen constructed systems based on their own understanding of these and other phenomenon, some predating Maxwell and Hertz' discoveries. Thus "wireless telegraphy" and radio wave based systems can be attributed to multiple "inventors". Development from a laboratory demonstration to a commercial entity spanned several decades and required the efforts of many practitioners.

But This is the Italian story - In 1884 Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti at Fermo in Italy experiments with tubes containing powder and nickel silver with traces of mercury metal filings and their reactions when conducting electricity. In 1894 the young Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi began working on the idea of building a commercial wireless telegraphy system based on the use of Hertzian waves (radio waves), a line of inquiry that he noted other inventors did not seem to be pursuing. In 1895 he built a radio wave system capable of transmitting signals at long distances (1.5 mi./ 2.4 km).Marconi found from his experiments the phenomenon that transmission range is proportional to the square of antenna height, known as "Marconi's law."

Marconi's experimental apparatus proved to be the first engineering complete, commercially successful radio transmission system.

In 1896, Marconi was awarded British patent 12039, Improvements in transmitting electrical impulses and signals and in apparatus there-for, the first patent ever issued for a Hertzian wave (radio wave) base wireless telegraphic system. In 1897, he established a radio station on the Isle of Wight, England. Marconi opened his "wireless" factory in the former silk-works at Hall Street, Chelmsford, England in 1898, employing around 60 people. Shortly after the 1900s, Marconi held the patent rights for radio. Marconi would go on to be more successful than any other inventor in his ability to commercialize radio and its associated equipment into a global business.

Road systems -  Roads go back before the Romans here is the Italian story.

The world's first limited access road was constructed in Italy in 1922 (autostrade) Without doubt, the champion road builders of them all were the ancient Romans, who, until modern times, built the world's straightest, best engineered, and most complex network of roads in the world. At their height, the Roman Empire maintained 53,000 miles of roads, which covered all of England to the north, most of Western Europe, radiated throughout the Iberian Peninsula, and encircled and crisscrossed the entire Mediterranean area. Roman roads still exist today 2000 years later!

Radio direction finder - John Stone Stone patented the first direction finding system in 1902 (U.S. Patent 716,134). Alternate and improved direction finding systems were invented by Lee de Forest in 1904 (U.S. Patent 771,819), and by Italian engineers Ettore Bellini and Alessandro Tosi in 1909 (U.S. Patent 943,960).

Recombinant DNA Vaccine - Enzo Paoletti and Dennis Panicali at the New York State department of Health, devised a Strategy to produce recombinant DNA vaccines by using genetic engineering techniques. They were able to transform ordinary smallpox vaccine into vaccines that may be able to prevent other diseases.

Refracting telescope - although not an italian invention it is worth mentioning-  Refractors were the earliest type of optical telescope. The first practical refracting telescopes appeared in the Netherlands about 1608, and were credited to three individuals, Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, spectacle-makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of Alkmaar. Galileo Galilei, happening to be in Venice in about the month of May 1609, heard of the invention and constructed a version of his own. Galileo then communicated the details of his invention to the public, and presented the instrument itself to the Doge Leonardo Donato, sitting in full council.


Schola Medica Salernitana -the worlds first medical school

Scuderi engine - The Scuderi engine, formally called the Scuderi Split Cycle Engine, is a split cycle, internal combustion engine invented by Carmelo J. Scuderi (April 13, 1925 – October 16,

Solari Departure Board Remigio Solari 1950's - A split-flap display, sometimes simply flap display, is a display device that presents alphanumeric text, and possibly fixed graphics, often used as a public transport timetable in some airports or railway stations, often called Solari boards, named after display manufacturer inventors Solari di Udine from Udine, Italy.

Stereoregular Polymers Giulio Natta 1963

Subway Sandwich Fred DeLuca 1965



Telephone             Antonio Meucci 1871

Thermometer             Galileo Galilei 1593

Thermos Bomb  - Thermos Bomb was the informal name for the AR-4, an air dropped anti-personnel mine used by the Italian Air Force

Thermoscope - Galileo Galilei discovered the principle on which the device is based. He made the first known thermoscope around 1592. Giuseppe Biancani published the first clear diagram of a thermoscope in 1617.

Three-way Light Bulb                 Alessandro Dandini 20th Century

Tontine (form of life insurance) Lorenzo de Tonti 1653

Turbofan Engine -                            Luigi Stipa (1900–1992) was an Italian aeronautical, hydraulic, and civil engineer and aircraft designer who invented the "intubed propeller" for aircraft, later led to the jet engine

Typewriter                         Pellegrino Turri 1808


Universal Joint                         Girolamo Cardano 1545

University of Bologna , the oldest continuous in the world , Padua university being the oldest


Vermouth Antonio Benedetto Carpano 1786

Violin - The oldest documented violin to have four strings, like the modern violin, is supposed to have been constructed in 1555 by Andrea Amati, but the date is unknown (Other violins, documented significantly earlier, only had three strings and were called violetta). Venice gave an important contribution to the birth of the violin that was known locally as the "lira," probably derived from the name of the Byzantine upright bowed instrument

Vibram - Vibram S.p.A. Is an Italian company based in Albizzate that both manufactures and licenses the production of Vibram-branded rubber outsoles for footwear. The company is named after its founder, Vitale Bramani.

Bramani is credited with inventing the first rubber lug soles for shoes. These soles were first used on mountaineering boots, replacing leather soles fitted with hobnails or steel cleats, commonly used up until then.


Wheel Lock                   Leonardo da Vinci 16th Century

Wind Tunnel                   Gaetano Lanza 1909

Wireless Telegraphy           Guglielmo Marconi1896


Zamboni pile -  Frank J. Zamboni-1949  The Zamboni pile  is an early electric battery, invented by Giuseppe Zamboni in 1812.

A Zamboni pile is an "electrostatic battery" and is constructed from discs of silver foil, zinc foil, and paper.

The famous Oxford Electric Bell which has been ringing continuously since 1840 is thought to be powered by a pair of Zamboni piles.

thanked the writer.
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Tony Cucci
Tony Cucci commented
Hi , having lived in the uk and Italy and together travelled all over Europe visiting many museums for years I have come to this conclusion. Living in the uk I had always been drummed into my head that the British invented everything and believing so until visiting Europe. Every country in Europe seems to claim that they were the inventors and they genuinely have their own stories. No matter when the invention occurred if it happened independently of each other without any knowledge crossed over then they must be credited with that achievement.
A lot of my info is verified and I have tried to be as fair as possible. I have found that it seems that the Northern Europeans think that it is their exclusive club that the inventions that changed the world is theirs. After my travels to my astonishment this is not so. There is an injustice in this and I have chosen Italy to be No 1 , not because it is a Southern European country but the unbelievable richness of their history Is why they have made the biggest impact on the world for inventions discoveries, cultural influences as mentioned in my post. And the richest of the peoples of the italian peninsular of the Romans ,vandals,italics ,celts,Anglo Saxon, estruscans, Arabs ,Africans,Normans have made Italy probably the most mixed gene pool on the planet, and I believe this is why they have given the world so much. Thankyou for your interest.
Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
We have a lot in common, I live in the UK and grew up in Rome :)

I agree with you that Italy has an unparallelled history - and that's a great point about how, geographically and ethnically, it has been the melting pot of the mediterranean, and this has been the source of its innovation.

What I find depressing is how very different Italy's prospects of the future are: economically vulnerable, high unemployment, very wary of foreign influence and immigration... do you think the Golden Age is well and truly over? Or is there hope still for il bel' Paese?
Tony Cucci
Tony Cucci commented
I had missed lots more from my list, I may post to another member who has it totally wrong in thinking that it was their countries invention, I must put them right! I think every country is going through a hard time , some are faring better than others , unfortunately Italy is suffering more than other countries .
Southern Italy particularly , but they seem to be getting their act together . I have been to Sicily since I was 4 years old, and I can see the small mountain village prosper to becoming a large town with large shopping centres. Sicily is getting more investment because the authorities are clamping down on the mafia . A problem that had stopped companies investing in Sicily .
, judges and police have been murdered, but many have been arrested .I think the future of Italy will be good eventually!
Brian Scott Profile
Brian Scott answered

I thought China was the largest inventor in the world, only not all the things they invented reached us in the west , so we "reinvented" them centuries later and took the credit for it.

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