What are some Chinese inventions?
Crossbow, box bellows, sewing needles
About 450 BC, Chinese blacksmiths invented the crossbow. By the 200s BC, Chinese engineers developed the double-piston box bellows to help those same blacksmiths, and the smiths started to make steel sewing needles.
Silver-plating and wheelbarrows
This was important because China was always short of silver, and now smiths could silver-plate or gold-plate a necklace by mixing silver or gold with mercury to make a liquid, dipping the necklace in the liquid, and then evaporating off the mercury. About 150 BC, someone invented the wheelbarrow, too.
Paper and the compass
Water power, gunpowder, seismographs
So about 100 AD, they used Hu Shi’s bellows to run a blast furnace for making steel. In 132 AD, Han Dynasty scholars built the first seismograph to tell you what direction an earthquake was coming from.
Hot air balloons
A treatment for malaria
The influence of Confucius made China a place where logical thought was also highly valued. Mathematics was taught in the schools, through the use of a math textbook called the Nine Chapters. The Nine Chapters may have been written as early as the Han Dynasty in the 200s AD (but nobody knows for sure).
Printing and the spinning wheel
By around 650 AD, under the T’ang Dynasty, Chinese printers were experimenting with block printing, and around the year 1000 they invented movable type. Around the same time, Chinese blacksmiths began to use coal instead of charcoal to heat their forges. And in the 1200s AD, they (or maybe somebody in Central Asia) invented the first spinning wheel.
Science in Ancient China, by George Beshore (1998). .
The Joy of Pi, by David Blatner (1999). It’s not all about ancient China, but some of it is. For teenagers.
Ancient China: 2,000 Years of Mystery and Adventure to Unlock and Discover (Treasure Chest), by Chao-Hui Jenny Liu (1996). Lots of activities , including a Chinese calligraphy set.
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by Charles Seife and Matt Zimet (2000).