Chinese Inventions “Kite”
It was very hard for me to pick a Chinese invention to do a research paper on. There are so many amazing inventions that the Chinese have given our world. So I decided to pick a few inventions that this world wouldn’t be able to live without. Invention of Paper The Chinese invented paper during the Han Dynasty. Originally the Chinese used paper made from hemp and plant fibers. It was heavy, spongy and they could even make clothes out of it. The man that was responsible for the invention of writing paper was Cai Lun. Cai Lun was born in Guiyang during the Eastern Han Dynasty.
After serving as a court eunuch from AD 75, he was given several promotions under the rule of Emperor He of Han. He presented the emperor with a smooth light wait paper made from a mulberry tree. From there a new lighter-weight paper was made. Soon, Chinese paper makers were making paper from bamboo fibers, tree bark, rags, old fishnets, hemp, and other plants. The Chinese boiled this mixture for over a month. The Chinese then pounded the fibers and strained out the water, leaving a smooth, thin layer. Then the product would dry into paper, which they could write on. Paper was very inexpensive and easy to make.
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It was also very popular. Cai Lun became a very rich man over inventing this process. Paper is so important to this world. This in my opinion is one of the greatest inventions of the Chinese. Invention of Printing with Woodblocks If you had to print the same text over and over one-hundred times it would be too much! For hundreds of years, the Chinese printed pages of text from wood blocks. For each page of text, a separate block of wood was carved, inked, and printed on a sheet of paper.
While faster than writing each page by hand the process was time consuming. Woodblocks are used not only for ext, but also patterns. It was used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China as a matter for printing on textiles and for later printing on paper. As a method of printing on cloth the earliest surviving examples to date before 220, and woodblock printing remained the most common East Asian method of printings books and other texts, as well as images, until the 19th century. Woodblock printing in China is strongly associated with Buddhism. It is said that the woodblock was used to print Buddhist scriptures during the Zhen guan years. Printing was a way for the world to share and learn from each other.
Not many people were able to get on a ship and travel the unknown. The wood block was a monumental invention in my opinion. It gave different cultures the chance to print in bulk and distribute, which lead to more people getting educated. The wood block was just a step in the way of inventing the modern day printer. Without print we would have some sore hands and simpleminded people. Invention of the Kite I decided to choose the kite, because when my family has free time, we love to go to the park and fly our kite. I wondered if the kite has always been used as a toy, or if maybe it was invented for a different reason.
I learned that the inspiration for the kite came from ancient Chinese, watching the effect of the wind on leaves, bamboo hats or sails. Certainly the Chinese were using wind sails before the kite was invented, but it’s thought the kite came about when a wind sail became loose and floated up into the air still attached by one rope. There are many contradictory views as to how the kite was invented, However, whatever it was that inspired the kite, it is believed that the very first kite was made by Mo Di (468-376 BC), a famous philosopher who lived on Mount Lu (now the southeast of Qingzhou, Weifang, Shandong).
It was thought that instead of kites being playthings, early kites were used for military purposes. Historical records say they were large in size; some were powerful enough to carry men up in the air to observe enemy movements, and others were used to scatter propaganda leaflets over hostile forces. There are many stories that mention warriors using kites to fly over their enemies, but soon the enemies found ways to bring the kites down. There are also stories that kites have been used to calculate distance during the night. This would be an advantage to conquer an enemy.
Another “myth” is that kites also played an important part in superstition. It was believed, for instance, during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that flying a kite and then letting it go might send off one’s bad luck and illness. Consequently it would bring bad luck if one should pick up a kite lost by other people. No matter what the reason the kite was invented, it has proven to be helpful in many ways. Letting go of bad luck, getting an aerial view of a war ground, or even taking your kids to the park to play. Kites are beautiful and very fun if you can catch a breeze.
Anderson, Leigh. 2008. “THE FAB 4: CHINESE INVENTIONS That Rocked the World.” Appleseeds 10, no. 5: 24. MasterFILE Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 18, 2013).