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ZipZap ! French inventors - read all about it!

But what on earth did they invent?

Ever since time began inventors and scholars (whom we would today call “researchers”) have changed the world. Archimedes apparently shouted “Eureka!” which is Greek for  « I’ve found it! »

Here are some French inventors whose discoveries, creations or inventions we still find useful or indispensable in the 3rd millennium.

  • Dom Perignom (1638-1715) was a monk who perfected the way to make champagne. In most countries of the world, champagne is drunk to celebrate an important event.
  • In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Etienne, invented the first hot air balloons, called “montgolfières”.
  • In 1792 Nicolas Conté invented the pencil we still use today. Graphite had already been discovered in England in Cumbria, but disputes between England and France stopped it being imported. To make the stock go further, this ingenious Norman chemist hit upon the idea of mixing and baking it with clay to produce pencil lead. This was then enclosed between two strips of wood to protect it. He also created the National School of Engineering in Paris (“Conservatoire national des Arts et métiers”) where some of France’s best engineers are trained. It also houses the National Technology Museum (“Musée national des Techniques”) which is famous for its amazing collection of machines and robots.
  • Louis Braille (1809-1852) invented an alphabet for people who, like him, were blind. Patterns of raised dots make 63 signs representing the letters of the alphabet, musical notes and mathematical symbols.
  • Joseph Nicéphore Niepce invented photogaphy in 1826. His work is celebrated in a museum in the town where he was born, Châlons-sur-Saône.
  • Panneau rue Pasteur - Photo : G. BrameLouis Pasteur discovered the anti-rabies vaccine in 1885. His name gives us the verb "to pasteurise" which means to destroy germs with heat.
  • Fresque des Lyonnais - Photo : F. de la Mure, MAEEThe Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, invented cinematography. The first moving film was shown in 1895. Films are called the 7th Art.
  • Pierre et Marie Curie - Musee CuriePierre and Marie Curie discovered radioactivity and discovered radium in 1903, a feat for which they won the Nobel Prize for Physics.


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