10 things the Dutch invented

1606 –  stock exchange
The Amsterdam stock exchange was the first of its kind in the world, trading in shares from the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which was also the world’s first multinational corporation. When politicians today bemoan the lack of drive in the Netherlands, they call for a return to the VOC spirit.

1608 – telescope
Dutchman Hans Lippershey failed to receive a patent for his invention but a copy of the design was used by Galileo Galilei. So ya boo sucks to Galileo. The Dutch can claim it.

first submarine

1620 – submarine
Cornelius Drebbel was the inventor of the first navigable submarine while working for the royal navy. Amazingly, his third prototype could carry 16 passengers and travelled under water from Westminster to Greenwich during a demonstration for Britain’s King James 1.

1672 – fire hose
Talented landscape painter Jan van der Heyden, and his brother Nicolaes, invented the first fire hose and was later put in charge of Amsterdam’s fire fighting department.

Skip a few years while the Dutch were out conquering the world.


Some Dutch inventions are more irresistible than others

Some Dutch inventions are more irresistible than others

1828 – chocolate bar
Amsterdam chemist Casparus van Houten Sr.  patented an inexpensive method for pressing the fat from roasted cocoa beans and creating a solid mass that could be pulverised into cocoa powder. This powder became the basis for chocolate products today.

1903  – Electrocardiograph (ECG)
Willem Einthoven was awarded a Nobel Prize for his invention

1903 – Four-wheel drive with internal combustion engine
In 1903, the Dutch car manufacturer Spyker introduced the first four-wheel drive car with an internal combustion engine, the Spyker 60 HP. A revived Spyker still makes luxury cars today. It also bought Saab which then went bankrupt.

1943 Artificial kidney
The first artificial kidney was developed by Willem Johan Kolf.

1958 – Speed camera
Dutch company Gatsometer, founded by the 1950s rally driver Maurice Gatsonides, invented the first speed camera so that Gatsonides could monitor his speed around the corners of a race track. Perhaps not an invention to be proud of.

1979  – Compact disc
After the compact cassette in 1962, Philips together with Sony came up with the compact disc . Both now defunct of course.

Note: The Dutch think they invented printing but they didn’t


20 thoughts on “10 things the Dutch invented

    1. Mavadelo

      The Dutch didn’t invent slavetrade (don’t you know the Bible?) neither did we invent apartheid. Unfortunately we perfected them but we didn’t invent them

  1. Ernst

    Jacobus….Slavetrade by no means is a Dutch invention. Yes we did it in horrible amounts, but by no means are we inventors of slave trade. Even Atlantic Slave Trade (the one which you probably mean) was not ‘invented’ by the Dutch…the Portuguese have that doubtful honor. Apartheid was never a Dutch invention, it happened under that name the first time in South Africa (and yes Dutch DESCENDENTS were involved, but by no means DUTCH). Check your facts.

  2. Kristjan

    A couple more great Dutch inventions:

    18 years before the telescope, the microscoop was a Dutch invention!

    Before the CD came, an earlier great Phillips invention, the cassette tape

    and another amazing Dutch tech invention: Bluetooth

    and on the colour theme: the Orange carrot. Cultivated in Holland in the 17th century as a tribute to William of Orange. The most common carrot cultivated today is the Horn Carrot, named after the town of Hoorn in Noord Holland

  3. Marcel

    Slavetrade is from the beginning of time. Farao’s and the Greek also used them. Yes we did horrible things in our ‘Golden Age’ (an other word for robbing the world…). And yes we still have day’s when we remember these times and pay lots of money to these countries…

  4. Catinka

    one of the biggest Dutch inventions: LUMINOL!!!! Yes, the stuff they use at crime scenes all over the world. It makes bloodstanes visible in UV-light.

    1. Mavadelo

      Nope, Chocolate is Dutch however our neighbors took the idea and made it even better (as did the Swiss) The windmill in the shape we know it today (horizontal windmill) was probably invented in Persia in the 9th century AD, a windwheel was invented by Heron of Alexandria in the first century AD

  5. madeinzoetermeer

    the list, plus those added by other readers, are all very interesting for me. proud of this ‘hankerchief’ size country. The most surprising for me is Bluetooth. I hope the younger generations would keep up the traditions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s