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.
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.
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