The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is regarded to be one of the glorious periods in the history of China. Aside from its spectacular edifices, enchanting tourist attractions, and the wonderful Great Wall, the Ming Dynasty was also known for its amazing innovations.
Containing a wide coverage of subjects such as agriculture, art, astronomy, drama, history, medicine, religion and technology, the Yongle Encyclopedia was definitely the world’s largest known general encyclopedia in ancient times and the first encyclopedia to be written on earth.
It was in 1403 when Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty introduced the first encyclopedia in China and was later named after him. The Yongle Encyclopedia, also referred as The Great Canon or Vast Documents of the Yongle Era, was the inspiration for the making of today’s encyclopedia.
Paper and Printing
The Ming Dynasty was the most prosperous eras of China. One of the reasons was due to the invention of woodblock color printing, paper, and the two-color printing process. It surpasses all the preceded printing techniques of the previous dynasties. Woodblock carving and wood movable type were enhanced to perfection. The massive production of documents was also made easy and possible because of the invention of the two-color printing process.
The creation of the bristle toothbrush was said to occur around 1498, during the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. It was also said to be mass-produced in the year 1780. This innovation had become an integral part of modern society.
The Mind Dynasty also invented ship rudders. This invention made the steering of large ships and served as their guide as they traversed the deep waters.
These are just few of the great inventions of Ming dynasty which swept through the ages all over the world. These contributions are up to now widely used, leaving a lasting mark not only in the history of China but of the world.