10 genius ways German inventors improved our lives

German inventors have made contributions to our every day lives in more ways than you may know. The Local looks at some of the best inventions, from the serious to the silly.

1. MP3s

A German inventor by the name of Karlheinz Brandenburg is responsible for an invention that has revolutionized how we listen to music. Thanks to Brandenburg’s doctoral work at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg we never need to bother with pesky CDs again – and we have an almost limitless amount of music right at our fingertips.

2. Ring binders, ink erasers, hole punches, glue sticks

Confirming the stereotype that Germans like to keep orderly records of everything, some of the most useful office supplies have been invented by Germans. Friedrich Soennecken invented ring binders and hole punches in the late 19th Century.

Another German, Louis Leitz, then improved on his compatriot’s invention by putting a finger hole in the binder to make it easier to remove from a crowded shelf.

3. Aspirin

Aspirin – the world’s favourite painkiller – is a German creation. The little white pill made from willow bark was developed by Felix Hoffmann in August 1897 for pharmaceutical giant Bayer, and although a US company claimed the patent for the drug after the First World War, 12,000 of the 50,000 tonnes of acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) produced each year are still made by Bayer.

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