List of German inventors and discoverers

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This is a list of German inventors and discoverers. The following list comprises people from Germany or German-speaking Europe, and also people of predominantly German heritage, in alphabetical order of the surname.

Existing A B C D E F G H  I   J  K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Inclusion See also References External links



Black-and-white image of two middle-aged men, either one leaning with one elbow on a wooden column in the middle. Both wear long jackets, and the shorter man on the left has a beard.
Gustav Kirchhoff (left) and Robert Bunsen (right)






Reinhard Genzel, astrophysicist
Walter Gropius



  • Otmar Issing: Economist who invented the "pepet pillar" decision algorithm now used by the ECB.



Professor Dr. Robert Koch


  • Eugen Langen: Entrepreneur, engineer and inventor, involved in the development of the petrol engine and the Wuppertal monorail.
  • Max von Laue: Discoveries regarding the diffraction of X-rays in crystals.
  • Ernst Lecher: He is remembered for developing an apparatus— "Lecher lines"—to measure the wavelength and frequency of electromagnetic waves.
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Philosopher known for discovering the mathematical field of calculus and coherently laying down its basic operations in 1684.
  • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg: German scientist credited with the development of the electrophorus.
  • Justus von Liebig: German chemist who made contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry.
  • Otto Lilienthal: Father of Aviation and first successful aviator. Main discovery was the properties and shape of the wing.
  • Carl von Linde: Engineer who, among other things, developed refrigeration and gas separation technologies.
  • Walter Linderer: Father of the airbag.
  • Alexander Lippisch: Pioneer of aerodynamics, his most famous design is the Messerschmitt Me 163.









  • Dietrich "Diedrich" Uhlhorn: Engineer, mechanic and inventor, who invented the first mechanical tachometer (1817), between 1817 and 1830 inventor of the Presse Monétaire (level coin press known as Uhlhorn Press) which bears his name.





Criteria for inclusion

Please be sure that the inventor or discoverer is German or of German heritage / descent. For example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is often classified as Austrian, but lived in an Era, where Austria was part of the Holy Roman Empire, his nationality is therefore German. Mozart's nationality was, strictly speaking, that of the Prince-Archbishopric of Salzburg and therefore a German citizen of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.[14]

When adding an inventor or a discoverer to the main section, please check first to see if he or she is already in the list. If he or she is not, you might also check to see if an article exists (by entering the title in the Search box and pressing Go), as some editors may have forgotten to add their articles on German inventors to this list. When you add an inventor or a discoverer to this list, please add him or her in proper alphabetical order within the appropriate section. Please include the year of invention or discovery and list key information of the invention, as well as the references for it. After an inventor article has been created, the link on this page will be blue. Please move these titles into the main (existing article) section after creating the show article.

See also

External links


  1. Improvements in the Composition and Manufacture of Sausage Meat and the like; Patent
  2. Patent; page 2
  3. John M. Barry, The Great Influenza; The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (New York: Penguin Books, 2005) 70.
  4. Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger (1770-1829), known as the "Flying Tailor of Ulm", started with flight experiments in Ulm, Germany, in the early 19th century. He gained experience in downhill gliding with a maneuverable airworthy semi-rigid hang-glider and then attempted to cross the Danube River at Ulm's Eagle's Bastion on the 31st of May 1811. The tricky local winds caused him to crash and he was rescued by fishermen, making him the first survivor of a water immersion accident of a heavier-than-air manned "flight machine". Though he failed in his attempt to be the first man to fly, Berblinger can be regarded as one of the significant aviation pioneers who applied the "heavier than air" principle and paved the way for the more effective glide-flights of Otto Lilienthal (1891) and the Wright Brothers (1902). Less known are Berblinger's significant contributions to the construction of artificial limbs for medical use, as well as the spring-application in aviation. His invention of a special mechanical joint was also used for the juncture of the wings of his "flying machine". Because of his worthwhile contributions to medicine and flight, in 1993 the German Academy of Aviation Medicine named an annual award for young scientists in the field of aerospace medicine in his honor.
  5. Renouf, Edward (1901-02-15). "Noble gases". Science 13 (320): 268–270. doi:10.1126/science.13.320.268. Bibcode1901Sci....13..268R.
  6. Goebel's patent 47.632 „Hemmer for Sewing Machines"
  7. Goebel's patent 252658 „Vacuum Pump"
  8. Goebel's patent 266358 „Electric Incandescent Lamp"
  9. Christian Friedrich Schönbein (18 October 1799 - 29 August 1868)
  10. History of coin pressing
  11. Historians believe they have found the first depiction of blue jeans in 17th-century Italian paintings.
  12. Genoa girds for battle over jeans
  13. Boyne, Walter J.; Museum, Space (1980). Messerschmitt Me 262 : arrow to the future. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 117. ISBN 978-0-87474-276-3. 
  14. His letters indicate very clearly he felt his nationality to be German (see e.g. his letter to his father of 17 August 1782; Mersman (1972:204)); this was natural in a time when the territory comprising modern Austria and Germany was a patchwork of mostly small nation-states of German heritage.