I met this American guy. His name was John. It was a sunny day on the beach and there was nothing to do. We played some Black Jack and I won all the time. He was pissed. We talked about the German Autobahn where I lost my driver’s license but still love to give it a go. He was pissed that the Autobahn is German. And then he said: “But WE invented the car!” I said: “What? WHO do you say invented it?” And here we go.
Five things the Germans gave birth to (as some of you may know):
- The car. It was in 1886 when Karl Benz – with his three wheeler called “Motorwagen” – and Gottlieb Daimler – with his four wheeler called “Motorkutsche” – made the first steps to what Oprah Winfrey would call A BRAND NEW CAR – independently of one another. There’ve been similar vehicles before, but in this year these two guys from southern Germany got the knack.
- Aspirin. There wouldn’t have been a tiger in the bathroom if these guys from “The Hangover” had had aspirin. Oh well, maybe there would have been a tiger but they wouldn’t have felt so bad the morning after. Thanks to Felix Hoffmann, the white magic pill has helped masses of drunk people to get sober in a good way since 1807. And yes, it also helps with fever or other “normal” pains.
- Beer (of course). Ehm, ok actually, beer has probably been around as long as humans . BUT: in 1516 Duke Wilhelm IV. of Bavaria said: “Stop that! What’s all this weird stuff people brew their beer with? Let’s do it our way. Just use barley, hops and water!” (or something very similar to this). Cause especially the Bavarians took and take their beer really seriously and since then beer has been brewed according to this centuries-old “Purity Law”.
- The computer. Who likes statistics? Konrad Zuse didn’t! As long as he had to handle it all by himself. In 1935 he started to build a machine that could do all this math stuff for him and in 1941 he finished the Z3 – the first modern computer was born.
- The telephone. The first sentence ever said on a phone was “Das Pferd frisst keinen Gurkensalat”. Hilarious, isn’t it? Well, that’s German cause Philipp Reis who said that line in 1859 was German too. And he also said: Let’s call it a telephone. Oh, and the line says “The horse does not eat cucumber salad.” Word.
See, I didn’t even start to talk about cool things like Currywurst, television, jeans, toothpaste or bras. But yes, the famous Ricola cough candy was invented by the Swiss.