List of Dutch inventions and discoveries
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|History of the Netherlands|
The Netherlands, despite its comparatively modest size and population, had a considerable part in the making of the modern society. The Netherlands and its people have made numerous seminal contributions to the world's civilization, especially in art, science, technology and engineering, economics and finance, cartography and geography, exploration and navigation, law and jurisprudence, thought and philosophy, medicine, and agriculture.
During the Age of Discovery, the Dutch built seagoing ships and traveled to the far corners of the world, leaving their language embedded in the names of places they visited. Dutch exploratory voyages revealed vast new territories to the civilized world. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Dutch-speaking cartographers helped lay the foundations for the birth and development of modern cartography (including nautical cartography and stellar cartography). The Dutch came to dominate the map making and map printing industry by virtue of their own travels, trade ventures, and widespread commercial networks. The Dutch initiated what we would call today the free flow of geographical information. As Dutch ships reached into the unknown corners of the globe, Dutch cartographers incorporated new discoveries into their work. Instead of using the information themselves secretly, they published it, so the maps multiplied freely. They were able to share their discoveries and ideas with the world because Dutch officials supported the freedom of press. The Dutch were the first (non-natives) to undisputedly discover, explore and map many unknown isolated areas of the world such as Svalbard, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Sakhalin, and Easter Island. In many cases the Dutch were the first Europeans the natives would encounter. Australia (originally known as New Holland), never became a permanent Dutch settlement, yet the Dutch were the first to undisputedly map its coastline. The Dutch navigators charted almost three-quarters of the Australian coastline, except the east coast. During the Age of Exploration, the Dutch explorers and cartographers were also the first to systematically observe and map (chart) the largely unknown far sounthern skies – the first significant addition to the topography of the sky since Ptolemy's time. Among the IAU's 88 modern constellations, there are 15 Dutch-created constellations, including 12 southern constellations. In the sixth episode Travellers' Tales of the popular documentary TV series Cosmos (1980), American astronomer Carl Sagan, who also served as host, took a look at the Voyager missions to Jupiter and Saturn, and compared the excitement to the adventuring spirit of the early Dutch explorers who traveled unknown seas for the first time. Their discoveries led to further knowledge of previously unheard of wonders and riches, comparable to the invaluable data retrieved by the spacecraft.
Dutch-speaking people, in spite of their relatively small number, have a significant history of invention, innovation, discovery and exploration. The following list is composed of objects, (largely) unknown lands, breakthrough ideas/concepts, principles, phenomena, processes, methods, techniques, styles etc., that were discovered or invented (or pioneered) by people from the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking people from the former Southern Netherlands (Zuid-Nederlanders in Dutch). Until the fall of Antwerp (1585), the Dutch and Flemish were generally seen as one people.
- 1 Inventions and innovations
- 1.1 Arts and architecture
- 1.1.1 Movements and styles
- 1.1.2 Architecture
- 184.108.40.206 Brabantine Gothic architecture (1300s)
- 220.127.116.11 Netherlandish gabled architecture (1400s-1600s)
- 18.104.22.168 Netherlandish Mannerist architecture (Antwerp Mannerism) (1500s)
- 22.214.171.124 Cape Dutch architecture (1650s)
- 126.96.36.199 Amsterdam School (Dutch Expressionist architecture) (1910s)
- 188.8.131.52 Rietveld Schröder House (De Stijl architecture) (1924)
- 184.108.40.206 Van Nelle Factory (1925–1931)
- 1.1.3 Furniture
- 1.1.4 Visual arts
- 220.127.116.11 Foundations of modern oil painting (1400s)
- 18.104.22.168 Proto-Realism (1400s–1600s)
- 22.214.171.124 Proto-Surrealism (1470s–1510s)
- 126.96.36.199 Modern still-life painting (1500s–1600s)
- 188.8.131.52 Naturalistic landscape painting (1500s–1600s)
- 184.108.40.206 Genre painting (1500s)
- 220.127.116.11 Marine painting (1600s)
- 18.104.22.168 Vanitas (1600s)
- 22.214.171.124 Civil group portraiture (1600s)
- 126.96.36.199 Tronie (1600s)
- 188.8.131.52 Rembrandt lighting (1600s)
- 184.108.40.206 Pronkstilleven (1650s)
- 220.127.116.11 Proto-Expressionism (1880s)
- 18.104.22.168 M. C. Escher's graphic arts (1920s–1960s)
- 22.214.171.124 Miffy (Nijntje) (1955)
- 1.2 Agriculture
- 1.3 Biology
- 1.4 Cartography and geography
- 1.4.1 Method for determining longitude using a clock (1530)
- 1.4.2 Triangulation as a surveying method (foundations of modern surveying) (1533 & 1615)
- 1.4.3 Mercator projection (1569)
- 1.4.4 First true (modern) atlas (1570)
- 1.4.5 First printed atlas of nautical charts (1584)
- 1.4.6 Concept of atlas (1595)
- 1.4.7 First systematic charting of the far southern skies (southern constellations) (1595-97)
- 1.4.8 Continental drift hypothesis (1596)
- 1.5 Chemicals and materials
- 1.6 Communication and multimedia
- 1.7 Computer science and information technology
- 1.7.1 Dijkstra's algorithm (1956)
- 1.7.2 Shunting-yard algorithm (1960)
- 1.7.3 Schoonschip (early computer algebra system) (1963)
- 1.7.4 Mutual exclusion (1965)
- 1.7.5 Semaphore (programming) (1965)
- 1.7.6 Sleeping barber problem (1965)
- 1.7.7 Banker's algorithm (deadlock prevention algorithm) (1965)
- 1.7.8 Dining philosophers problem (1965)
- 1.7.9 Dekker's algorithm (1965)
- 1.7.10 Van Wijngaarden grammar (1968)
- 1.7.11 Structured programming (1968)
- 1.7.12 EPROM (1971)
- 1.7.13 Self-stabilization (1974)
- 1.7.14 Dijkstra-Scholten algorithm (1980)
- 1.7.15 Smoothsort (1981)
- 1.7.16 Amsterdam Compiler Kit (1983)
- 1.7.17 Eight-to-fourteen modulation (1985)
- 1.7.18 MINIX (1987)
- 1.7.19 Amoeba (operating system) (1989)
- 1.7.20 Python (programming language) (1989)
- 1.7.21 Vim (text editor) (1991)
- 1.7.22 Blender (1995)
- 1.7.23 EFMPlus (1995)
- 1.8 Economics
- 1.8.1 Institutional foundations of modern corporation (first multinational, joint-stock, public limited company) (1602)
- 1.8.2 First megacorporation (1602)
- 1.8.3 Dutch auction (1600s)
- 1.8.4 First modern art market (1600s)
- 1.8.5 Concept of corporate governance (1600s)
- 1.8.6 Modern concept of foreign direct investment (1600s)
- 1.8.7 First modern market-oriented economy (1600s)
- 1.8.8 First capitalist nation-state (foundations of modern capitalism) (1600s)
- 1.8.9 First modern economic miracle (1585–1714)
- 1.8.10 Dynamic macroeconomic model (1936)
- 1.8.11 Fairtrade certification (1988)
- 1.9 Finance
- 1.9.1 Concept of bourse (1200s)
- 1.9.2 Foundations of stock market (first official, fully-fledged stock exchange) (1602)
- 1.9.3 First fully functioning (fully-fledged) financial market (1600s)
- 1.9.4 Initial public offering (1602)
- 1.9.5 Institutional foundations of investment banking (1600s)
- 1.9.6 Institutional foundations of central banking (first central bank) (1609)
- 1.9.7 Short selling (1609)
- 1.9.8 Concept of dividend policy (1610)
- 1.9.9 First European banknote (1661)
- 1.9.10 First book ever on stock trading (1688)
- 1.9.11 Concept of technical analysis (1688)
- 1.9.12 Concept of behavioral finance (1688)
- 1.9.13 First modern model of a financial centre (1600s)
- 1.9.14 Foundations of modern financial system (1600s)
- 1.9.15 Concept of investment fund (1774)
- 1.9.16 Mutual fund (1774)
- 1.10 Foods and drinks
- 1.11 Law and jurisprudence
- 1.11.1 Doctrine of the Freedom of the Seas (foundations of the Law of the Sea/UNCLOS) (1609)
- 1.11.2 Secularized natural law (foundations of modern international law) (1625)
- 1.11.3 Grotian conception of international society (1625)
- 1.11.4 Cannon shot rule (1702)
- 1.11.5 Permanent Court of Arbitration (1899)
- 1.11.6 Marriage equality (legalization of same-sex marriage) (2001)
- 1.12 Measurement
- 1.12.1 Pendulum clock (first high-precision clock) (1656)
- 1.12.2 Concept of the standardization of the temperature scale (1665)
- 1.12.3 Spiral-hairspring watch (first high-precision watch) (1675)
- 1.12.4 Mercury thermometer (first practical, accurate thermometer) (1714)
- 1.12.5 Fahrenheit scale (first standardized temperature scale) (1724)
- 1.12.6 Snellen chart (1862)
- 1.12.7 String galvanometer (1902)
- 1.12.8 Schilt photometer (1922)
- 1.13 Medicine
- 1.14 Military
- 1.15 Musical instruments
- 1.16 Philosophy and social sciences
- 1.16.1 Neostoicism (1580s)
- 1.16.2 Modern rationalism (1630s–1670s)
- 1.16.3 Modern pantheism (1670s)
- 1.16.4 Early liberalism (foundations of liberalism) (1600s)
- 1.16.5 Cartesianism (1630s–1640s)
- 1.16.6 Spinozism (1660s–1670s)
- 1.16.7 Affect (philosophy) (1670s)
- 1.16.8 Mandeville's paradox (1714)
- 1.16.9 Mathematical intuitionism (1907–1908)
- 1.17 Religion and ethics
- 1.18 Scientific instruments
- 1.18.1 Microscope (compound microscope) (1590)
- 1.18.2 Telescope (optical telescope) (1608)
- 1.18.3 Huygens eyepiece (first compound eyepiece) (1670s)
- 1.18.4 Van Leeuwenhoek microscope (1670s)
- 1.18.5 Cycloidal pendulum (1673)
- 1.18.6 Pyrometer (1739)
- 1.18.7 Leyden jar (first practical capacitor) (1745–1746)
- 1.18.8 Eisinga Planetarium (1781)
- 1.18.9 Kipp's apparatus (1860)
- 1.18.10 Phase contrast microscope (1933)
- 1.18.11 Magnetic horn (1961)
- 1.19 Sports and games
- 1.19.1 Kolf (forerunner of modern golf) (1200s)
- 1.19.2 Figure skating (prototype) (1400s–1600s)
- 1.19.3 Speed skating (1400s–1600s)
- 1.19.4 Yachting (sport sailing) (1600s)
- 1.19.5 International Skating Union (1892)
- 1.19.6 Korfball (1902)
- 1.19.7 Cruyff Turn (1974)
- 1.19.8 Total Football (1970s)
- 1.19.9 Tiki-taka (1990s)
- 1.20 Technology and engineering
- 1.20.1 First pound lock in Europe (1373)
- 1.20.2 Thermostat (automatic temperature regulator) (1620s)
- 1.20.3 Feedback control system (1620s)
- 1.20.4 Mezzotint (1642)
- 1.20.5 Aquatint (1650s)
- 1.20.6 Magic lantern (first practical image projector; the forerunner of modern slide projector) (1659)
- 1.20.7 Fire hose (1673)
- 1.20.8 Gunpowder engine (first practical rudimentary internal combustion piston engine) (1678-80)
- 1.20.9 Hollander beater (1680s)
- 1.20.10 Gas lighting (1783)
- 1.20.11 Meat slicer (1898)
- 1.20.12 Pentode (1926)
- 1.20.13 Philishave (1939)
- 1.20.14 Gyrator (1948)
- 1.20.15 Traffic enforcement camera (1958)
- 1.20.16 Variomatic (1958)
- 1.20.17 Red light camera (1965)
- 1.20.18 Stochastic cooling (1968)
- 1.20.19 Clap skate (1980)
- 1.21 Transportation
- 1.21.1 Ice skate improvements (1300s–1400s)
- 1.21.2 Herring Buss (1400s)
- 1.21.3 Yacht (1580s)
- 1.21.4 Fluyt (1500s)
- 1.21.5 Wind-powered sawmill (1592)
- 1.21.6 Schooner (prototype) (1600s)
- 1.21.7 Land yacht (1600)
- 1.21.8 First verified practical (navigable) submarine (1620)
- 1.21.9 First ever car equipped with a six-cylinder engine, along with four-wheel drive (1903)
- 1.22 Others
- 1.1 Arts and architecture
- 2 Discoveries
- 2.1 Archaeology
- 2.2 Astronomy
- 2.2.1 Columba (constellation) (1592)
- 2.2.2 Novaya Zemlya effect (1597)
- 2.2.3 12 southern constellations (1597–1598)
- 2.2.4 Camelopardalis (constellation) (1612–1613)
- 2.2.5 Monoceros (constellation) (1612–1613)
- 2.2.6 Rings of Saturn (1655)
- 2.2.7 Titan (Saturn's moon) (1655)
- 2.2.8 Galactic halo (1924)
- 2.2.9 Oort constants (1927)
- 2.2.10 Evidence of dark matter (1932)
- 2.2.11 Discovery of methane in the atmosphere of Titan (1944)
- 2.2.12 Discovery of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars (1947)
- 2.2.13 Miranda (Uranus's moon) (1948)
- 2.2.14 Nereid (Neptune's moon) (1949)
- 2.2.15 Oort cloud (1950)
- 2.2.16 Kuiper belt (1951)
- 2.3 Biology
- 2.4 Chemistry
- 2.5 Genetics
- 2.6 Geology
- 2.7 Mathematics
- 2.8 Mechanics
- 2.9 Medicine
- 2.10 Microbiology
- 2.10.1 Blood cells (1658)
- 2.10.2 Red blood cells (1658)
- 2.10.3 Infusoria (1674)
- 2.10.4 Protozoa (1674)
- 2.10.5 Bacteria (1676)
- 2.10.6 Sperm cells (1677)
- 2.10.7 Spermatozoa (1677)
- 2.10.8 Giardia (1681)
- 2.10.9 Volvox (1700)
- 2.10.10 Biological nitrogen fixation (1885)
- 2.10.11 Rhizobium (1888)
- 2.10.12 Spirillum (first isolated sulfate-reducing bacteria) (1895)
- 2.10.13 Concept of virus (1898)
- 2.10.14 Azotobacter (1901)
- 2.10.15 Enrichment culture (1904)
- 2.11 Physics
- 2.11.1 Wave theory of light (1678)
- 2.11.2 Polarization of light (1678)
- 2.11.3 Huygens' principle (1690)
- 2.11.4 Bernoulli's principle (1738)
- 2.11.5 Brownian motion (1785)
- 2.11.6 Buys Ballot's law (1857)
- 2.11.7 Van der Waals equation of state (1873)
- 2.11.8 Van der Waals forces (1873)
- 2.11.9 Van der Waals radius (1873)
- 2.11.10 Law of corresponding states (1880)
- 2.11.11 Lorentz force law (1892)
- 2.11.12 Lorentz transformation (1895)
- 2.11.13 Zeeman effect (1896)
- 2.11.14 Liquid helium (liquefaction of helium) (1908)
- 2.11.15 Superconductivity (1911)
- 2.11.16 Debye model (1912)
- 2.11.17 Van der Pol oscillator (1920)
- 2.11.18 Kramers' opacity law (1923)
- 2.11.19 Electron spin (1925)
- 2.11.20 Solidification of helium (1926)
- 2.11.21 De Haas–van Alphen effect (1930)
- 2.11.22 Minnaert resonance frequency (1933)
- 2.11.23 Casimir effect (1948)
- 2.11.24 Tellegen's theorem (1952)
- 2.11.25 Stochastic cooling (1970's)
- 2.11.26 Renormalization of gauge theories (1971)
- 2.11.27 Holographic principle (1993)
- 3 Explorations
- 3.1 Voyages of discovery
- 3.1.1 Orange Islands (1594)
- 3.1.2 Svalbard (first documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the Svalbard Archipelago) (1596)
- 3.1.3 First documented winter surviving in the High Arctic (1596-1597)
- 3.1.4 First undisputed sighting of the Falkland Islands/Sebald Islands (1600)
- 3.1.5 Pennefather River, Northern Australia (first documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the mainland Australia) (1606)
- 3.1.6 First charting of Manhattan, New York (1609)
- 3.1.7 Hudson Valley (1609)
- 3.1.8 Brouwer Route (1610–1611)
- 3.1.9 Jan Mayen Island (first verified discovery of Jan Mayen island) (1614)
- 3.1.10 Hell Gate, Long Island Sound, Connecticut River and Fisher's Island (1614)
- 3.1.11 Staten Island (Argentina), Cape Horn, Tonga, Hoorn Islands (1615)
- 3.1.12 Dirk Hartog Island (first documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the Western Australia coastline) (1616)
- 3.1.13 Houtman Abrolhos (Western Australia) (1619)
- 3.1.14 Carstensz Glacier, Carstensz Pyramid/Puncak Jaya (1623)
- 3.1.15 Gulf of Carpentaria (Northern Australia) (1623)
- 3.1.16 Staaten River (Cape York Peninsula, Northern Australia) (1623)
- 3.1.17 Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt (Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia) (1623)
- 3.1.18 Hermite Islands (1624)
- 3.1.19 First documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the Southern Australia coast (1627)
- 3.1.20 Western Australia (1629)
- 3.1.21 Tasmania (first documented/undisputed sighting and charting of the Tasmanian mainland and the surrounding islands) (1642)
- 3.1.22 New Zealand and Fiji (first documented/undisputed sighting and charting of New Zealand) (1642)
- 3.1.23 Tongatapu and Haʻapai (Tonga) (1643)
- 3.1.24 Sakhalin (Cape Patience) (1643)
- 3.1.25 Kuril Islands (1643)
- 3.1.26 Rottnest Island and Swan River (Western Australian coast) (1696)
- 3.1.27 Easter Island and Samoa (first documented sighting of, landing on and charting of Easter Island) (1722)
- 3.1.28 Orange River (1779)
- 3.2 Scientific explorations
- 3.3 Others
- 3.1 Voyages of discovery
- 4 See also
- 5 Bibliography
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Inventions and innovations
Arts and architecture
Movements and styles
De Stijl (Neo-Plasticism) (1917)
The De Stijl school proposed simplicity and abstraction, both in architecture and painting, by using only straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular forms. Furthermore, their formal vocabulary was limited to the primary colours, red, yellow, and blue and the three primary values, black, white and grey. De Stijl's principal members were painters Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931), Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Vilmos Huszár (1884–1960), and Bart van der Leck (1876–1958) and architects Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964), Robert van 't Hoff (1888–1979) and J.J.P. Oud (1890–1963).
Brabantine Gothic architecture (1300s)
Brabantine Gothic, occasionally called Brabantian Gothic, is a significant variant of Gothic architecture that is typical for the Low Countries. It surfaced in the first half of the 14th century at Saint Rumbold's Cathedral in the City of Mechelen. The Brabantine Gothic style originated with the advent of the Duchy of Brabant and spread across the Burgundian Netherlands.
Netherlandish gabled architecture (1400s-1600s)
The Dutch gable was a notable feature of the Dutch-Flemish Renaissance architecture (or Northern Mannerist architecture) that spread to northern Europe from the Low Countries, arriving in Britain during the latter part of the 16th century. Notable castles/buildings including Frederiksborg Castle, Rosenborg Castle, Kronborg Castle, Børsen, Riga's House of the Blackheads and Gdańsk's Green Gate were built in Dutch-Flemish Renaissance style with sweeping gables, sandstone decorations and copper-covered roofs. Later Dutch gables with flowing curves became absorbed into Baroque architecture. Examples of Dutch-gabled buildings can be found in historic cities across Europe such as Potsdam (Dutch Quarter), Friedrichstadt, Gdańsk and Gothenburg. The style spread beyond Europe, for example Barbados is well known for Dutch gables on its historic buildings. Dutch settlers in South Africa brought with them building styles from the Netherlands: Dutch gables, then adjusted to the Western Cape region where the style became known as Cape Dutch architecture. In the Americas and Northern Europe, the West End Collegiate Church (New York City, 1892), the Chicago Varnish Company Building (Chicago, 1895), Pont Street Dutch-style buildings (London, 1800s), Helsingør Station (Helsingør, 1891), and Gdańsk University of Technology's Main Building (Gdańsk, 1904) are typical examples of the Dutch Renaissance Revival (Neo-Renaissance) architecture in the late 19th century.
Netherlandish Mannerist architecture (Antwerp Mannerism) (1500s)
Antwerp Mannerism is the name given to the style of a largely anonymous group of painters from Antwerp in the beginning of the 16th century. The style bore no direct relation to Renaissance or Italian Mannerism, but the name suggests a peculiarity that was a reaction to the classic style of the early Netherlandish painting. Antwerp Mannerism may also be used to describe the style of architecture, which is loosely Mannerist, developed in Antwerp by about 1540, which was then influential all over Northern Europe. The Green Gate (Brama Zielona) in Gdańsk, Poland, is a building which is inspired by the Antwerp City Hall. It was built between 1568 and 1571 by Regnier van Amsterdam and Hans Kramer to serve as the formal residence of the Polish monarchs when visiting Gdańsk.
Cape Dutch architecture (1650s)
Cape Dutch architecture is an architectural style found in the Western Cape of South Africa. The style was prominent in the early days (17th century) of the Cape Colony, and the name derives from the fact that the initial settlers of the Cape were primarily Dutch. The style has roots in medieval Netherlands, Germany, France and Indonesia. Houses in this style have a distinctive and recognisable design, with a prominent feature being the grand, ornately rounded gables, reminiscent of features in townhouses of Amsterdam built in the Dutch style.
Amsterdam School (Dutch Expressionist architecture) (1910s)
The Amsterdam School (Dutch: Amsterdamse School) flourished from 1910 through about 1930 in the Netherlands. The Amsterdam School movement is part of international Expressionist architecture, sometimes linked to German Brick Expressionism.
Rietveld Schröder House (De Stijl architecture) (1924)
The Rietveld Schröder House or Schröder House (Rietveld Schröderhuis in Dutch) in Utrecht was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. It became a listed monument in 1976 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The Rietveld Schröder House constitutes both inside and outside a radical break with tradition, offering little distinction between interior and exterior space. The rectilinear lines and planes flow from outside to inside, with the same colour palette and surfaces. Inside is a dynamic, changeable open zone rather than a static accumulation of rooms. The house is one of the best known examples of De Stijl architecture and arguably the only true De Stijl building.
Van Nelle Factory (1925–1931)
The Van Nelle factory was built between 1925 and 1931. Its most striking feature is its huge glass façades. The factory was designed on the premise that a modern, transparent and healthy working environment in green surroundings would be good both for production and for workers' welfare. The complex is the result of the radical application of a number of cultural and technical concepts dating from the early twentieth century. This led to a new, functional approach to architecture that enjoyed mass appeal right from the start. The factory had a huge impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe and elsewhere. However, it is not just its architectural style, but rather its response to the social challenges of the day which makes the Van Nelle factory special. Its glass façade, with its large openable windows and advanced ventilation system, is quite unique, even though similar factories are to be found elsewhere. The Van Nelle Factory is a Dutch national monument (Rijksmonument) and since 2014 has the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Justification of Outstanding Universal Value was presented in 2013 to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
The factory complex, a collection of interconnected buildings, is one of the highlights of twentieth-century industrial architecture. Soon after it was built, prominent architects described the factory as ‘the most beautiful spectacle of our modern age that I know’ (Le Corbusier, 1932) and ‘a poem in steel and glass’ (Robertson and Yerbury, 1930). A delicate grid of glass and concrete, the two parts of the Van Nelle complex are connected by dynamic, angular bridges. It influenced factory design worldwide and now houses creative industries and art fairs.
Dutch door (1600s)
The Dutch door (also known as stable door or half door) is a type of door divided horizontally in such a fashion that the bottom half may remain shut while the top half opens. The initial purpose of this door was to keep animals out of farmhouses, while keeping children inside, yet allowing light and air to filter through the open top. This type of door was common in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century and appears in Dutch paintings of the period. They were commonly found in Dutch areas of New York and New Jersey (before the American Revolution) and in South Africa.
Red and Blue Chair (1917)
Zig-Zag Chair (1934)
The Zig-Zag Chair was designed by Rietveld in 1934. It is a minimalist design without legs, made by 4 flat wooden tiles that are merged in a Z-shape using Dovetail joints. It was designed for the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht.
Foundations of modern oil painting (1400s)
Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by Indian and Chinese painters sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did not gain notoriety until the 15th century. Its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint eventually became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became widely known. The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in northern Europe, and by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had almost completely replaced tempera paints in the majority of Europe. Early Netherlandish painting (Jan van Eyck in particular) in the 15th century was the first to make oil the default painting medium, and to explore the use of layers and glazes, followed by the rest of Northern Europe, and only then Italy. Early works were still panel paintings on wood, but around the end of the 15th century canvas became more popular, as it was cheaper, easier to transport, and allowed larger works.
Two aspects of realism were rooted in at least two centuries of Dutch tradition: conspicuous textural imitation and a penchant for ordinary and exaggeratedly comic scenes. Two hundred years before the rise of literary realism, Dutch painters had already made an art of the everyday – pictures that served as a compelling model for the later novelists. By the mid-1800s, 17th-century Dutch painting figured virtually everywhere in the British and French fiction we esteem today as the vanguard of realism.
Hieronymus Bosch is considered one of the prime examples of Pre-Surrealism. The surrealists relied most on his insights. In the 20th century, Bosch's paintings (e.g. The Garden of Earthly Delights, The Haywain, The Temptation of St. Anthony and The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things) were cited by the Surrealists as precursors to their own visions.
Modern still-life painting (1500s–1600s)
Still-life painting as an independent genre or specialty first flourished in the Netherlands in the last quarter of the 16th century, and the English term derives from stilleven: still life, which is a calque, while Romance languages (as well as Greek, Polish, Russian and Turkish) tend to use terms meaning dead nature.
Naturalistic landscape painting (1500s–1600s)
The term "landscape" derives from the Dutch word landschap, which originally meant "region, tract of land" but acquired the artistic connotation, "a picture depicting scenery on land" in the early 1500s. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the tradition of depicting pure landscapes declined and the landscape was seen only as a setting for religious and figural scenes. This tradition continued until the 16th century when artists began to view the landscape as a subject in its own right. The Dutch Golden Age painting of the 17th century saw the dramatic growth of landscape painting, in which many artists specialized, and the development of extremely subtle realist techniques for depicting light and weather.
Genre painting (1500s)
The Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder chose peasants and their activities as the subject of many paintings. Genre painting flourished in Northern Europe in his wake. Adriaen van Ostade, David Teniers, Aelbert Cuyp, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch were among many painters specializing in genre subjects in the Netherlands during the 17th century. The generally small scale of these artists' paintings was appropriate for their display in the homes of middle class purchasers.
Marine painting (1600s)
Marine painting began in keeping with medieval Christian art tradition. Such works portrayed the sea only from a bird's eye view, and everything, even the waves, was organized and symmetrical. The viewpoint, symmetry and overall order of these early paintings underlined the organization of the heavenly cosmos from which the earth was viewed. Later Dutch artists such as Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, Cornelius Claesz, Abraham Storck, Jan Porcellis, Simon de Vlieger, Willem van de Velde the Elder, Willem van de Velde the Younger and Ludolf Bakhuizen developed new methods for painting, often from a horizontal point of view, with a lower horizon and more focus on realism than symmetry.
The term vanitas is most often associated with still life paintings that were popular in seventeenth-century Dutch art, produced by the artists such as Pieter Claesz. Common vanitas symbols included skulls (a reminder of the certainty of death); rotten fruit (decay); bubbles, (brevity of life and suddenness of death); smoke, watches, and hourglasses, (the brevity of life); and musical instruments (the brevity and ephemeral nature of life). Fruit, flowers and butterflies can be interpreted in the same way, while a peeled lemon, as well as the typical accompanying seafood was, like life, visually attractive but with a bitter flavor.
Civil group portraiture (1600s)
Group portraits were produced in great numbers during the Baroque period, particularly in the Netherlands. Unlike in the rest of Europe, Dutch artists received no commissions from the Calvinist Church which had forbidden such images or from the aristocracy which was virtually non-existent. Instead, commissions came from civic and businesses associations. Dutch painter Frans Hals used fluid brush strokes of vivid color to enliven his group portraits, including those of the civil guard to which he belonged. Rembrandt benefitted greatly from such commissions and from the general appreciation of art by bourgeois clients, who supported portraiture as well as still-life and landscape painting. Notably, the world's first significant art and dealer markets flourished in Holland at that time.
In the 17th century, Dutch painters (especially Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Jan Lievens and Johannes Vermeer) began to create uncommissioned paintings called tronies that focused on the features and/or expressions of people who were not intended to be identifiable. They were conceived more for art's sake than to satisfy conventions. The tronie was a distinctive type of painting, combining elements of the portrait, history, and genre painting. This was usually a half-length of a single figure which concentrated on capturing an unusual mood or expression. The actual identity of the model was not supposed to be important, but they might represent a historical figure and be in exotic or historic costume. In contrast to portraits, "tronies" were painted for the open market. They differ from figurative paintings and religious figures in that they are not restricted to a moral or narrative context. It is, rather, much more an exploration of the spectrum of human physiognomy and expression and the reflection of conceptions of character that are intrinsic to psychology’s pre-history.
Rembrandt lighting (1600s)
Rembrandt lighting is a lighting technique that is used in studio portrait photography. It can be achieved using one light and a reflector, or two lights, and is popular because it is capable of producing images which appear both natural and compelling with a minimum of equipment. Rembrandt lighting is characterized by an illuminated triangle under the eye of the subject, on the less illuminated side of the face. It is named for the Dutch painter Rembrandt, who often used this type of lighting in his portrait paintings.
Pronkstilleven (pronk still life or ostentatious still life) is a type of banquet piece whose distinguishing feature is a quality of ostentation and splendor. These still lifes usually depict one or more especially precious objects. Although the term is a post-17th century invention, this type is characteristic of the second half of the seventeenth century. It was developed in the 1640s in Antwerp from where it spread quickly to the Dutch Republic. Flemish artists such as Frans Snyders and Adriaen van Utrecht started to paint still lifes that emphasized abundance by depicting a diversity of objects, fruits, flowers and dead game, often together with living people and animals. The style was soon adopted by artists from the Dutch Republic. A leading Dutch representative was Jan Davidsz. de Heem, who spent a long period of his active career in Antwerp and was one of the founders of the style in Holland.  Other leading representatives in the Dutch Republic were Abraham van Beyeren, Willem Claeszoon Heda and Willem Kalf.
Vincent van Gogh's work is most often associated with Post-Impressionism, but his innovative style had a vast influence on 20th-century art and established what would later be known as Expressionism, also greatly influencing fauvism and early abstractionism. His impact on German and Austrian Expressionists was especially profound. "Van Gogh was father to us all," the German Expressionist painter Max Pechstein proclaimed in 1901, when Van Gogh's vibrant oils were first shown in Germany and triggered the artistic reformation, a decade after his suicide in obscurity in France. In his final letter to Theo, Van Gogh stated that, as he did not have any children, he viewed his paintings as his progeny. Reflecting on this, the British art historian Simon Schama concluded that he "did have a child of course, Expressionism, and many, many heirs."
M. C. Escher's graphic arts (1920s–1960s)
Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, usually referred to as M. C. Escher, is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture and tessellations. His special way of thinking and rich graphic work has had a continuous influence in science and art, as well as permeating popular culture. His ideas have been used in fields as diverse as psychology, philosophy, logic, crystallography and topology. His art is based on mathematical principles like tessellations, spherical geometry, the Möbius strip, unusual perspectives, visual paradoxes and illusions, different kinds of symmetries and impossible objects. Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter discusses the ideas of self-reference and strange loops, drawing on a wide range of artistic and scientific work, including Escher's art and the music of J. S. Bach, to illustrate ideas behind Gödel's incompleteness theorems.
Holstein Friesian cattle (100s BC)
Holsteins or Holstein-Friesians are a breed of cattle known today as the world's highest-production dairy animals. Originating in Europe, Holstein-Friesians were bred in the two north Holland provinces of North Holland and Friesland, and Schleswig-Holstein in what became Germany. The animals were the regional cattle of the Frisians and the Saxons. The Dutch breeders bred and oversaw the development of the breed with the goal of obtaining animals that could best use grass, the area's most abundant resource. Its color pattern came from artificial selection by the breeders. The origins of the breed can be traced to the black cows and white cows of the Batavians and Frisians - migrant tribes who settled the coastal Rhine region more than two thousand years ago. Over time, these two kinds of cows were selectively bred together with the aim of developing an animal that would make the best use of limited land by yielding generous quantities of both milk and meat. The result was the efficient, high-producing black-and-white dairy cow we know today as the Holstein Friesian.
Brussels sprout (1200s)
Forerunners to modern Brussels sprouts were likely cultivated in ancient Rome. Brussels sprouts as we now know them were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in the Low Countries (may have originated in Brussels). The first written reference dates to 1587. During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in the Southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe.
Orange-coloured carrot (1500s)
Through history, carrots weren’t always orange. They were black, purple, white, brown, red and yellow. Probably orange too, but this was not the dominant colour. Orange-coloured carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Dutch farmers in Hoorn bred the color. They succeeded by cross-breeding pale yellow with red carrots. It is more likely that Dutch horticulturists actually found an orange rooted mutant variety and then worked on its development through selective breeding to make the plant consistent. Through successive hybridisation the orange colour intensified. Improved strains resulted in three main varieties red, yellow and deep gold. This was developed to become the dominant species across the world, a sweet orange. Before the Dutch bred the sweet, orange-coloured carrot, the carrot had a less sweet (bitter) taste than the ones we know today. The colour choice may have been made to gain favour with the House of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Empire and later became the Dutch Royal family. Beta-Carotene, found in orange carrots is converted into vitamin A in the body by all animals except cats.
Belle de Boskoop (apple) (1856)
Belle de Boskoop is an apple cultivar which, as its name suggests, originated in Boskoop, where it began as a chance seedling in 1856. There are many variants: Boskoop red, yellow or green. This rustic apple is firm, tart and fragrant. Greenish-gray tinged with red, the apple stands up well to cooking. Generally Boskoop varieties are very high in acid content and can contain more than four times the vitamin C of 'Granny Smith' or 'Golden Delicious'.
Karmijn de Sonnaville is a variety of apple bred by Piet de Sonnaville, working in Wageningen in 1949. It is a cross of Cox's Orange Pippin and Jonathan, and was first grown commercially beginning in 1971. It is high both in sugars (including some sucrose) and acidity. It is a triploid, and hence needs good pollination, and can be difficult to grow. It also suffers from fruit russet, which can be severe. In Manhart’s book, “apples for the 21st century”, Karmijn de Sonnaville is tipped as a possible success for the future. Karmijn de Sonnaville is not widely grown in large quantities, but in Ireland, at The Apple Farm, 8 acres (32,000 m2) it is grown for fresh sale and juice-making, for which the variety is well suited.
Elstar apple is an apple cultivar that was first developed in the Netherlands in the 1950s by crossing Golden Delicious and Ingrid Marie apples. It quickly became popular, especially in Europe and was first introduced to America in 1972. It remains popular in Continental Europe. The Elstar is a medium-sized apple whose skin is mostly red with yellow showing. The flesh is white, and has a soft, crispy texture. It may be used for cooking and is especially good for making apple sauce. In general, however, it is used in desserts due to its sweet flavour.
Groasis Waterboxx (2010)
The Groasis Waterboxx is a device designed to help grow trees in dry areas. It was developed by former flower exporter Pieter Hoff, and won Popular Science's "Green Tech Best of What's New" Innovation of the year award for 2010.
Tinbergen's four questions (1963)
Tinbergen's four questions, named after Nikolaas Tinbergen (one of the founders of modern ethology), are complementary categories of explanations for behavior. He suggested that an integrative understanding of behavior must include both a proximate and ultimate (functional) analysis of behavior, as well as an understanding of both phylogenetic/developmental history and the operation of current mechanisms.
Cartography and geography
The Dutch-Frisian geographer Gemma Frisius was the first to propose the use of a chronometer to determine longitude in 1530. In his book On the Principles of Astronomy and Cosmography (1530), Frisius explains for the first time how to use a very accurate clock to determine longitude. The problem was that in Frisius’ day, no clock was sufficiently precise to use his method. In 1761, the British clock-builder John Harrison constructed the first marine chronometer, which allowed the method developed by Frisius.
Triangulation as a surveying method (foundations of modern surveying) (1533 & 1615)
Triangulation had first emerged as a map-making method in the mid sixteenth century when the Dutch-Frisian mathematician Gemma Frisius set out the idea in his Libellus de locorum describendorum ratione (Booklet concerning a way of describing places). Dutch cartographer Jacob van Deventer was among the first to make systematic use of triangulation, the technique whose theory was described by Gemma Frisius in his 1533 book.
The modern systematic use of triangulation networks stems from the work of the Dutch mathematician Willebrord Snell (born Willebrord Snel van Royen), who in 1615 surveyed the distance from Alkmaar to Bergen op Zoom, approximately 70 miles (110 kilometres), using a chain of quadrangles containing 33 triangles in all. The two towns were separated by one degree on the meridian, so from his measurement he was able to calculate a value for the circumference of the earth – a feat celebrated in the title of his book Eratosthenes Batavus (The Dutch Eratosthenes), published in 1617. Snell's methods were taken up by Jean Picard who in 1669–70 surveyed one degree of latitude along the Paris Meridian using a chain of thirteen triangles stretching north from Paris to the clocktower of Sourdon, near Amiens.
Mercator projection (1569)
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as straight segments which conserve the angles with the meridians.
Flemish geographer and cartographer Abraham Ortelius generally recognized as the creator of the world's first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World). Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is considered the first true atlas in the modern sense: a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. It is sometimes referred to as the summary of sixteenth-century cartography.
First printed atlas of nautical charts (1584)
The first printed atlas of nautical charts (De Spieghel der Zeevaerdt or The Mirror of Navigation / The Mariner's Mirror) was produced by Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer in Leiden. This atlas was the first attempt to systematically codify nautical maps. This chart-book combined an atlas of nautical charts and sailing directions with instructions for navigation on the western and north-western coastal waters of Europe. It was the first of its kind in the history of maritime cartography, and was an immediate success. The English translation of Waghenaer's work was published in 1588 and became so popular that any volume of sea charts soon became known as a "waggoner", the Anglicized form of Waghenaer's surname.
Gerardus Mercator was the first to coin the word atlas to describe a bound collection of maps through his own collection entitled "Atlas sive Cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mvndi et fabricati figvra". He coined this name after the Greek god who held the earth in his arms.
First systematic charting of the far southern skies (southern constellations) (1595-97)
In the golden age of Dutch cartography and exploration (approximately 1570–1722), the Dutch-speaking peoples made the seminal contributions to the natural history, cartography, geography and ethnography. Flanders-based cartographers such as Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius helped lay the foundations for the modern cartography. In the area of celestial cartography, the Dutch Republic's explorers and cartographers like Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser, Frederick de Houtman, Petrus Plancius and Jodocus Hondius were the pioneers in first systematic charting/mapping of largely unknown southern hemisphere skies in the late 16th century.
The constellations around the South Pole were not observable from north of the equator, by Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese or Arabs. The modern constellations in this region were defined during the Age of Exploration, notably by Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman at the end of sixteenth century. These twelve Dutch-created southern constellations represented flora and fauna of the East Indies and Madagascar. They were depicted by Johann Bayer in his star atlas Uranometria of 1603. Several more were created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in his star catalogue, published in 1756. By the end of the Ming Dynasty, Xu Guangqi introduced 23 asterisms of the southern sky based on the knowledge of western star charts. These asterisms have since been incorporated into the traditional Chinese star maps. Among the IAU's 88 modern constellations, there are 15 Dutch-created constellations (including Apus, Camelopardalis, Chamaeleon, Columba, Dorado, Grus, Hydrus, Indus, Monoceros, Musca, Pavo, Phoenix, Triangulum Australe, Tucana and Volans).
Continental drift hypothesis (1596)
The speculation that continents might have 'drifted' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596. The concept was independently and more fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912. Because Wegener's publications were widely available in German and English and because he adduced geological support for the idea, he is credited by most geologists as the first to recognize the possibility of continental drift. During the 1960s geophysical and geological evidence for seafloor spreading at mid-oceanic ridges established continental drift as the standard theory or continental origin and an ongoing global mechanism.
Chemicals and materials
While making a coloured liquid for a thermometer, Cornelis Drebbel dropped a flask of Aqua regia on a tin window sill, and discovered that stannous chloride makes the color of carmine much brighter and more durable. Though Drebbel himself never made much from his work, his daughters Anna and Catharina and his sons-in-law Abraham and Johannes Sibertus Kuffler set up a successful dye works. One was set up in 1643 in Bow, London, and the resulting color was called bow dye.
Dutch chemical company DSM invented and patented the Dyneema in 1979. Dyneema fibres have been in commercial production since 1990 at their plant at Heerlen. These fibers are manufactured by means of a gel-spinning process that combines extreme strength with incredible softness. Dyneema fibres, based on ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), is used in many applications in markets such as life protection, shipping, fishing, offshore, sailing, medical and textiles.
Communication and multimedia
Compact cassette (1962)
In 1962 Philips invented the compact audio cassette medium for audio storage, introducing it in Europe in August 1963 (at the Berlin Radio Show) and in the United States (under the Norelco brand) in November 1964, with the trademark name Compact Cassette.
Laserdisc technology, using a transparent disc, was invented by David Paul Gregg in 1958 (and patented in 1961 and 1990). By 1969, Philips developed a videodisc in reflective mode, which has great advantages over the transparent mode. MCA and Philips decided to join forces. They first publicly demonstrated the videodisc in 1972. Laserdisc entered the market in Atlanta, on 15 December 1978, two years after the VHS VCR and four years before the CD, which is based on Laserdisc technology. Philips produced the players and MCA made the discs.
Compact disc (1979)
The compact disc was jointly developed by Philips (Joop Sinjou) and Sony (Toshitada Doi). In the early 1970s, Philips' researchers started experiments with "audio-only" optical discs, and at the end of the 1970s, Philips, Sony, and other companies presented prototypes of digital audio discs.
Bluetooth, a low-energy, peer-to-peer wireless technology was originally developed by Dutch electrical engineer Jaap Haartsen and Swedish engineer Sven Mattisson in the 1990s, working at Ericsson in Lund, Sweden. It became a global standard of short distance wireless connection.
In 1991, NCR Corporation/AT&T Corporation invented the precursor to 802.11 in Nieuwegein. Dutch electrical engineer Vic Hayes chaired IEEE 802.11 committee for 10 years, which was set up in 1990 to establish a wireless networking standard. He has been called the father of Wi-Fi (the brand name for products using IEEE 802.11 standards) for his work on IEEE 802.11 (802.11a & 802.11b) standard in 1997.
Computer science and information technology
Dijkstra's algorithm (1956)
Dijkstra's algorithm, conceived by Dutch computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra in 1956 and published in 1959, is a graph search algorithm that solves the single-source shortest path problem for a graph with non-negative edge path costs, producing a shortest path tree. This algorithm is often used in routing and as a part of other graph algorithms.
Shunting-yard algorithm (1960)
In computer science, the shunting-yard algorithm is a method for parsing mathematical expressions specified in infix notation. It can be used to produce output in Reverse Polish notation (RPN) or as an abstract syntax tree (AST). The algorithm was invented by Edsger Dijkstra and named the "shunting yard" algorithm because its operation resembles that of a railroad shunting yard. Dijkstra first described the Shunting Yard Algorithm in the Mathematisch Centrum report.
Schoonschip (early computer algebra system) (1963)
In 1963/64, during an extended stay at SLAC, Dutch theoretical physicist Martinus Veltman designed the computer program Schoonschip for symbolic manipulation of mathematical equations, which is now considered the very first computer algebra system.
Mutual exclusion (1965)
In computer science, mutual exclusion refers to the requirement of ensuring that no two concurrent processes are in their critical section at the same time; it is a basic requirement in concurrency control, to prevent race conditions. The requirement of mutual exclusion was first identified and solved by Edsger W. Dijkstra in his seminal 1965 paper titled Solution of a problem in concurrent programming control, and is credited as the first topic in the study of concurrent algorithms.
Semaphore (programming) (1965)
The semaphore concept was invented by Dijkstra in 1965 and the concept has found widespread use in a variety of operating systems.
Sleeping barber problem (1965)
In computer science, the sleeping barber problem is a classic inter-process communication and synchronization problem between multiple operating system processes. The problem is analogous to that of keeping a barber working when there are customers, resting when there are none and doing so in an orderly manner. The Sleeping Barber Problem was introduced by Edsger Dijkstra in 1965.
The Banker's algorithm is a resource allocation and deadlock avoidance algorithm developed by Edsger Dijkstra that tests for safety by simulating the allocation of predetermined maximum possible amounts of all resources, and then makes an "s-state" check to test for possible deadlock conditions for all other pending activities, before deciding whether allocation should be allowed to continue. The algorithm was developed in the design process for the THE operating system and originally described (in Dutch) in EWD108. The name is by analogy with the way that bankers account for liquidity constraints.
Dining philosophers problem (1965)
In computer science, the dining philosophers problem is an example problem often used in concurrent algorithm design to illustrate synchronization issues and techniques for resolving them. It was originally formulated in 1965 by Edsger Dijkstra as a student exam exercise, presented in terms of computers competing for access to tape drive peripherals. Soon after, Tony Hoare gave the problem its present formulation.
Dekker's algorithm (1965)
Dekker's algorithm is the first known correct solution to the mutual exclusion problem in concurrent programming. Dijkstra attributed the solution to Dutch mathematician Theodorus Dekker in his manuscript on cooperating sequential processes. It allows two threads to share a single-use resource without conflict, using only shared memory for communication. Dekker's algorithm is the first published software-only, two-process mutual exclusion algorithm.
Van Wijngaarden grammar (1968)
Van Wijngaarden grammar (also vW-grammar or W-grammar) is a two-level grammar that provides a technique to define potentially infinite context-free grammars in a finite number of rules. The formalism was invented by Adriaan van Wijngaarden to rigorously define some syntactic restrictions that previously had to be formulated in natural language, despite their formal content. Typical applications are the treatment of gender and number in natural language syntax and the well-definedness of identifiers in programming languages. The technique was used and developed in the definition of the programming language ALGOL 68. It is an example of the larger class of affix grammars.
Structured programming (1968)
In 1968, computer programming was in a state of crisis. Dijkstra was one of a small group of academics and industrial programmers who advocated a new programming style to improve the quality of programs. Dijkstra coined the phrase "structured programming" and during the 1970s this became the new programming orthodoxy.
An EPROM or erasable programmable read only memory, is a type of memory chip that retains its data when its power supply is switched off. Development of the EPROM memory cell started with investigation of faulty integrated circuits where the gate connections of transistors had broken. Stored charge on these isolated gates changed their properties. The EPROM was invented by the Amsterdam-born Israeli electrical engineer Dov Frohman in 1971, who was awarded US patent 3660819 in 1972.
Self-stabilization is a concept of fault-tolerance in distributed computing. A distributed system that is self-stabilizing will end up in a correct state no matter what state it is initialized with. That correct state is reached after a finite number of execution steps. Many years after the seminal paper of Edsger Dijkstra in 1974, this concept remains important as it presents an important foundation for self-managing computer systems and fault-tolerant systems. As a result, Dijkstra's paper received the 2002 ACM PODC Influential-Paper Award, one of the highest recognitions in the distributed computing community.
Dijkstra-Scholten algorithm (1980)
The Dijkstra–Scholten algorithm (named after Edsger W. Dijkstra and Carel S. Scholten) is an algorithm for detecting termination in a distributed system. The algorithm was proposed by Dijkstra and Scholten in 1980.
Smoothsort is a comparison-based sorting algorithm. It is a variation of heapsort developed by Edsger Dijkstra in 1981. Like heapsort, smoothsort's upper bound is O(n log n). The advantage of smoothsort is that it comes closer to O(n) time if the input is already sorted to some degree, whereas heapsort averages O(n log n) regardless of the initial sorted state.
Amsterdam Compiler Kit (1983)
The Amsterdam Compiler Kit (ACK) is a fast, lightweight and retargetable compiler suite and toolchain developed by Andrew Tanenbaum and Ceriel Jacobs at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. It is MINIX's native toolchain. The ACK was originally closed-source software (that allowed binaries to be distributed for MINIX as a special case), but in April 2003 it was released under an open source BSD license. It has frontends for programming languages C, Pascal, Modula-2, Occam, and BASIC. The ACK's notability stems from the fact that in the early 1980s it was one of the first portable compilation systems designed to support multiple source languages and target platforms.
Eight-to-fourteen modulation (1985)
EFM (Eight-to-Fourteen Modulation) was invented by Dutch electrical engineer Kees A. Schouhamer Immink in 1985. EFM is a data encoding technique – formally, a channel code – used by CDs, laserdiscs and pre-Hi-MD MiniDiscs.
MINIX (from "mini-Unix") is a Unix-like computer operating system based on a microkernel architecture. Early versions of MINIX were created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum for educational purposes. Starting with MINIX 3, the primary aim of development shifted from education to the creation of a highly reliable and self-healing microkernel OS. MINIX is now developed as open-source software. MINIX was first released in 1987, with its complete source code made available to universities for study in courses and research. It has been free and open source software since it was re-licensed under the BSD license in April 2000. Tanenbaum created MINIX at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam to exemplify the principles conveyed in his textbook, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation (1987).
Amoeba (operating system) (1989)
Amoeba is a distributed operating system developed by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and others at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. The aim of the Amoeba project was to build a timesharing system that makes an entire network of computers appear to the user as a single machine. The Python programming language was originally developed for this platform.
Python (programming language) (1989)
Python is a widely used general-purpose, high-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C. The language provides constructs intended to enable clear programs on both a small and large scale.
Python was conceived in the late 1980s and its implementation was started in December 1989 by Guido van Rossum at CWI in the Netherlands as a successor to the ABC language (itself inspired by SETL) capable of exception handling and interfacing with the Amoeba operating system. Van Rossum is Python's principal author, and his continuing central role in deciding the direction of Python is reflected in the title given to him by the Python community, benevolent dictator for life (BDFL).
Since 2008, Python has consistently ranked in the top eight most popular programming languages as measured by the TIOBE Programming Community Index. It is the third most popular language whose grammatical syntax is not predominantly based on C, e.g. C++, C#, Objective-C, Java. Python does borrow heavily, however, from the expression and statement syntax of C, making it easier for programmers to transition between languages.
An empirical study found that, for a programming problem involving string manipulation and search in a dictionary, scripting languages such as Python were more productive than conventional languages such as C and Java. Memory consumption was often "better than Java and not much worse than C or C++". Large organizations that make use of Python include Google, Yahoo!, CERN, NASA, and some smaller ones like ILM, and ITA.
Vim (text editor) (1991)
Vim is a text editor written by the Dutch free software programmer Bram Moolenaar and first released publicly in 1991. Based on the Vi editor common to Unix-like systems, Vim carefully separated the user interface from editing functions. This allowed it to be used both from a command line interface and as a standalone application in a graphical user interface.
Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Blender's features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, animating, match moving, camera tracking, rendering, video editing and compositing. Alongside the modelling features it also has an integrated game engine.
The Dutch animation studio Neo Geo and Not a Number Technologies (NaN) developed Blender as an in-house application, with the primary author being Ton Roosendaal. The name Blender was inspired by a song by Yello, from the album Baby. Roosendaal founded NaN in June 1998 to further develop and distribute the program. They initially distributed the program as shareware until NaN went bankrupt in 2002.
The creditors agreed to release Blender under the GNU General Public License, for a one-time payment of €100,000 (US$100,670 at the time). On July 18, 2002, Roosendaal started a Blender funding campaign to collect donations, and on September 7, 2002, announced that they had collected enough funds and would release the Blender source code. Today, Blender is free, open-source software and is—apart from the Blender Institute's two half-time and two full-time employees—developed by the community.
The Blender Foundation initially reserved the right to use dual licensing, so that, in addition to GNU GPL, Blender would have been available also under the Blender License that did not require disclosing source code but required payments to the Blender Foundation. However, they never exercised this option and suspended it indefinitely in 2005. Currently, Blender is solely available under GNU GPL.
EFMPlus is the channel code used in DVDs and SACDs, a more efficient successor to EFM used in CDs. It was created by Dutch electrical engineer Kees A. Schouhamer Immink, who also designed EFM. It is 6% less efficient than Toshiba's SD code, which resulted in a capacity of 4.7 gigabytes instead of SD's original 5 GB. The advantage of EFMPlus is its superior resilience against disc damage such as scratches and fingerprints.
Institutional foundations of modern corporation (first multinational, joint-stock, public limited company) (1602)
The Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC), founded in 1602, was the world’s first multinational, joint-stock, limited liability corporation - as well as its first government-backed trading cartel. It was the first company to issue shares of stock and what evolved into corporate bonds. The VOC was also the first company to actually issue stocks and bonds through a stock exchange. In 1602, the VOC issued shares that were made tradable on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. This invention enhanced the ability of joint-stock companies to attract capital from investors as they could now easily dispose their shares. The company was known throughout the world as the VOC thanks to its logo featuring those initials, which became the first global corporate brand. The company's monogram also became the first global logo.
The seventeenth-century Dutch merchants laid the foundations for the birth and development of modern corporations that now operate in many countries around the world. The Dutch merchants were also the pioneers in laying the basis for modern corporate governance. It was the VOC that invented the idea in 1606 of investing in the company rather than in a specific venture governed by the company. The VOC is generally viewed as the first modern corporation. With its legal personhood, permanent capital with transferable shares, separation of ownership and management, and limited liability for both shareholders and managers (or The Heeren XVII, who served as the board of directors of the company), the Dutch East India Company (VOC) is generally considered a major institutional breakthrough. Motivated by international trade and the risks of venture capital, the VOC pioneered two of the most important riskmanagement innovations known, the implicit limited liability of shareholders and a secondary market for equity shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The VOC marked a commercial breakthrough. It conducted semipermanent business ventures, instead of contracting with different shareholders for each undertaking. Other firms soon followed suit. The VOC's success inspired imitation across Europe—from Russia to Portugal. Unlike the competing British East India Company founded in 1600, the VOC allowed anyone to purchase stock in the trading at the open-air Amsterdam Bourse. Within a few decades, the VOC proved itself to be the most powerful trading corporation in the seventeenth-century world and the model for the large-scale business enterprises that now dominate the global economy. As Timothy Brook commented: "The Dutch East India Company—the VOC, as it is known—is to corporate capitalism what Benjamin Franklin's kite is to electronics: the beginning of something momentous that could not have been predicted at the time." The VOC's institutional innovations made large-scale trade feasible for the first time in history. These innovations allowed a single company to mobilize financial resources from a large number of investors and create ventures at a scale that had previously only been possible for monarchs. The key to the success of the VOC was that its ownership had been opened up to the general public. The VOC, for the very first time in history, enabled investors from all strata of the population to invest in a company that intended to continue to exist for many years. This enabled the vast sum of 6.5 million guilders to be raised. During its golden age, the VOC was the pioneering model for the modern corporations in corporate governance, entrepreneurship, performance, and profitability.
The Dutch East India Company (VOC) was the first permanently organized joint-stock company, with a permanent capital base (fixed capital stock). In 1602, the world's first official stock exchange (Amsterdam Stock Exchange or Amsterdam Bourse) was established by the VOC for dealings in its printed stocks and bonds. In the same year, The VOC undertook the world's first recorded IPO and, therefore, became the first public company to issue stock. It also played an integral role in modern history's first market crash. In 2010, a history student from Utrecht University, found the world’s oldest known ‘share’ during his thesis research in the Westfries Archief in Hoorn. It dates from 1606 and was issued by the VOC chamber of Enkhuizen.
The VOC is generally considered to be the world's first truly multinational corporation since it was the first transnational enterprise to issue stock. Some historians such as Timothy Brook and Russell Shorto consider the VOC as the first pioneering corporation in the first wave of globalization. The VOC was the first multinational corporation to operate officially in different continents such as Europe, Asia and Africa. While the VOC mainly operated in what later became the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), the company also had important operations elsewhere. It employed people from different continents and origins in the same functions and working environments. Although it was a Dutch company its employees included not only people from the Netherlands, but also many from Germany and from other countries as well. Besides the diverse north-west European workforce recruited by the VOC in the Dutch Republic, the VOC made extensive use of local Asian labour markets. As a result, the personnel of the various VOC offices in Asia consisted of European and Asian employees. Asian or Eurasian workers might be employed as sailors, soldiers, writers, carpenters, smiths, or as simple unskilled workers. At the height of its existence the VOC had 25,000 employees worked in Asia and 11,000 were en route. Also, while most of its shareholders were Dutch, about a quarter of the initial shareholders were Zuid-Nederlanders (people from an area that includes modern Belgium and Luxembourg) and there were also a few dozen Germans.
The VOC is usually considered the world's first publicly traded company. The company was the first institutionalized trading company to have many of the attributes of the present public limited company. In the first decades of the 17th century, the VOC was also the first recorded company ever to pay regular dividends, which averaged an annual 18% for almost 200 years (1602-1799).
The VOC was the first wholly recognized limited liability company. The VOC had two types of shareholders: the participanten, who could be seen as non-managing members, and the 76 bewindhebbers (later reduced to 60) who acted as managing directors. This was the usual set-up for Dutch joint-stock companies at the time. The innovation in the case of the VOC was, that the liability of not just the participanten, but also of the bewindhebbers was limited to the paid-in capital (usually, bewindhebbers had unlimited liability). The VOC therefore was a limited liability company. Also, the capital would be permanent during the lifetime of the company. As a consequence, investors that wished to liquidate their interest in the interim could only do this by selling their share to others on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Confusion of confusions, a 1688 dialogue by the Sephardi Jew Joseph de la Vega analyzed the workings of this one-stock exchange.
In terms of creating a corporate identity for example, the VOC had its own logo, which it placed on all kinds of objects—official documents bore the VOC monogram seal, its packaged crates of goods were branded with the same, its property—cannons to pewter to porcelain, all were variously monogrammed. The VOC's monogram became the best-known company trademark of the early modern period, possibly in fact the first globally recognized corporate logo.
First megacorporation (1602)
The Dutch East India Company was arguably the first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money and establish colonies. Many economic and political historians consider the Dutch East India Company as the most valuable, powerful and influential corporation in the world history.
The VOC existed for almost 200 years from its founding in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly over Dutch operations in Asia until its demise in 1796. During those two centuries (between 1602 and 1796), the VOC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods. By contrast, the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795, and the fleet of the English (later British) East India Company, the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC. The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.
Considered to be the largest corporation in history, the VOC was even larger than some countries. By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers, and a dividend payment of 40% on the original investment.
The VOC had considerable influences on the history of some countries and territories such as New Netherland, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Taiwan and Japan. The VOC trade post on Dejima, an artificial island off the coast of Nagasaki, was for more than two hundred years the only place where Europeans were permitted to trade with Japan. Rangaku (literally "Dutch Learning", and by extension "Western Learning") is a body of knowledge developed by Japan through its contacts with the Dutch enclave of Dejima, which allowed Japan to keep abreast of Western technology and medicine in the period when the country was closed to foreigners, 1641–1853, because of the Tokugawa shogunate’s policy of national isolation (sakoku).
In terms of world history of geography and exploration, the VOC can be credited with putting most of Australia's coast (then Nova Hollandia and other names) on the world map, between 1606 and 1756. The VOC's exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (Duyfken), Henry Hudson (Halve Maen) and Abel Tasman revealed vast new territories to Europeans.
Dutch auction (1600s)
A Dutch auction is also known as an open descending price auction. Named after the famous auctions of Dutch tulip bulbs in the 17th century, it is based on a pricing system devised by Nobel Prize–winning economist William Vickrey. In the traditional Dutch auction, the auctioneer begins with a high asking price which is lowered until some participant is willing to accept the auctioneer's price. The winning participant pays the last announced price. Dutch auction is also sometimes used to describe online auctions where several identical goods are sold simultaneously to an equal number of high bidders. In addition to cut flower sales in the Netherlands, Dutch auctions have also been used for perishable commodities such as fish and tobacco.
First modern art market (1600s)
The Dutch Republic was the birthplace of the first modern art market (open art market or free art market). The seventeenth-century Dutch were the pioneering arts marketers, successfully combining art and commerce together as we would recognise it today. Until the 17th century, commissioning works of art was largely the preserve of the church, monarchs and aristocrats. The emergence of a powerful and wealthy middle class in Holland, though, produced a radical change in patronage as the new Dutch bourgeoisie bought art. For the first time, the direction of art was shaped by relatively broadly-based demand rather than religious dogma or royal whim, and the result was a market which today's dealers and collectors would find familiar. With the creation of the first large-scale open art market, prosperous Dutch merchants, artisans, and civil servants bought paintings and prints in unprecedented numbers. Foreign visitors were astonished that even modest members of Dutch society such as farmers and bakers owned multiple works of art. Dutch 17th-century art saw the rise of new subjects, as landscapes, still lifes, and scenes of daily life replaced formerly dominant religious images and scenes from classical mythology.
Concept of corporate governance (1600s)
The seventeenth-century Dutch businessmen were the pioneers in laying the basis for modern corporate governance. Isaac Le Maire, an Amsterdam businessman and a sizeable shareholder of the VOC, became the first recorded investor to actually consider the corporate governance's problems. In 1609, he complained of the VOC's shoddy corporate governance. On January 24, 1609, Le Maire filed a petition against the VOC, marking the first recorded expression of shareholder activism. In what is the first recorded corporate governance dispute, Le Maire formally charged that the directors (the VOC's board of directors – the Heeren XVII) sought to “retain another’s money for longer or use it ways other than the latter wishes” and petitioned for the liquidation of the VOC in accordance with standard business practice. Initially the largest single shareholder in the VOC and a bewindhebber sitting on the board of governors, Le Maire apparently attempted to divert the firm’s profits to himself by undertaking 14 expeditions under his own accounts instead of those of the company. Since his large shareholdings were not accompanied by greater voting power, Le Maire was soon ousted by other governors in 1605 on charges of embezzlement, and was forced to sign an agreement not to compete with the VOC. Having retained stock in the company following this incident, in 1609 Le Maire would become the author of what is celebrated as “the first recorded expression of investor advocacy” in history.
The first shareholder revolt happened in 1622, among Dutch East India Company (VOC) investors who complained that the company account books had been “smeared with bacon” so that they might be “eaten by dogs.” The investors demanded a “reeckeninge,” a proper financial audit. The 1622 campaign by the shareholders of the VOC is a testimony of genesis of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in which shareholders staged protests by distributing pamphlets and complaining about management self enrichment and secrecy.
Modern concept of foreign direct investment (1600s)
The construction in 1619 of a train-oil factory on Smeerenburg in the Spitsbergen islands by the Noordsche Compagnie, and the acquisition in 1626 of Manhattan Island by the Dutch West India Company are referred to as the earliest cases of outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in Dutch and world history. Throughout the seventeenth century, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch West India Company (GWIC/WIC) also began to create trading settlements around the globe. Their trading activities generated enormous wealth, making the Dutch Republic one of the most prosperous countries of that time. The Dutch Republic's extensive arms trade occasioned an episode in the industrial development of early-modern Sweden, where arms merchants like Louis de Geer and the Trip brothers, invested in iron mines and iron works, another early example of outward foreign direct investment.
First modern market-oriented economy (1600s)
It was in the Dutch Republic that some important industries (economic sectors) such as shipbuilding, shipping, printing and publishing were developed on a large-scale export-driven model for the first time in history. The ship building district of Zaan, near Amsterdam, became the first industrialized area in the world, with around 900 industrial windmills at the end of the 17th century, but there were industrialized towns and cities on a smaller scale also. Other industries that saw significant growth were papermaking, sugar refining, printing, the linen industry (with spin-offs in vegetable oils, like flax and rape oil), and industries that used the cheap peat fuel, like brewing and ceramics (brickworks, pottery and clay-pipe making).
The Dutch shipbuilding industry was of modern dimensions, inclining strongly toward standardised, repetitive methods. It was highly mechanized and used many labor-saving devices-wind-powered sawmills, powered feeders for saw, block and tackles, great cranes to move heavy timbers-all of which increased productivity. Dutch shipbuilding benefited from various design innovations which increased carrying capacity and cut costs. Dutch warships were the best in the world and their merchant fleet was equally outstanding. The size of the Dutch merchant fleet in the 1670s probably exceeded the combined fleets of England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. The Dutch Republic dominated herring fishing in the North Sea, cod fishing off Iceland and whaling at Spitzbergen in the Arctic. By the last quarter of the seventeenth century, Dutch shipping dominated the world's carrying trade, growing tenfold between 1500 and 1700 (Wallerstein 1980:46) “By seventeenth century standards,” Richard Unger affirms, Dutch shipbuilding “was a massive industry and larger than any shipbuilding industry which had preceded it.” During his undercover visit to the Dutch Republic as part of the Grand Embassy mission (1697-1698), Peter the Great wanted to learn more about the Dutch shipbuilding industry. He studied shipbuilding and carpentry in Zaandam and Amsterdam. Through the agency of Nicolaas Witsen, cartographer, mayor of Amsterdam and expert on Russia, he worked at the Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipyard. In order to modernise the Imperial Russia, Peter introduced these Dutch crafts and skills in his home country and in particular in the newly founded capital of his Russian empire Saint Petersburg.
In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the Dutch-speaking peoples came to dominate not only the print trade (having replaced the Italians), but also the map making and map printing industry by virtue of their own travels, trade ventures, and widespread commercial networks. The Dutch initiated what we would call today the free flow of geographical information. The Ducth publishing centers of Antwerp and Amsterdam would eclipse the former centers of cartographic activity. During the seventeenth century, the Dutch publishing industry was arguably the largest and most sophisticated in Europe. The Netherlands had developed into the 'publishing house of Europe', thanks to an extensive trade in printed matter that chiefly comprised the mass reprinting of foreign publications. The privilege system played an essential role in this large-scale publication of printed matter. While the system had long been maintained in France as a tool for censorship, in the Netherlands it tended to be exploited by the publishers as an effective instrument for monopolising the market. The Dutch publishing industry flourished in the liberal political climate, where progressive ideas could appear in print without a problem. By the middle of the seventeenth century the United Provinces had become the undisputed centre of the European book trade, producing a larger assortment of books and other printed material than anywhere else in Europe. Dutch publishing was successful internationally in two ways. Firstly, the Dutch monopolised the trade in publications. Secondly, the Dutch printed a large part of the total European book production. Many exiles and freethinkers chose to move to the United Provinces. The Dutch Republic became a mass producer of illegal pamphlets and forbidden books.
First capitalist nation-state (foundations of modern capitalism) (1600s)
Economic historians consider the Netherlands as the first predominantly capitalist nation. The development of European capitalism began among the city-states of Italy, Flanders, and the Baltic. It spread to the European interstate system, eventually resulting in the world's first capitalist nation-state, the Dutch Republic of the seventeenth century. The Dutch were the first to develop capitalism on a nationwide scale (as opposed to earlier city states). They also played a pioneering role in the emergence of the capitalist world-system. Simon Schama aptly titled his work The Embarrassment of Riches, capturing the astonishing novelty and success of the commercial revolution in the Dutch Republic. The Dutch, it seems, more than anyone in the West since the palmy days of ancient Rome, had more money than they knew what to do with. They discovered, unlike the Romans, that the best use of money was to make more money. They invested it, mostly in overseas ventures, utilizing the innovation of the joint-stock company in which private investors could purchase shares, the most famous being the Dutch East India Company. Wherever Dutch capital went, there urban features were developed, economic activities expanded, new industries established, new jobs created, trading companies operated, swamps drained, mines opened, forests exploited, canals constructed, mills turned, and ships were built. The Dutch were pioneering venture capitalists who raised the commercial and industrial potential of underdeveloped lands whose resources they exploited. This paved the way to the Dutch Republic's prosperity, as it can pave the way to prosperity elsewhere. The United Provinces of the Netherlands were the land in which the capitalist spirit for the first time attained its fullest maturity. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) includes dozens of references to the Dutch Republic's capitalist economic model. Karl Marx described the Dutch Republic or Holland as “the model capitalist nation of the seventeenth century”, which was in “the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production”. He concluded that “the total capital of the Republic was probably more important than that of all the rest of Europe put together”. As John Steele Gordon (1999) commented “The Dutch invented modern capitalism in the early seventeenth century. Although many of the basic concepts had first appeared in Italy during the Renaissance, the Dutch, especially the citizens of the city of Amsterdam, were the real innovators. They transformed banking, stock exchanges, credit, insurance, and limited-liability corporations into a coherent financial and commercial system.” They brought these techniques/institutions together and established them on a secure basis in a merchant economy organized around a common for-profit motive. In Early modern Europe it featured the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange. The traders created insurance and retirement funds, along with less benign phenomena, such as the boom-bust cycle, the world's first asset-inflation bubble, the Tulip mania of 1636–1637. But the bursting of the tulip bubble did not end Dutch economic hegemony. Tulipmania was followed by a century of Dutch leadership in almost every branch of global commerce, finance, and manufacturing. It was in the Netherlands that the early techniques of stock-market manipulation were developed, such as short selling (selling stock one doesn't own, in hopes of a fall in price), bear raids (where insiders conspire to sell a stock short until the outsiders panic and sell out their holdings, allowing the insiders to close their shorts profitably), syndicates (where a group manipulates a stock price by buying and selling among themselves), and corners (where a person or syndicate secretly acquires the entire floating supply of a commodity, forcing all who need to buy the commodity to do so at their price). The seventeenth-century Dutch merchants were pioneering venture capitalists at the dawn of modern capitalism. Motivated by international trade and the risks of venture capital, the Dutch United East India Company pioneered two of the most important riskmanagement innovations known, the implicit limited liability of shareholders and a secondary market for equity shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. As Timothy Brook commented “the Dutch East India Company—the VOC, as it is known—is to corporate capitalism what Benjamin Franklin's kite is to electronics: the beginning of something momentous that could not have been predicted at the time.” World-systems theorists (including Immanuel Wallerstein and Giovanni Arrighi) often consider the economic primacy of the Dutch Republic in the 17th century as the first capitalist hegemony in world history (followed by hegemonies of the United Kingdom in the 19th century and the United States in the 20th century).
First modern economic miracle (1585–1714)
The Dutch economic transition from a possession of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1590s to the foremost maritime and economic power in the world has been called the “Dutch Miracle” (or “Dutch Tiger”) by many economic historians, including K. W. Swart. Until the 1700s, the economy of the Dutch Republic was the most advanced and sophisticated ever seen in history. While Britain’s was the first economy to use fossil energy to produce goods for market, the most characteristic institutions of capitalism were invented in the Dutch Republic. The first modern economic miracle was that of the Dutch Republic (1585–1702). During their Golden Age, the provinces of the Northern Netherlands rose from almost total obscurity as the poor cousins of the industrious and heavily urbanised southern regions (Southern Netherlands) to become the world leader in economic success. On the surface, the Dutch Republic looked thoroughly modern in every sense. It expressed religious tolerance, had a flourishing market economy, was ruled by a representative government, and had an egalitarian social structure. The Dutch Republic drew power from its federalism and openness when royal absolutist centralization was the norm. During the 17th century, the Dutch population increased from an estimated 1.5 million to almost 2 million, with a population one-second that of England and Wales, one-quarter that of Spain, one-eighth that of France. More than 60 percent of Dutch people lived in cities, compared to about 10 percent in most other European countries at the end of the 17th century. The Dutch Republic, and especially the province of Holland, was a highly urbanized society, where city life and burgher values pervaded even the lives of people not living in the cities. The level of urbanisation in seventeenth century Netherlands was only attained in other European countries at the turn of the twentieth century. From about 1600 to 1720, the Dutch had the highest per capita income in the world - at least double that of neighbouring countries at the time. Over the seventeenth century, the Dutch became the most literate people in Europe and possibly the world. The Dutch had the world's most generous (private) welfare system. “It is doubtful if England or any other country,” wrote Charles Wilson, “could rival the scores of almshouses for old men and women, the orphanages, hospitals, and schools maintained by private endowments from the pockets of the Dutch regent class.” In religion too the Netherlands stood out, being the most tolerant country in Europe, home to a wide variety of Christian denominations as well as Jews. The Dutch Republic was the first European state to practice religious toleration on a large scale. They also became the first state to articulate the notion that the government should leave people to their religious preferences. Also, from the very start, the Dutch Republic was a much more egalitarian country than any of the other countries of Europe. Trade and industry dominated economic life, whatever significance agriculture still may have had. Despite its lack of human and natural resources (except for water and wind power), the Dutch Republic dominated global market in many important industries such as shipbuilding, shipping, water engineering and management, printing, publishing, map making, lens-making, sugarcane refining, outward investment (outward/overseas direct investment), financial services, and international trade. The Dutch Republic had a commercial fleet that was larger than that of England, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain combined. The United Provinces could build ships faster, cheaper, and better than any rival. France, Denmark, and Sweden outsourced their warship construction to the Dutch Republic. As Witold Rybczynski notes, the Dutch Republic or the United Provinces of the Netherlands was “a brand-new state, formed in 1609 after thirty years of rebellion against Spain. It was among the smallest countries in Europe. It had few natural resources — no mines, no forests — and what little land there was needed constant protection from the sea. But this “low” country surprisingly quickly established itself as a major power. In a short time it became the most advanced shipbuilding nation in the world and developed large naval, fishing, and merchant fleets. Its explorers founded colonies in Africa and Asia, as well as in America. The Netherlands introduced many financial innovations that made it a major economic force — and Amsterdam became the world center for international finance. Its manufacturing towns grew so quickly that by the middle of the century the Netherlands had supplanted France as the leading industrial nation of the world.”
Dynamic macroeconomic model (1936)
Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen developed the first national comprehensive macroeconomic model, which he first built for the Netherlands and after World War II later applied to the United States and the United Kingdom.
Fairtrade certification (1988)
The concept of fair trade has been around for over 40 years, but a formal labelling scheme emerged only in the 1980s. At the initiative of Mexican coffee farmers, the world's first Fairtrade labeling organisation, Stichting Max Havelaar, was launched in the Netherlands on 15 November 1988 by Nico Roozen, Frans van der Hoff and Dutch ecumenical development agency Solidaridad. It was branded "Max Havelaar" after a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee pickers in Dutch colonies.
An exchange, or bourse, is a highly organized market where (especially) tradable securities, commodities, foreign exchange, futures, and options contracts are sold and bought. The term bourse is derived from the 13th-century inn named Huis ter Beurze in Bruges, Low Countries, where traders and foreign merchants from across Europe conducted business in the late medieval period. The building, which was established by Robert van der Buerze as a hostelry, had operated from 1285. Its managers became famous for offering judicious financial advice to the traders and merchants who frequented the building. This service became known as the "Beurze Purse" which is the basis of bourse, meaning an organised place of exchange. Eventually the building became solely a place for trading in commodities.
Foundations of stock market (first official, fully-fledged stock exchange) (1602)
The seventeenth-century Dutch merchants laid the foundations for modern stock market that now influences greatly the global economy. It was in the Dutch Republic that a fully-fledged stock market was established and developed for the first time in history. The Dutch merchants were also the pioneers in developing the basic techniques of stock trading. Although bond sales by municipalities and states can be traced to the thirteenth century, the origin of modern stock exchanges that specialize in creating and sustaining secondary markets in corporate securities goes back to the formation of the Dutch East India Company in the year 1602. Dutch investors were the first to trade their shares at a regular stock exchange. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is considered the oldest in the world. It was established in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company for dealings in its printed stocks and bonds. Here, the Dutch also pioneered stock futures, stock options, short selling, debt-equity swaps, merchant banking, bonds, unit trusts and other speculative instruments. Unlike the competing companies, the VOC allowed anyone (including housemaids) to purchase stock in the trading at the fully operational Amsterdam Bourse. The practice of naked short selling was also invented in the Dutch Republic. In 1609, Isaac Le Maire, an Amsterdam merchant and a sizeable shareholder of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), became the first recorded short seller in history. The first recorded ban on short selling also took place in the Dutch Republic in the same year. In the early 1600s, Dutch merchants invented the common stock — that of the VOC. Also, the Dutch experienced the first recorded stock market crash in history, the Tulip Mania of 1636-1637. Since 1602, stock market trading has come a long way. But basically, the concept and principle of stock market trading is still upheld and is still being implemented up to now.
In the fifteenth century, the overall economic supremacy of the Italian city-states gradually came to an end and the centre of financial activities in Europe shifted to the Low Countries, first to Bruges, and later to Antwerp and Amsterdam. They, too, became important centres of financial innovation. Among Bruges's wealthiest residents was the Van der Beurs family, inn-keepers who allegedly gave their name to the later bourse (Huis Ter Beurze in Dutch). The concept of a stock market has been around for hundreds of years and there are examples of their early development across Europe, including the trading of government debt by brokers in twelfth-century France. But the sophisticated use of a stock market had their beginnings in the Low Countries. Dutch-speaking cities such as Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam played a vital role in the birth and development of early stock exchanges. Antwerp Bourse (Handelsbeurs in Dutch) was built in 1531 and was the first public building used exclusively for financial and commodities trading. The first official, fully operational (fully-fledged) stock exchange is, however, recognised as being the Amsterdam Stock Exchange which was established in 1602. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is often considered as the first modern stock exchange. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (a.k.a. Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser in Dutch) is also said to have been the first stock exchange to introduce continuous trade in the early 17th century. Edward Stringham has written extensively on the development of sophisticated contracts on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in the seventeenth century, including short sale contracts. By the 1680s, the financial techniques used in the Amsterdam's financial markets (including stock trading, derivatives trading, and option trading) were as sophisticated as any practiced today. It was in the Dutch Republic that the early techniques of stock-market manipulation were developed, such as short selling (selling stock one doesn't own, in hopes of a fall in price), bear raids (where insiders conspire to sell a stock short until the outsiders panic and sell out their holdings, allowing the insiders to close their shorts profitably), syndicates (where a group manipulates a stock price by buying and selling among themselves), and corners (where a person or syndicate secretly acquires the entire floating supply of a commodity, forcing all who need to buy the commodity to do so at their price).
Joseph de la Vega, also known as Joseph Penso de la Vega and by other variations of his name, was an Amsterdam trader from a Spanish Jewish family and a prolific writer as well as a successful businessman in 17th-century Amsterdam. His 1688 book Confusion of Confusions explained the workings of the city's stock market. It was the earliest book about stock trading, taking the form of a dialogue between a merchant, a shareholder and a philosopher, the book described a market that was sophisticated but also prone to excesses, and de la Vega offered advice to his readers on such topics as the unpredictability of market shifts and the importance of patience in investment. The book has been described as the first precursor of modern behavioural finance, with its descriptions of investor decision-making still reflected in the way some investors operate today, and in 2001 was still rated by the Financial Times as one of the ten best investment book ever written.
First fully functioning (fully-fledged) financial market (1600s)
The Dutch Republic (Amsterdam in particular) was the birthplace of the world's first fully functioning financial market, with the birth of a fully fledged capital market. Capital markets for debt and equity shares are used to raise long-term funds. New stocks and bonds are sold in primary markets (including initial public offerings) and secondary markets (including stock exchanges). While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable municipal bonds, they didn't develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fully fledged capital market: corporate shareholders. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) became the first company to offer shares of stock to the general public. Dutch investors were the first to trade their shares at a regular stock exchange. In 1602 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) established an exchange in Amsterdam where the VOC stocks and bonds could be traded in a secondary market. The buying and selling of the VOC's securities (including shares and bonds) became the basis of the first official stock market. The Dutch were also the first to use a fully-fledged capital market (including bond market and stock market) to finance companies (such as the VOC and the WIC). It was in seventeenth-century Amsterdam that the global securities market began to take on its modern form.
The fundamental change in taxation and borrowing that took place in the Dutch Republic in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries is often referred to by economic historians as the financial revolution. It is viewed as the key to the economic growth and political power of the Dutch Republic in its seventeenth-century Golden Age. There is agreement with respect to the fact that this revolution predated the English financial revolution by almost a century. It is agreed that a significant public debt was created in the Dutch Republic long before it was created in England. Tracy (1985), 't Hart (1993), and others date the formation of a market for government bonds in the Dutch Republic a few decades before the formation of the VOC (1602). Many commercial and financial institutions new in seventeenth-century London, including the stock market, were based on models developed in Amsterdam earlier in the century. When William III of Orange acceded to the English throne in 1688, he introduced well-tried financial innovations from the Dutch Republic. A consolidated public debt was already created in Holland in mid-sixteenth century. Kuzminski (2013) notes, “The Dutch, in short, invented the first system of national public credit. For the first time in Europe and, it appears, world history, we find a credit system not dependent solely on the vicissitudes of private bankers like the Medici or the Fuggers and their unreliable private debtors, like the monarchs of Europe. Credit was now backed by publically guaranteed, more or less perpetual national institutions. The bourse and the bank of Amsterdam had behind them the imprimatur of the collective corporate backing of the provinces and towns.”
Initial public offering (1602)
The earliest form of a company which issued public shares was the publicani during the Roman Republic. In 1602, the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) became the first modern company to issue shares to the public, thus launching the first modern initial public offering (IPO). The VOC held the first public offering of shares in history shortly after its founding. With this first recorded initial public offering (IPO), the VOC brought in 6,424,588 guilders and the company subsequently grew to become the first true transnational corporation in the world.
Institutional foundations of investment banking (1600s)
Institutional foundations of central banking (first central bank) (1609)
Prior to the 17th century most money was commodity money, typically gold or silver. However, promises to pay were widely circulated and accepted as value at least five hundred years earlier in both Europe and Asia. The Song Dynasty was the first to issue generally circulating paper currency, while the Yuan Dynasty was the first to use notes as the predominant circulating medium. In 1455, in an effort to control inflation, the succeeding Ming Dynasty ended the use of paper money and closed much of Chinese trade. The medieval European Knights Templar ran an early prototype of a central banking system, as their promises to pay were widely respected, and many regard their activities as having laid the basis for the modern banking system. As the first public bank to "offer accounts not directly convertible to coin", the Bank of Amsterdam (Amsterdamsche Wisselbank or literally Amsterdam Exchange Bank) established in 1609 is considered to be the precursor to modern central banks, if not the first true central bank. The Wisselbank's innovations helped lay the foundations for the birth and development of modern central banking systems. There were earlier banks, especially in the Italian city-states, but the Wisselbank, with its public backing, provided for a scale of operations and stability hitherto unmatched. Along with a number of subsidiary local banks, it performed many of modern-day central banking functions. The model of the Wisselbank as a state bank was adapted throughout Europe, including the Bank of Sweden (1668) and the Bank of England (1694). It occupied a central position in the financial world of its day, providing an effective, efficient and trusted system for national and international payments. The establishment of the Wisselbank led to the introduction of the concept of bank money — the bank guilder. Lucien Gillard (2004) calls it the European guilder (le florin européen), and Adam Smith devotes many pages to explaining how the bank guilder works (Smith 1776: 446-455). Considered by many experts to be the first internationally dominant reserve currency of modern times, the Dutch guilder was the dominant currency during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was just replaced by British pound sterling in the 19th century and the US dollar took the lead just after World War Two and has held it until this day.
Short selling (1609)
Financial innovation in Amsterdam took many forms. In 1609, investors led by Isaac Le Maire formed history's first bear syndicate to engage in short selling, but their coordinated trading had only a modest impact in driving down share prices, which tended to be robust throughout the 17th century.
Concept of dividend policy (1610)
In the first decades of the 17th century, the VOC was the first recorded company ever to pay regular dividends. To encourage investors to buy shares, a promise of an annual payment (called a dividend) was made. An investor would receive dividends instead interest and the investment was permanent in the form of shares in the company. Between 1600 and 1800 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) paid annual dividends worth around 18 percent of the value of the shares.
In 1656, King Charles X Gustav of Sweden signed two charters creating two private banks under the directorship of Johan Palmstruch (though before having been ennobled he was called Johan Wittmacher or Hans Wittmacher), a Riga-born merchant of Dutch origin. Palmstruch modeled the banks on those of Amsterdam where he had become a burgher. The first real European banknote was issued in 1661 by the Stockholms Banco of Johan Palmstruch, a private bank under state charter (precursor to the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden).
First book ever on stock trading (1688)
Joseph de la Vega, also known as Joseph Penso de la Vega, was an Amsterdam trader from a Spanish Jewish family and a prolific writer as well as a successful businessman. His 1688 book Confusion de Confusiones (Confusion of Confusions) explained the workings of the city's stock market. It was the earliest book about stock trading, taking the form of a dialogue between a merchant, a shareholder and a philosopher. The book described a market that was sophisticated but also prone to excesses, and de la Vega offered advice to his readers on such topics as the unpredictability of market shifts and the importance of patience in investment. The book has been described as the first precursor of modern behavioural finance, with its descriptions of investor decision-making still reflected in the way some investors operate today, and in 2001 was still rated by the Financial Times as one of the ten best investment book ever written.
Concept of technical analysis (1688)
The principles of technical analysis are derived from hundreds of years of financial market data. These principles in a raw form have been studied since the seventeenth century. Some aspects of technical analysis began to appear in Joseph de la Vega's accounts of the Dutch markets in the late 17th century. In Asia, technical analysis is said to be a method developed by Homma Munehisa during the early 18th century which evolved into the use of candlestick techniques, and is today a technical analysis charting tool.
Concept of behavioral finance (1688)
Josseph de la Vega was in 1688 the first person to give an account of irrational behaviour in financial markets. His 1688 book Confusion of Confusions, has been described as the first precursor of modern behavioural finance, with its descriptions of investor decision-making still reflected in the way some investors operate today.
First modern model of a financial centre (1600s)
In the seventeenth century (the Dutch Golden Age in particular), Amsterdam, despite its relatively modest size and population, was the first modern model of a global (international) financial centre that now operated in several countries around the world. During their Golden Age, the Dutch were responsible for three major institutional innovations in economic and financial history. The first major innovation was the foundation of the United East India Company/Dutch East India Company (a.k.a. Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch), the world's first publicly traded company, in 1602. As the first listed company (the first company to be ever listed on an official stock exchange), the VOC was the first company to actually issue stock and bonds to the general public. The second major innovation was the creation of the world's first fully functioning financial market, with the birth of a fully fledged capital market (including the bond market and stock market). The establishment of Amsterdam Stock Exchange (1602) by the VOC, has long been recognized as the origin of modern stock exchanges that specialize in creating and sustaining secondary markets in the securities issued by corporations. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser in Dutch) was the world's first official stock exchange when it began trading the VOC's freely transferable securities (including bonds and shares of stock). The buying and selling of these securities became the basis of the first official stock market. The third major innovation was the establishment of the Bank of Amsterdam (Amsterdamsche Wisselbank in Dutch) in 1609, which led to the introduction of the concept of bank money. The Bank of Amsterdam was arguably the world's first central bank. Along with a number of subsidiary local banks, it performed many functions of central banking system. The uniqueness of the 17th-century Dutch society’s structure (such as highly bourgeois, entrepreneurial, republican, federal, liberal, tolerant, secularist, and egalitarian features) played an important role in the birth of these seminal institutional innovations.
In the 17th century and during most of the 18th century, Amsterdam had been the most influential (powerful) financial centre of the world. It was in Amsterdam that the important institutional innovations such as limited-liability joint-stock company, publicly traded company, transnational corporation, capital market (including bond market and stock market), central banking, investment banking, and investment fund (mutual fund) were systematically operated for the first time in history. Amsterdam – unlike its predecessors such as Bruges, Antwerp, Genoa, and Venice – controlled crucial resources and markets directly, sending its fleets to all quarters of the world. Some economic historians (including Jonathan Israel) have identified the Dutch Republic with the Amsterdam Entrepôt as the first true world entrepôt, whose commercial calendar was organized around the return of the four great fleets from the Baltic, the Levant, the West Indies, and the East Indies.
Foundations of modern financial system (1600s)
In the early 1600s, the Dutch revolutionized domestic and international finance by inventing common stock — that of the Dutch East India Company and founding a proto-central bank, the Wisselbank or Bank of Amsterdam. In 1609, the Dutch had already had a government bond market for some decades. Shortly thereafter, the Dutch Republic had in place, in one form or another, all of the key components of a modern financial system: formalized public credit, stable money, elements of a banking system, a central bank of sorts and securities markets. The Dutch Republic went on to become that century's leading economy.
Concept of investment fund (1774)
The first investment fund has its roots back in 1774. A Dutch merchant named Adriaan van Ketwich formed a trust named Eendragt Maakt Magt. The name of Ketwich's fund translates to "unity creates strength". In response to the financial crisis of 1772-1773, Ketwich’s aim was to provide small investors an opportunity to diversify (Rouwenhorst & Goetzman, 2005). This investment scheme can be seen as the first near-mutual fund. In the years following, near-mutual funds evolved and become more diverse and complex.
Mutual fund (1774)
The first mutual funds were established in 1774 in the Netherlands. Amsterdam-based businessman Abraham van Ketwich (a.k.a. Adriaan van Ketwich) is often credited as the originator of the world's first mutual fund. The first mutual fund outside the Netherlands was the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust, which was established in London in 1868.
Foods and drinks
Gibbing is the process of preparing salt herring (or soused herring), in which the gills and part of the gullet are removed from the fish, eliminating any bitter taste. The liver and pancreas are left in the fish during the salt-curing process because they release enzymes essential for flavor. The fish is then cured in a barrel with one part salt to 20 herring. Today many variations and local preferences exist on this process. The process of gibbing was invented by Willem Beuckelszoon (aka Willem Beuckelsz, William Buckels or William Buckelsson), a 14th-century Zealand Fisherman. The invention of this fish preservation technique led to the Dutch becoming a seafaring power. This invention created an export industry for salt herring that was monopolized by the Dutch.
Many people believe it was the Dutch who invented doughnuts. A Dutch snack made from potatoes had a round shape like a ball, but, like Gregory's dough balls, needed a little longer time when fried to cook the inside thoroughly. These potato-balls developed into doughnuts when the Dutch finally made them into ring-shapes reduce frying time.
Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). From its earliest origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from a herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Gin was developed on the basis of the older Jenever, and become widely popular in Great Britain when William III of Orange, leader of the Dutch Republic, occupied the British throne with his wife Mary. Today, the gin category is one of the most popular and widely distributed range of spirits, and is represented by products of various origins, styles, and flavour profiles that all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient.
The Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius is often credited with the invention of gin in the mid 17th century, although the existence of genever is confirmed in Massinger's play The Duke of Milan (1623), when Dr. Sylvius would have been but nine years of age. It is further claimed that British soldiers who provided support in Antwerp against the Spanish in 1585, during the Eighty Years' War, were already drinking genever (jenever) for its calming effects before battle, from which the term Dutch Courage is believed to have originated. The earliest known written reference to genever appears in the 13th century encyclopaedic work Der Naturen Bloeme (Bruges), and the earliest printed genever recipe from 16th century work Een Constelijck Distileerboec (Antwerp).
A stroopwafel (also known as syrup waffle, treacle waffle or caramel waffle) is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked batter with a caramel-like syrup filling the middle. They were first made in Gouda in the 1780s. The traditional way to eat the stroopwafel is to place it atop of a drinking vessel with a hot beverage (coffee, tea or chocolate) inside that fits the diameter of the waffle. The heat from the rising steam warms the waffle and slightly softens the inside and makes the waffle soft on one side while still crispy on the other.
Cocoa powder (foundations of modern chocolate industry) (1828)
In 1815, Dutch chemist Coenraad Van Houten introduced alkaline salts to chocolate, which reduced its bitterness. In the 1820s, Casparus van Houten, Sr. patented an inexpensive method for pressing the fat from roasted cocoa beans. He created a press to remove about half the natural fat (cacao butter) from chocolate liquor, which made chocolate both cheaper to produce and more consistent in quality. This innovation introduced the modern era of chocolate. Van Houten developed the first cocoa powder producing machine in the Netherlands. Van Houten's machine – a hydraulic press – reduced the cocoa butter content by nearly half. This created a "cake" that could be pulverized into cocoa powder, which was to become the basis of all chocolate products. The press separated the greasy cocoa butter from cacao seeds, leaving a purer chocolate powder behind. This powder, much like the instant cocoa powder used today, was easier to stir into milk and water. As a result, another very important discovery was made: solid chocolate. By using cocoa powder and low amounts of cocoa butter, it was then possible to manufacture chocolate bar. The term "chocolate" then came to mean solid chocolate, rather than hot chocolate.
Dutch-process chocolate (1828)
Dutch-processed chocolate or Dutched chocolate is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a milder taste compared to "natural cocoa" extracted with the Broma process. It forms the basis for much of modern chocolate, and is used in ice cream, hot cocoa, and baking. The Dutch process was developed in the early 19th century by Dutch chocolate maker Coenraad Johannes van Houten, whose father Casparus is responsible for the development of the method of removing fat from cacao beans by hydraulic press around 1828, forming the basis for cocoa powder.
Law and jurisprudence
Doctrine of the Freedom of the Seas (foundations of the Law of the Sea/UNCLOS) (1609)
In 1609, Hugo Grotius, the Dutch jurist who is generally known as the father of modern international law, published his book Mare Liberum (The Free Sea), which first formulated the notion of freedom of the seas. He developed this idea into a legal principle. It is said to be 'the first, and classic, exposition of the doctrine of the freedom of the seas' which has been the essence and backbone of the modern law of the sea. It is generally assumed that Grotius first propounded the principle of freedom of the seas, although all countries in the Indian Ocean and other Asian seas accepted the right of unobstructed navigation long before Grotius wrote his De Jure Praedae (On the Law of Spoils) in the year of 1604. His work sparked a debate in the seventeenth century over whether states could exclude the vessels of other states from certain waters. Grotius won this debate, as freedom of the seas became a universally recognized legal principle, associated with concepts such as communication, trade and peace. Grotius's notion of the freedom of the seas would persist until the mid-twentieth century, and it continues to be applied even to this day for much of the high seas, though the application of the concept and the scope of its reach is changing.
Secularized natural law (foundations of modern international law) (1625)
The publication of De jure belli ac pacis (On the Laws of War and Peace) by Hugo Grotius in 1625 had marked the emergence of international law as an 'autonomous legal science'. Grotius’s On the Law of War and Peace, published in 1625, is best known as the first systematic treatise on international law, but to thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it seemed to set a new agenda in moral and political philosophy across the board. Jean Barbeyrac’s Historical and Critical Account of the Science of Morality, attached to his translation of Samuel von Pufendorf’s Law of Nature and Nations in 1706, praised Grotius as “the first who broke the ice” of “the Scholastic Philosophy; which [had] spread itself all over Europe” (1749: 67, 66). Grotius' truly distinctive contribution to jurisprudence and philosophy of law (public international law or law of nations in particular) was that he secularized natural law. Grotius had divorced natural law from theology and religion by grounding it solely in the social nature and natural reason of man. When Grotius, considered by many to be the founder of modern natural law theory (or secular natural law), said that natural law would retain its validity 'even if God did not exist' (etiamsi daremus non esse Deum), he was making a clear break with the classical tradition of natural law. Adam Smith, in lectures delivered in 1762 on the subject of moral philosophy and the law of nations, said that: “Jurisprudence is that science which inquires into the general principles which ought to be the foundation of laws of all nations. Grotius seems to have been the first who attempted to give the world anything like a regular system of natural jurisprudence, and his treatise, 'On the Laws of War and Peace, ' with all its imperfections, is perhaps at this day the most complete work on this subject.”
The Grotian conception of international society became the most distinctive characteristic of the internationalist (or rationalist) tradition in international relations. This is why it is also called the Grotian tradition. According to it international politics takes place within international society in which states are bound not only by rules of prudence or expediency but also of morality and law. Grotius was arguably not the first to formulate such a doctrine. However, he was first to clearly define the idea of one society of states, governed not by force or warfare but by laws and mutual agreement to enforce those laws. As Hedley Bull declared: ‘The idea of international society which Grotius propounded was given concrete expression in the Peace of Westphalia’, affirming that ‘Grotius must be considered the intellectual father of this first general peace settlement of modern times’.
Cannon shot rule (1702)
By the end of the seventeenth century, support was growing for some limitation to the seaward extent of territorial waters. What emerged was the so-called "cannon shot rule", which acknowledged the idea that property rights could be acquired by physical occupation and in practice to the effective range of shore-based cannon: about three nautical miles. The rule was long associated with Cornelis van Bijnkershoek, a Dutch jurist who, especially in his De Dominio Maris Dissertatio (1702), advocated a middle ground between the extremes of Mare Liberum and John Selden's Mare Clausum, accepting both the freedom of states to navigate and exploit the resources the of the high seas and a right of coastal states to assert wide-ranging rights in a limited marine territory.
Permanent Court of Arbitration (1899)
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an international organization based in The Hague in the Netherlands. The court was established in 1899 as one of the acts of the first Hague Peace Conference, which makes it the oldest global institution for international dispute resolution. Its creation is set out under Articles 20 to 29 of the 1899 Hague Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes, which was a result of the first Hague Peace Conference. The most concrete achievement of the Conference was the establishment of the PCA as the first global mechanism for the settlement of disputes between states. The PCA encourages the resolution of disputes that involve states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties by assisting in the establishment of arbitration tribunals and facilitating their work. The court offers a wide range of services for the resolution of international disputes which the parties concerned have expressly agreed to submit for resolution under its auspices. Dutch-Jew legal scholar Tobias Asser's role in the creation of the PCA at the first Hague Peace Conference (1899) earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911.
Marriage equality (legalization of same-sex marriage) (2001)
Denmark was the first state to recognize a legal relationship for same-sex couples, establishing "registered partnerships" very much like marriage in 1989. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to grant same-sex marriages. The first laws enabling same-sex marriage in modern times were enacted during the first decade of the 21st century. As of 29 March 2014[update], sixteen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark,[nb 1] France, Iceland, Netherlands,[nb 2] New Zealand,[nb 3] Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom,[nb 4] Uruguay) and several sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Mexico and the United States) allow same-sex couples to marry. Polls in various countries show that there is rising support for legally recognizing same-sex marriage across race, ethnicity, age, religion, political affiliation, and socioeconomic status.
Pendulum clock (first high-precision clock) (1656)
The first mechanical clocks, employing the verge escapement mechanism with a foliot or balance wheel timekeeper, were invented in Europe at around the start of the 14th century, and became the standard timekeeping device until the pendulum clock was invented in 1656. The pendulum clock remained the most accurate timekeeper until the 1930s, when quartz oscillators were invented, followed by atomic clocks after World War 2.
A pendulum clock uses a pendulum's arc to mark intervals of time. From their invention until about 1930, the most accurate clocks were pendulum clocks. Pendulum clocks cannot operate on vehicles or ships at sea, because the accelerations disrupt the pendulum's motion, causing inaccuracies. The pendulum clock was invented by Christian Huygens, based on the pendulum introduced by Galileo Galilei. Although Galileo studied the pendulum as early as 1582, he never actually constructed a clock based on that design. Christiaan Huygens invented pendulum clock in 1656 and patented the following year. He contracted the construction of his clock designs to clockmaker Salomon Coster, who actually built the clock.
Huygens' invention of pendulum clock helped lay the foundations for the modern clockmaking industry. The longcase clock (also known as the grandfather clock) was created to house the pendulum and works by the English clockmaker William Clement in 1670 or 1671. It was also at this time that clock cases began to be made of wood and clock faces to utilize enamel as well as hand-painted ceramics. In 1670, William Clement created the anchor escapement, an improvement over Huygens' crown escapement. Clement also introduced the pendulum suspension spring in 1671. The concentric minute hand was added to the clock by Daniel Quare, a London clock-maker and others, and the second hand was first introduced. During the Industrial Revolution, daily life was organized around the home pendulum clock. Pendulum clocks remained the mechanism of choice for accurate timekeeping for centuries, with F. M. Fedchenko's observatory clocks produced from after World War II up to around 1960 marking the end of the pendulum era as a time standard. Pendulum clocks were more than simply utilitarian timekeepers; they were status symbols that expressed the wealth and culture of their owners. They evolved in a number of traditional styles, specific to different countries and times as well as their intended use. Case styles somewhat reflect the furniture styles popular during the period. Today, pendulum clocks remain popular for domestic, decorative and antique use.
Concept of the standardization of the temperature scale (1665)
Various authors have credited the invention of the thermometer to Cornelis Drebbel, Robert Fludd, Galileo Galilei or Santorio Santorio. The thermometer was not a single invention, however, but a development. However, each inventor and each thermometer was unique—there was no standard scale. In 1665 Christiaan Huygens suggested using the melting and boiling points of water as standards. The Fahrenheit scale is now usually defined by two fixed points: the temperature at which water freezes into ice is defined as 32 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), and the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 °F, a 180 degree separation, as defined at sea level and standard atmospheric pressure. In 1742, Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius created a temperature scale which was the reverse of the scale now known by the name "Celsius": 0 represented the boiling point of water, while 100 represented the freezing point of water. From 1744 until 1954, 0 °C was defined as the freezing point of water and 100 °C was defined as the boiling point of water, both at a pressure of one standard atmosphere with mercury being the working material.
Spiral-hairspring watch (first high-precision watch) (1675)
The invention of the mainspring in the early 15th century allowed portable clocks to be built, evolving into the first pocketwatches by the 17th century, but these were not very accurate until the balance spring was added to the balance wheel in the mid 17th century. Some dispute remains as to whether British scientist Robert Hooke (his was a straight spring) or Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens was the actual inventor of the balance spring. Huygens was clearly the first to successfully implement a spiral balance spring in a portable timekeeper. This is significant because up to that point the pendulum was the most reliable. This innovation increased watches' accuracy enormously, reducing error from perhaps several hours per day to perhaps 10 minutes per day, resulting in the addition of the minute hand to the face from around 1680 in Britain and 1700 in France.
Like the invention of pendulum clock, Huygens' spiral hairspring (balance spring) system of portable timekeepers, helped lay the foundations for the modern watchmaking industry. The application of the spiral balance spring for watches ushered in a new era of accuracy for portable timekeepers, similar to that which the pendulum had introduced for clocks. From its invention in 1675 by Christiaan Huygens, the spiral hairspring (balance spring) system for portable timekeepers, still used in mechanical watchmaking industry today.
Mercury thermometer (first practical, accurate thermometer) (1714)
Various authors have credited the invention of the thermometer to Cornelis Drebbel, Robert Fludd, Galileo Galilei or Santorio Santorio. The thermometer was not a single invention, however, but a development. Though Galileo is often said to be the inventor of the thermometer, what he produced were thermoscopes. The difference between a thermoscope and a thermometer is that the latter has a scale. The first person to put a scale on a thermoscope is variously said to be Francesco Sagredo or Santorio Santorio in about 1611 to 1613.
Before there was the thermometer, there was the earlier and closely related thermoscope, best described as a thermometer without a temperature scale. A thermoscope only showed the differences in temperatures, for example, it could show something was getting hotter. However, the thermoscope did not measure all the data that a thermometer could, for example an exact temperature in degrees. What can be considered the first modern thermometer, the mercury thermometer with a standardized scale, was invented by German-Dutch scientist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (who had settled in Amsterdam in 1701) in 1714. Fahrenheit invented the first truly accurate thermometer using mercury instead of alcohol and water mixtures. He began constructing his own thermometers in 1714, and it was in these that he used mercury for the first time. Previous thermometers, such as those constructed by Galileo and Guillaume Amontons, used combinations of alcohol and water; as the temperature rose, the alcohol would expand and the level within the thermometer would increase. These thermometers were not particularly accurate, however, since they were too easily thrown off by changing air pressure. The key to Fahrenheit's thermometer was a new method for cleaning mercury that enabled it to rise and fall within the tube without sticking to the sides. Mercury was an ideal substance for reading temperatures since it expanded at a more constant rate than alcohol and is able to be read at much higher and lower temperatures.
The traditional thermometer is a glass tube with a bulb at one end containing a liquid which expands in a uniform manner with temperature. The tube itself is narrow (capillary) and has calibration markings along it. The liquid is often mercury, but alcohol thermometers use a colored alcohol. The alcohol thermometer was the earliest, efficient, modern-style instrument of temperature measurement. Mercury-in-glass thermometers have been considered the most accurate liquid-filled types. However, mercury is a toxic heavy metal, and mercury has only been used in clinical thermometers if protected from breakage of the tube.
Fahrenheit scale (first standardized temperature scale) (1724)
Various authors have credited the invention of the thermometer to Cornelis Drebbel, Robert Fludd, Galileo Galilei or Santorio Santorio. The thermometer was not a single invention, however, but a development. However, each inventor and each thermometer was unique—there was no standard scale. In 1665 Christiaan Huygens suggested using the melting and boiling points of water as standards, and in 1694 Carlo Renaldini proposed using them as fixed points on a universal scale. In 1701 Isaac Newton proposed a scale of 12 degrees between the melting point of ice and body temperature. Finally in 1724 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit produced a temperature scale which now (slightly adjusted) bears his name. He could do this because he manufactured thermometers, using mercury (which has a high coefficient of expansion) for the first time and the quality of his production could provide a finer scale and greater reproducibility, leading to its general adoption. The Fahrenheit scale was the first widely used temperature scale. By the end of the 20th century, most countries used the Celsius scale rather than the Fahrenheit scale, though Canada retained it as a supplementary scale used alongside Celsius. Fahrenheit remains the official scale for Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Belize, the Bahamas, Palau and the United States and associated territories.
Snellen chart (1862)
The Snellen chart is an eye chart used by eye care professionals and others to measure visual acuity. Snellen charts are named after Dutch ophthalmologist Hermann Snellen who developed the chart in 1862. Vision scientists now use a variation of this chart, designed by Ian Bailey and Jan Lovie.
String galvanometer (1902)
Previous to the string galvanometer, scientists used a machine called the capillary electrometer to measure the heart's electrical activity, but this device was unable to produce results at a diagnostic level. Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven developed the string galvanometer in the early 20th century, publishing the first registration of its use to record an electrocardiogram in a Festschrift book in 1902. The first human electrocardiogram was recorded in 1887, however only in 1901 was a quantifiable result obtained from the string galvanometer.
Schilt photometer (1922)
Clinical electrocardiography (first diagnostic electrocardiogram) (1902)
In the 19th century it became clear that the heart generated electric currents. The first to systematically approach the heart from an electrical point-of-view was Augustus Waller, working in St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. In 1911 he saw little clinical application for his work. The breakthrough came when Einthoven, working in Leiden, used his more sensitive string galvanometer, than the capillary electrometer that Waller used. Einthoven assigned the letters P, Q, R, S and T to the various deflections that it measured and described the electrocardiographic features of a number of cardiovascular disorders. He was awarded the 1924 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery.
Einthoven's triangle (1902)
Einthoven's triangle is an imaginary formation of three limb leads in a triangle used in electrocardiography, formed by the two shoulders and the pubis. The shape forms an inverted equilateral triangle with the heart at the center that produces zero potential when the voltages are summed. It is named after Willem Einthoven, who theorized its existence.
First European blood bank (1940)
Rotating drum dialysis machine (first practical artificial kidney) (1943)
An artificial kidney is a machine and its related devices which clean blood for patients who have an acute or chronic failure of their kidneys. The first artificial kidney was developed by Dutchman Willem Johan Kolff. The procedure of cleaning the blood by this means is called dialysis, a type of renal replacement therapy that is used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function due to renal failure. It is a life support treatment and does not treat disease.
Artificial heart (1957)
On 12 December 1957, Kolff implanted an artificial heart into a dog at Cleveland Clinic. The dog lived for 90 minutes. In 1967, Dr. Kolff left Cleveland Clinic to start the Division of Artificial Organs at the University of Utah and pursue his work on the artificial heart. Under his supervision, a team of surgeons, chemists, physicists and bioengineers developed an artificial heart and made it ready for industrial production. To help manage his many endeavors, Dr. Kolff assigned project managers. Each project was named after its manager. Graduate student Robert Jarvik was the project manager for the artificial heart, which was subsequently renamed the Jarvik-7. Based on lengthy animal trials, this first artificial heart was successfully implanted into the thorax of patient Barney Clark in December 1982. Clark survived 112 days with the device.
The Dutch Republic has been considered by many political and military historians as the first modern (global) sea power. The United Provinces of the Netherlands was the first state to possess the full triad of foreign commerce, forward bases and merchant and naval fleets. In the middle of the 17th century the Dutch navy was the most powerful navy in the world. The Dutch Republic had a commercial fleet that was larger than that of England, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain combined. According to Walter Russell Mead, the “modern version of sea power was invented by the Dutch. The system of global trade, investment, and military power the Dutch built in the seventeenth century was the envy and the wonder of the world at the time, and many of its basic features were adopted by the British and the Americans in subsequent years.” When the Peter the Great determined to achieve sea power for Imperial Russia, he came to the Dutch Republic to learn about shipbuilding, seamanship and nautical sciences. During his stay in Holland (1697) the Tsar engaged, with the help of Russian and Dutch assistants, many skilled workers such as builders of locks, fortresses, shipwrights and seamen. They had to help him with his modernization of Russia. The best-known sailor who made the journey from the Dutch Republic to Russia was Norwegian-Dutch Cornelius Cruys. Cruys performed well in Russia and came be regarded as the architect of the Russian Navy. He became the first commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet and the vice admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy. Peter the Great designed his new capital on the model of Amsterdam and gave it a Dutch name, Sankt Pieter Burkh (later Germanized into St. Peterburg). In St. Petersburg, there is an island which is still called Novaya Gollandiya (literally “New Holland”). The triangular man-made island took its name after a number of canals and shipbuilding facilities that rendered its appearance similar to Amsterdam. The Tsar chose to call his island “New Holland”, commemorating his enthusiasm for all things Dutch.
House of Orange-Nassau's military reforms (1590s–1600s)
The early modern Military Revolution began with reforms inaugurated by Prince Maurice of Nassau with his cousins Count Willem Lodewijk of Nassau-Dillenburg and Count John VII of Nassau during the 1590s. Maurice developed a system of linear formations (linear tactics), discipline, drill and volley fire based on classical Roman methods that made his army more efficient and his command and control more effective. He also developed a 43-step drill for firing the musket that was included in an illustrated weapons manual by Jacob de Gheyn II in 1607 (Wapenhandelinghe or Exerise of Arms). This became known as the Dutch drill. It was widely read and emulated in the rest of Europe. Adopting and perfecting the techniques pioneered by Maurice of Nassau several decades earlier, Gustavus Adolphus repeatedly proved his techniques by defeating the armies of Spain (1630–1632), an empire with resources fantastically larger than Sweden's during the Thirty Years' War. Descartes served for a while in the army of the Dutch military leader Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau, and developed a fascination for practical technology. Maurice' s military innovations had considerable influences on Descartes' system of philosophy.
Norden bombsight (1920s)
The Norden bombsight was designed by Carl Norden, a Dutch engineer educated in Switzerland who emigrated to the U.S. in 1904. In 1920, he started work on the Norden bombsight for the United States Navy. The first bombsight was produced in 1927. It was essentially an analog computer, and bombardiers were trained in great secrecy on how to use it. The device was used to drop bombs accurately from an aircraft, supposedly accurate enough to hit a 100-foot circle from an altitude of 21,000 feet—but under actual combat situations, such an accuracy was never achieved.
Submarine snorkel (1939)
A submarine snorkel is a device that allows a submarine to operate submerged while still taking in air from above the surface. It was invented by the Dutchman J.J.Wichers shortly before World War II and copied by the Germans during the war for use by U-Boats. Its common military name is snort.
Goalkeeper CIWS (1975)
Goalkeeper is a close-in weapon system (CIWS) still in use as of 2013. It is autonomous and completely automatic short-range defense of ships against highly maneuverable missiles, aircraft and fast maneuvering surface vessels. Once activated the system automatically performs the entire process from surveillance and detection to destruction, including selection of priority targets.
The first (mechanical) metronome was invented by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel in Amsterdam in 1812, but named (patented) after Johann Maelzel, who took the idea and popularized it.
Fokker organ (1950)
Dutch musician-physicist Adriaan Fokker designed and had built keyboard instruments capable of playing microtonal scales via a generalized keyboard. The best-known of these is his 31-tone equal-tempered organ, which was installed in Teylers Museum in Haarlem in 1951. It is commonly called the Fokker organ.
The Kraakdoos or Cracklebox is a custom-made battery-powered noise-making electronic device. It is a small box with six metal contacts on top, which when pressed by fingers generates unusual sounds and tones. The human body becomes a part of the circuit and determines the range of sounds possible – different players generate different results. The concept was first conceived by Michel Waisvisz and Geert Hamelberg in the 1960s, and developed further in the 1970s when Waisvisz joined the STEIM foundation in Amsterdam.
The Moodswinger is a twelve-string electric zither with an additional third bridge designed by Dutch luthier Yuri Landman. The rod functions as the third bridge and divides the strings into two sections to add overtones, creating a multiphonic sound.
Springtime (guitar) (2008)
Neostoicism was a syncretic philosophical movement, joining Stoicism and Christianity. Neostoicism was founded by Dutch-Flemish humanist Justus Lipsius, who in 1584 presented its rules, expounded in his book De constantia (On Constancy), as a dialogue between Lipsius and his friend Charles de Langhe. It started in the Protestant Netherlands during the revolt against Catholic Spain.
Modern rationalism (1630s–1670s)
The rise of modern rationalism in the Dutch Republic, had a profound influence on the 17th-century philosophy. Descartes is often considered to be the first of the modern rationalists. Descartes himself had lived in the Dutch Republic for some twenty years (1628–1649) and served for a while in the army of the Dutch military leader Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau. The Dutch Republic was the first country in which Descartes' rationalistic philosophy (Cartesianism) succeeded in replacing Aristotelianism as the academic orthodoxy. Fritz Berolzheimer considers Hugo Grotius the Descartes of legal philosophy and notes Grotian rationalism's influence on the 17th-century jurisprudence: "As the Cartesian "cogito ergo sum" became the point of departure of rationalistic philosophy, so the establishment of government and law upon reason made Hugo Grotius the founder of an independent and purely rationalistic system of natural law." In the late 1650s Leiden was a place where one could study Cartesian philosophy. Sometime between 1656 and 1661 it appears that Spinoza did some formal study of philosophy at the University of Leiden. Philosophy of Spinoza (Spinozism) was an systematic answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate.
Modern pantheism (1670s)
Pantheism was popularized in the modern era as both a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century Dutch Jew philosopher Baruch Spinoza, whose Ethics was an answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate. Spinoza is regarded as the chief source of modern pantheism. Spinoza held that the two are the same, and this monism is a fundamental quality of his philosophy. He was described as a "God-intoxicated man," and used the word God to describe the unity of all substance. Although the term pantheism was not coined until after his death, Spinoza is regarded as its most celebrated advocate.
Early liberalism (foundations of liberalism) (1600s)
"European liberalism", Isaiah Berlin wrote, "wears the appearance of a single coherent movement, little altered during almost three centuries, founded upon relatively simple foundations, laid by Locke or Grotius or even Spinoza; stretching back to Erasmus and Montaigne..."
As Bertrand Russell noted in his A History of Western Philosophy (1945): "Descartes lived in Holland for twenty years (1629-49), except for a few brief visits to France and one to England, all on business. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Holland in the seventeenth century, as the one country where there was freedom of speculation. Hobbes had to have his books printed there; Locke took refuge there during the five worst years of reaction in England before 1688; Bayle (of the Dictionary) found it necessary to live there; and Spinoza would hardly have been allowed to do his work in any other country." Russell described early liberalism in Europe: "Early liberalism was a product of England and Holland, and had certain well-marked characteristics. It stood for religious toleration; it was Protestant, but of a latitudinarian rather than of a fanatical kind; it regarded the wars of religion as silly..."
As Russell Shorto states: “Liberalism has many meanings, but in its classical sense it is a philosophy based on individual freedom. History has long taught that our modern sensibility comes from the eighteenth century Enlightenment. In recent decades, historians have seen the Dutch Enlightenment of the seventeenth century as the root of the wider Enlightenment. And at the center of this sits the city of Amsterdam.” Amsterdam, to Shorto, was not only the first city in Europe to develop the cultural and political foundations of what we now call liberalism—a society focused on the concerns and comforts of individuals, run by individuals acting together, and tolerant of religion, ethnicity, or other differences—but also an exporter of these beliefs to the rest of Europe and the New World.
If Descartes is still considered the father of modern philosophy, Dutch Republic can be called its cradle. Cartesianism is the name given to the philosophical doctrine of René Descartes. Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasize the use of reason to develop the natural sciences. Cartesianism had been controversial for several years before 1656. Descartes himself had lived in the Dutch Republic for some twenty years (1628–1649). Descartes served for a while in the army of the Dutch military leader Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau, and developed a fascination for practical technology. In the 1630s, while staying in the Dutch city Deventer, Descartes worked on a text which became published as Traite' de l'Homme (1664). Throughout his writing, he used words such as clock, automaton, and self—moving machine as interchangeable constructs. He postulated an account of the physical world that was thoroughly materialistic. His mechanical view of nature replaced the organism model which had been popular since the Renaissance. His Discours de la méthode (1637) was originally published at Leiden, and his Principia philosophiae (1644) appeared from the presses at Amsterdam. In the 1630s and 1640s, Descartes's ideas gained a foothold at the Dutch universities.
Spinozism is the monist philosophical system of the Dutch-Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza which defines "God" as a singular self-subsistent substance, with both matter and thought as its attributes.
Affect (philosophy) (1670s)
Affect (affectus or adfectus in Latin) is a concept used in the philosophy of Spinoza and elaborated by Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari that emphasizes bodily experience. The term "affect" is central to what became known as the "affective turn" in the humanities and social sciences.
Mandeville's paradox (1714)
Mandeville's paradox is named after Bernard Mandeville, who shows that actions which may be qualified as vicious with regard to individuals have benefits for society as a whole. This is already clear from the subtitle of his most famous work, The Fable of The Bees: ‘Private Vices, Publick Benefits’. He states that "Fraud, Luxury, and Pride must live; Whilst we the Benefits receive.") (The Fable of the Bees, ‘The Moral’).
Mathematical intuitionism (1907–1908)
Mathematical intuitionism was founded by the Dutch mathematician and philosopher Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer. In the philosophy of mathematics, intuitionism, or neointuitionism (opposed to preintuitionism), is an approach where mathematics is considered to be purely the result of the constructive mental activity of humans rather than the discovery of fundamental principles claimed to exist in an objective reality. That is, logic and mathematics are not considered analytic activities wherein deep properties of objective reality are revealed and applied, but are instead considered the application of internally consistent methods used to realize more complex mental constructs, regardless of their possible independent existence in an objective reality.
Religion and ethics
Devotio Moderna (1370s–1390s)
Devotio Moderna, or Modern Devotion, was a movement for religious reform, calling for apostolic renewal through the rediscovery of genuine pious practices such as humility, obedience and simplicity. It began in the late fourteenth-century, largely through the work of Gerard Groote, and flourished in the Low Countries and Germany in the fifteenth century, but came to an end with the Protestant Reformation. It is most known today through its influence on Thomas à Kempis, the author of The Imitation of Christ, a book which proved highly influential for centuries.
The Mennonites are a Christian group based around the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The teachings of the Mennonites were founded on their belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, which they held to with great conviction despite persecution by various Roman Catholic and Protestant states.
Dutch Reformed Church (1571)
The Dutch Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk or NHK) was a Reformed Christian denomination. It developed during the Protestant Reformation, with its base in what became known as the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in the 1570s and lasted until 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.
Arminianism is based on the theological ideas of Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his historic supporters known as the Remonstrants. His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, but they were distinct from the particular teachings of Martin Luther, Zwingli, John Calvin, and other Protestant Reformers. Arminius (Jacobus Hermanszoon) was a student of Beza (successor of Calvin) at the Theological University of Geneva.
The first synagogue of the New World, Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue, is founded in Recife, Brazil by the Dutch Jews. The Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in Recife, Brazil, erected in 1636, was the first synagogue erected in the Americas. Its foundations have been recently discovered, and the 20th-century buildings on the site have been altered to resemble a 17th-century Dutch synagogue.
First Jewish congregation to be established in (the United States) North America (1654)
Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in the City of New Amsterdam, was founded in 1654, the first Jewish congregation to be established in North America. Its founders were twenty-three Jews, mostly of Spanish and Portuguese origin, who had been living in Recife, Brazil. When the Portuguese defeated the Dutch for control of Recife, and brought with them the Inquisition, the Jews of that area left. Some returned to Amsterdam, where they had originated. Others went to places in the Caribbean such as St. Thomas, Jamaica, Surinam and Curaçao, where they founded sister Sephardic congregations. One group of twenty-three Jews, after a series of unexpected events, landed in New Amsterdam. After being initially rebuffed by anti-Semitic Governor Peter Stuyvesant, Jews were given official permission to settle in the colony in 1655. These pioneers fought for their rights and won permission to remain. This marks the founding of the Congregation Shearith Israel.
Microscope (compound microscope) (1590)
In 1590 the Dutchmen Hans and Zacharias Janssen (father and son) invented the first compound microscope. It would have a single glass lens of short focal length for the objective lens and another single glass lens for the eyepiece or ocular. A resident of Delft, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, effectively launched high-power microscopy using single-lens, simple microscopes. With these initial instruments he discovered the world of micro-organisms. Modern microscopes are far more sophisticated, with multiple lens components in both objective and eyepiece assemblies. These multi-component lenses are designed to reduce aberrations, particularly chromatic aberration and spherical aberration. In modern microscopes the mirror is replaced by a lamp unit providing stable, controllable illumination.
Telescope (optical telescope) (1608)
Hans Lippershey created and disseminated the first practical telescope. Crude telescopes and spyglasses may have been created much earlier, but Lippershey is believed to be the first to apply for a patent for his design (a few weeks before Jacob Metius) and make it available for general use in 1608. He failed to receive a patent but was rewarded by the Dutch government for his design. A description of Lippershey's instrument quickly reached Galileo Galilei, who created a working unit in 1609, with which he made the observations found in his Sidereus Nuncius of 1610.
Huygens eyepiece (first compound eyepiece) (1670s)
Huygens eyepieces consist of two plano-convex lenses with the plane sides towards the eye separated by an air gap. The lenses are called the eye lens and the field lens. The focal plane is located between the two lenses. It was invented by Christiaan Huygens in the late 1660s and was the first compound (multi-lens) eyepiece. Huygens discovered that two air spaced lenses can be used to make an eyepiece with zero transverse chromatic aberration. These eyepieces work well with the very long focal length telescopes (in Huygens day they were used with single element long focal length non-achromatic refracting telescopes, including very long focal length aerial telescopes). This optical design is now considered obsolete since with today's shorter focal length telescopes the eyepiece suffers from short eye relief, high image distortion, chromatic aberration, and a very narrow apparent field of view. Since these eyepieces are cheap to make they can often be found on inexpensive telescopes and microscopes. Because Huygens eyepieces do not contain cement to hold the lens elements, telescope users sometimes use these eyepieces in the role of "solar projection", i.e. projecting an image of the Sun onto a screen. Other cemented eyepieces can be damaged by the intense, concentrated light of the Sun.
Van Leeuwenhoek microscope (1670s)
Van Leeuwenhoek created at least 25 microscopes, of differing types, of which only nine survive. His simple microscopes were made of silver or copper frames, holding hand-ground lenses. Those that have survived are capable of magnification up to 275 times. It is suspected that Van Leeuwenhoek possessed units that could magnify up to 500 times. Using his handcrafted microscopes, he was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules, and which now referred to as micro-organisms or microbes.
The cycloid pendulum was invented by Christiaan Huygens in 1673. Its purpose is to eliminate the lack of isochronism of the ordinary simple pendulum. This is achieved by making the mass point move on a cycloid instead of a circular arc.
The pyrometer, invented by Pieter van Musschenbroek, is a temperature measuring device. A simple type uses a thermocouple placed either in a furnace or on the item to be measured. The voltage output of the thermocouple is read from a meter. Many different types of thermocouple arev available, for measuring temperatures from −200 °C to above 1500 °C.
Leyden jar (first practical capacitor) (1745–1746)
A Leyden jar, or Leiden jar, is a device that "stores" static electricity between two electrodes on the inside and outside of a glass jar. It was the original form of a capacitor (originally known as a "condenser"). It was invented independently by German cleric Ewald Georg von Kleist on 11 October 1745 and by Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek of Leiden (Leyden) in 1745–1746. The invention was named for the city. The Leyden jar was used to conduct many early experiments in electricity, and its discovery was of fundamental importance in the study of electricity. Previously, researchers had to resort to insulated conductors of large dimensions to store a charge. The Leyden jar provided a much more compact alternative. Like many early electrical devices, there was no particular use for the Leyden jar at first, other than to allow scientists to do a greater variety of electrical experiments. Benjamin Franklin, for example, used a Leyden jar to store electricity from lightning in his famous kite experiment in 1752. By doing so he proved that lightning was really electricity.
The idea for the Leyden jar was discovered independently by two parties: German scientist and jurist Ewald Georg von Kleist, and Dutchmen Pieter van Musschenbroek and Andreas Cunaeus. These scientists developed the Leyden jar while working under a theory of electricity that saw electricity as a fluid, and hoped to develop the jar to "capture" this fluid. In 1744 von Kleist lined a glass jar with silver foil, and charged the foil with a friction machine. Kleist was convinced that a substantial electric charge could be collected when he received a significant shock from the device. The effects of this "Kleistian jar" were independently discovered around the same time by Dutch scientists Pieter van Musschenbroek and Cunaeus at the University of Leiden. Van Musschenbroek communicated on it with the French scientific community where it was called the Leyden jar.
Eisinga Planetarium (1781)
The Eisinga Planetarium (Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium) was built by Eise Eisinga in his home in Franeker, Friesland. It took Eisinga seven years to build his planetarium, completing it in 1781. The orrery still exists and is the world's oldest working planetarium.
Kipp's apparatus (1860)
Kipp's apparatus, also called a Kipp generator, is designed for preparation of small volumes of gases. It was invented around 1860 by Dutch pharmacist Petrus Jacobus Kipp and widely used in chemical laboratories and for demonstrations in schools into the second half of the 20th century.
Phase contrast microscope (1933)
In optical microscopy many objects such as cell parts in protozoans, bacteria and sperm tails are essentially fully transparent unless stained (and therefore killed). The difference in densities and composition within these objects however often gives rise to changes in the phase of light passing through them, hence they are sometimes called "phase objects". Using the phase-contrast technique makes these structures visible and allows the study of living specimens. This phase contrast technique proved to be such an advancement in microscopy that Dutch physicist Frits Zernike was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1953.
Magnetic horn (1961)
The magnetic horn (also known as the Van der Meer horn) is a high-current, pulsed focusing device, invented by the Dutch physicist Simon van der Meer at CERN. It selects pions and focuses them into a sharp beam. Its original application was in the context of neutrino physics, where beams of pions have to be tightly focused. When the pions then decay into muons and neutrinos or antineutrinos, an equally well-focused neutrino beam is obtained. The muons were stopped in a wall of 3000 tons of iron and 1000 tons of concrete, leaving the neutrinos or antineutrinos to reach the Gargamelle bubble chamber.
Sports and games
A golf-like game (kolf in Dutch) is recorded as taking place on 26 February 1297, in a city called Loenen aan de Vecht, where the Dutch played a game with a stick and leather ball. The winner was whomever hit the ball with the least number of strokes into a target several hundred yards away. Some scholars argue that this game of putting a small ball in a hole in the ground using clubs was also played in 17th-century Netherlands and that this predates the game in Scotland.
Figure skating (prototype) (1400s–1600s)
The Dutch played a significant role in the history of ice skating (including speed skating and figure skating). The first feature of ice skating in a work of art was made in the 15th century. The picture, depicted Saint Lidwina, patron saint of ice skaters, falling on the ice. Another important aspect is a man seen in the background, who is skating on one leg. This means that his skates must have had sharp edges similar to those found on modern ice skates. Until the 17th century, ice skating was mostly used for transportation. Some of the Stuarts (including King Charles II of England) who had fled to the Dutch Republic during the Cromwell Royal reign later returned to Britain, bringing with them the new sport. Upon his return to England in 1658, the King brought two innovations in ice skating – a pair of iron skates and the Dutch roll. The Dutch roll was the first form of a gliding or skating motion made possible by the iron skate's two edges. However, speed skating was the focus of the Dutch, while the English developed modern figure skating.
Speed skating (1400s–1600s)
Speed skating, which had developed in the Netherlands in the 17th century, was given a boost by the innovations in skate construction. Speed skating, or speedskating, is a competitive form of skating in which skaters race each other over a certain distance. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating and marathon speed skating. In the modern Olympic Games, long-track speed skating is usually referred to as just "speed skating", while short-track speed skating is known as "short track".
Yachting (sport sailing) (1600s)
Sailing, also known as yachting, is a sport in which competitors race from point to point, or around a race course, in sail-powered boats. Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes. The invention of sailing is prehistoric, but the racing of sailing boats is believed to have started in the Netherlands some time in the 17th century. While living in the Dutch Republic, King Charles II of England fell in love with sailing and in 1660, took home the Dutch gifted 66-foot yacht he called Mary. The sport's popularity spread across the British Isles. The world's first yacht club was founded in Cork, Ireland in 1720.
International Skating Union (1892)
The International Skating Union (ISU) is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands, in 1892, making it the oldest governing international winter sport federation and one of the oldest international sport federations.
The first official World Championships in Speed Skating (open to men only) directly under the auspices of the ISU were held in Amsterdam in 1893.
Korfball (Korfbal in Dutch) is a mixed gender team sport, with similarities to netball and basketball. A team consists of eight players; four female and four male. A team also includes a coach. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1902 by Nico Broekhuysen.
Cruyff Turn (1974)
The Cruijff Turn (also known as Cruyff Turn), is a famous dribbling trick in football, was perfected by the Dutch football player Johan Cruijff for whom the evasive trick was named. To make this move, the player first looks to pass or cross the ball. However, instead of kicking it, he drags the ball behind his planted foot with the inside of his other foot, turns through 180 degrees and accelerates away. The trick was famously employed by Cruijff in the 1974 FIFA World Cup, first seen in the Dutch match against Sweden and soon widely copied.
Total Football (1970s)
The foundations for Total Football (Dutch: totaalvoetbal) were laid by Englishman Jack Reynolds who was the manager of AFC Ajax. Rinus Michels, who played under Reynolds, later became manager of Ajax and refined the concept into what is known today as "Total Football" (Totaalvoetbal in Dutch language), using it in his training for the Ajax Amsterdam squad and the Netherlands national football team in the 1970s. It was further refined by Stefan Kovacs after Michels left for FC Barcelona. Johan Cruyff was the system's most famous exponent. Due to Cruyff's style of play, he is still referred to as the total footballer. Its cornerstone was a focus on positional interchange. The invention of totaalvoetbal helped lay the foundations for the significant successes of Dutch football at both club and international level in the 1970s. During that decade, the Dutch football rose from almost total obscurity to become a powerhouse in world football. In an interview published in the 50th anniversary issue of World Soccer magazine, the captain of the Brazilian team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Carlos Alberto, went on to say: “The only team I’ve seen that did things differently was Holland at the 1974 World Cup in Germany. Since then everything looks more or less the same to me…. Their ‘carousel’ style of play was amazing to watch and marvellous for the game.”
FC Barcelona and the Spanish national football team play a style of football known as Tiki-taka that has its roots in Total Football. Johan Cruyff founded Tiki-taka (commonly spelled tiqui-taca in Spanish) during his time as manager of FC Barcelona (1988–1996). The style was successfully adopted by the all-conquering Spain national football team (2008–2012) and Josep Guardiola's Barcelona team (2009–2011). Tiki-taka style differs from Total Football in that it focuses on ball movement rather than positional interchange.
Technology and engineering
First pound lock in Europe (1373)
The Netherlands revived the construction of canals during the 13th–14th century that had generally been discontinued since the fall of the Roman Empire. They also contributed in the development of canal construction technology, such as introducing the first flash locks in Europe. The first pound lock in Europe was built by the Dutch in 1373 at Vreeswijk, where a canal from Utrecht joins the river Lek.
Thermostat (automatic temperature regulator) (1620s)
Around the 1620s, Cornelis Drebbel developed an automatic temperature control system for a furnace, motivated by his belief that base metals could be turned to gold by holding them at a precise constant temperature for long periods of time. He also used this temperature regulator in an incubator for hatching chickens.
Feedback control system (1620s)
Feedback control has been used for centuries to regulate engineered systems. In the 17th century, Drebbel invented one of the earliest devices to use feedback, an chicken incubator that used a damper controlled by a thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.
The first known mezzotint was done in Amsterdam in 1642 by Utrecht-born German artist Ludwig von Siegen. He lived in Amsterdam from 1641 to about 1644, when he was supposedly influenced by Rembrandt.
Magic lantern (first practical image projector; the forerunner of modern slide projector) (1659)
The magic lantern is an optical device, an early type of image projector developed in the 17th century. People have been projecting images using concave mirrors and pin-hole cameras (camera obscura) since Roman times. But glass lens technology wasn't sufficiently developed to make advanced optical devices (such as telescope and microscope) until the 17th century. With pinhole cameras and camera obscura it was only possible to project an image of actual scene, such as an image of the sun, on a surface. The magic lantern on the other hand could project a painted image on a surface, and marks the point where cameras and projectors became two different kinds of devices. There has been some debate about who the original inventor of the magic lantern is, but the most widely accepted theory is that Christiaan Huygens developed the original device in the late 1650s. However, other sources give credit to the German priest Athanasius Kircher. He describes a device such as the magic lantern in his book Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae. Huygens is credited because of his major innovation in lantern technology, which was the replacement of images etched on mirrors from earlier lanterns such as Kircher’s with images painted on glass. This is what paved the way for the use of colour and for double-layered slide projections (generally used to simulate movement).
The first allusion to a 'magic lantern' is by Huygens in the 1650s and he is generally credited with inventing it—though he didn't want to admit it, considering it frivolous. Huygens was the first to describe a fully functioning magic lantern, one he made, and wrote about it in a work in 1659. Huygens magic lantern has been described as the predecessor of today’s slide projector and the forerunner of the motion picture projector. Images were hand painted onto the glass slide until the mid-19th century when photographic slides were employed. Huygens introduced this curiosity to the Danish mathematician Thomas Walgenstein who realized its commercial value for entertainment and traveled through Europe—mostly France and Italy—demonstrating his machine to foreign princes and selling them replicas for their own amusement. The forerunner of the modern slide projector as well as moving pictures, magic lanterns retained their popularity for centuries and were also the first optical toy to be used for family entertainment in the home.
Gunpowder engine (first practical rudimentary internal combustion piston engine) (1678-80)
A gunpowder engine, also known as an explosion engine or Huygens' engine, is a type of internal combustion engine using gunpowder as its fuel. It was considered essentially as the first rudimentary internal combustion piston engine. The concept was first explored during the 1600s, most notably by the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. In 1678 he outlined a gunpowder engine consisting of a vertical tube containing a piston. Gunpowder was inserted into the tube and lit through a small hole at the base, like a cannon. The expanding gasses would drive the piston up the tube until the reached a point near the top. Here, the piston uncovered holes in the tube that allowed any remaining hot gasses to escape. The weight of the piston and the vacuum formed by the cooling gasses in the now-closed cylinder drew the piston back into the tube, lifting a test mass to provide power. According to sources, a single example of this sort of engine was built in 1678 or 79 using a cannon as the cylinder. The cylinder was held down to a base where the gunpowder sat, making it a breech loading design. The gasses escaped via two leather tubes attached at the top of the barrel. When the piston reached them the gasses blew the tubes open, and when the pressure fell, gravity pulled the leather down causing the tubes droop to the side of the cylinder, sealing the holes. Huygens’ presented a paper on his invention in 1680, A New Motive Power by Means of Gunpowder and Air. By 1682, the device had successfully shown that a dram (1/16th of an ounce) of gunpowder, in a cylinder seven or eight feet high and fifteen or eighteen inches in diameter, could raise seven or eight boys (or about 1,100 pounds) into the air, who held the end of the rope.
Hollander beater (1680s)
The Hollander beater is a machine developed by the Dutch in 1680 to produce pulp from cellulose-containing plant fibers. It replaced stamp mills for preparing pulp because the Hollander could produce in one day the same quantity of pulp that a stamp mill could produce in eight.
Gas lighting (1783)
Meat slicer (1898)
A meat slicer, also called a slicing machine, deli slicer or simply a slicer, is a tool used in butcher shops and delicatessens to slice meats and cheeses. The first meat slicer was invented by Wilhelm van Berkel (Wilhelmus Adrianus van Berkel) in Rotterdam in 1898. Older models of meat slicer may be operated by crank, while newer ones generally use an electric motor.
A pentode is an electronic device having five active electrodes. The term most commonly applies to a three-grid vacuum tube (thermionic valve), which was invented by the Dutchman Bernhard D.H. Tellegen in 1926.
Philishave was the brand name for electric shavers manufactured by the Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care unit of Philips (in the US, the Norelco name is used). The Philishave shaver was invented by Philips engineer Alexandre Horowitz, who used rotating cutters instead of the reciprocating cutters that had been used in previous electric shavers.
A gyrator is a passive, linear, lossless, two-port electrical network element invented by Tellegen as a hypothetical fifth linear element after the resistor, capacitor, inductor and ideal transformer.
Traffic enforcement camera (1958)
Dutch company Gatsometer BV, founded by the 1950s rally driver Maurice Gatsonides, invented the first traffic enforcement camera. Gatsonides wished to better monitor his speed around the corners of a race track and came up with the device in order to improve his time around the circuit. The company developed the first radar for use with road traffic and is the world's largest supplier of speed-monitoring camera systems. Because of this, in some countries speed cameras are sometimes referred to as "Gatsos". They are also sometimes referred to as "photo radar", even though many of them do not use radar.
Variomatic is the stepless, fully automatic transmission of the Dutch car manufacturer DAF, originally developed by Hub van Doorne. The Variomatic was introduced in 1958 (DAF 600), the first automatic gear box made in the Netherlands. It continues in use in motorscooters. Variomatic was the first commercially successful continuously variable transmissions (CVT).
Red light camera (1965)
A Red light camera is a traffic enforcement camera that captures an image of a vehicle that enters an intersection against a red traffic light. By automatically photographing such vehicles, the camera produces evidence that assists authorities in their enforcement of traffic laws. The first red light camera system was introduced in 1965, using tubes stretched across the road to detect the violation and trigger the camera. One of the first developers of these red light camera systems was Dutch company Gatsometer BV.
Stochastic cooling (1968)
Stochastic cooling is a form of particle beam cooling. It is used in some particle accelerators and storage rings to control the emission of particle beams. This process uses the electrical signals that the individual charged particles generate in a feedback loop to reduce the tendency of individual particles to move away from other particles in the beam. This technique was invented and applied at the Intersecting Storage Rings, and later the Super Proton Synchrotron, at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland by Dutch physicist Simon van der Meer. By increasing the particle density to close to the required energy, this technique improved the beam quality and, inter alia, brought the discovery of W and Z bosons within reach.
Clap skate (1980)
The clap skate (also called clapskates, slap skates, slapskates) is a type of ice skate used in speed skating. Clap skates were developed at the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, led by Gerrit Jan van Ingen Schenau, although the idea is much older. van Ingen Schenau, who started work on a hinged speed skate in 1979, created his first prototype in 1980 and finished his PhD thesis on the subject in 1981 using the premise that a skater would benefit from extended movement keeping the blade on the ice, allowing the calf muscles more time to exert force.
In the 14th century, the Dutch started using wooden platform skates with flat iron bottom runners. The skates were attached to the skater's shoes with leather straps and poles were used to propel the skater. Around 1500, the Dutch shifted to a narrow metal double edged blade, so the skater could now push and glide with his feet, eliminating the need for a pole.
Herring Buss (1400s)
A herring buss (Dutch: Haring Buis) was a type of seagoing fishing vessel, used by Dutch and Flemish herring fishermen in the 15th through early 19th centuries. The Buis was first adapted for use as a fishing vessel in the Netherlands, after the invention of gibbing made it possible to preserve herring at sea. This made longer voyages feasible, and hence enabled Dutch fishermen to follow the herring shoals far from the coasts. The first herring buss was probably built in Hoorn around 1415. The last one was built in Vlaardingen in 1841.
Originally defined as a light, fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. Later, yachts came to be perceived as luxury, or recreational vessels.
Fluyt, a type of sailing vessel originally designed as a dedicated cargo vessel. Originating from the Netherlands in the 16th century, the vessel was designed to facilitate transoceanic delivery with the maximum of space and crew efficiency. The inexpensive ship could be built in large numbers. This ship class was credited with enhancing Dutch competitiveness in international trade and was widely employed by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th and 18th centuries. The fluyt was a significant factor in the 17th century rise of the Dutch seaborne empire.
Wind-powered sawmill (1592)
Cornelis Corneliszoon was the inventor of the wind-powered sawmill. Prior to the invention of sawmills, boards were rived and planed, or more often sawn by two men with a whipsaw using saddleblocks to hold the log and a pit for the pitman who worked below and got the benefit of sawdust in his eyes. Sawing was slow and required strong and durable sawmen. The topsawer had to be the stronger of the two because the saw was pulled in turn by each man, and the lower had the advantage of gravity. The topsawyer also had to guide the saw to produce a plank of even thickness. This was often done by following a chalkline.
Early sawmills adapted the whipsaw to mechanical power, generally driven by a water wheel to speed up the process. The circular motion of the wheel was changed to back-and-forth motion of the saw blade by a pitman thus introducing a term used in many mechanical applications. A pitman is similar to a crankshaft used in reverse. A crankshaft converts back-and-forth motion to circular motion.
Generally only the saw was powered and the logs had to be loaded and moved by hand. An early improvement was the development of a movable carriage, also water powered, to steadily advance the log through the saw blade.
A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, the foremast being no taller than the rear mast(s). Such vessels were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century (but may not have been called that at the time). Schooners first evolved from a variety of small two-masted gaff-rigged vessels used in the coast and estuaries of the Netherlands in the late 1600s. Most were working craft but some pleasure yachts with schooner rigs were built for wealthy merchants and Dutch nobility. Following arrival of the Dutch-born prince William III the Orange on the British throne, the British Royal Navy built a Royal yacht with a schooner rig in 1695, HMS Royal Transport. This vessel, captured in a detailed Admiralty model, is the earliest fully documented schooner. Royal Transport was quickly noted for its speed and ease of handling and mercantile vessels soon adopted the rig in Europe and in European colonies in North America. Schooners were immediately popular with colonial traders and fishermen in North America with the first documented reference to a schooner in America appearing in Boston port records in 1716. North American shipbuilders quickly developed a variety of schooner forms for trading, fishing and privateering. According to the language scholar Walter William Skeat, the term schooner comes from scoon, while the sch spelling comes from the later adoption of the Dutch spelling ("schoener"). Another study suggests that a Dutch expression praising ornate schooner yachts in the 1600s, "een schoone Schip", may have led to the term "schooner" being used by English speakers to describe the early versions of the schooner rig as it evolved in England and America.
Land yacht (1600)
The Wind chariot or land yacht (Zeilwagen) was designed by Flemish-born mathematician & engineer Simon Stevin for Prince Maurice of Orange. Land yacht. It offered a carriage with sails, of which a little model was preserved in Scheveningen until 2012. Around the year 1600, Stevin, Maurice and twenty-six others used it on the beach between Scheveningen and Petten. The carriage was propelled solely by force of wind, and traveled faster than horse-drawn vehicles.
Cornelius Drebbel was the inventor of the first navigable submarine, while working for the British Royal Navy. Using William Bourne's design from 1578, he manufactured a steerable submarine with a leather-covered wooden frame. Between 1620 and 1624 Drebbel successfully built and tested two more, successively larger vessels. The third model had 6 oars and could carry 16 passengers. This model was demonstrated to King James I and several thousand Londoners. The submarine stayed submerged for three hours and could travel from Westminster to Greenwich and back, cruising at a depth of from 12 to 15 feet (3.7 to 4.6 m). This submarine was tested many times in the Thames, but never used in battle.
In 2002, the British boatbuilder Mark Edwards built a wooden submarine based on the original 17th century version by Drebbel. This was shown in the BBC TV programme Building the Impossible in November 2002. It is a scale working model of the original and was built using tools and construction methods common in 17th century boat building and was successfully tested under water with two rowers at Dorney Lake, diving beneath the surface and being rowed underwater for 10 minutes. Legal considerations prevented its use on the River Thames itself.
First ever car equipped with a six-cylinder engine, along with four-wheel drive (1903)
Spyker is credited with building and racing the first ever four-wheel racing car in 1903. The first four-wheel-drive car, as well as hill-climb racer, with internal combustion engine, the Spyker 60 H.P., was presented in 1903 by Dutch brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker of Amsterdam. The two-seat sports car, which was also the first ever car equipped with a six-cylinder engine, is now an exhibit in the Louwman Collection (the former Nationaal Automobiel Museum) at the Hague in The Netherlands.
First practical national anthem (Het Wilhelmus) (1574)
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe (Het Wilhelmus) is the national anthem of the Netherlands and is the oldest national anthem in the world. The anthem was first written down in 1574 (during the Dutch Revolt). The Japanese anthem, Kimigayo, has the oldest (9th century) lyrics, but a melody was only added in the late 19th century, making it a poem rather than an anthem for most of its lifespan. Although the Wilhelmus was not officially recognised as the Dutch national anthem until 1932, it has always been popular with parts of the Dutch population and resurfaced on several occasions in the course of Dutch history before gaining its present status.
Java Man (Homo erectus erectus) (1891)
Java Man (Homo erectus erectus) is the name given to hominid fossils discovered in 1891 at Trinil – Ngawi Regency on the banks of the Solo River in East Java, Indonesia, one of the first known specimens of Homo erectus. Its discoverer, Dutch paleontologist Eugène Dubois, gave it the scientific name Pithecanthropus erectus, a name derived from Greek and Latin roots meaning upright ape-man.
Columba (constellation) (1592)
Columba is a small, faint constellation named in the late sixteenth century. Its name is Latin for dove. It is located just south of Canis Major and Lepus. Columba was named by Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius in 1592 in order to differentiate the 'unformed stars' of the large constellation Canis Major. Plancius first depicted Columba on the small celestial planispheres of his large wall map of 1592. It is also shown on his smaller world map of 1594 and on early Dutch celestial globes.
Novaya Zemlya effect (1597)
The first person to record the Novaya Zemlya effect was Gerrit de Veer, a member of Willem Barentsz' ill-fated third expedition into the polar region. Novaya Zemlya, the archipelago where de Veer first observed the phenomenon, lends its name to the effect.
12 southern constellations (1597–1598)
Apus is a faint constellation in the southern sky, first defined in the late 16th century. Its name means "no feet" in Greek, and it represents a bird-of-paradise (once believed to lack feet). It first appeared on a 35 cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius with Jodocus Hondius.
Hydrus' name means "male water snake".
Indus represents an Indian, a word that could refer at the time to any native of Asia or the Americas.
Musca is one of the minor southern constellations. It first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius and Hondius. The first depiction of this constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.
Phoenix is a minor southern constellation, named after the mythical phoenix. It was the largest of the twelve.
Triangulum Australe is Latin for "the southern triangle", which distinguishes it from Triangulum in the northern sky and is derived from the almost equilateral pattern of its three brightest stars. It was first depicted on a celestial globe as Triangulus Antarcticus by Plancius in 1589, and later with more accuracy and its current name by Johann Bayer in his 1603 Uranometria.
Tucana is Latin for the toucan, a South American bird.
Volans represents a flying fish; its name is a shortened form of its original name, Piscis Volans.
Camelopardalis (constellation) (1612–1613)
Camelopardalis was created by Plancius in 1613 to represent the animal Rebecca rode to marry Isaac in the Bible. One year later, Jakob Bartsch featured it in his atlas. Johannes Hevelius gave it the official name of "Camelopardus" or "Camelopardalis" because he saw the constellation's many faint stars as the spots of a giraffe.
Monoceros (constellation) (1612–1613)
Monoceros is a relatively modern creation. Its first certain appearance was on a globe created by Plancius in 1612 or 1613. It was later charted by Bartsch as Unicornus in his 1624 star chart.
Rings of Saturn (1655)
In 1655, Huygens became the first person to suggest that Saturn was surrounded by a ring, after Galileo's much less advanced telescope had failed to show rings. Galileo had reported the anomaly as possibly 3 planets instead of one.
Galactic halo (1924)
Oort constants (1927)
Evidence of dark matter (1932)
In 1932, Dutch astronomer Jan Oort became the first person to discover evidence of dark matter. Oort proposed the substance after measuring the motions of nearby stars in the Milky Way relative to the galactic plane. He found that the mass of the galactic plane must be more than the mass of the material that can be seen. A year later (1933), Fritz Zwicky examined the dynamics of clusters of galaxies and found their movements similarly perplexing.
Discovery of methane in the atmosphere of Titan (1944)
The first formal proof of the existence of an atmosphere around Titan came in 1944, when Gerald Kuiper observed Titan with the new McDonald 82-inch (2.1 m) telescope and discovered spectral signatures on Titan at wavelengths longer than 0.6 μm (micrometers), among which he identified two absorption bands of methane at 6190 and 7250 Å (Kuiper1944). This discovery was significant not only because it requires a dense atmosphere with a significant fraction of methane, but also because the atmosphere needs to be chemically evolved, since methane requires hydrogen in the presence of carbon, and molecular and atomic hydrogen would have escaped from Titan's weak gravitational field since the formation of the solar system.
Discovery of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars (1947)
Using infrared spectrometry, in 1947 the Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper detected carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere, a discovery of biological significance because it is a principal gas in the process of photosynthesis (see also: History of Mars observation). He was able to estimate that the amount of carbon dioxide over a given area of the surface is double that on the Earth.
Nereid, also known as Neptune II, is the third-largest moon of Neptune and was its second moon to be discovered, on 1 May 1949, by Gerard Kuiper, on photographic plates taken with the 82-inch telescope at McDonald Observatory.
Oort cloud (1950)
The Oort cloud or Öpik–Oort cloud, named after Dutch astronomer Jan Oort and Estonian astronomer Ernst Öpik, is a spherical cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals believed to surround the Sun at a distance of up to 50,000 AU (0.8 ly). Further evidence for the existence of the Kuiper belt emerged from the study of comets. That comets have finite lifespans has been known for some time. As they approach the Sun, its heat causes their volatile surfaces to sublimate into space, gradually evaporating them. In order for comets to continue to be visible over the age of the Solar System, they must be replenished frequently. One such area of replenishment is the Oort cloud, a spherical swarm of comets extending beyond 50,000 AU from the Sun first hypothesised by Dutch astronomer Jan Oort in 1950. The Oort cloud is believed to be the point of origin of long-period comets, which are those, like Hale–Bopp, with orbits lasting thousands of years.
Kuiper belt (1951)
The Kuiper belt was named after Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper, though his role in hypothesising it has been heavily contested. In 1951, he proposed the existence of what is now called the Kuiper Belt, a disk-shaped region of minor planets outside the orbit of Neptune, which also is a source of short-period comets.
Function of the Fallopian tubes (1660s)
Dutch physician & anatomist Regnier de Graaf may have been the first to understand the reproductive function of the Fallopian tubes. He described the hydrosalpinx, linking its development to female infertility. de Graaf recognized pathologic conditions of the tubes. He was aware of tubal pregnancies, and he surmised that the mammalian egg traveled from the ovary to the uterus through the tube.
Development of ovarian follicles (1672)
In his De Mulierum Organis Generatione Inservientibus (1672), de Graaf provided the first thorough description of the female gonad and established that it produced the ovum. De Graaf used the terminology vesicle or egg (ovum) for what now called the ovarian follicle. Because the fluid-filled ovarian vesicles had been observed previously by others, including Andreas Vesalius and Falloppio, De Graaf did not claim their discovery. He noted that he was not the first to describe them, but to describe their development. De Graaf was the first to observe changes in the ovary before and after mating and describe the corpus luteum. From the observation of pregnancy in rabbits, he concluded that the follicle contained the oocyte. The mature stage of the ovarian follicle is called the Graafian follicle in his honour, although others, including Fallopius, had noticed it previously but failed to recognize its reproductive significance.
Foundations of microbiology (discovery of microorganisms) (1670s)
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is often considered to be the father of microbiology. Robert Hooke is cited as the first to record microscopic observation of the fruiting bodies of molds, in 1665. However, the first observation of microbes using a microscope is generally credited to van Leeuwenhoek. In the 1670s, he observed and researched bacteria and other microorganisms, using a single-lens microscope of his own design.
In 1981 the British microscopist Brian J. Ford found that Leeuwenhoek's original specimens had survived in the collections of the Royal Society of London. They were found to be of high quality, and were all well preserved. Ford carried out observations with a range of microscopes, adding to our knowledge of Leeuwenhoek's work.
Photosynthesis is a fundamental biochemical process in which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert sunlight to chemical energy. The process was discovered by Jan Ingenhousz in 1779. The chemical energy is used to drive reactions such as the formation of sugars or the fixation of nitrogen into amino acids, the building blocks for protein synthesis. Ultimately, nearly all living things depend on energy produced from photosynthesis. It is also responsible for producing the oxygen that makes animal life possible. Organisms that produce energy through photosynthesis are called photoautotrophs. Plants are the most visible representatives of photoautotrophs, but bacteria and algae also employ the process.
Plant respiration (1779)
Plant respiration was also discovered by Ingenhousz in 1779.
Martinus Beijerinck is considered one of the founders of virology. In 1898, he published results on his filtration experiments, demonstrating that tobacco mosaic disease is caused by an infectious agent smaller than a bacterium. His results were in accordance with similar observations made by Dmitri Ivanovsky in 1892. Like Ivanovsky and Adolf Mayer, predecessor at Wageningen, Beijerinck could not culture the filterable infectious agent. He concluded that the agent can replicate and multiply in living plants. He named the new pathogen virus to indicate its non-bacterial nature. This discovery is considered to be the beginning of virology.
Vroman effect (1975)
Flemish physician Jan Baptist van Helmont is sometimes considered the founder of pneumatic chemistry, coining the word gas and conducting experiments involving gases. Van Helmont had derived the word “gas” from the Dutch word geest, which means ghost or spirit.
Van 't Hoff equation (1884)
The Van 't Hoff equation in chemical thermodynamics relates the change in the equilibrium constant, Keq, of a chemical equilibrium to the change in temperature, T, given the standard enthalpy change, ΔH
o, for the process. It was proposed by Dutch chemist Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff in 1884. The Van 't Hoff equation has been widely utilized to explore the changes in state functions in a thermodynamic system. The Van 't Hoff plot, which is derived from this equation, is especially effective in estimating the change in enthalpy, or total energy, and entropy, or amount of disorder, of a chemical reaction.
Van 't Hoff factor (1884)
The van 't Hoff factor is a measure of the effect of a solute upon colligative properties such as osmotic pressure, relative lowering in vapor pressure, elevation of boiling point and freezing point depression. The van 't Hoff factor is the ratio between the actual concentration of particles produced when the substance is dissolved, and the concentration of a substance as calculated from its mass.
In carbohydrate chemistry, the Lobry de Bruyn–van Ekenstein transformation is the base or acid-catalyzed transformation of an aldose into the ketose isomer or vice versa, with a tautomeric enediol as reaction intermediate. The transformation is relevant for the industrial production of certain ketoses and was discovered in 1885 by Cornelis Adriaan Lobry van Troostenburg de Bruyn and Willem Alberda van Ekenstein.
Prins reaction (1919)
The Prins reaction is an organic reaction consisting of an electrophilic addition of an aldehyde or ketone to an alkene or alkyne followed by capture of a nucleophile. Dutch chemist Hendrik Jacobus Prins discovered two new organic reactions, both now carrying the name Prins reaction. The first was the addition of polyhalogen compounds to olefins, was found during Prins doctoral research, while the others, the acid-catalyzed addition of aldehydes to olefinic compounds, became of industrial relevance.
Dutch physicist Dirk Coster and Hungarian-Swedish chemist George de Hevesy co-discovered Hafnium (Hf) in 1923, by means of X-ray spectroscopic analysis of zirconium ore. Hafnium' is named after Hafnia', the Latin name for Copenhagen (Denmark), where it was discovered.
Crystal bar process (1925)
The crystal bar process (also known as iodide process or the van Arkel–de Boer process) was developed by Dutch chemists Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer in 1925. It was the first industrial process for the commercial production of pure ductile metallic zirconium. It is used in the production of small quantities of ultra-pure titanium and zirconium.
Koopmans' theorem (1934)
Koopmans' theorem states that in closed-shell Hartree–Fock theory, the first ionization energy of a molecular system is equal to the negative of the orbital energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO). This theorem is named after Tjalling Koopmans, who published this result in 1934. Koopmans became a Nobel laureate in 1975, though neither in physics nor chemistry, but in economics.
In 1889, Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries published his book Intracellular Pangenesis, in which he postulated that different characters have different hereditary carriers, based on a modified version of Charles Darwin's theory of Pangenesis of 1868. He specifically postulated that inheritance of specific traits in organisms comes in particles. He called these units pangenes, a term shortened in 1909 to genes by Danish botanist Wilhelm Johannsen.
Rediscovery the laws of inheritance (1900)
1900 marked the "rediscovery of Mendelian genetics". The significance of Gregor Mendel's work was not understood until early in the twentieth century, after his death, when his research was re-discovered by Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and Erich von Tschermak, who were working on similar problems. They were unaware of Mendel's work. They worked independently on different plant hybrids, and came to Mendel's conclusions about the rules of inheritance.
Bushveld Igneous Complex (1897)
The Bushveld Igneous Complex (or BIC) is a large, layered igneous intrusion within the Earth's crust that has been tilted and eroded and now outcrops around what appears to be the edge of a great geological basin, the Transvaal Basin. Located in South Africa, the BIC contains some of Earth's richest ore deposits. The complex contains the world's largest reserves of platinum group metals (PGMs), platinum, palladium, osmium, iridium, rhodium, and ruthenium, along with vast quantities of iron, tin, chromium, titanium and vanadium. The site was discovered around 1897 by Dutch geologist Gustaaf Molengraaff.
Analytic geometry (1637)
Descartes (1596–1650) was born in France, but spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. As Bertrand Russell noted in his A History of Western Philosophy (1945): "He lived in Holland for twenty years (1629–49), except for a few brief visits to France and one to England, all on business....". In 1637, Descartes published his work on the methods of science, Discours de la méthode in Leiden. One of its three appendices was La Géométrie, in which he outlined a method to connect the expressions of algebra with the diagrams of geometry. It combined both algebra and geometry under one specialty — algebraic geometry, now called analytic geometry, which involves reducing geometry to a form of arithmetic and algebra and translating geometric shapes into algebraic equations.
Cartesian coordinate system (1637)
Descartes' La Géométrie contains Descartes' first introduction of the Cartesian coordinate system.
Korteweg–de Vries equation (1895)
In mathematics, the Korteweg–de Vries equation (KdV equation for short) is a mathematical model of waves on shallow water surfaces. It is particularly notable as the prototypical example of an exactly solvable model, that is, a non-linear partial differential equation whose solutions can be exactly and precisely specified. The equation is named for Diederik Korteweg and Gustav de Vries who, in 1895, proposed a mathematical model which allowed to predict the waves behaviour on shallow water surfaces.
Brouwer fixed-point theorem (1911)
Debye functions (1912)
Zernike polynomials (1934)
In mathematics, the Zernike polynomials are a sequence of polynomials that are orthogonal on the unit disk. Named after Frits Zernike, the Dutch optical physicist, and the inventor of phase contrast microscopy, they play an important role in beam optics.
Minnaert function (1941)
In 1941, Marcel Minnaert invented the Minnaert function, which is used in optical measurements of celestial bodies. The Minnaert function is a photometric function used to interpret astronomical observations and remote sensing data for the Earth.
Centripetal force (1659)
Christiaan Huygens stated what is now known as the second of Newton's laws of motion in a quadratic form. In 1659 he derived the now standard formula for the centripetal force, exerted by an object describing a circular motion, for instance on the string to which it is attached. In modern notation:
with m the mass of the object, v the velocity and r the radius. The publication of the general formula for this force in 1673 was a significant step in studying orbits in astronomy. It enabled the transition from Kepler's third law of planetary motion, to the inverse square law of gravitation.
Centrifugal force (1659)
In 1659, Christiaan Huygens was the first to derive the formula for the period of an ideal mathematical pendulum (with massless rod or cord and length much longer than its swing), in modern notation:
with T the period, l the length of the pendulum and g the gravitational acceleration. By his study of the oscillation period of compound pendulums Huygens made pivotal contributions to the development of the concept of moment of inertia.
Coupled oscillation (1665)
Huygens observed that two pendulum clocks mounted next to each other on the same support often become synchronized, swinging in opposite directions. In 1665, he reported the results by letter to the Royal Society of London. It is referred to as "an odd kind of sympathy" in the Society's minutes. This may be the first published observation of what is now called coupled oscillations. In the 20th century, coupled oscillators took on great practical importance because of two discoveries: lasers, in which different atoms give off light waves that oscillate in unison, and superconductors, in which pairs of electrons oscillate in synchrony, allowing electricity to flow with almost no resistance. Coupled oscillators are even more ubiquitous in nature, showing up, for example, in the synchronized flashing of fireflies and chirping of crickets, and in the pacemaker cells that regulate heartbeats.
Flemish anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius is often referred to as the founder of modern human anatomy for the publication of the seven-volume De humani corporis fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body) in 1543.
Crystals in gouty tophi (1679)
In 1679, van Leeuwenhoek used a microscopes to assess tophaceous material and found that gouty tophi consist of aggregates of needle-shaped crystals, and not globules of chalk as was previously believed.
Boerhaave syndrome (1724)
Boerhaave syndrome (also known as spontaneous esophageal perforation or esophageal rupture) refers to an esophageal rupture secondary to forceful vomiting. Originally described in 1724 by Dutch physician/botanist Hermann Boerhaave, it is a rare condition with high mortality. The syndrome was described after the case of a Dutch admiral, Baron Jan von Wassenaer, who died of the condition.
Factor V Leiden (1994)
Factor V Leiden is an inherited disorder of blood clotting. It is a variant of human factor V that causes a hypercoagulability disorder. It is named after the city Leiden, where it was first identified by R. Bertina, et al., in 1994.
Blood cells (1658)
In 1658 Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam was the first person to observe red blood cells under a microscope and in 1695, microscopist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, also Dutch, was the first to draw an illustration of "red corpuscles", as they were called. No further blood cells were discovered until 1842 when the platelets were discovered.
Red blood cells (1658)
Infusoria is a collective term for minute aquatic creatures including ciliate, euglena, paramecium, protozoa and unicellular algae that exist in freshwater ponds. However, in formal classification microorganism called infusoria belongs to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Protozoa, Class Ciliates (Infusoria).They were first discovered by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.
The first bacteria were observed by van Leeuwenhoek in 1676 using his single-lens microscope. He described the creatures he saw as small creatures. The name bacterium was introduced much later, by Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg in 1828, derived from the Greek word βακτηριον meaning "small stick". Because of the difficulty in describing individual bacteria and the importance of their discovery, the study of bacteria is generally that of the study of microbiology.
Sperm cells (1677)
Sperm cells were first observed by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1677. The term “sperm” refers to the male reproductive cells. A uniflagellar sperm cell that is motile is referred to as a “spermatozoon”, whereas a non-motile sperm cell is referred to as a “spermatium”.
A spermatozoon or spermatozoon (pl. spermatozoa), from the ancient Greek σπερμα (seed) and ζων (alive) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. Sperm cells were first observed by a student of van Leeuwenhoek in 1677. Leeuwenhoek pictured sperm cells with great accuracy.
Giardia is a genus of anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites of the phylum Sarcomastigophora that colonise and reproduce in the small intestines of several vertebrates, causing giardiasis. Their life cycle alternates between an actively swimming trophozoite and an infective, resistant cyst. The trophozoite form of Giardia was first observed in 1681 by Van Leeuwenhoek during observation of his own stool.
Volvox is a genus of chlorophytes, a type of green algae. It forms spherical colonies of up to 50,000 cells. They live in a variety of freshwater habitats, and were first reported by Van Leeuwenhoek in 1700.
Biological nitrogen fixation (1885)
Rhizobium is a genus of Gram-negative soil bacteria that fix nitrogen. Rhizobium forms an endosymbiotic nitrogen fixing association with roots of legumes and Parasponia. Martinus Beijerinck in the Netherlands was the first to isolate and cultivate a microorganism from the nodules of legumes in 1888. He named it Bacillus radicicola, which is now placed in Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology under the genus Rhizobium.
Spirillum (first isolated sulfate-reducing bacteria) (1895)
Martinus Beijerinck discovered the phenomenon of bacterial sulfate reduction, a form of anaerobic respiration. He learned that bacteria could use sulfate as a terminal electron acceptor, instead of oxygen. He isolated and described Spirillum desulfuricans (now called Desulfovibrio desulfuricans), the first known sulfate-reducing bacterium.
In 1898 Beijerinck coined the term "virus" to indicate that the causal agent of tobacco mosaic disease was non-bacterial. Beijerinck discovered what is now known as the tobacco mosaic virus. He observed that the agent multiplied only in cells that were dividing and he called it a contagium vivum fluidum (contagious living fluid). Beijerinck's discovery is considered to be the beginning of virology.
Azotobacter is a genus of usually motile, oval or spherical bacteria that form thick-walled cysts and may produce large quantities of capsular slime. They are aerobic, free-living soil microbes which play an important role in the nitrogen cycle in nature, binding atmospheric nitrogen, which is inaccessible to plants, and releasing it in the form of ammonium ions into the soil. Apart from being a model organism, it is used by humans for the production of biofertilizers, food additives, and some biopolymers. The first representative of the genus, Azotobacter chroococcum, was discovered and described in 1901 by the Dutch microbiologist and botanist Martinus Beijerinck.
Enrichment culture (1904)
Beijerinck is credited with developing the first enrichment culture, a fundamental method of studying microbes from the environment.
Wave theory of light (1678)
Huygens is remembered especially for his wave theory of light, which he first communicated in 1678 to France's Royal Académie des sciences and which he published in 1690 in his Treatise on light. His argument that light consists of waves now known as the Huygens–Fresnel principle, two centuries later became instrumental in the understanding of wave–particle duality. The interference experiments of Thomas Young vindicated Huygens' s wave theory in 1801.
Polarization of light (1678)
Huygens' principle (1690)
In Treatise on Light, Huygens showed how Snell's law of sines could be explained by, or derived from, the wave nature of light, using the Huygens–Fresnel principle.
Bernoulli's principle (1738)
Bernoulli's principle was discovered by Dutch-Swiss mathematician and physicist Daniel Bernoulli and named after him. It states that for an inviscid flow, an increase in the speed of the fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid's potential energy.
Brownian motion (1785)
Buys Ballot's law (1857)
The law takes its name from Dutch meteorologist C. H. D. Buys Ballot, who published it in the Comptes Rendus, in November 1857. While William Ferrel first theorized this in 1856, Buys Ballot was the first to provide an empirical validation. The law states that in the Northern Hemisphere, if a person stands with his back to the wind, the low pressure area will be on his left, because wind travels counterclockwise around low pressure zones in that hemisphere. this is approximately true in the higher latitudes and is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.
Van der Waals equation of state (1873)
In 1873, Johannes Diderik van der Waals introduced the first equation of state derived by the assumption of a finite volume occupied by constituent molecules. His formula revolutionized the study of equations of stat, and was most famously continued via the Redlich–Kwong equation of state and the Soave modification of Redlich–Kwong. Except at higher pressures, the real gases do not obey Van der Waals equation in all ranges of pressures and temperatures. Despite its limitations, the equation has historical importance, because it was the first attempt to model the behaviour of real gases.
Van der Waals forces (1873)
The van der Waals forces are named after the scientist who first described them in 1873. Johannes Diderik van der Waals noted the non-ideality of gases and attributed it to the existence of molecular or atomic interactions. They are forces that develop between the atoms inside molecules and keep them together.
Van der Waals radius (1873)
The Van der Waals radius, rw, of an atom is the radius of an imaginary hard sphere which can be used to model the atom for many purposes. It is named after Johannes Diderik van der Waals, winner of the 1910 Nobel Prize in Physics, as he was the first to recognise that atoms were not simply points and to demonstrate the physical consequences of their size through the van der Waals equation of state.
Law of corresponding states (1880)
The law of corresponding states was first suggested and formulated by van der Waals in 1880. This showed that the van der Waals equation of state can be expressed as a simple function of the critical pressure, critical volume and critical temperature. This general form is applicable to all substances. The compound-specific constants a and b in the original equation are replaced by universal (compound-independent) quantities. It was this law that served as a guide during experiments which ultimately led to the liquefaction of hydrogen by James Dewar in 1898 and of helium by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1908.
Lorentz force law (1892)
In 1892, Hendrik Lorentz derived the modern form of the formula for the electromagnetic force which includes the contributions to the total force from both the electric and the magnetic fields. In many textbook treatments of classical electromagnetism, the Lorentz force law is used as the definition of the electric and magnetic fields E and B. To be specific, the Lorentz force is understood to be the following empirical statement:
- The electromagnetic force F on a test charge at a given point and time is a certain function of its charge q and velocity v, which can be parameterized by exactly two vectors E and B, in the functional form:
Lorentz transformation (1895)
In physics, the Lorentz transformation (or Lorentz transformations) is named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz. It was the result of attempts by Lorentz and others to explain how the speed of light was observed to be independent of the reference frame, and to understand the symmetries of the laws of electromagnetism. The Lorentz transformation is in accordance with special relativity, but was derived before special relativity. Early approximations of the transformation were published by Lorentz in 1895. In 1905, Poincaré was the first to recognize that the transformation has the properties of a mathematical group, and named it after Lorentz.
Zeeman effect (1896)
The Zeeman effect, named after the Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman, is the effect of splitting a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field. It is analogous to the Stark effect, the splitting of a spectral line into several components in the presence of an electric field. Also similar to the Stark effect, transitions between different components have, in general, different intensities, with some being entirely forbidden (in the dipole approximation), as governed by the selection rules.
Since the distance between the Zeeman sub-levels is a function of the magnetic field, this effect can be used to measure the magnetic field, e.g. that of the Sun and other stars or in laboratory plasmas. The Zeeman effect is very important in applications such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Mössbauer spectroscopy. It may also be utilized to improve accuracy in atomic absorption spectroscopy.
When the spectral lines are absorption lines, the effect is called inverse Zeeman effect.
Liquid helium (liquefaction of helium) (1908)
Helium was first liquefied (liquid helium) on 10 July 1908, by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. With the production of liquid helium, it was said that “the coldest place on Earth” was in Leiden.
Debye model (1912)
In thermodynamics and solid state physics, the Debye model is a method developed by Peter Debye in 1912 for estimating the phonon contribution to the specific heat (heat capacity) in a solid. It treats the vibrations of the atomic lattice (heat) as phonons in a box, in contrast to the Einstein model, which treats the solid as many individual, non-interacting quantum harmonic oscillators. The Debye model correctly predicts the low temperature dependence of the heat capacity.
Van der Pol oscillator (1920)
In dynamical systems, a Van der Pol oscillator is a non-conservative oscillator with non-linear damping. It was originally proposed by Dutch physicist Balthasar van der Pol while he was working at Philips in 1920. Van der Pol studied a differential equation that describes the circuit of a vacuum tube. It has been used to model other phenomenon such as human heartbeats by colleague Jan van der Mark.
Kramers' opacity law (1923)
Kramers' opacity law describes the opacity of a medium in terms of the ambient density and temperature, assuming that the opacity is dominated by bound-free absorption (the absorption of light during ionization of a bound electron) or free-free absorption (the absorption of light when scattering a free ion, also called bremsstrahlung). It is often used to model radiative transfer, particularly in stellar atmospheres. The relation is named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Kramers, who first derived the form in 1923.
Electron spin (1925)
De Haas–van Alphen effect (1930)
The de Haas–van Alphen effect, often abbreviated to dHvA, is a quantum mechanical effect in which the magnetic moment of a pure metal crystal oscillates as the intensity of an applied magnetic field B is increased. It was discovered in 1930 by Wander Johannes de Haas and his student P. M. van Alphen.
Minnaert resonance frequency (1933)
In 1933, Marcel Minnaert published a solution for the acoustic resonance frequency of a single bubble in water, the so-called Minnaert resonance. The Minnaert resonance or Minnaert frequency is the acoustic resonance frequency of a single bubble in an infinite domain of water (neglecting the effects of surface tension and viscous attenuation).
Casimir effect (1948)
In quantum field theory, the Casimir effect and the Casimir–Polder force are physical forces arising from a quantized field. Dutch physicists Hendrik Casimir and Dirk Polder at Philips Research Labs proposed the existence of a force between two polarizable atoms and between such an atom and a conducting plate in 1947. After a conversation with Niels Bohr who suggested it had something to do with zero-point energy, Casimir alone formulated the theory predicting a force between neutral conducting plates in 1948; the former is called the Casimir–Polder force while the latter is the Casimir effect in the narrow sense.
Tellegen's theorem (1952)
Tellegen's theorem is one of the most powerful theorems in network theory. Most of the energy distribution theorems and extremum principles in network theory can be derived from it. It was published in 1952 by Bernard Tellegen. Fundamentally, Tellegen's theorem gives a simple relation between magnitudes that satisfy Kirchhoff's laws of electrical circuit theory.
Stochastic cooling (1970's)
In the early 1970s Simon van der Meer, a Dutch particle physicist at CERN, discovered this technique to concentrate proton and anti-proton beams, leading to the discovery of the W and Z particles. He won the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Carlo Rubbia.
Renormalization of gauge theories (1971)
In 1971, Gerardus 't Hooft, who was completing his PhD under the supervision of Dutch theoretical physicist Martinus Veltman, renormalized Yang–Mills theory. They showed that if the symmetries of Yang–Mills theory were to be realized in the spontaneously broken mode, referred to as the Higgs mechanism, then Yang–Mills theory can be renormalized. Renormalization of Yang–Mills theory is considered as a major achievement of twentieth century physics.
Holographic principle (1993)
The holographic principle is a property of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon. In 1993, Dutch theoretical physicist Gerard 't Hooft proposed what is now known as the holographic principle. It was given a precise string-theory interpretation by Leonard Susskind who combined his ideas with previous ones of 't Hooft and Charles Thorn.
Voyages of discovery
Orange Islands (1594)
Svalbard (first documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the Svalbard Archipelago) (1596)
The first undisputedly to have discovered the archipelago is an expedition led by the Dutch mariner Willem Barentsz, who was looking for the Northern Sea Route to China. He first spotted Bjørnøya on 10 June 1596 and the northwestern tip of Spitsbergen on 17 June. The sighting of the archipelago was included in the accounts and maps made by the expedition and Spitsbergen was quickly included by cartographers. The name Spitsbergen, meaning "pointed mountains" (from the Dutch spits – pointed, bergen – mountains), was at first applied to both the main island and the Svalbard archipelago as a whole.
There is no conclusive evidence of the first human activity on Svalbard. Swedish archeologist Hans Christiansson found flint and slate objects he identified as Stone Age tools dating from ca. 3000 BC, but there is little support among his peers as no dwelling place has been found. During the 19th century, Norwegian historians proposed that Norse seamen had found Svalbard in 1194. This is based on annals that found Svalbarði four days sailing from Iceland. Although it forms the basis for the modern name of the archipelago, there is no scientific consensus that supports the hypothesis. Russian historians have proposed that Russian Pomors may have visited the island as early as the 15th century. This line was largely pursued by Soviet scholars, but again, no conclusive evidence has been found.
First documented winter surviving in the High Arctic (1596-1597)
The Russians knew of Novaya Zemlya from the 11th century, when hunters from Novgorod visited the area. For western Europeans, the search for the Northern Sea Route in the 16th century led to its exploration. The first visit from a west European was by Hugh Willoughby in 1553, and he met Russian ships from the already established hunting trade. Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz reached the west coast of Novaya Zemlya in 1594, and in a subsequent expedition of 1596 rounded the Northern point and wintered on the Northeast coast. Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck and their crew were blocked by the pack ice in the Kara Sea and forced to winter on the east coast of Novaya Zemlya. The wintering of the shipwrecked crew in the 'Saved House' was the first successful wintering of Europeans in the High Arctic. Twelve of the 17 men managed to survive the polar winter (De Veer, 1917). Barentsz died during the expedition, and may have been buried on the northern island.
First undisputed sighting of the Falkland Islands/Sebald Islands (1600)
In 1600 the Dutch navigator Sebald de Weert made the first undisputed sighting of the Falkland Islands. It was on his homeward leg back to the Netherlands after having left the Straits of Magellan that Sebald De Weert noticed some unnamed and uncharted islands, at least islands that did not exist on his nautical charts. There he attempted to stop and replenish but was unable to land due to harsh conditions. The islands Sebald de Weert charted were a small group off the northwest coast of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and are in fact part of the Falklands. De Weert then named these islands the “Sebald de Weert Islands” and the Falklands as a whole were known as the Sebald Islands until well into the 18th century.
Pennefather River, Northern Australia (first documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the mainland Australia) (1606)
The Dutch ship, Duyfken, led by Willem Janszoon, made the first documented European landing in Australia in 1606. Although a theory of Portuguese discovery in the 1520s exists, it lacks definitive evidence. Precedence of discovery has also been claimed for China, France, Spain, India, and even Phoenicia.
The Janszoon voyage of 1606 led to the first undisputed sighting of Australia by a European was made on 26 February 1606. Dutch vessel Duyfken, captained by Janszoon, followed the coast of New Guinea, missed Torres Strait, and explored perhaps 350 kilometres (220 mi) of western side of Cape York, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, believing the land was still part of New Guinea. The Dutch made one landing, but were promptly attacked by Maoris and subsequently abandoned further exploration.
The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent, are attributed to the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, and made landfall on 26 February at the Pennefather River near the modern town of Weipa on Cape York. The Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines and named the island continent "New Holland" during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement.
The area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Indians. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of the king Francis I of France – was the first European to visit the area that would become New York City. It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was mapped.
Hudson Valley (1609)
At the time of the arrival of the first Europeans in the 17th century, the Hudson Valley was inhabited primarily by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican and Munsee Native American people, known collectively as River Indians. The first Dutch settlement was in the 1610s at Fort Nassau, a trading post (factorij) south of modern-day Albany, that traded European goods for beaver pelts. Fort Nassau was later replaced by Fort Orange. During the rest of the 17th century, the Hudson Valley formed the heart of the New Netherland colony operations, with the New Amsterdam settlement on Manhattan serving as a post for supplies and defense of the upriver operations.
Brouwer Route (1610–1611)
The Brouwer Route was a route for sailing from the Cape of Good Hope to Java. The Route took ships south from the Cape into the Roaring Forties, then east across the Indian Ocean, before turning northwest for Java. Thus it took advantage of the strong westerly winds for which the Roaring Forties are named, greatly increasing travel speed. It was devised by Dutch sea explorer Hendrik Brouwer in 1611, and found to halve the duration of the journey from Europe to Java, compared to the previous Arab and Portuguese monsoon route, which involved following the coast of East Africa northwards, sailing through the Mozambique Channel and then across the Indian Ocean, sometimes via India. The Brouwer Route played a major role in the discovery of the west coast of Australia.
Jan Mayen Island (first verified discovery of Jan Mayen island) (1614)
After unconfirmed reports of Dutch discovery as early as 1611, the island was named after Dutchman Jan Jacobszoon May van Schellinkhout, who visited the island in July 1614. As locations of these islands were kept secret by the whalers, Jan Mayen got its current name only in 1620.
Hell Gate, Long Island Sound, Connecticut River and Fisher's Island (1614)
The name "Hell Gate" is a corruption of Dutch phrase Hellegat, which could mean either "hell's hole" or "bright gate/passage". It was originally applied to the entirety of the East River. The strait was described in the journals of Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, who is the first European known to have navigated the strait, during his 1614 voyage aboard the Onrust.
Fishers Island was called Munnawtawkit by the Native American Pequot nation. Block named it Visher's Island in 1614, after one of his companions. For the next 25 years, it remained a wilderness, visited occasionally by Dutch traders.
Staten Island (Argentina), Cape Horn, Tonga, Hoorn Islands (1615)
On 29 January 1616, they sighted land they called Cape Horn, after the city of Hoorn. Aboard the Eendracht was the crew of the recently wrecked ship called Hoorn.
They discovered New Ireland around May–July 1616.
They discovered the Schouten Islands (also known as Biak Islands or Geelvink Islands) on 24 July 1616.
The Schouten Islands (also known as Eastern Schouten Islands or Le Maire Islands) of Papua New Guinea, were named after Schouten, who visited them in 1616.
Dirk Hartog Island (first documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the Western Australia coastline) (1616)
Hendrik Brouwer's discovery that sailing east from the Cape of Good Hope until land was sighted, and then sailing north along the west coast of Australia was a much quicker route than around the coast of the Indian Ocean made Dutch landfalls on the west coast inevitable. The first such landfall was in 1616, when Dirk Hartog landed at Cape Inscription on what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island, off the coast of Western Australia, and left behind an inscription on a pewter plate. In 1697 the Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island and discovered Hartog's plate. He replaced it with one of his own, which included a copy of Hartog's inscription, and took the original plate home to Amsterdam, where it is still kept in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Houtman Abrolhos (Western Australia) (1619)
The first sighting of the Houtman Abrolhos by Europeans was by Dutch VOC ships Dordrecht and Amsterdam in 1619, three years after Hartog made the first authenticated sighting of what is now Western Australia, 13 years after the first authenticated voyage to Australia, that of the Duyfke] in 1606. Discovery of the islands was credited to Frederick de Houtman, Captain-General of the Dordrecht, as it was Houtman who later wrote of the discovery in a letter to Company directors.
The first person to spot Carstensz Pyramid (or Puncak Jaya) is reported to be the Dutch navigator and explorer Jan Carstensz in 1623, for whom the mountain is named. Carstensz was the first (non-native) to sight the glaciers on the peak of the mountain on a rare clear day. The sighting went unverified for over two centuries, and Carstensz was ridiculed in Europe when he said he had seen snow and glaciers near the equator. The snowfield of Puncak Jaya was reached as early as 1909 by a Dutch explorer, Hendrik Albert Lorentz with six of his indigenous Dayak Kenyah porters recruited from the Apo Kayan in Borneo. The now highest Carstensz Pyramid summit was not climbed until 1962, by an expedition led by the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer with three other expedition members – the New Zealand mountaineer Philip Temple, the Australian rock climber Russell Kippax, and the Dutch patrol officer Albertus (Bert) Huizenga.
Gulf of Carpentaria (Northern Australia) (1623)
The first known European explorer to visit the region was Dutch Willem Janszoon (also known as Willem Jansz) on his 1606 voyage. His fellow countryman, Jan Carstenszoon (also known as Jan Carstensz), visited in 1623 and named the gulf in honour of Pieter de Carpentier, at that time the Governor-General of Dutch East Indies. Abel Tasman explored the coast in 1644.
Staaten River (Cape York Peninsula, Northern Australia) (1623)
The Staaten River is a river in the Cape York Peninsula, Australia that rises more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) to the west of Cairns and empties into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The river was first named by Carstenszoon in 1623.
Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt (Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia) (1623)
Groote Eylandt was first sighted the Arnhem. Only in 1644, when Abel Tasman arrived, was the island given a European name, Dutch for "Large Island" in an archaic spelling. The modern Dutch spelling is Groot Eiland.
Hermite Islands (1624)
First documented/undisputed sighting of, landing on and charting of the Southern Australia coast (1627)
In 1627, Dutch explorers François Thijssen and Pieter Nuyts discovered the south coast of Australia and charted about 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi) of it between Cape Leeuwin and the Nuyts Archipelago. François Thijssen, captain of the ship 't Gulden Zeepaert (The Golden Seahorse), sailed to the east as far as Ceduna in South Australia. The first known ship to have visited the area is the Leeuwin ("Lioness"), a Dutch vessel that charted some of the nearby coastline in 1622. The log of the Leeuwin has been lost, so very little is known of the voyage. However, the land discovered by the Leeuwin was recorded on a 1627 map by Hessel Gerritsz: Caert van't Landt van d'Eendracht ("Chart of the Land of Eendracht"), which appears to show the coast between present-day Hamelin Bay and Point D’Entrecasteaux. Part of Thijssen's map shows the islands St Francis and St Peter, now known collectively with their respective groups as the Nuyts Archipelago. Thijssen's observations were included as soon as 1628 by the VOC cartographer Hessel Gerritsz in a chart of the Indies and New Holland. This voyage defined most of the southern coast of Australia and discouraged the notion that "New Holland", as it was then known, was linked to Antarctica.
St Francis Island (originally in Dutch: Eyland St. François) is an island on the south coast of South Australia near Ceduna. It is now part of the Nuyts Archipelago Wilderness Protection Area. It was one of the first parts of South Australia to be discovered and named by Europeans, along with St Peter Island. Thijssen named it after his patron saint, St. Francis.
St Peter Island is an island on the south coast of South Australia near Ceduna to the south of Denial Bay. It is the second largest island in South Australia at about 13 km long. It was named in 1627 by Thijssen after Pieter Nuyts' patron saint.
Western Australia (1629)
The Weibbe Hayes Stone Fort, remnants of improvised defensive walls and stone shelters built by Wiebbe Hayes and his men on the West Wallabi Island, are Australia's oldest known European structures, more than 150 years before expeditions to the Australian continent by James Cook and Arthur Phillip.
Tasmania (first documented/undisputed sighting and charting of the Tasmanian mainland and the surrounding islands) (1642)
Tasmania was inhabited by an indigenous population, the Tasmanian Aborigines, and evidence indicates their presence in the territory, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago. The Aboriginal population at the time of British settlement in 1803 has been estimated at approximately 5,000 or more 
In 1642, Abel Tasman sailed from Mauritius and on 24 November, sighted Tasmania. He named Tasmania Van Diemen's Land, after Anthony van Diemen, the Dutch East India Company's Governor General, who had commissioned his voyage. It was officially renamed Tasmania in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856.
Maatsuyker Islands, a group of small islands that are the southernmost point of the Australian continent. were discovered and named by Tasman in 1642 after a Dutch official. The main islands of the group are De Witt Island (354 m), Maatsuyker Island (296 m), Flat Witch Island, Flat Top Island, Round Top Island, Walker Island, Needle Rocks and Mewstone.
Maria Island was discovered and named in 1642 by Tasman after Maria van Diemen (née van Aelst), wife of Anthony. The island was known as Maria's Isle in the early 19th century.
Schouten Island is a 28 square kilometres (11 sq mi) island in eastern Tasmania, Australia. It lies 1.6 kilometres south of Freycinet Peninsula and is a part of Freycinet National Park. In 1642, while surveying the south-west coast of Tasmania, Tasman named the island after Joost Schouten, a member of the Council of the Dutch East India Company.
Tasman also reached Storm Bay, a large bay in the south-east of Tasmania, Australia. It is the entrance to the Derwent River estuary and the port of Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. It is bordered by Bruny Island to the west and the Tasman Peninsula to the east.
New Zealand and Fiji (first documented/undisputed sighting and charting of New Zealand) (1642)
In 1642, during the same expedition, Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand. The first Europeans known to reach New Zealand were the crew of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived in his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen. Tasman anchored at the northern end of the South Island in Golden Bay (he named it Murderers' Bay) in December 1642 and sailed northward to Tonga following a clash with local Māori. Tasman sketched sections of the two main islands' west coasts. Tasman called them Staten Landt, after the States General of the Netherlands, and that name appeared on his first maps of the country. In 1645 Dutch cartographers changed the name to Nova Zeelandia in Latin, from Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. It was subsequently Anglicised as New Zealand by British naval captain James Cook
Various claims have been made that New Zealand was reached by other non-Polynesian voyagers before Tasman, but these are not widely accepted. Peter Trickett, for example, argues in Beyond Capricorn that the Portuguese explorer Cristóvão de Mendonça reached New Zealand in the 1520s, and the Tamil bell discovered by missionary William Colenso has given rise to a number of theories,  but historians generally believe the bell 'is not in itself proof of early Tamil contact with New Zealand'.
In 1643, still during the same expedition, Tasman discovered Fiji.
Tasman discovered Tongatapu and Haʻapai in 1643 commanding two ships, the Heemskerck and the Zeehaen commissioned by the Dutch East India Company. The expedition's goals were to chart the unknown southern and eastern seas and to find a possible passage through the South Pacific and Indian Ocean providing a faster route to Chile.
Sakhalin (Cape Patience) (1643)
Kuril Islands (1643)
In the summer of 1643, the Castricum, under command of Martin Gerritz de Vries sailed by the southern Kuril Islands, visiting Kunashir, Iturup and Urup, which they named "Company Island" and claimed for the Netherlands.
Vries Strait or Miyabe Line is a strait between two main islands of the Kurils. It is located between the northeastern end of the island of Iturup and the southwestern headland of Urup Island, connecting the Sea of Okhotsk on the west with the Pacific Ocean on the east. The strait is named after de Vries, the first recorded European to explore the area.
The Gulf of Patience is a large body of water off the southeastern coast of Sakhalin, Russia, between the main body of Sakhalin Island in the west and Cape Patience in the east. It is part of the Sea of Okhotsk. The first Europeans to visit the bay sailed on Castricum. They named the gulf in memory of the fog that had to clear for them to continue their expedition.
Rottnest Island and Swan River (Western Australian coast) (1696)
The first Europeans known to land on the Rottnest Island were 13 Dutch sailors including Abraham Leeman from the Waeckende Boey who landed near Bathurst Point on 19 March 1658 while their ship was nearby. The ship had sailed from Batavia in search of survivors of the missing Vergulde Draeck which was later found wrecked 80 kilometres (50 mi) north near present day Ledge Point. The island was given the name "Rotte nest" (meaning "rat nest" in the 17th century Dutch language) by Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh who spent six days exploring the island from 29 December 1696, mistaking the quokkas for giant rats. De Vlamingh led a fleet of three ships, De Geelvink, De Nijptang and Weseltje and anchored on the northern side of the island, near The Basin.
On 10 January 1697, de Vlamingh ventured up the Swan River. He and his crew are believed to have been the first Europeans to do so. He named the Swan River (Zwaanenrivier in Dutch) after the large numbers of black swans that he observed there.
Easter Island and Samoa (first documented sighting of, landing on and charting of Easter Island) (1722)
On Easter Sunday, 5 April 1722, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The nearest inhabited land (50 residents) is Pitcairn Island 2,075 kilometres (1,289 mi) away, the nearest town with a population over 500 is Rikitea on island Mangareva 2,606 km (1,619 mi) away, and the nearest continental point lies in central Chile, 3,512 kilometres (2,182 mi) away.
The name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday (5 April) 1722, while searching for Davis or David's island. Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland (18th century Dutch for "Easter Island"). The island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, also means "Easter Island".
The first-recorded European contact with the island took place on 5 April (Easter Sunday) 1722 when Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen visited for a week and estimated there were 2,000 to 3,000 inhabitants on the island. This was an estimate, not a census, and archaeologists estimate the population may have been as high as 10,000 to 12,000 a few decades earlier. His party reported "remarkable, tall, stone figures, a good 30 feet in height", the island had rich soil and a good climate and "all the country was under cultivation". Fossil-pollen analysis shows that the main trees on the island had gone 72 years earlier in 1650. The civilization of Easter Island was long believed[by whom?] to have degenerated drastically during the century before the arrival of the Dutch, as a result of overpopulation, deforestation and exploitation of an extremely isolated island with limited natural resources. The Dutch reported that a fight broke out in which they killed ten or twelve islanders.
Jacob Roggeveen's expedition of 1722 gives us our first description of the islanders. They were "of all shades of colour, yellow, white and brown" and they distended their ear lobes so greatly with large disks that when they took them out they could "hitch the rim of the lobe over the top of the ear". Roggeveen also noted how some of the islanders were "generally large in stature". Islanders' tallness was also witnessed by the Spanish who visited the island in 1770, measuring heights of 196 and 199 cm.
On 13 June Roggeveen discovered the islands of Samoa.
Orange River (1779)
First systematic mapping of southern celestial hemisphere (1595–1597)
In 1595, Petrus Plancius, a key promoter to the East Indies expeditions, asked Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser, the chief pilot on the Hollandia, to make observations to fill in the blank area around the south celestial pole on European maps of the southern sky. Plancius had instructed Keyser to map the skies in the southern hemisphere, which were largely uncharted at the time. Keyser died in Java the following year but his catalogue of 135 stars, probably measured up with the help of explorer-colleague Frederick de Houtman, was delivered to Plancius, and then those stars were arranged into 12 new southern constellations, letting them be inscribed on a 35-cm celestial globe that was prepared in late 1597 (or early 1598). This globe was produced in collaboration with the Amsterdam cartographer Jodocus Hondius.
Plancius's constellations (mostly referring to animals and subjects described in natural history books and travellers' journals of his day) are Apis the Bee (later changed to Musca by Lacaille), Apus the Bird of Paradise, Chamaeleon, Dorado the Goldfish (or Swordfish), Grus the Crane, Hydrus the Small Water Snake, Indus the Indian, Pavo the Peacock, Phoenix, Triangulum Australe the Southern Triangle, Tucana the Toucan, and Volans the Flying Fish. The acceptance of these new constellations was assured when Johann Bayer, a German astronomer, included them in his Uranometria of 1603, the leading star atlas of its day. These 12 southern constellations are still recognized today by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Within the thirty-year period the Dutch West India Company controlled the northeast region of Brazil (1624–1654), the seven-year governorship of Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen was marked by an intense ethnographic exploration. To that end, Johan Maurits brought from Europe with him a team of artists and scientists who lived in Recife between 1637 and 1644: painter Albert Eckhout (specializing in the human figure), painter Frans Post (landscape painter), natural historian Georg Marcgraf (who also produced drawings and prints), and the physician Willem Piso. Together with Georg Marcgraf, and originally published by Joannes de Laet, Piso wrote the Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (1648), an important early western insight into Brazilian flora and fauna, also is the first scientific book about Brazil. Albert Eckhout, along with the landscape artist Frans Post, was one of two formally trained painters charged with recording the complexity of the local scene. The seven years Eckhout spent in Brazil constitute an invaluable contribution to the understanding of the European colonization of the New World. During his stay he created hundreds of oil sketches – mostly from life – of the local flora, fauna and people. These paintings by Eckhout and the landscapes by Post were among the Europeans' first, introductions to South America.
First ethnographic descriptions of New Netherland and North American Indians (1641–1653)
In 1641, Kiliaen van Rensselaer, the director of the Dutch West India Company, hired Adriaen van der Donck (1620–1655) to be his lawyer for his large, semi-independent estate, Rensselaerswijck, in New Netherland. Until 1645, van der Donck lived in the Upper Hudson River Valley, near Fort Orange (later Albany), where he learned about the Company's fur trade, the Mohawk and Mahican Indians who traded with Dutch, the agriculturist settlers, and the area's plants and animals. In 1649, after a serious disagreement with the new governor, Peter Stuyvesant, he returned to the Dutch Republic to petition Dutch government. In 1653, still in the Netherlands waiting for the government to decide his case, Adriaen van der Donck wrote a comprehensive description of the New Netherland's geography and native peoples based on material in his earlier Remonstrance. The book, Beschryvinge van Nieuw-Nederlant or A Description of New Netherland later published in 1655. This new book was well-crafted to the interests of his audience, consisting of an extensive description of American Indians and their customs, reports on the abundance of the area's agriculture and wealth of its natural resources.
Jan Weltevree (1595-?) is regarded as the first naturalized Westerner to Korea. Weltevree was a Dutch sailor who arrived on the shores of an island off Joseon’s west coast in 1627 in a shipwreck. The Joseon Dynasty at that time maintained an isolation policy, so the captured foreigner could not leave the country. Weltevree took the name Bak Yeon (also Pak Yeon). He became an important government official and aided King Hyojong with his keen knowledge of modern weaponry. His adventures were recorded in the report by Dutch East India Company accountant Hendrik Hamel.
Dutch seafarer and VOC's bookkeeper Hendrick Hamel was the first westerner to experience first-hand and write about Korea in Joseon era (1392–1897). In 1653, Hamel and his men were shipwrecked on Jeju island, and they remained captives in Korea for more than a decade. The Joseon dynasty was often referred to as the "Hermit Kingdom" for its harsh isolationism and closed borders. The shipwrecked Dutchmen were given some freedom of movement, but were forbidden to leave the country. After thirteen years (1653–1666), Hamel and seven of his crewmates managed to escape to the VOC trading mission at Dejima (an artificial island in the bay of Nagasaki, Japan), and from there to the Netherlands. In 1666, three different publishers published his report (Journal van de Ongeluckige Voyage van 't Jacht de Sperwer or An account of the shipwreck of a Dutch vessel on the coast of the isle of Quelpaert together with the description of the kingdom of Corea), describing their improbable adventure and giving the first detailed and accurate description of Korea to the western world.
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- Excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
- Excluding Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
- Excluding Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands.
- Excluding Northern Ireland. The Scottish parliament has passed a bill that allows same-sex marriages to take place from October 2014.
- Rybczynski, Witold (1987). Home: A Short History of an Idea. According to Witold Rybczynski’s Home: A Short History of an Idea, private spaces in households are a Dutch seventeenth-century invention, despite their commonplace nature today. He has argued that home as we now know it came from the Dutch canal house of the seventeenth century. That, he said, was the first time that people identified living quarters as being precisely the residence of a man, a woman and their children. “The feminization of the home in seventeenth century Holland was one of the most important events in the evolution of the domestic interior.” This evolution took place in part due to Dutch law being “explicit on contractual arrangements and on the civil rights of servants”. And, “for the first time, the person who was in intimate contact with housework was also in a position to influence the arrangement and disposition of the house.”
Rybczynski (2007) discusses why we live in houses in the first place: “To understand why we live in houses, it is necessary to go back several hundred years to Europe. Rural people have always lived in houses, but the typical medieval town dwelling, which combined living space and workplace, was occupied by a mixture of extended families, servants, and employees. This changed in seventeenth-century Holland. The Netherlands was Europe’s first republic, and the world’s first middle-class nation. Prosperity allowed extensive home ownership, republicanism discouraged the widespread use of servants, a love of children promoted the nuclear family, and Calvinism encouraged thrift and other domestic virtues. These circumstances, coupled with a particular affection for the private family home, brought about a cultural revolution... The idea of urban houses spread to the British Isles thanks to England's strong commercial and cultural links with the Netherlands.”
- Schama, Simon (1988). The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age
- Prak, Maarten (2005). The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century: The Golden Age, p. 2
- Tabor, Philip (2005). "Striking Home: The Telematic Assault on Identity". Published in Jonathan Hill, editor, Occupying Architecture: Between the Architect and the User. Philip Tabor states the contribution of 17th century Dutch houses as the foundation of houses today: “As far as the idea of the home is concerned, the home of the home is the Netherlands. This idea's crystallization might be dated to the first three-quarters of the seventeenth century, when the Dutch Netherlands amassed the unprecedented and unrivalled accumulation of capital, and emptied their purses into domestic space.”
According to Jonathan Hill (Immaterial Architecture, 2006), compared to the large scaled houses in England and the Renaissance, the 17th Century Dutch house was smaller, and was only inhabited by up to four to five members. This was due to their embracing "self-reliance", in contrast to the dependence on servants, and a design for a lifestyle centered on the family. It was important for the Dutch to separate work from domesticity, as the home became an escape and a place of comfort. This way of living and the home has been noted as highly similar to the contemporary family and their dwellings. House layouts also incorporated the idea of the corridor as well as the importance of function and privacy. By the end of the 17th Century, the house layout was soon transformed to become employment-free, enforcing these ideas for the future. This came in favour for the industrial revolution, gaining large-scale factory production and workers. The house layout of the Dutch and its functions are still relevant today.
- Perry, Marvin; Jacob, Margaret; Jacob, James; Chase, Myrna; Von Laue, Theodore (2009). Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society: Since 1400, p. 391-392
- Weber, Wolfgang (26 August 2002). "The end of consensus politics in the Netherlands (Part III: The historical roots of consensus politics)". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Molyneux, John (14 Feb 2004). "Rembrandt and revolution: Revolt that shaped a new kind of art". Socialist Worker. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- including the Dutch-speaking Southern Netherlands prior to 1585
- Taylor, Peter J. (2002). Dutch Hegemony and Contemporary Globalization. “The Dutch developed a social formula, which we have come to call modern capitalism, that proved to be transferable and ultimately deadly to all other social formulations.”
- Dunthorne, Hugh (2004). The Dutch Republic: That mother nation of liberty, in The Enlightenment World, M. Fitzpatrick, P. Jones, C. Knellwolf and I. McCalman eds. London: Routledge, pp. 87-103
- Usher, Robin (18 Jun 2005). "Mastering Holland". theage.com.au. Retrieved 20 Nov 2014.
- Hamowy, Ronald (2008). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, p. 130-131. “Although today we can easily find much to criticize about the Dutch Republic, it remains a crucial early experiment in toleration, limited government, and commercial capitalism... Dutch shipping, banking, commerce, and credit raised living standards for the rich and the poor alike and for the first time created that characteristically modern social phenomenon, a middle class... Libertarians value the Dutch Republic as a historical phenomenon not because it represented any sort of perfection, but above all because it demonstrated to several generations of intellectuals the practicality of allowing citizens greater liberties than were customarily accorded them, which in turn contributed to producing what we now know as classical liberalism.”
- Timmermann, Jim (16 November 2009). "COLUMN — 400 years of Dutch in America". The Holland Sentinel. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- Raico, Ralph (23 August 2010). "The Rise, Fall, and Renaissance of Classical Liberalism". Mises Daily. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
As the modern age began, rulers started to shake free of age-old customary constraints on their power. Royal absolutism became the main tendency of the time. The kings of Europe raised a novel claim: they declared that they were appointed by God to be the fountainhead of all life and activity in society. Accordingly, they sought to direct religion, culture, politics, and, especially, the economic life of the people. To support their burgeoning bureaucracies and constant wars, the rulers required ever-increasing quantities of taxes, which they tried to squeeze out of their subjects in ways that were contrary to precedent and custom.
The first people to revolt against this system were the Dutch. After a struggle that lasted for decades, they won their independence from Spain and proceeded to set up a unique polity. The United Provinces, as the radically decentralized state was called, had no king and little power at the federal level. Making money was the passion of these busy manufacturers and traders; they had no time for hunting heretics or suppressing new ideas. Thus de facto religious toleration and a wide-ranging freedom of the press came to prevail. Devoted to industry and trade, the Dutch established a legal system based solidly on the rule of law and the sanctity of property and contract. Taxes were low, and everyone worked. The Dutch "economic miracle" was the wonder of the age. Thoughtful observers throughout Europe noted the Dutch success with great interest.
- Shorto, Russell. "Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City (overview)". russellshorto.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
Liberalism has many meanings, but in its classical sense it is a philosophy based on individual freedom. History has long taught that our modern sensibility comes from the eighteenth century Enlightenment. In recent decades, historians have seen the Dutch Enlightenment of the seventeenth century as the root of the wider Enlightenment.
- The Dutch Republic was the birthplace of the first modern art market, successfully combining art and commerce together as we would recognise it today. Until the 17th century, commissioning works of art was largely the preserve of the church, monarchs and aristocrats. The emergence of a powerful and wealthy middle class in Holland, though, produced a radical change in patronage as the new Dutch bourgeoisie bought art. For the first time, the direction of art was shaped by relatively broadly-based demand rather than religious dogma or royal whim, and the result was the birth of a large-scale open (free) art market which today's dealers and collectors would find familiar.
- Jaffé, H. L. C. (1986). De Stijl 1917-1931: The Dutch Contribution to Modern Art
- Muller, Sheila D. (1997). Dutch Art: An Encyclopedia
- Graham-Dixon, Andrew (4 Apr 2013). "Interview: Andrew Graham-Dixon (Andrew Graham-Dixon talks about his new series The High Art of the Low Countries)". BBC Arts & Culture. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- Struik, Dirk J. (1981). The Land of Stevin and Huygens: A Sketch of Science and Technology in the Dutch Republic during the Golden Century (Studies in the History of Modern Science)
- Porter, Roy; Teich, Mikulas (1992). The Scientific Revolution in National Context
- Van Berkel, Klaas; Van Helden, Albert; Palm, Lodewijk (1998). A History of Science in the Netherlands: Survey, Themes and Reference
- Jorink, Eric (2010). Reading the Book of Nature in the Dutch Golden Age, 1575-1715
- Haven, Kendall (2005). 100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time
- Davids, Karel (2008). The Rise and Decline of Dutch Technological Leadership.Technology, Economy and Culture in the Netherlands, 1350-1800 (2 vols)
- Curley, Robert (2009). The Britannica Guide to Inventions That Changed the Modern World
- During their Golden Age, the Dutch were responsible for three major institutional innovations in economic and financial history. The first major innovation was the foundation of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the world's first publicly traded company, in 1602. As the first listed company (the first company to be ever listed on an official stock exchange), the VOC was the first company to actually issue stock and bonds to the general public. Considered by many experts to be the world's first truly (modern) multinational corporation, the VOC was also the first permanently organized limited-liability joint-stock company, with a permanent capital base. The Dutch merchants were the pioneers in laying the basis for modern corporate governance. The VOC is often considered as the precursor of modern corporations, if not the first truly modern corporation. It was the VOC that invented the idea of investing in the company rather than in a specific venture governed by the company. With its pioneering features such as corporate identity (first globally-recognized corporate logo), entrepreneurial spirit, legal personhood, transnational (multinational) operational structure, high stable profitability, permanent capital (fixed capital stock), freely transferable shares and tradable securities, separation of ownership and management, and limited liability for both shareholders and managers, the VOC is generally considered a major institutional breakthrough and the model for the large-scale business enterprises that now dominate the global economy.
The second major innovation was the creation of the world's first fully functioning financial market, with the birth of a fully fledged capital market. The Dutch were also the first to effectively use a fully-fledged capital market (including the bond market and the stock market) to finance companies (such as the VOC and the WIC). It was in seventeenth-century Amsterdam that the global securities market began to take on its modern form. In 1602 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) established an exchange in Amsterdam where VOC stock and bonds could be traded in a secondary market. The VOC undertook the world's first recorded IPO in the same year. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (Amsterdamsche Beurs in Dutch) was also the world's first fully-fledged stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they didn't develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fully fledged capital market: corporate shareholders. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) became the first company to offer shares of stock. The dividend averaged around 18% of capital over the course of the company's 200-year existence. Dutch investors were the first to trade their shares at a regular stock exchange. The buying and selling of these shares of stock in the VOC became the basis of the first stock market. It was in the Dutch Republic that the early techniques of stock-market manipulation were developed. The Dutch pioneered stock futures, stock options, short selling, bear raids, debt-equity swaps, and other speculative instruments. Amsterdam businessman Joseph de la Vega's Confusion of Confusions (1688) was the earliest book about stock trading.
The third major innovation was the establishment of the Bank of Amsterdam (Amsterdamsche Wisselbank in Dutch) in 1609, which led to the introduction of the concept of bank money. The Bank of Amsterdam was arguably the world's first central bank. The Wisselbank's innovations helped lay the foundations for the birth and development of the central banking system th