List of French inventions and discoveries

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French inventions and discoveries are items, processes, techniques or discoveries which owe their existence either partially or entirely to a person born in France or citizen of France

Arts & Entertainment[edit]

1800s engraving French Roulette
A scene from A Trip to the Moon (1902) by Georges Méliès.

Chemistry[edit]

Appert canning jar
Neon sign

Physics, Mathematics & Measure[edit]

The Foucault pendulum in the Panthéon, Paris.
Optical pumping of a laser rod (bottom) with an arc lamp (top). Red: hot. Blue: cold. Green: light. Non-green arrows: water flow. Solid colors: metal. Light colors: fused quartz. Refs: [5], [6],[7]

Medicine & Biology[edit]

Modern stethoscope.
Insulin pump, showing an infusion set loaded into spring-loaded insertion device.

Transportation[edit]

A model of the Montgolfier brothers' balloon at the London Science Museum
Air France Concorde in 1977

Clothing[edit]

Polo shirt outline

Food and cooking[edit]

Denis Papin's steam digester
Baguette

Weapons and military[edit]

Early-19th century socket bayonet

Communication & Computers[edit]

A Chappe semaphore tower near Saverne, France
Minitel

Sports[edit]

The Olympic Rings, the symbol of the modern Olympic Games, inspired by Pierre de Coubertin

Miscellaneous[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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    Original text : Avant que de finir ce Mémoire, je crois devoir rendre compte d'un fait que je dois au hasard, & qui me parut d'abord ... singulier ... j'en avois rempli une fiole cylindrique, longue de cinq pouces, & d'un pouce de diamètre ou environ ; & l'ayant couverte d'un morceau de vessie mouillée & ficelée au col du vaisseau, je l'avois plongée dans un grand vase plein d'eau, afin d'être sûr qu'il ne rentrât aucun air dans l'esprit de vin. Au bout de cinq ou six heures, je fus tout surpris de voir que la fiole étoit plus pleine qu'au moment de son immersion, quoiqu'elle le fût alors autant que ses bords pouvoient le permettre ; la vessie qui lui servoit de bouchon, étoit devenue convexe & si tendue, qu’en la piquant avec une épingle, il en sortit un jet de liqueur qui s'éleva à plus d'un pied de hauteur.

    Translation : Before finishing this memoir, I think I should report an event that I owe to chance and which at first seemed to me ... strange ... I filled [with alcohol] a cylindrical vial, five inches long and about one inch in diameter; and [after] having covered it with piece of damp bladder [which was] tied to the neck of the vial, I immersed it in a large bowl full of water, in order to be sure that no air re-entered the alcohol. At the end of 5 or 6 hours, I was very surprised to see that the vial was fuller than at the moment of its immersion, although it [had been filled] as far as its sides would allow ; the bladder that served as its cap, bulged and had become so stretched that on pricking it with a needle, there came from it a jet of alcohol that rose more than a foot high.

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