Portuguese inventions

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The Portuguese Caravel, one of the naval creations made by the Portuguese[1][2]

There are some Portuguese inventions created by people born in Portugal (continent or overseas) or whose nationality is Portuguese, created mainly during the hegemony of their empire, but as well, during modernity. Relying on trade secret explains, in part, the difficulty often experienced by researchers[3] in documenting Portuguese inventions: these are not described in patent documents, or other documents. On the other hand, there are cases, like some types of swords, where the inventions themselves or the underlying documents were lost, having been destroyed, for example, during the French invasions. Note also that by virtue of such invasions and other reasons, there are a lot of documentation and objects of Portuguese origin in private collections or museums outside of Portugal.[citation needed] Some economic crises experienced by the Portuguese in their history also contributed to a lack of care in preserving its technological heritage.[citation needed]


The golden age of invention in Portugal, where they assumed a great importance, was the Age of Discovery. The contribution made by the Portuguese consisted mainly in the improvement of devices and techniques of navigation and cartography, such as the mariner's astrolabe and the chart of latitudes. On the field of military applications, the construction of cannons and before that, new types of swords.


More recently, the Portuguese have been interested in all areas of technology, from computers to medicine. Examples of this activity are present in everyday life of the Portuguese and it can be cited as an example the Via Verde, an automatic system for collecting tolls for vehicles, the Multibanco, a very specific automatic teller machine network with a multitude of functions ranging from bank transfers to the payment of tickets for shows,[4] or in the field of medicine, a cutting-edge treatment of epilepsy, the drug Zebinix by Bial Laboratories.[5]

Gallery of Portuguese Inventions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Caravela publisher=Ciência Viva". Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  2. ^ JOHN NOBLE WILFORD (June 4, 1985). "COLUMBUS'S SHIPS: A QUEST FOR FACS IN TIME FOR 1992". NYTimes. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Daehnhardt, Rainer (1997). Homens Espadas e Tomates. Rua Maria, 48-3º - 1170 Lisbon: Publicações Quipu. p. 255. ISBN 972-8408-01-3. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  4. ^ "Multibanco português é dos mais avançados do mundo". Sociedade Interbancaria de Serviços S.A., citing Portuguese newspaper Semanário Económico in its 2006-10-27 edition. "A qualidade do sistema português de máquinas Automated Teller Machine (ATM) é reconhecida em qualquer ponto do globo, não só pela modernidade dos equipamentos como pela enorme quantidade de funcionalidades disponíveis." (The quality of the Portuguese system is recognized anywhere in the globe, not only for the modernity of its equipments, but also for the enormous amount of functionalities available.). Retrieved 2006-12-19.  (Portuguese)[dead link]
  5. ^ Community register of medicinal products for human use: Exalief