Famous German Inventors & Discoverers

Have you ever wondered what would your wardrobe be sans your favourite pair of blue jeans? Miserably poor, isn’t it? Jeans has become such an inevitable part of the wardrobe that its existence has been taken for granted. When that blue denim fabric is out of sight, we do get down in the dumps feeling. Now imagine life without motorcycle or a bicycle. Definitely, childhood and teenage life wouldn’t be the same without the ride-on! What if those scary spectacles never went off the face of anyone who had weak eyesight? Wearing specs for fashion may be in but having the glasses always on the nose can be quite disgusting especially when you are dressed to kill. For all of the above and much more, you only need to thank the Germans. German inventors and discoverers have made the planet a better place to live in with their inventions and discoveries. Telescope, Bunsen burner, globe, thermometer, x-ray, printing press with movable type and Geiger counter are gifts by German inventors to the world. And that isn’t all, for Germans are responsible for much more. The MP3, accordion, air bags, lithography, carabiners, useful office supplies like ring binders, glue stick, hole punches and ink erasers were invented by the Germans. Check this segment to know more about famous German inventors and discoverers.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg.
5
Famous As: Printer
Birthdate: 1398 AD
Birthplace: Mainz
Died: February 3, 1468

Credit goes to Johannes Gutenberg for transforming book-making from manuscripts to the printed form as he introduced the movable-type printing press in the 15th century. The German printer and publisher’s invention contributed to mass communication during the Renaissance. He was not successful in his business and was exiled during the later years of his life.  He was also a goldsmith.

 2 Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein.
6
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ulm, Germany
Died: April 18, 1955
Deemed as the most influential physicist of the 20th century, the German-born physicist Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. Even his name is now synonymous with the term genius. The father of Modern Physics is credited with developing the theory of relativity and explaining the photoelectric effect. The latter won him the Nobel Prize.
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 3 Wilhelm Rontgen

Wilhelm Rontgen.
5
Famous As: Winner of First Nobel Prize in Physics
Birthdate: March 27, 1845
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lennep, Rhine Province, Germany
Died: February 10, 1923

Wilhelm Rontgen was a German physicist and mechanical engineer. He is best remembered for producing and detecting X-rays for which he was honored with the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. His discovery of X-rays remains one of the greatest achievements in the field of medical science.

 4 Wernher Von Braun

Wernher Von Braun.
4
Famous As: Aerospace Engineer
Birthdate: March 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wyrzysk, Poland
Died: June 16, 1977

German-born American aerospace engineer and space architect, Wernher Von Braun, worked in Nazi Germany's rocket development program as a young man. After World War II, he moved to the United States where he became a pioneer of rocket and space technology in the nation. In his later career, he became director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center.

 5 Gottlieb Daimler

Gottlieb Daimler.
4
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: March 17, 1834
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Schorndorf
Died: March 6, 1900

Gottlieb Daimler was a German engineer, industrialist, and industrial designer. A pioneer of automobile development and internal combustion engines, Daimler is credited with inventing the liquid petroleum-fueled engine. In 1978, Gottlieb Daimler was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

 6 Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal
3
Famous As: Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator, Inventor
Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anklam
Died: August 10, 1896

 7 Ferdinand von Zeppelin

Ferdinand von Zeppelin
3
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: July 8, 1838
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Died: March 8, 1917
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 8 John B. Goodenough

John B. Goodenough
4
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 25, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jena, Germany

John B. Goodenough is an American solid-state physicist and materials scientist. He is credited with developing the lithium-ion battery. In 2019, he became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize when he was honored with the prestigious award for his work on lithium-ion batteries. He is also a recipient of the Copley Medal and the National Medal of Science.

 9 Hermann von Helmholtz

Hermann von Helmholtz.
3
Famous As: Physicist and Physician
Birthdate: August 31, 1821
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Potsdam
Died: September 8, 1894

A descendant of Pennsylvania founder William Penn through his mother, Hermann von Helmholtz studied medicine, pushed by his father, in spite of being interested in the natural sciences. Best known for his law of conservation of energy, he coalesced the fields of medicine, physiology, math, and physics in his studies.

 10 Gunther von Hagens

Gunther von Hagens
3
Famous As: Anatomist, Sculptor, Inventor, University teacher
Birthdate: January 10, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Skalmierzyce, Greater Poland Voivodeship

 11 Robert Bosch

Robert Bosch
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Inventor, Artisan
Birthdate: September 23, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Felkirchen
Died: March 12, 1942

 12 Ralph H. Baer

Ralph H. Baer
3
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: March 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rodalben, Germany
Died: December 6, 2014

Born to a German Jewish family, Ralph H. Baer and his family escaped to New York later. He went from working in a factory to becoming an engineer. While working at Sanders Associates, he developed the idea of playing games on TV and later created the first video game console.

 13 Justus von Liebig

Justus von Liebig
3
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: May 12, 1803
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: April 18, 1873

 14 Werner von Siemens

Werner von Siemens.
3
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: December 13, 1816
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gehrden
Died: December 6, 1892

German electrical engineer Werner von Siemens is remembered as a pioneer of the telegraph industry. The founder of Siemens also inspired the name to the SI unit of electrical conductance. He was part of the Prussian army and had begun his chemistry experiments while in prison for a minor crime.

 15 Felix Wankel

Felix Wankel
2
Famous As: Inventor, Engineer, Politician
Birthdate: August 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lahr
Died: October 9, 1988

 16 Wilhelm Maybach

Wilhelm Maybach
3
Famous As: Engineer, Entrepreneur, Inventor
Birthdate: February 9, 1846
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Heilbronn
Died: December 29, 1929

 17 Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner

Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner
3
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 13, 1780
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hof, Germany
Died: March 24, 1849

 18 Charles Proteus Steinmetz

Charles Proteus Steinmetz
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Electrical engineer, Engineer, Scientist, Inventor
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

 19 Karl Benz

Karl Benz.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: November 25, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mühlburg, Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: April 4, 1929

Karl Benz was a German engine designer, automotive engineer, and entrepreneur.  He designed the Benz Patent Motorcar, for which he received a patent in 1886. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before venturing into developing motorcars. His Benz Patent Motorcar is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile. 

 20 Hugo Junkers

Hugo Junkers
3
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: February 3, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rheydt, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia
Died: February 3, 1935

 21 Gustave Whitehead

Gustave Whitehead
3
Famous As: Aerospace engineer, Engineer
Birthdate: January 1, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leutershausen
Died: October 10, 1927

 22 Hans Geiger

Hans Geiger
3
Famous As: Physicist, Inventor, Professor
Birthdate: September 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Died: September 24, 1945

 23 Peter Henlein

Peter Henlein
3
Famous As: watchmaker, inventor
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Nuremberg
Died: July 31, 1542

 24 Karl Ferdinand Braun

Karl Ferdinand Braun.
3
Famous As: German Physicist & Inventor
Birthdate: June 6, 1850
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fulda, Electorate of Hessen, Germany
Died: April 20, 1918

Karl Ferdinand Braun was a German electrical engineer, inventor, and physicist. He made significant contributions to the development of radio and TV technology. In 1909, he jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physics with Guglielmo Marconi for their contribution to the development of wireless telegraphy. His work led to the later development of radar, smart antennas, and MIMO. 

 25 Karl Drais

Karl Drais
3
Famous As: Inventor, Forester
Birthdate: April 29, 1785
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Karlsruhe
Died: December 10, 1851

 26 Hugo Schmeisser

Hugo Schmeisser
3
Famous As: Inventor, Engineer
Birthdate: September 24, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jena
Died: September 12, 1953

 27 Johann Philipp Reis

Johann Philipp Reis
3
Famous As: Physicist, Inventor
Birthdate: January 7, 1834
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gelnhausen
Died: January 14, 1874

 28 Hans von Ohain

Hans von Ohain
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: December 14, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dessau, Duchy of Anhalt, Germany
Died: March 13, 1998

 29 Hennig Brand

Hennig Brand
3
Famous As: Merchant
Birthdate: 1630 AD
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: 1710 AD

 30 Felix Hoffmann

Felix Hoffmann
2
Famous As: Chemist, Inventor, Pharmacist, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: January 21, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg
Died: February 8, 1946

 31 Ernst Ruska

Ernst Ruska.
4
Famous As: Inventor of Electron Microscope
Birthdate: December 25, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Heidelberg
Died: May 27, 1988

Ernst Ruska was a German physicist whose work in electron optics earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. His work led to the discovery of electron microscope, which plays a key role in the field of medical science. From 1957 to 1974, Ernst Ruska also worked at the Technical University of Berlin where he taught several students.

 32 Alfred Einstein

Alfred Einstein
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: April 18, 1955

 33 Wilhelm Schickard

Wilhelm Schickard
2
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: April 22, 1592
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Herrenberg, Germany
Died: October 24, 1635

 34 Gerd Binnig

Gerd Binnig.
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Nobel Prize-winning German physicist Gerd Binnig invented the scanning tunneling microscope, with fellow Nobel laureate Heinrich Rohrer. As a child, he devoted a lot of time to music, playing the violin and performing for an orchestra. He spent most of his scientific career with the IBM research team.

 35 Walter H. Schottky

Walter H. Schottky
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 23, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: March 4, 1976

 36 Karlheinz Brandenburg

Karlheinz Brandenburg
2
Famous As: Inventor, Engineer, Audio engineer, University teacher
Birthdate: June 20, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Erlangen

 37 Paul Gottlieb Nipkow

Paul Gottlieb Nipkow
2
Famous As: Technician
Birthdate: August 22, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lębork, Poland
Died: August 24, 1940

 38 Theobald Boehm

Theobald Boehm
2
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: April 9, 1794
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: November 27, 1881

 39 Alois Senefelder

Alois Senefelder
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 6, 1771
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: February 26, 1834

 40 Oskar Barnack

Oskar Barnack
4
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: November 1, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lynow, Germany
Died: January 16, 1936

Oskar Barnack was a German photographer and inventor. He is credited with building a device, which would later become the first successful 35mm still-camera. Barnack developed the camera, which was named Leica, at the Leitz Company where he was working as an engineer. Oskar Barnack is also credited with creating news images, which he made with his 35 mm camera.

 41 Friedrich Gottlob Koenig

Friedrich Gottlob Koenig
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1774
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: January 17, 1833

 42 Anton Flettner

Anton Flettner
2
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: November 1, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hattersheim am Main, Germany
Died: December 29, 1961

 43 Ottmar Mergenthaler

Ottmar Mergenthaler
2
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: May 11, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Died: October 28, 1899

 44 Claudius Dornier

Claudius Dornier
2
Famous As: Designer
Birthdate: May 14, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kempten, Germany
Died: December 5, 1969

 45 Christian Friedrich Schönbein

Christian Friedrich Schönbein
2
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 18, 1799
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Metzingen, Germany
Died: August 29, 1868

 46 Viktor Meyer

Viktor Meyer
1
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: September 8, 1848
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 8, 1897

 47 Ernst Stuhlinger

Ernst Stuhlinger
1
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 19, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Niederrimbach, Germany
Died: May 25, 2008

 48 Konrad Dannenberg

Konrad Dannenberg
1
Famous As: Rocket scientist
Birthdate: August 5, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Weißenfels, Germany
Died: February 16, 2009

 49 Berthold Schwarz

Berthold Schwarz
1
Famous As: Alchemist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Freiburg, Germany

 50 Johann Christoph Denner

Johann Christoph Denner
1
Famous As: Musical Instrument maker
Birthdate: August 13, 1655
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: April 20, 1707