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Life-Changing Hungarian Inventions

Some Game-Changing Inventions That You Probably Didn’t Know Were Hungarian

By Daniel TothPublished 3 years ago 4 min read

Despite Hungary’s small population, the country has one of the most Nobel Prize winners per capita in the world. These scientists have given the world discoveries and inventions which make our everyday life easier.

When we turn on the computer and use Word and Excel, take vitamin C, or just watching TV, we don’t think about who invented it. Hence, I have collected some Hungarian inventions that are still used by people all over the world today – yes, you are probably using one right now.

Vitamin C

As far as our health is concerned, we can all be grateful for Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian biochemist who was discovered our beloved Vitamin C. Originally, he was looking for an antidote for scurvy patients, which is why it was named ascorbic acid. Nowadays, a lot of people take Vitamin C tablets on a daily basis.

Rubik’s cube

I think a lot of people played or saw a Rubik’s Cube – also known as Magic Cube – in their life, which is still a popular game worldwide. Today, many people watch videos to learn the fastest techniques they can use to win a competition or the World Cup or just to learn how to use it as it’s not as easy as it seems. Unfortunately, I still belong to the generation that wrapped and twisted the cube for hours, and when they couldn’t solve it, they rearranged the stickers!

Its creator is the Hungarian architect and inventor, Ernő Rubik. An interesting fact is that it was originally designed to illustrate dimensional movements.

By Fletcher Pride on Unsplash

Safety match

Although it is now used relatively less frequently due to lighters and stoves, the invention itself was a very important milestone in the history of the use of fire. Thanks to János Irinyi, the developer of the noiseless/safety match, we can no longer ignite matches anywhere. Before his invention in 1836, matches lighting up in pockets often caused a lot of problem. Moreover, it solved the problem of not exploding. Can you imagine still fearing for your life every time you want to use a match?

Fire Extinguisher

In the past, dousing the fire with water usually caused more damage than the fire itself. The dry fire extinguishing process – in which the extinguishing agent was powder or foam instead of water, to reduce fire damage – is thanks to the Hungarian firefighter and engineer, Kornél Szilvay.

Modern Computer

You probably haven’t heard about János Neumann, but you might be reading this article on his invention. He was a pioneer in many fields such as physics, mathematics, statistics, and computing and built a strong framework for quantum mechanics. But probably one of his most notable inventions is the one we are all using: Computer. He started his studies in Budapest, but when he made his world-famous invention in 1952, he was already a professor in the United States

Word and Excel

You would like to write a letter, a memo, make a chart, spreadsheet, calculation or just to record some data? Programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, created by Charles Simonyi could help you out. The Hungarian-born American was one of the lead software architects of the world's largest software company, Microsoft. Throughout the years, he helped designing Windows and developed Word and Excel.

Telephone Exchange

We all know how important is for a business to connect with its customers and how difficult it would be to operate without a reliable phone system. After the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, Tivadar Puskás came up with the idea of a telephone exchange – or central office – to make numerous calls at the same time and to connect them. He sought out Edison to create this machine base on Edison’s telegraph exchange.

Colored TV

Few inventions are as widely known as the television. Imagine a world without it. You can’t? Well, you’re not alone.

The creator of color television is Peter Carl Goldmark, a Hungarian-born American engineer-physicist. He was born in Hungary but later moved to the US. He developed the color technology for the television on September 3, 1940, while working at CBS.


Holography is a method based on the wave of light that produces a perfect three-dimensional image of the structure of an object. It was invented by a Hungarian gentleman Gábor Dénes in 1947. The invention of this revolutionized image capture was able to make a 2-dimensional projection into three-dimensional.

Carbonated/Sparkling water

The method of carbonation was discovered accidentally by a British pastor, Joseph Priestley, in the 18th century; however, the industrial production is due to the Hungarian engineer and physicist Ányos Jedlik. In the 19th century, he created his soda-making machine, which was capable of producing artificially carbonated water in bigger amounts – at this time, it was called a “sour water device”.

Photo by: manfredrichter


Okay, probably a lot of you are puckering your eyebrows as it was invented by Thomas Edison. However, Edison's invention needed to be further developed because his bulb provided dim lighting and had an extremely short lifespan. To overcome these minor problems, Franjo Hanaman has developed a lamp in the early 20th century that lasted longer and was much brighter than its predecessors. Later, Imre Bródy has developed a lightbulb which was the most economic bulb in the age and was one of the biggest export products of Hungary for decades.

Chess-playing machine

Okay, I know what you think... this invention is life-changing only for those who don’t have friends and want to play chess alone. Or for Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin as they both got beaten by this machine.

Farkas Kempelen was a genius of his age as he made a steam engine, a typewriter for a blind girl, and the chess-playing machine. This indispensable invention is also called ‘The Turk’, as it gives an illusion to the challengers that they were playing against the Turks – they were a huge threat to Europe for decades.

Photo by: Wikipedia


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About the Creator

Daniel Toth

Amateur Writer | World Traveler | Animal Lover | Foodie

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