Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Modern creations, Italian ingenuity

Modern creations, Italian ingenuity
Renaissance Italy may be an age ago, but the spirit of Italian inventiveness and creativity is alive and well in the modern era. And for every elaborate Leonardo da Vinci sketch on papyrus paper, there are hundreds more creative Italian ideas just waiting to see the light of day. Here are a few modern creations with Italian ingenuity to thank.
The piano – It may have existed in various forms beforehand, but it was Bartolomeo Cristofali who created the version we know and love today.

The telephone – Its discovery may be credited to Alexander Graham Bell, but the designer of the first telephone was Italian Antionio Meucci.
Helicopter – Leonardo da Vinci famously sketched an idea for a helicopter in the early 16th Century, but it was Enrico Forlanini who first created a working one in 1877 – a steam-powered craft.

Nuclear Fission Reactor – Enrico Fermi helped turn nuclear power from theory to reality in 1942.
Microchip – Many inventors think big. But it was thinking small that led Federico Faggin, to fame in 1971 with the world’s first commercial microprocessor. Thinking small also led to the invention of Arduino boards in 2005, enabling students to create affordable electronic prototypes.

Plastic – probably one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century, Giulio Natta’s extensive work in polymers led to the creation of Moplen, one of the world’s first plastics, and won him the Nobel Prize for chemistry.