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High Five

5 inventions you never would have thought are German

The power drill, thermos and wall plugs: They were all invented in Germany.

Artur Fischer is regarded as Germany's Gyro Gearloose, the famous inventor in the Donald Duck universe. More than 1,100 patents are in his name, making him one of the world's most productive inventors.

Fischer is not nearly as well-known as some of his inventions, however. Take the flashbulb for photo cameras: legend has it that in 1948, Artur Fischer wanted to take pictures of his newborn daughter, but the tiny attic room was too dark, and using a conventional flash too dangerous. So Fischer developed a new system, a photo flash synchronized with the camera shutter. His invention revolutionized photography. 

The inventor wanted to solve everyday problems. Wall plugs to hold screws were probably his most well-known invention - an idea he had during Germany's 1950s building boom. "Drilling problems hadn't yet been solved," Fischer said when asked why he even looked into the matter.

Previously, plugs were smooth, made of wood and shaped like cylinders - they couldn't bear much weight, and pictures constantly fell from the walls.

Fischer invented a plastic plug, in the shape still common today. "A plug that is to hold up in soft and hard material must have teeth," he argued.

Fischer has sold his product successfully, and almost unchanged, since 1958. The firm produces 14 million plugs per day. He also invented a plug to fix bone fractures.

Click through our High Five gallery to discover more unexpected German inventions.

 

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