33 Swiss inventions that will amaze you

This article is all about amazing Swiss inventions. Here you'll meet the country's inventive spirit. Innovation is a tradition here. Switzerland is the world champion in patents, making it the most inventive country in the world. Let us surprise you.

With 968 patent applications per million inhabitants, Switzerland leads the global ranking. This puts it well ahead of Sweden (488) and Denmark (454) in first place. The USA is in 15th place with 140 patent applications, after Japan (172) and France (161).

Medical technology is currently considered to be particularly research-intensive. In the second year of the recent pandemic, applications increased by a third, especially for inhalation devices along with numerous other medical devices. The European Patent Office (EPO) currently calls medical technology the "most important field of technology

Innovation creates prosperity and makes Switzerland what it is today. Behind every brilliant idea there is always a human being. In the following selection of Swiss discoveries, you will encounter the amazing achievements of brilliant minds. First, you will encounter four epoch-making Swiss inventions.

E = mc²

The most famous formula of all times. Its creator is Albert Einstein (1879-1955), "Pope of Physics", Swiss citizen and genius. You are undoubtedly familiar with the world-famous founder of the theory of relativity. What he thinks and writes still forms the basis of modern physics

But even geniuses are only human: Einstein was rejected at the first attempt at ETH Zurich because of his poor knowledge of French. But then he successfully graduated there as a teacher of mathematics and physics. During his time as an examiner at the patent office in Bern, he began to deal with fundamental questions of physics.

in 1905 he published five significant works in Switzerland, revolutionizing the natural sciences. in 1907, he put his theory of relativity into words in writing for the first time. The ingenious formula: E = mc² was born. Energy (E) is equal to the mass (m), times the speed of light (c) to the power of two (2)

It shows us, among other things, how space and time are connected.

The phenomenon Einstein constantly developed his grandiose work of thought. in 1921, the scientist received the Nobel Prize for Physics. By the way, did you know that he used his prize money for the divorce settlement? His new way of seeing things changed the world permanently and established his reputation as a modern icon of the 20th century.

The famous formula E=mc²...The famous formula E=mc²...
... comes from the famous physicist Albert Einstein.... comes from the famous physicist Albert Einstein.

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World Wide Web

Useful fire, agriculture, the wheel, timekeeping, writing, electricity, the engine, and the computer We reverently refer to them all as "epoch-making inventions" or "milestones in human history." The Internet, the "World Wide Web," definitely belongs in this category as well

The three letters WWW stand for a completely new world. As you read this article, you are in it right now. The Internet as you know it today was born in Switzerland at CERN near Geneva. This Swiss research institute is one of the world's most important centers for basic physics research

On the threshold of the new millennium, mankind entered a new era. For on November 13, 1990, CERN put the first website online via its own web server: info.cern.ch. in 1994, more data flowed over the WWW than over "Telnet" for the first time. Shortly afterwards, "FTP" lost its status as the most-used Internet service in favor of the World Wide Web.

in 2021, 1.88 billion websites were online under "www." Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, both at CERN, emerged in 1989 as the spiritual fathers and thus the inventors of our beloved three letters

We at Swiss Activities say to that: Thanks guys!

The Internet has its origins...The Internet has its origins...
... at CERN in Geneva.... at CERN in Geneva.


Friedrich Miescher (1844-1895) from Basel is considered the discoverer of "deoxyribonucleic acid" (DNA for short). Imagine this brave biochemist in his then ice-cold laboratory. The young researcher was not even bothered by the strong-smelling secondhand pus dressings he obtained fresh from the hospital for his work. in 1869, he isolated the molecule of life for the first time, thus creating the basis of today's genetics.

Originally, he wanted to decode proteins of white blood cells. By pure chance, he discovered a substance with different chemical properties. Because it occurs only in the cell nucleus, he named it nucleus (nucleus means nucleus in Latin). The discovery of the hereditary molecule was one of the greatest events in biology.

But he did not know that he was looking through his microscope at the hereditary substance: DNA. That tangle in the cell nucleus that sends out genetic signals. It took his successors another 75 years to do this

But now you know which Swiss discovered the substance that encodes our genetic information and thus life.

The DNA was first...The DNA was first...
... discovered in Switzerland.... discovered in Switzerland.

ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross)

In 1859, the Geneva businessman and humanitarian Henry Dunant (1828-1910) witnessed a battle near the northern Italian town of Solferino. six thousand soldiers lost their lives there, 40,000 were wounded. The misery was enormous and hit the devout Dunant right in the heart

The all-important sentence made the rounds: "Siamo tutti fratelli" - "We are all brothers"

To the best of their ability, the inhabitants of the nearby town of Castiglione cared for the victims of the battle. Dunant actively helped on the front line. Without regard to the person, whether friend or foe. A new idea that changed the face of the world

A year later, in his native Switzerland, he wrote his book on the horrors of war. His call for multinational aid societies was unmistakable. in 1863, Dunant presented his ideas to the "Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft" in Geneva. It was the birth of the "International Committee of the Red Cross", today's ICRC.

in 1901, together with the French pacifist Frédéric Passy, he received the first ever Nobel Peace Prize. The inventor of the Red Cross did not touch the prize money of around 100,000 Swiss francs throughout his life. Instead, he bequeathed it to charity.

Henri Dunant, the inventor of the ICRC....Henri Dunant, the inventor of the ICRC....
... was a Swiss.... was a Swiss.


A little girl from the Swiss mountains conquered the world and millions of children's hearts with her kindness. You probably know Heidi as an ambassador for our country. Since ever this world bestseller decorates the bookshelves of whole generations.

Translated into over 50 languages and filmed several times, Heidi embodies those timeless values. These are joie de vivre, freedom, friendship and love. Its inventor was the Swiss author of books for young people and children Johanna Spyri (1827-1901).

Love of home plays a major role in Heidi. The author created the famous "Dörfli" as the hometown of her heroine. In the municipality of Maienfeld near Bad Ragaz in the Canton of Graubünden you can visit the Heidi village in the flesh.

It was there that Spyri was inspired to write her story, when women were not allowed to do anything except have children. The internationally successful writer Johanna Spyri therefore also stands for a new era of awakening. Heidi is definitely a cult.

(Foto: Schweiz Tourismus Gaudenz Danuser)(Foto: Schweiz Tourismus Gaudenz Danuser)
(Foto: Schweiz Tourismus Gaudenz Danuser)(Foto: Schweiz Tourismus Gaudenz Danuser)

Swiss chocolate

Mountains, Heidi and also "Schoggi" are inseparably linked with the Swiss image. This is despite the fact that cocoa beans do not grow in the Alpine country. In the 19th century, innovative inventive minds made Swiss chocolate what it is today: the epitome of sweet excellence.

Throughout Switzerland, chocolate pioneers founded their melodious companies: Favarger in Geneva in 1826, Kohler in Lausanne in 1830 (father of hazelnut chocolate), Sprüngli in Zurich in 1845, Maestrani in Lucerne/St. Gallen in 1852, Munz in Flawil in 1874, and Jean Tobler in Bern in 1899, to name a few

The following four, however, are definitely worth mentioning in more detail:

François-Louis Cailler (1796-1852), father of the chocolate bar, opened the first mechanized chocolate factory near Vevey in 1819 with the oldest Swiss chocolate brand still in existence. Son-in-law Daniel Peter (1836-1919) followed him as the inventor of milk chocolate, adding condensed milk to cocoa in 1875. Philippe Suchard (1797-1884) invented the "mélangeur" near Neuchâtel for mixing sugar and cocoa powder. To this day in must in any Swiss chocolate production.

Theodor Tobler (1876-1941) followed father Jean and launched the Swiss landmark Toblerone in 1908. in 1970, the Matterhorn made it onto the packaging. The sweet triangle is a mixture of the Italian sweet "Torrone" (egg white, nuts, honey, sugar) and the nougat chocolate. As a patron with a social conscience and a declared pacifist who also supported women's suffrage and maternity leave, the Toblerone inventor was ahead of his time.

Ragusa and Lindt are just two...Ragusa and Lindt are just two...
... of many Swiss chocolate brands.... of many Swiss chocolate brands.

From Swatch to Longines Feuille d'Or

The Swiss Watch is as much a part of Switzerland as Heidi and the mountains. As with chocolate, a number of innovative pioneers made the Swiss watch number one worldwide. In this article, you'll learn more about two prominent trailblazers.

Are you among those who were able to afford a watch for the first time out of their own pocket money in the early 80s? Nicolas Hayek (1928-2010), founder of the Swatch Group, made it possible in 1983 and saved the Swiss watch industry, which was suffering from cheap imports at the time, from extinction. The revolutionary plastic watch consists of two-thirds fewer parts and is manufactured by robots

The new timepiece for everyone is original and colorful. Good marketing made the "Swatch" a fashion accessory and cult collector's item worldwide. For the sake of innovation, Hayek brought the much-hyped watch concept of two young Swiss engineers out of obscurity. It is Elmar Mock (1954) and his co-inventor Jacques Müller to whom we owe this ticking piece of Switzerland.

Before that, the Swiss watchmaking nation sent a memorable message to the dreaded Japanese competition. After a gigantic development effort, Longines launched the world's thinnest quartz watch in 1979 with its Feuille d'Or. With a case height of 1.98 mm, the elegant timepiece permanently undermined the previous Japanese world record. As so often, innovation made the difference.

Switzerland has a long history in watchmaking.Switzerland has a long history in watchmaking.
(Photo: Switzerland Tourism)(Photo: Switzerland Tourism)

From the artery clamp to the artificial hip joint

At the end of the 19th century, the Swiss surgeon Theodor Kocher (1841-1917) developed the artery clamp in Bern. Even today, the "Kocher clamp" prevents bleeding to death on the operating table

His tremendous inventiveness developed a number of other surgical instruments, procedures and therapies. Kocher is considered a pioneer of head surgery and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1909.

Switzerland's pioneering role in medical technology is also evident in the case of orthopedist Maurice Edmond Müller (1918-2009) from Bern. As an entrepreneur and pioneer of osteosynthesis, he invented and marketed the artificial hip joint. You later know it as the "Sulzer joint".

The profits went into research. Prof. Müller combined at least twelve doctoral and honorary doctorate degrees, but also sometimes allowed himself to be called a "bone plumber". Throughout his life, the Swiss philanthropist saw himself as a "servant of humanity.

The Swiss Army Knife

The winged expression from French "a real Swiss Army Knife" describes a versatile and reliable person. This also applies to our national symbol. In this cult tool you will find a lot of what makes our country.

in 1884, Swiss cutler Karl Elsener founded what would later become Victorinox in the canton of Schwyz, creating much-needed jobs. in 1897, the innovative entrepreneur invented the pocket knife as you know it. With it, he landed a global hit that still stands for Swiss quality and inventive spirit today.

Elsener embodied those virtues that are embodied in his "pocket knife". Those values that also make up his successful company. Victorinox is considered solid, consistent and innovative. Just like Switzerland.

The world famous Swiss Army Knife...The world famous Swiss Army Knife...
... comes from the Swiss company Victorinox.... comes from the Swiss company Victorinox.

Paracelsus stone of immortality

If you are interested in naturopathy, then Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, or Paracelsus for short (1493-1541), is the right person for you. He studied medicine at the age of 16 and earned his living as an itinerant physician. Soon the Swiss naturalist recognized the anesthetic effect of opium.

He dissolved the drug in alcohol and administered the tincture to his patients and even infants. As "laudanum" it became the aspirin of the 15th century and spread throughout Europe as a panacea. Hence sometimes the resonant name: stone of immortality.

Paracelsus focused on new healing methods. He based his therapy holistically on the nature of the disease and broke with the stubborn textbook treatment. Maybe that's why you know him as the forefather of today's naturopathy.


In search of circulatory stimulant, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann (1906-2008) investigated a cereal fungus. His experiments produced lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938. However, the inventor did not immediately recognize its effect.

It was not until 1943 that he realized it, whereupon he ventured a self-experiment in the Basel laboratory. In Hofmann's autobiography, you will read that he then blissfully rode home on his bicycle

So it was the first LSD trip in history.

An entire era fell under the psychedelic spell after that. The flower power movement, the Beatles with their world hit Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds... The hallucinogen was omnipresent. Regardless of the LSD ban from the 60s, the inventor consumed his substance until old age.

Milk powder

Wealthy women didn't want and working class women couldn't breastfeed. In parts of Europe in the 19th century, you encountered only 15% breastfed babies. You looked in vain for suitable baby food, poor hygiene and lead poisoning from canned food were widespread. Infant mortality was an appalling 25%

So it was only natural that Henri Nestlé (1814-1890) should advertise his milk powder as a "substitute for mother's milk." "My infant powder contains above all the best milk, sugar and bread," Nestlé said in the advertising campaign for his new invention.

The full-blooded entrepreneur consciously used the knowledge gained from previous breast milk research. in 1867, he developed his milk powder to product maturity. On April 9, 1872, he patented its manufacture. The "infant cereal" became an export hit.

We know Nestlé as a top international company in the food sector. From the very beginning, the advent of powdered milk helped to reduce infant mortality. Even today, you encounter this saving elixir of life from Switzerland in famines and wars.

Did you know that the milk powder...Did you know that the milk powder...
... first appeared on the market in 1872?... first appeared on the market in 1872?

From Nescafé to Nespresso

Stock market crash in 1929: Brazil sits on mountains of unsold coffee beans. The Swiss company Nestlé is supposed to help. But a water-soluble granulate has yet to be invented

Chemist Max Morgenthaler (1901-1980) was entrusted with the task and even conducted research in his private kitchen. in 1938, he came up with his brilliant idea: carbohydrates gave the broth its authentic coffee flavor. Now you know where your Nescafé comes from.

You have an observant Italian traveler to thank for Nespresso. Aerodynamics engineer Éric Favre watched a savvy barista and understood: "Fragrances and flavors become more intense when they come into contact with oxygen."

After years, his experiments bore fruit. In the 1980s, for example, Favre invented the closed coffee capsule. With it, Nestlé landed a Swiss global hit with Nespresso

"What else?"

I wonder if George Clooney knows...I wonder if George Clooney knows...
... that Nespresso capsules originate in Switzerland?... that Nespresso capsules originate in Switzerland?


You may know Ovomaltine as a traditional Swiss drink. In over 100 countries, the bright orange Ovo label stands for power and health. The milk you add to it rounds out the wholesome nutrition.

The story of Ovaltine began in Bern in 1865. Malnutrition and undernourishment were devastating at the time. The Swiss pharmacist Dr. Georg Wander (1841-1897) was looking for a solution. In the process, he came across the time-honored natural product malt with its healing, vital ingredients

Wander developed a restorative product to which many infants and sick people subsequently owed their lives. His son refined and enriched his father's power nutrient. The result was today's Ovomaltine. Originally a medicine for the weak, today a mobile powerhouse for athletes.

Belongs in every Swiss household.Belongs in every Swiss household.
The legendary Ovomaltine (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Wander)The legendary Ovomaltine (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Wander)

From processed cheese to ready-made fondue

You appreciate fast food? Then you also know: no Gerber, no cheeseburger. Swiss cheese maker Walter Gerber (1879-1942) invented processed cheese in 1913 after years of research

Because his cheese became inedible when exported to warm countries at the time, the innovative entrepreneur set to work in 1905. His goal: to preserve cheese without refrigeration. The groundbreaking result: prefabricated cheese slices with a low melting point, just the way you love them. A culinary revolution.

in 1960, the Gerber company definitely set a monument to itself with the first ready-made fondue. From then on, your fondue became "almost" too. Gerber belongs to Switzerland like the cheeseburger belongs to fast food.

From Aromat to Maggi

You've probably seen the little red man on the yellow Aromat can somewhere before

Even top chefs use the all-rounder. In 1945, the Swiss Walter Obrist invented the miracle spice for Knorr near Schaffhausen. Just a short time later, Aromat was known to most people. Everything was automated, including seasoning. Today, the yellow spice tin belongs in every Swiss household.

Often, crises also harbor opportunities. It was the same with the Swiss miller Julius Maggi (1846-1912), who got caught up in the milling crisis that was prevailing throughout Europe at the time. Out of necessity, he invented his world-famous bouillon extract in 1886 and advanced to become a successful entrepreneur

He always dreamed of making healthy food possible for everyone. This dream lives on.

Known worldwide and invented in SwitzerlandKnown worldwide and invented in Switzerland
Aromat and Maggi simply belong in every kitchenAromat and Maggi simply belong in every kitchen


"Who invented it?"

You probably know this advertising slogan. The Swiss master baker Emil Richterich (1901-1973) invented it. He invented the world-famous Ricola herb candy, unmistakable for its square shape. The absolute epitome of Swissness.

As a nature lover, he was overwhelmed by the diversity of Swiss herbs: "You'd have to make something clever out of that," he thought. in 1930, he founded Richterich & Co, a confectionery factory near Basel. There he could often be found in his "witches' kitchen" experimenting with various herbal recipes.

in 1940, the 13-herb mixture was invented. "It was the birth of the Ricola original, the Swiss herbal sugar," according to the company itself. Today, Ricola exports its healthy sweet tooth all over the world. And with it, a little piece of Switzerland.

Ricola works wonders for a scratchy throat.Ricola works wonders for a scratchy throat.
Ricola Garden (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Ricola Garden (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)


Doctor Maximilian Oskar Bircher Benner (1867-1939), a noble name for the Swiss inventor of just such a breakfast. Rich in vitamins and everything else you need for a successful start to the day.

On a mountain hike in 1900, a dairymaid unsuspectingly served him her müsli-like everyday dish. Enthusiastic, the nutritionist created his own recipe. He was interested in a rich raw food dish for therapeutic purposes. The result became the epitome of healthy nutrition.

Because a suitable treatment was lacking, the physician prescribed his newly invented "apple diet food" to a patient. With the spectacular success of the therapy, this food also became established in everyday life. Not least because of its good effect against the well-known sailor's disease scurvy.

Soon it was affectionately renamed after its inventor: "Birchermüesli". A Swiss classic.


You want to go out for dinner with friends and you organize. A grueling undertaking to unite everyone. That's when you need help and find Doodle.

Just download the Swiss scheduling app and your organizing stress is over

You have Swiss computer scientist Myke Näf to thank for that. He developed the program in 2003 and, together with Paul Seviç, founded what is now Doodle AG in 2007. A Swiss flagship start-up was born and grew rapidly

On the web you can currently read: 30 million users every month, 78,000 appointments a day and currently 70,000 companies are doodling.

Maxon Martian motors

A helicopter landing or a drone flight is no longer a sensation. But when the solar-powered drone flies over Mars and it finds hardly any atmosphere there, it is. Read and marvel.

in 2021, NASA's pioneering flight of the "Ingenuity" over the Red Planet took place. The noble drone weighing 1800 grams was powered by 6 thumbnail-sized electric motors from Switzerland. These futuristic little things come from the Obwalden-based company Maxon.

This high-tech house already made history in 1997 with the Mars rover "Sojourner", also driven by Maxon precision motors. Maxon had been producing the smallest, highly efficient drive motors since 1961. The milestone came in 1970 with a patent for a DC motor without an iron core

A revolution leading to the stars.

Switzerland is also involved in the exploration of Mars.Switzerland is also involved in the exploration of Mars.
(Photo: Unsplash)(Photo: Unsplash)

Store clean energy

What to do when renewable energy sun or wind stops? Take precautions and store the clean power. Without batteries or accumulators.

The Swiss are bringing an ecological storage method to market. In a high tower, cranes lift composite blocks weighing tons. The whole thing uses renewable energy and clever control software. When needed, you generate electricity by lowering the blocks.

You have constant baseload power with no loss. This sustainable alternative uses the basics of pumped storage power plants. But in a small space, clean, cheaper and everywhere.

The start-up "Energy Vault" is currently launching this storage revolution. Recently, the World Economic Forum named the Ticino-based company a "technology pioneer." A prototype is already to be sent to India after testing.

Solar Impulse II (Si2)

His grandfather flew into the stratosphere, his father dived into the ocean depths and son Bertrand circled the world in a solar airplane. Surely you know the Piccard dynasty of adventurers.

Swiss-born Bertrand Piccard (1958) wanted to introduce the world to environmentally friendly flying. He succeeded in 2015/16 with his round-the-world flight in the solar plane Si2. Powered by 17,428 solar cells, four battery motors at 100 km/h brought the machine to 8500 meters. The world tour of the flying high-tech laboratory was a success in stages

It flew for several days without interruption. Swiss engineer and fighter pilot André Borschberg (1952) also played a major role. Since Si2, clean flying is no longer science fiction

It is possible. Piccard has proven it.

Fully automated coffee machine

You press the button while still drowsy and freshly ground coffee fills your cup. Your hero is Arthur Schmed, an engineer from Zurich. He was already talking about fully automatic coffee machines in the 70s

in 1985, the Swiss appliance manufacturer "Solis" launched the fully automatic coffee machine. Solis patron Willy Nauer (1941) was allowed to sell the first miracle machines. He had financed Schmed's development in the years before

The machine was manufactured by the "Saeco" company. Engineer Schmed and tinkerer Sergio Zappella had previously worked together on Schmed's idea. in 1981, they founded Saeco, sealing its beginning in a Zurich garage.

Today, millions of coffee connoisseurs worldwide thank this great Swiss invention.

Bobsled track

The speeding Briton Wilson Smith braked his homemade sled on the canton road in St. Moritz with a garden rake. The forerunner of the skeleton was invented. Later, the Swiss Christian Mathis (1861-1925) developed the forefather of today's bobsled, which is much faster than skeleton. However, this required a suitable track.

The clever hotelier Caspar Badrutt (1848-1904) built an ice track for this purpose. in 1904, the world's first bobsleigh track led from St. Moritz to Celerina. As early as 1928, this natural ice track was the scene of an Olympic Games

Badrutt's work is the oldest bob run in the world still in use. It bears the venerable name: "Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz - Celerina" (OBR). Meanwhile, the only ice sports track in Switzerland.

The first ice channel was created in the Engadine (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)The first ice channel was created in the Engadine (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)
in 1982 it became the scene of an Olympiad.in 1982 it became the scene of an Olympiad.

Ski lift

Do you love skiing? Then this is your story

Christmas 1934 marked the dawn of a new era for skiing enthusiasts. The world's first ski lift opened in the Swiss winter sports resort of Davos. Its J-frame carried one guest at a time

Gone is the sweat, uphill the 270-meter route was easy. A day ticket cost 50 centimes and was very popular. It was invented by Ernst Gustav Constam (1888-1965) from Zurich. The inventive engineer patented his ski lift in 1930

The lift went twice as fast in the second ski season. Thanks to the T-bar, the one-man lift became a two-man lift. Davos experienced a rapid upswing and was considered a pioneer in winter sports.

The ski lift: what a practical invention (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)The ski lift: what a practical invention (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)
He has been enabling us to ski since 1934He has been enabling us to ski since 1934


The woodworker Christian Brühlmann (1872-1953) contracted polio at a young age. Despite his walking impairment, he made good progress with his bicycle in the summer, but in the winter it was difficult. So you think to yourself: It would be nice if the bike were also suitable for snow.

So in 1911, the creative man from Grindelwald tinkered with his first snow bike. The result was a maneuverable wooden frame that you steer sitting down like a bicycle, but with runners instead of wheels. The people in the village christened it "Velogemel" (bicycle sled) in their own dialect. In the same year, Brühlmann patented his unique Grindelwald product.

Brühlmann's business could hardly keep up with the brisk demand. Doctors, letter carriers, schoolchildren and many more succumbed to the Velogemel fever. Even today, the skid-bike from Grindelwald enjoys growing popularity

Let yourself be infected by outstanding riders at the annual Velogemel World Championships in Grindelwald.

The Velogemel is a Grindelwald invention (Photo: Jungfrau Region Grindelwald)The Velogemel is a Grindelwald invention (Photo: Jungfrau Region Grindelwald)
(Photo: Jungfrau Region Grindelwald)(Photo: Jungfrau Region Grindelwald)


Martin Winterhalter (1889-1961) was an unruly and at the same time incredibly inventive child. Later on, his money wastage put him under enormous pressure to invent. This became the good fortune of us all.

in 1925, the genius launched the modern zipper made of ribs and grooves under the "Riri" brand. A new development of the predecessor principle of balls and jaws. The new closure system could be mass produced, became a huge success and made Winterhalter rich.

Over the years, international low-cost competition broke into the business. Today, Riri produces fine zippers for well-known brands at his headquarters in Ticino. Disinherited from his siblings, Winterhalter spent his last 10 years penniless in a mental institution

A sad end to a glorious story.

Wie praktisch ist er doch, der Reissverschluss.Wie praktisch ist er doch, der Reissverschluss.
Wusstest du, dass auch er eine Schweizer Erfindung ist?Wusstest du, dass auch er eine Schweizer Erfindung ist?

Velcro fastener

Kids know Velcro because tying sneakers is a thing of the past. From fashion to NASA, these ingenious fasteners are used everywhere. During the 1969 Apollo space mission, astronauts used Velcro to combat weightlessness.

Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral (1907-1990) invented Velcro in the 1940s. The occasion was a hunting trip. Countless beads of tiny barbs stuck to the fur of his dog "Milka". They were the fruits of the wild burdock

He applied this natural principle to his invention. The VELCRO® brand became the face of this groundbreaking closure system. At the time, Mestral promoted it as a "zipper without a zipper"

Today, Velcro sticks to your everyday like a limpet.


How did asphalt get on the road? A Valais doctor, inventor and adventurer laid the foundation. Here you can learn the story of Ernest Guglielminetti (1862-1943) alias "Dr. Tar".

in 1902, Prince Albert I of Monaco approached the Swiss. He said that the large amount of dust from the new gravel car roads demanded a solution. The doctor remembered the tar-plastered military hospital floors from his service in Sumatra.

This should also be possible with roads, he thought, and in March 1902 he successfully tarred 40 meters of gravel. Soon Monaco was dust-free. The brilliant idea is still valid today, albeit with bitumen. However, Guglielminetti did not patent any of his inventions throughout his life.

The cornerstone for the invention of the alphalt...The cornerstone for the invention of the alphalt...
... put say and write a doctor.... put say and write a doctor.


Like so many inventions, we use cellophane without thinking twice about it. Yet it took Swiss textile engineer Jacques E. Brandenberger (1872-1954) 12 busy years of research for cellophane.

His perseverance paid off. in 1908, he commercialized his invention and conquered the world market. He started it all with a defeat, failing in his attempt to develop water-repellent textiles. The fabric became unusable and the sprayed-on plastic coating came off again as a fine film.

This plastic skin gave Brandenberger the decisive brainwave. He perfected the future cellophane and developed its mechanical production. Today, it is hard to imagine a kitchen without this transparent aid.

Swiss design: from Helvetica to the SIGG bottle

Swiss design is businesslike and shapely. It stands for clear lines as well as quality. You can see it clearly in the numerous Swiss designer products. Here are two examples.

in 1957, the graphic designer and typographer Max Miedinger (1910-1980) designed the timeless standard typeface Helvetica in Basel. Its functional elegance makes it an icon of Swiss design. Today it is one of the most widely used typefaces of our time.

But there are more elegantly designed Swiss inventions. World celebrities from Cameron Diaz to Roger Federer to Greta Thunberg swear by the eternally beautiful Sigg designer bottle. Currently a trendy and ecological lifestyle accessory. The Original Swiss Bottle even made it to the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA).

KABA reversible key

Fritz Schori (1890-1945), a precision mechanic from Biel, revolutionized locking technology in 1934. For his Zurich employer, he patented a key that could be used on both sides. More precisely, its lock: "Security lock with flat mortise key" was the memorable name of the federal patent

The cylinder lock with Yale bit key used until then had had its day. You can insert the new reversible key into the lock any way you want and have more security

The former "Schlosserei für Kassen- und Panzerschränke Bauer", popularly known as "Kassabauer", became KABA or today's "Dormakaba Group". It is the world's leading supplier of access solutions. So you always carry a remarkable Swiss invention on your key ring.

It simply belongs on a hike: the Sigg bottleIt simply belongs on a hike: the Sigg bottle
Do you also carry a piece of Swiss invention history on your key ring?Do you also carry a piece of Swiss invention history on your key ring?

WC duck

What the Americans have in Donald Duck, the Swiss have in WC duck. This duck was born in 1980 in Dällikon, Zurich. Its mission: cleanliness even where you can't get to it.

in 1951, housewife Maria Düring-Keller developed a highly effective bathroom descaler in her own vault. Dressed in Sunday best, she went out to catch customers. With charm and hat, she demonstrated the decalcifying miracle at the customer's toilet.

Her "Durgol" became a sales hit and gave birth to Düring AG. Son Walter took over and invented our duck in 1980: "I looked at my sketches, suddenly it clicked - a duck neck". The duck content came from wife Vera, also a druggist

A real Swiss family project.

"Cleanliness even where you can't reach.""Cleanliness even where you can't reach."
This is the motto of the WC duck.This is the motto of the WC duck.

It is an ingenious cycle. Innovation generates prosperity and education; conversely, prosperity and education promote innovation. It is the Swiss way

Often our inventive spirit produces great things. Things that change our world and your life positively to this day. Looking at these Swiss inventions gives us hope for the future.

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