16th Century Timeline 1500 - 1599

16th Century - the technology, science, and inventions

Woman enjoying a beer in the sunset up a bay
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The 16th century was a time of unprecedented change, the very beginning of the modern era of science, a time of great exploration, religious and political urmoil, and extraordinary literature.

In 1543, Copernicus published his theory that the Earth was not the center of the universe, rather, the Earth and the other planets orbited around the Sun.

Called the Copernican Revolution, his theory forever changed astronomy, and ultimately changed all of science.

During 16th century, advancements were made in the theories of mathematics, cosmography, geography and natural history. 16th century inventions related to the fields of engineering, mining, navigation and the military arts were prominent.


  • Wheel-lock musket invented.
  • The first flush toilets appeared.


  • Leonardo DaVinci designs a horizontal water wheel.
  • Pocket watch invented by Peter Henlein.


  • Urs Graf invents etching.


  • A graphite pencil invented by Conrad Gesner.


  • Bottled beer invented in London.


  • Gerard Mercator invents Mercator map projection.


  • Englishmen, William Lee invents a knitting machine called the stocking frame.


  • Dutchmen, Zacharias Janssen invents the compound microscope.


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