List of French Inventions

A list of famous French inventions and innovations. Ancient cultures have long been known to discover, create, and produce new and useful tools, medicines, and foods, and ancient French inventions are among the most popular discoveries still used today. This list of French discoveries and creations includes items the oboe, the metric system, and the hot air balloon, as well as modern French inventions like the polo shirt and the modern raincoat.

Over the years, historical inventions from France have helped move society forward, enabling humans to hunt, eat, and travel in much more efficient ways. Ancient France inventions have also allowed people to learn more about the world, keep safe from wildlife, and stay healthier longer.

These inventions by French inventors are labeled by era from which they came. Vote for your favorites to move them to the top of the list, and add any that you see missing. 

What are famous French inventions? Take a look here and see for yourself.
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Ranked by
  • Mid-12th century
  • Oboe, or hautbois
    2

    Oboe, or hautbois

    Mid-17th century
  • First mechanical metronome
    3

    First mechanical metronome

    1696
  • 18th century
  • 1759
  • Gambling games and card games
    6

    Gambling games and card games

    1480
  • 8

    Coined photographie

    1834
  • 9

    Collotype process

    1856
  • 10

    Praxinoscope of Charles-Émile Reynaud

    1877
  • 11

    Cabaret by Rodolphe Salis

    1881
  • Chronophotography
    12

    Chronophotography

    1882
  • Motion picture camera
    14

    Motion picture camera

  • 1892
  • Public screening of cinematographic films
    17

    Public screening of cinematographic films

    1895
  • Developments of the modern Piano
    18

    Developments of the modern Piano

  • 1928
  • 20

    Clavioline, an electronic keyboard instrument

    1947
  • 1998
  • 22

    Appert canning jar

  • 23

    Natural rubber/latex

    1736
  • 1783