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They also made large mechanical puppet theaters driven by waterwheels and carriage wheels and wine-serving automatons driven by paddle wheel boats.
In water-powered clockworks, the premodern Chinese had used the escapement mechanism since the 8th century and the endless power-transmitting chain drive in the 11th century.
A bronze Chinese crossbow trigger mechanism with a butt plate (the wooden components have since eroded and disappeared), inlaid with silver, from either the late Warring States period (403–256 BC) or the early Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) This includes the Four Great Inventions: papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing (both woodblock and movable type).
The list below contains these and other inventions in China attested by archaeological or historical evidence.
The first printed periodical, the Kaiyuan Za Bao was made available in AD 713.
However, the earliest known book printed at regular size is the Diamond Sutra made during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), a 5.18 m (17 ft) long scroll which bears the date 868 AD.