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Saxon heads have come up with a plethora of clever inventions, of which only a few can be listed here. The first German steam engine was built in Saxony, as was the first small-image reflex camera. Everyday items such as toothpaste tubes, brassieres, tea bags, beer mats and coffee filters were first invented here. The very first daily newspaper was read in Leipzig on Juy 1, 1650. As early as 1894, the precursor to roller skates and inline skates, the aptly named »drive shoe«. was seen in Saxony. The first gas provider in continental Europe lit the gas-powered street lights in Freiberg near Halsbrücke in 1815, and the first district heating facility in Germany warmed Dresden people's homes in 1900. The very first CFC- and HFC-free refrigerator made in Saxony gave environmentalists new hope, and was awarded with the German Environmental Prize (Deutscher Umweltpreis) in 1993.

Between 1997 and 2002, the government district of Dresden had the largest increase of hi-tech patent applications of the entire European Union. In 2007, patent applicants in Saxony submitted 923 applications to the German patent and trademark authorities, 14% more than in the previous year. Of these, 111 came from Saxon colleges.



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