List of English inventions and discoveries

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English inventions and discoveries are objects, processes or techniques invented or discovered, partially or entirely, by a person from England. (That is, someone born in England - including to non-English parents - or born abroad with at least one English parent and who had the majority of their education or career in England.) Often, things discovered for the first time are also called "inventions", and in many cases, there is no clear line between the two.

The following is a list of inventions or discoveries known or generally recognised to be English.

Agriculture[edit]

Jethro Tull, improved the seed drill in 1701

Banking[edit]

Clock making[edit]

Clothing manufacturing[edit]

The spinning jenny, invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves

Communications[edit]

Postage stamp, invented by Sir Rowland Hill, 1840

Computing[edit]

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, invented the World Wide Web in 1989

Criminology[edit]

Sir Francis Galton, developed fingerprint classification method, 1888

Cryptography[edit]

Engineering[edit]

The Newcomen steam engine, invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712

Food and drink[edit]

Household appliances[edit]

John Harington, invented the modern flushing toilet, 1596

Industrial processes[edit]

Medicine[edit]

Edward Jenner, invented the smallpox vaccine in 1798
Florence Nightingale, pioneered modern nursing, from 1860 onwards

Military[edit]

Sir Hiram Maxim, invented the machine gun in 1884

Mining[edit]

Musical instruments[edit]

Photography[edit]

  • Before 1800: Method of copying images chemically to permanent media devised by Thomas Wedgwood (1771-1805).
Thomas Wedgwood, copied images chemically to permanent media by 1800
Myles Coverdale, produced first complete printed English Bible, 1535

Publishing firsts[edit]

Science[edit]

Physics[edit]

Sir Isaac Newton, a giant of the scientific revolution
Michael Faraday, made key discoveries relating to electricity, 1820s-1840s

Chemistry[edit]

John Dalton, developed modern atomic theory, 1803

Biology[edit]

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution published in 1859

Mathematics and Statistics[edit]

Astronomy[edit]

Edmond Halley, determined the periodicity of Halley's Comet in 1705

Geology and Meteorology[edit]

Karl Pearson's Grammar of Science (1892) influenced the young Einstein

Philosophy of Science[edit]

Scientific Instruments[edit]

Henry Maudslay, a founding father of machine tool technology

Sport[edit]

W. G. Grace (1848-1915); 1598 saw the earliest definite reference to cricket

Transport[edit]

Aviation[edit]

The Aerial Steam Carriage, performed the world's first powered flight in 1848
The de Havilland Comet, the first commercial jet airliner, produced in 1949

Railways[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

Other railway developments[edit]

The London Underground, opened 1863

Roads[edit]

The Hansom cab, invented by Joseph Hansom in 1834

Sea[edit]

Hovercraft, invented by Sir Christopher Cockerell in 1955

Miscellaneous[edit]

Lord Baden-Powell, invented the scout movement in 1907

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  223. ^ Frederick Walton : Oxford Biography Index entry
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