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 ]
Banking [ edit ]
Clock making [ edit ]
Clothing manufacturing [ edit ]
Communications [ edit ]
Uniform Penny Post and postage stamp invented by Sir Rowland Hill (1795-1879). [27 ] 1843: The
Christmas card introduced commercially by Sir Henry Cole (1808-1882). [28 ] 1873: Discovery of the
photoconductivity of the element selenium by Willoughby Smith (1828-1891). Smith's work led to the invention of photoelectric cells ( solar panels), including those used in the earliest television systems. 1879: The first
radio transmission, using a spark-gap transmitter (achieving a range of approximately 500 metres), made by David E. Hughes (1831-1900). 1897: The world's first
radio station was located at the Needles Battery on the western tip of the Isle of Wight; it was set up by Marconi. [29 ] [30 ] 1899: The world's first
colour motion picture film produced by Edward Raymond Turner (1873-1903). 1902: Proposition by
Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) of the existence of the Kennelly–Heaviside layer, a layer of ionised gas that reflects radio waves around the Earth's curvature. 1912: Development of
radio communication pioneered by William Eccles (1875-1966). 1914: The world's first automatic
totalisator invented by English-born George Julius (1873-1946). 2 December 1922: Mechanical scanning device (a precursor to modern
television) demonstrated in Sorbonne, France by Englishman Edwin Belin. 1930: The
Plessey company in England began manufacturing the Baird Televisor receiver: the first television receiver sold to the public. 1931:
Stereophonic sound or, more commonly, stereo invented at EMI in Hayes, Middlesex by Alan Blumlein (1903-1942). [31 ] 1933: The
405-line television system (the first fully electronic television system used in regular broadcasting) devloped at EMI in Hayes, Middlesex by Alan Blumlein (1903-1942), under the supervision of Sir Isaac Shoenberg. 1936: The world's first regular public broadcasts of high-definition
television began from Alexandra Palace, North London by the BBC Television Service. 1930s:
Radar pioneered at Bawdsey Manor by Scotsman Robert Watson-Watt (1892-1973) and Englishman Henry Tizard (1885-1939). 1945: The concept of
geostationary satellites for the use of telecommunications relays popularised by Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008). 1964 onwards: Use of
fibre optics in telecommunications pioneered by Englishman George Hockham (1938-2013) and Chinese-born Charles K. Kao. Late 1960s: Development of the long-lasting materials that made
liquid crystal displays possible. Team headed by Sir Brynmor Jones; developed by Scotsman George Gray and Englishman Ken Harrison in conjunction with the Royal Radar Establishment and the University of Hull, who ultimately discovered the crystals used in LCDs. [32 ] 1970: The
MTV-1, the first near pocket-sized handheld television, developed by Sir Clive Sinclair (b. 1940). 1973: First transmissions of the
Teletext information service made by the British Broadcasting Corporation. 1992:
Clockwork radio invented by Trevor Baylis (b. 1937). [33 ] 3 December 1992: The world's first
text/ SMS message ("Merry Christmas") sent over the Vodafone GSM network by Neil Papworth (b. 1969).
Computing [ edit ]
Difference Engine, an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions, proposed by Charles Babbage (1791-1871). [34 ] 1837: The
Analytical Engine, a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, designed by Charles Babbage (1791-1871). [34 ] 1842: The person regarded as the first computer
programmer was Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), only legitimate child of the poet Byron and his wife Anne Isabella Milbanke, Baroness Wentworth. [35 ] [36 ] [37 ] [38 ] 1842: First programming language, the
Analytical Engine order code, produced by Charles Babbage (1791-1871) and Ada Lovelace (1815-1852). 1854:
Boolean algebra, the basis for digital logic, conceived by George Boole (1815-1864). 1912:
Argo system, the world's first electrically powered mechanical analogue computer, invented by Arthur Pollen (1866-1937). 1918: The
flip-flop circuit, which became the basis of electronic memory ( Random-access memory) in computers, invented by William Eccles (1875-1966) and F. W. Jordan (1882-?). 1936-1937: The
Universal Turing machine invented by Alan Turing (1912-1954). The UTM is considered to be the origin of the [39 ] stored programme computer used in 1946 for the "Electronic Computing Instrument" that now bears John von Neumann's name: the Von Neumann architecture. 1939: The
Bombe, a device used by the British to decipher German secret messages during World War II, invented by Alan Turing (1912-1954). [39 ] 1943-1944: The
Colossus computer - the world's first programmable, electronic, digital computer - invented by Tommy Flowers (1905-1988). [40 ] 1946-1950:
ACE and Pilot ACE invented by Alan Turing (1912-1954). [39 ] 1946-1947: The
Williams tube, a cathode ray tube used to store electronically (500 to 1,000 bits of) binary data, developed by Frederic Calland Williams (1911-1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921-2001). 1948: The
Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine - the world's first modern, stored-programme computer - built by Frederic Calland Williams (1911-1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921-2001) at the Victoria University of Manchester. [41 ] 1949: The
Manchester Mark 1 computer developed by Frederic Calland Williams (1911-1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921-2001); historically significant because of its pioneering inclusion of index registers. 1949:
EDSAC - the first complete, fully functional computer inspired by the von Neumann architecture, the basis of every modern computer – constructed by Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010). Late 1940s/early 1950s: The
integrated circuit, commonly called the microchip, conceptualised and built by Geoffrey Dummer (1909-2002). February 1951: The
Ferranti Mark 1 (a.k.a. the Manchester Electronic Computer), the world's first successful commercially-available general-purpose electronic computer, invented by Frederic Calland Williams (1911-1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921-2001). 1951: The first known recordings of
computer generated music played on the Ferranti Mark 1 computer using a programme designed by Christopher Strachey (1916-1975). 1951:
LEO made history by running the first business application (payroll system) on an electronic computer for J. Lyons and Co. Under the advice of Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010), LEO was designed by John Pinkerton (1919-1997) and David Caminer (1915-2008). 1951: Concept of
microprogramming developed by Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010) from the realisation that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer could be controlled by a miniature, highly specialised computer programme in high-speed ROM. 1952:
Autocode developed by Alick Glennie (1925-2003) for the Manchester Mark 1 computer; Autocode is regarded as the first computer compiler. 1952: The first graphical computer game,
OXO or Noughts and Crosses, programmed on the EDSAC at Cambridge University as part of a Ph.D. thesis by A.S. Douglas (1921-2010). 1952: First
trackball built by Tom Cranston, Fred Longstaff and Kenyon Taylor (1908-1996); invented 1947 by Ralph Benjamin. 1956 onwards:
Metrovick 950, the first commercial transistor computer, built by the Metropolitan-Vickers Company of Manchester. 1958:
EDSAC 2, the first computer to have a microprogrammed ( Microcode) control unit and a bit slice hardware architecture, developed by a team headed by Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010). 1961: The
Sumlock ANITA calculator, the world's first all-electronic desktop calculator, designed and built by the Bell Punch Company of Uxbridge. 1962: The
Atlas Computer - arguably the world's first supercomputer, and fastest computer in the world until the American CDC 6600 - developed by a team headed by Tom Kilburn (1921-2001). Introduced modern architectural concepts: spooling, interrupts, pipelining, interleaved memory, virtual memory, and paging. Late 1960s:
Denotational semantics originated in the work of Christopher Strachey (1916-1975), a pioneer in programming language design. 1970:
Packet switching co-invented by Welsh engineer Donald Davies (1924-2000) and Polish-born Paul Baran; it was Davies who coined the term packet switching at the National Physical Laboratory in London. 1972: The
Sinclair Executive, the world's first small electronic pocket calculator, produced by Sir Clive Sinclair (b. 1940). 1979: The first
laptop computer, the GRiD Compass, designed by Bill Moggridge (1943-2012). 1979:
Digital audio player (MP3 Player) invented by Kane Kramer (b. 1956). His first investor was Sir Paul McCartney. 1980-1982:
Home computers the Sinclair ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum produced by Sir Clive Sinclair (b. 1940). 1981: The
Osborne 1 - the first commercially successful portable computer, precursor to the laptop computer – developed by English-American Adam Osborne (1939-2003). 1984: The world's first
pocket computer, the ( Psion Organiser), launched by London-based Psion PLC. 1984:
, the world's first Elite computer game with 3D graphics, developed by David Braben (b. 1964) and Ian Bell (b. 1962). 1985:
ARM architecture introduced by Cambridge computer manufacturer Acorn Computers; the ARM CPU design is the microprocessor architecture of 98% of mobile phones and every smartphone. [42 ] 1989:
World Wide Web invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (b. 1955). [43 ] 1989:
HTTP application protocol and HTML markup language developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (b. 1955). 1989: Launch of the first PC-compatible
palmtop computer, the ( Atari Portfolio), designed by Ian Cullimore. 1989: First
touchpad pointing device developed for London-based Psion PLC's Psion MC 200/400/600/WORD Series. 1990: The world's first
web browser invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (b. 1955). Initially called WorldWideWeb, it ran on the NeXTSTEP platform, and was renamed Nexus in order to avoid confusion with the World Wide Web. 1991 onwards: The
Linux kernel developed by English-born Andrew Morton (b. 1959) and Alan Cox (b. 1968). 2002:
Wolfram's 2-state 3-symbol Turing machine proposed by London-born Stephen Wolfram (b. 1959). 2012: Launch of the
Raspberry Pi, a modern single-board computer for education, designed and built by Cambridgeshire-based charity Raspberry Pi Foundation. [44 ]
Criminology [ edit ]
Cryptography [ edit ]
Engineering [ edit ]
Atmospheric steam engine invented by Thomas Newcomen (1664-1729). [47 ] [48 ] 1739:
Screw-cutting lathe invented by Henry Hindley (1701-1771). 1770s:
Continuous track first conceived by Anglo-Irish Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744-1817). [49 ] 1780: Modified version of the
Newcomen engine (the Pickard engine) developed by James Pickard (dates unknown). 1781:
The Iron Bridge, the first metal bridge, cast and built by Abraham Darby III (1750-1789). [47 ] 1791: The first true
gas turbine invented by John Barber (1734-1801). 1796-7: The first iron-framed building (and therefore forerunner of the skyscraper) -
Ditherington Flax Mill in Shrewsbury, Shropshire - built by Charles Bage (1751-1822). 1800: First industrially practical
screw-cutting lathe developed by Henry Maudslay (1771-1831). 1806: The
Fourdrinier machine, a papermaking machine, invented by Henry Fourdrinier (1766-1854). 1823: First
internal combustion engine to be applied industrially patented by Samuel Brown (?-1849). 1826:
Continuous track (under the name "universal railway") patented by Sir George Cayley (1773-1857). 1830: First (
toroidal, closed-core) electric transformer invented by Michael Faraday (1791-1867). [50 ] 1831: First
Electrical generator (or dynamo), the Faraday disk, invented by Michael Faraday. [50 ] 1834-1878:
Water and sewerage systems for over thirty cities across Europe designed by William Lindley (1808-1900). 1840s: The
linear motor, a multi-phase alternating current (AC) electric motor, proposed by Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875); 1940s: developed by Eric Laithwaite (1921-1997). [26 ] 1841: Widely accepted standard for
screw threads devised by Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887). 1842: The
adjustable spanner invented by Edwin Beard Budding (1796-1846). 1845:
Hydraulic crane developed by William Armstrong (1810-1900); in 1863, Armstrong also built the first house in the world powered by hydroelectricity, at Cragside, Northumberland. 1846: The first fireproof warehousing complex -
Albert Dock, Liverpool - designed by Jesse Hartley (1780-1860). 1848: The
Francis turbine developed by James B. Francis (1815-1892), born near Witney, Oxfordshire. 1868: First commercial steel
alloy produced by Robert Forester Mushet (1811-1891). 1869-1875:
Crookes tube, the first cathode ray tube, invented by William Crookes (1832-1919). [47 ] 1871: First enclosed
wind tunnel invented, designed and operated by Francis Herbert Wenham (1824-1908). [13 ] 1872: The
Carey Foster bridge, a type of bridge circuit, invented by Carey Foster (1835-1919). [51 ] 1880-1883: The
Wimshurst machine, an Electrostatic generator for producing high voltages, developed by James Wimshurst (1832-1903). 1884:
Steam turbine invented by Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1913). [47 ] 1885:
Compression ignition engine (a.k.a. the diesel engine) invented by Herbert Akroyd Stuart (1864-1927). 1886: Prototype
hot bulb engine or heavy oil engine built by Herbert Akroyd Stuart (1864-1927). 1889:
Two-stroke engine invented by Joseph Day (1855-1946). 1890: Opening of the
Forth Bridge - monumental cantilever railway bridge, and icon of Scotland - designed and engineered by English civil engineers Benjamin Baker (1840-1907) and John Fowler (1817-1898). 1902:
Disc brakes patented by Frederick W. Lanchester (1868-1946). [47 ] 1904:
Vacuum tube (or valve) invented by John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945). 1907: First reported observation of
electroluminescence from a diode by H. J. Round (1881-1966); Round's discovery led to the creation of the light-emitting diode. 1917 onwards:
Radio guidance systems pioneered by Archibald Low (1888-1956). 1935:
Arnold Frederic Wilkins (1907-1985) contributed to the development of radar. 1940:
Cavity magnetron improved by John Randall (1905-1984) and Harry Boot (1917-1983); consequently a critical component in microwave ovens and some radar. [52 ] Late-1940s/early 1950s: The
microchip invented by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer (1909-2002). 1963: High strength
carbon fibre invented at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1963. January 1969: Carr Reinforcements ( Stockport, England) wove the first carbon fibre fabric in the world. 2007: The
RepRap Project, the first self-replicating 3D Printer, developed at the University of Bath.
Food and drink [ edit ]
Apple Pie (1381)
Bangers and mash (1919)
Black pudding (antiquity)
Balti curry (1971)
Brown Sauce/HP Sauce (1895)
Bubble and squeak (1806)
Cheddar cheese in modern form (1850s), by Joseph Harding (1805-1876) [53 ]
Cornish pasty (c. 13th century)
Cottage pie (1791)
Cumberland sausage (c. 16th century)
Eccles cake (1793)
English mustard (c. 1390), in The Forme of Cury
Fish and chips (1860)
Full English breakfast (before 1861)
Gravy (c. 1390), in The Forme of Cury
Haggis (c. 1430): normally assumed of Scottish origin, but the first known written recipe for 'hagese', made with offal and herbs, is in the verse cookbook in Liber Cure Cocorum Lancashire, North-West England [54 ]
Ice cream in modern form (1718), England [55 ]
Jellied eels (18th century)
Kendal mint cake (before 1880)
Lancashire hotpot (19th century)
Lasagne (c. 1390): normally assumed of Italian origin, but the first recipes for a lasagne-styled dish were found in 14th century cookbook ; a popular dish in the reign of The Forme of Cury King Richard II
Lincolnshire sausage (19th century)
Pancake (1430): modern recipe in a medieval English culinary manuscript [56 ]
Parkin (before 1728)
Pasty (13th century)
Piccalilli (18th century)
Plum cake, a type of fruitcake (c. 1700)
Pork pie (18th century)
Sausage roll (19th century)
Sandwich (1770): invented by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792)
Scotch egg (1738): invented by London department store Fortnum & Mason
Shepherd's pie (before 1791)
Carbonated water (1767): invented by Joseph Priestley (1733-1804); major and defining component of soft drinks [57 ]
Sparkling wine (1662): invented by Christopher Merrett (1614/5-1695)
Spotted Dick (1849)
Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pudding (before 1861)
Sunday roast (18th century?)
Toad in the hole (1861)
Worcestershire sauce (1837) [58 ]
Yorkshire Pudding (1737)
Household appliances [ edit ]
Industrial processes [ edit ]
English crucible steel developed by Benjamin Huntsman (1704-1776). 1743:
Sheffield plate, a layered combination of silver and copper, invented by Thomas Boulsover (1705-1788). 1746: The
lead chamber process, for producing sulfuric acid in large quantities, invented by John Roebuck (1718-1794). c. 1760-c. 1840: Pioneers of the
Industrial Revolution - Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859); Abraham Darby I (1678-1717); Abraham Darby II (1711–1763); Abraham Darby III (1750-1789); Robert Forester Mushet (1811-1891). 1769: The
water frame, a water-powered spinning frame, invented by Richard Arkwright (1732-1792). c. 1770:
Coade stone, a high quality stoneware, created by Eleanor Coade (1733-1821). 1784-1789:
Power loom developed by Edmund Cartwright (1743-1823). 1795:
Hydraulic press invented by Joseph Bramah (1748-1814). 1820: The Rubber Masticator, a machine for recycling rubber, invented by
Thomas Hancock (1786-1865). 1824:
Portland cement patented by Joseph Aspdin (1778-1855). 1840:
Electroplating process patented by George Elkington (1801-1865). 1843:
Vulcanisation of rubber, a process for making natural rubber more durable, patented by Thomas Hancock (1786-1865). 1850: The
Parkes process, for removing silver from lead during the production of bullion, invented by Alexander Parkes (1813-1890). 1850-1855: Steel production
Bessemer process developed by Henry Bessemer (1813-1898). 1862: First man-made
plastic - Nitrocellulose, branded Parkesine - invented by Alexander Parkes (1813-1890). 1912:
Stainless steel invented by Harry Brearley (1871-1948). 1933: First industrially practical
polythene discovered by accident in 1933 by Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson in Northwich. 1952: The
float glass process, for the manufacture of high-quality flat glass, invented by Alastair Pilkington (1920-1995). 1950s: The
Wilson Yarn Clearer developed by inventor Peter Wilson (dates not known).
Medicine [ edit ]
1860 onwards: Modern
nursing pioneered by Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). 1867:
Antisepsis in surgery invented by Joseph Lister (1827-1912). 1867:
Clinical thermometer devised by Thomas Clifford Allbutt (1836-1925). [88 ] 1887: First practical
ECG machine invented by Augustus Waller of St Mary's Hospital in London. [89 ] 1898: The
mosquito identified as the carrier of malaria by Sir Ronald Ross (1857–1932). 1901: Amino acid
Tryptophan discovered by Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861-1947). 1902: First typhoid vaccine developed by
Almroth Wright (1861-1947). [90 ] 1912:
Vitamins discovered by Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861-1947). 1915:
Acetylcholine (ACh) identified by Sir Henry Hallett Dale (1875-1968) for its action on heart tissue. 1937 onwards:
Protein crystallography developed by Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994); Hodgkin solved the structures of cholesterol (1937), penicillin (1946), and vitamin B12 (1956), for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964; in 1969, she succeeded in solving the structure of insulin, on which she worked for over thirty years. [91 ] 1937: Discovery of the
Citric acid cycle ("Krebs Cycle") by German-born ( naturalised) British physician and biochemist Hans Adolf Krebs (1900-1981) at the University of Sheffield. 1940s: Groundbreaking research on the use of
penicillin in the treatment of venereal disease carried out in London by Jack Suchet (1908-2001) with Scottish scientist Sir Alexander Fleming. 1941: Crucial first steps in the mass production of
penicillin made by Norman Heatley (1911-2004). 1949:
Diagnostic ultrasound first used to assess the thickness of bowel tissue by English-born physicist John J. Wild (1914-2009), so-called "father of medical ultrasound". [92 ] 1949-1950: Artificial
intraocular lens transplant surgery for cataract patients developed by Harold Ridley (1906-2001). [93 ] Late 1950s:
Peak Flow Meter invented by Martin Wright (1912-2001), also the creator of the Syringe Driver. 1960 onwards: The
hip replacement operation (in which a stainless steel stem and 22mm head fit into a polymer socket and both parts are fixed into position by PMMA cement) pioneered by John Charnley (1911-1982). 1960s: First use of
sodium cromoglycate for asthma prophylaxis associated with Roger Altounyan (1922-1987). [94 ] 1967 onwards:
Computed Tomography and first commercial CT scanner invented by Sir Godfrey Hounsfield (1919-2004) in Hayes, Middlesex, at EMI Central Research Laboratories. 1969-1978: Development of
in vitro fertilisation (IVF) by Patrick Christopher Steptoe (1913-1988) and Robert Geoffrey Edwards (1925-2013). [95 ] Late 1970s:
Echo-planar imaging (EPI) technique, a contribution to the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), developed by Sir Peter Mansfield (b. 1933). [96 ] 1980: Potential of
hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in treating a wide range of genetic diseases, among other breakthroughs, discovered by John Raymond Hobbs (1929-2008). [97 ] 1981: Discovery of how to
culture embryonic stem cells credited to England-born biologist Martin Evans (b. 1941). 1993:
Viagra (a.k.a. Sildenafil - compound UK-92,480) synthesised by a group of pharmaceutical chemists working at Pfizer's Sandwich, Kent research facility in England. The press identified Peter Dunn and Albert Wood as the inventors of the drug; only Andrew Bell, David Brown and Nicholas Terrett are listed on the original composition of matter patent. [98 ] 2009: First baby genetically selected to be free of a
breast cancer born at University College Hospital. [99 ]
Military [ edit ]
Puckle Gun or Defence Gun, a multi-shot gun mounted on a tripod, invented by James Puckle (1667-1724). 1784:
Shrapnel shell, an anti-personnel artillery munition, developed by Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842). 1804: The
Congreve rocket, a weapon, invented by Sir William Congreve (1772-1828). 1830s: The
safety fuse invented by William Bickford (1774-1834). 1854: The
Whitworth rifle, often called the "sharpshooter" because of its accuracy and considered one of the earliest examples of a sniper rifle, invented by Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887). [100 ] [101 ] [102 ] 1854-1857: The
Armstrong Gun, a uniquely designed field and heavy gun, developed by Sir William Armstrong (1810-1900). 1866: First effective self-propelled naval
torpedo invented by Robert Whitehead (1823-1905). 1875: The side by side
boxlock action, commonly used in double barreled shotguns, invented by William Anson and John Deeley for the Westley Richards company of Birmingham. 1884: The
Maxim gun, the first self-powered machine gun invented by Sir Hiram Maxim (1840-1916); American-born, Maxim moved from the United States to England in 1881, becoming a ( naturalised) British subject. The Maxim gun was financed by Albert Vickers of Vickers Limited and produced in Hatton Garden, London. It has been called "the weapon most associated with British imperial conquest". [103 ] 1891:
Cordite, first of the " smokeless powders" which came into general use towards the end of the 19th century, invented by Englishman Frederick Abel (1827-1902) and Scot James Dewar. 1901:
Bullpup firearm configuration first used in the Thorneycroft carbine rifle, developed by an English gunsmith as patent No. 14,622 of July 18, 1901. 1906: The
dreadnought battleship, the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century, credited to First Sea Lord Admiral John "Jackie" Fisher (1841-1920). 1914: First operational
fighter aircraft, the Vickers F.B.5 (a.k.a. th "Gunbus"), developed from a design by Archibald Low (1888-1956). 1916: The
tank developed and first used in combat by the British during World War I as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare. Key co-inventors include Major [104 ] Walter Gordon Wilson (1874-1957) and Sir William Tritton (1875-1946). 1916: The first effective
depth charge, an anti-submarine warfare weapon, developed from a design by Herbert Taylor at the RN Torpedo and Mine School, HMS . Vernon 1916: The
Livens Projector, a weapon, created by William Howard Livens (1889-1964). [105 ] 1917:
Dazzle camouflage created by Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971). 1917:
ASDIC active sonar, the first practical underwater active sound-detection apparatus, developed by Canadian physicist Robert William Boyle and English physicist Albert Beaumont Wood (1890-1964). 1940s:
High-explosive squash head, a type of ammunition, invented by Sir Charles Dennistoun Burney (1888-1968). 1941: The
Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife invented by William Ewart Fairbairn (1885-1960) and Eric A. Sykes (1883-1945). 1941-1942: The
Bailey Bridge - a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge – invented by Donald Bailey (1901-1985). Field Marshal Montgomery emphasised the importance of the Bailey bridge in Britain winning the war. [106 ] [107 ] 1943: The
bouncing bomb invented by Barnes Wallis (1887-1979). 1943:
H2S radar (airborne radar to aid bomb targeting) invented by Alan Blumlein (1903-1942). Blumlein died in a plane crash during a secret trial of the H2S system. 1950: The
steam catapult, a device used to launch aircraft from aircraft carriers, developed by Commander Colin C. Mitchell RNR. 1960s:
Chobham armour, a type of vehicle armour, developed by a team headed by Gilbert Harvey of the [108 ] FVRDE at the tank research centre on Chobham Common, Surrey. 1960:
Harrier Jump Jet developed by Hawker Aircraft of Kingston upon Thames following an approach by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1957. Late 1970s:
Stun grenades developed by the British Army's SAS. [109 ]
Musical instruments [ edit ]
Photography [ edit ]
Before 1800: Method of copying images chemically to permanent media devised by
Thomas Wedgwood (1771-1805).
Stereoscope, a device for displaying three-dimensional images, invented by Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875). [25 ] [26 ] 1840:
Calotype or Talbotype invented by William Fox Talbot (1800-1877). [112 ] 1850s: The
Collodion process, an early photographic process, invented by Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857). [113 ] 1850s: The
Ambrotype invented by Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857) and Peter Wickens Fry (1795-1860). [113 ] 1861: The
Collodion-albumen process, an early dry plate process, invented by Joseph Sidebotham (father of Joseph Watson Sidebotham). 1871: The
dry plate process, the first economically successful and durable photographic medium, invented by Richard Leach Maddox (1816-1902). 1878:
The Horse in Motion or , a precursor to the development of Sallie Gardner at a Gallop motion pictures, created by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904). 1879: The
Zoopraxiscope, which may be considered the first movie projector, created by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904). 1880s: Method of intensifying
plates with mercuric iodide devised by B. J. Edwards (1838-1914); Edwards pioneered also the construction and design of instantaneous shutters. 1887:
Celluloid motion pictures created by William Friese-Greene (1855-1921). 1906:
Kinemacolor, the first successful colour motion picture process, invented by George Albert Smith (1864-1959).
Publishing firsts [ edit ]
Science [ edit ]
Physics [ edit ]
1845-1847: Demonstration that
electric circuits obey the law of the conservation of energy and that electricity is a form of energy ( First Law of Thermodynamics) by James Joule (1818-1889); the unit of energy the Joule is named after him. 1871 and 1885: Discovery of the phenomenon
Rayleigh scattering (which can be used to explain why the sky is blue), and prediction of the existence of surface waves by John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1842-1919). [120 ] 1897 and 1912: Discovery of the
electron and isotopes, and invention of the mass spectrometer by J. J. Thomson (1856-1940). 1911: Discovery of the
Rutherford model of the Atom by Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937). 1912:
Bragg's law and the field of X-ray crystallography, an important tool for elucidating the crystal structure of substances, discovered by William Henry Bragg (1862-1942) and William Lawrence Bragg (1890-1971). [121 ] 1917: Discovery of the
Proton by Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937). 1928: Existence of
antimatter predicted by Paul Dirac (1902-1984); Dirac made major contributions to the development of quantum mechanics. 1932:
Splitting the atom, a fully artificial nuclear reaction and nuclear transmutation, first achieved by English physicist John Cockcroft (1897-1967) and Ireland's Ernest Walton. 1932: Discovery of the
Neutron by James Chadwick (1891-1974). 1935: Possibility of
Radar first proven in the " Daventry experiment" by Englishman Arnold Frederic Wilkins (1907-1985) and Scot Robert Watson-Watt. 1947:
Holography invented in Rugby, England by Hungarian-British Dennis Gabor (1900-1979; fled from Nazi Germany in 1933). The medium was improved by Nicholas J. Phillips (1933-2009), who made it possible to record multi-colour reflection holograms. 1947: Discovery of the
pion (pi- meson) by Cecil Frank Powell (1903-1969). 1964: The
Higgs boson, an elementary particle implied by the Higgs field, proposed by Peter Higgs (b. 1929) and others to explain why fundamental particles (which are theoretically weightless) might have acquired mass after their formation in the Big Bang. 1974:
Hawking radiation predicted by Stephen Hawking (b. 1942).
Chemistry [ edit ]
1665: Correct theory of
combustion first outlined in by Micrographia Robert Hooke (1635-1703); Hooke observed that something (known now as oxygen) is taken from the air and that in its absence combustion quickly ceases, however much heat is applied. 1766:
Hydrogen discovered by Henry Cavendish (1731-1810); Cavendish described it as a colourless, odourless gas that burns and can form an explosive mixture with air. [122 ] 1775:
Oxygen discovered by Joseph Priestley (1733-1804); Priestley called it "dephlogisticated air". 1803: Modern
atomic theory developed by John Dalton (1766-1844). [47 ] See also [119 ] Dalton's law and Law of multiple proportions; Dalton is considered the father of modern chemistry. [123 ] 1807:
Sodium isolated by Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829). [124 ] 1807:
Potassium isolated by Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829). [47 ] 1808:
Aluminium discovered by Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829). 1809:
Boron isolated by Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829). [47 ] 1825:
Benzene, the first known aromatic hydrocarbon, isolated and identified by Michael Faraday (1791-1867). [125 ] 1861:
Thallium discovered by William Crookes (1832-1919). [47 ] 1865:
Periodic Table devised by John Newlands (1837-1898); his Law of Octaves was a precursor to the Periodic Law. [126 ] 1868:
Helium discovered in the sun (via spectroscopy) by Norman Lockyer (1836-1920); not until ten years later was it found on earth. 1868: Synthesis of
coumarin (one of the first synthetic perfumes), and cinnamic acid via the Perkin reaction by William Henry Perkin (1838-1907). 1893: The
Weston cell developed by England-born chemist Edward Weston (1850-1936). [127 ] 1894:
Argon discovered by English physicist John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1842-1919) and Scot William Ramsay. 1901:
Silicone discovered and named by Frederick Kipping (1863-1949); according to the nomenclature of modern chemistry, silicone is no longer the correct term, but it remains in common usage. 1913: Concept of
atomic number introduced by Henry Moseley (1887-1915) in order to fix the inadequacies of Mendeleev's periodic table, which had been based on atomic weight. [128 ] Isaac Asimov wrote, "In view of what he [Moseley] might still have accomplished … his death might well have been the most costly single death of the War to mankind generally." [129 ] 1913: Existence of
isotopes first proposed by Frederick Soddy (1877-1956). [47 ] 1940s / 1950s: Partition
chromatography developed by Richard Laurence Millington Synge (1914-1994) and Archer J.P. Martin (1910-2002). [130 ] 1952: Structure of
ferrocene discovered by Geoffrey Wilkinson (1921-1996) and others. [131 ] 1959: First practical
hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell developed by Francis Thomas Bacon (1904-1992). [132 ] 1962: First
noble gas compound, xenon hexafluoroplatinate, prepared by Neil Bartlett (1932-2008). 1985:
Buckminsterfullerene discovered by Sir Harry Kroto (b. 1939). [133 ]
Biology [ edit ]
Mathematics and Statistics [ edit ]
slide rule invented by William Oughtred (1574-1660), developing on work by Edmund Gunter (1581-1626) and Edmund Wingate (1596-1656). [13 ] [138 ] 1631: The "x" symbol for
multiplication and the abbreviations "sin" and "cos" for the sine and cosine functions devised by William Oughtred (1574-1660) in Clavis Mathematicae (The Key to Mathematics). 1631: The symbols for "is less than" and "is greater than", along with other innovations, devised in the posthumously published
algebra text Artis Analyticae Praxis by Thomas Harriot (c. 1560-1621). 1687:
Calculus developed by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1726/7), as set out in his . Principia Mathematica 1763 onwards: Key contributions made to the development of
statistics by: Thomas Bayes (c. 1701-1761) ( ); Bayes' theorem Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) ( ); statistical graphics Francis Galton (1822-1911) ( , standard deviation , correlation , regression ); questionnaires Karl Pearson (1857-1936) ( , correlation coefficient ); chi-square William Gosset (1876-1937) ( ); Student's t-distribution Ronald Fisher (1890-1962) ( ); Analysis of variance Frank Yates (1902-1994). 1854:
Boolean algebra, the basis for digital logic, proposed by George Boole (1815-1864). 1876: Connection between energy, matter and the curvature of space proposed in
by s:On the Space-Theory of Matter William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879), forty years before Einstein's general theory of relativity. c. 1880: The
Venn diagram devised by John Venn (1834-1923). 1884: Reformulation of
Maxwell's equations into the four we know now by Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925). 1901: Discipline of modern
mathematical statistics developed by Karl Pearson (1857-1936). [139 ] [140 ]
Astronomy [ edit ]
1609: First drawing of the
Moon through a telescope by Thomas Harriot (c. 1560-1621); Harriot achieved this on 26 July 1609: over four months before Galileo. [141 ] [142 ] 1610:
Sunspots discovered by Thomas Harriot (c. 1560-1621). [143 ] 1668:
Newtonian telescope invented by Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727). [144 ] 1705:
Periodicity of Halley's Comet determined by Edmond Halley (1656-1742). [145 ] 1712-1717: The
Planetarium created by French-born Briton John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1784). [146 ] 1758:
Achromatic doublet lens patented by John Dollond (1706-1761). [147 ] 1781: Discovery of the planet
Uranus by Sir William Herschel (1738-1822); Herschel also discovered the moons [148 ] Titania (1787), Oberon (1787), Enceladus (1789), and Mimas (1789). [149 ] 1783: Existence of
black holes first proposed by John Michell (1724-1793); Michell was first to suggest that double stars might be attracted to each other (1767), and he invented the torsion balance (before 1783). [150 ] 1843: Existence and position of
Neptune predicted, using only mathematics, by John Couch Adams (1819-1892). [151 ] 1845: Nature of
spiral galaxies discovered by William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800-1867). [152 ] 1846: Discovery of
Triton by William Lassell (1799-1880); Lassell also discovered the moons [153 ] Hyperion (1848), Ariel (1851), and Umbriel (1851). [154 ] 1924: The
Eddington limit - the natural limit to the luminosity of stars, or the radiation generated by accretion onto a compact object - discovered by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882-1944). [155 ] 1930s-1950s: Important contributions to the development of
radio astronomy made by Bernard Lovell (1913-2012). [156 ] 1946-1954: Pioneering theories of
Nucleosynthesis (the formation of chemical elements in stars and supernova) proposed by Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001); in 1949, Hoyle coined the term " Big Bang". [157 ] 1966 onwards: Important contributions to
cosmology and (from 1973) quantum gravity made by Stephen Hawking (b. 1942), especially in the context of black holes. 1967:
Pulsars discovered by English radio astronomer Antony Hewish (b. 1924) and one of his graduate students, Northern Irish Jocelyn Bell. [158 ] Late 1960s / early 1970s:
Aperture synthesis, used for accurate location and imaging of weak radio sources in the field of radio astronomy, developed by Martin Ryle (1918-1984) and Antony Hewish (b. 1924). [159 ]
Geology and Meteorology [ edit ]
Philosophy of Science [ edit ]
Scientific Instruments [ edit ]
Bowls or lawn bowls can be traced to 13th century England. The world's oldest surviving bowling green is [169 ] Southampton Old Bowling Green, first used in 1299. Late 15th century:
Rounders developed from an older English game known as stoolball. [170 ] Early 16th century: Modern
boxing developed from bare-knuckle boxing or prizefighting, a resurfacing of Ancient Greek boxing in England. The first recorded boxing match took place on 6 January 1681 in England, arranged by Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle (1653-1688). 1519: World's oldest sporting competition still running, the
Kiplingcotes Derby horse-race, established; it has run annually since without a break. [171 ] [172 ] 1530s: Origin of
real tennis played with rackets, popularised by Henry VIII. [173 ] 1598: The earliest definite reference to
cricket; the sport may arguably be traced further back to 1301 with written evidence of a game known as creag played by Prince Edward, son of Edward I (Longshanks). [174 ] After 1660:
Thoroughbred horseracing developed in 17th and 18th century England; royal support from Charles II, a keen racegoer and owner, made horse-racing popular with the public. 1673: Oldest non-equine competition in England, the
Scorton Arrow archery tournament, established in Scorton, Yorkshire. [175 ] 1715: Oldest
rowing race in the world, Doggett's Coat and Badge established; the race on the River Thames) has been held every year since 1715. 1744: Earliest description of
baseball in by John Newbery (1713-1767); the first A Little Pretty Pocket-Book recorded game of "Bass-Ball" took place in 1749 in Surrey. [176 ] William Bray (1736-1832) recorded a game of baseball on Easter Monday, 1755 in Guildford, Surrey; the game is considered to have been taken across the Atlantic by English emigrants. [177 ] Early 19th century: Modern
field hockey developed in English public schools; the first club was established in 1849 in Blackheath, London. 1820s:
Ice hockey, a variant of field hockey, invented by British soldiers based in Canada. British soldiers and emigrants to Canada and the United States played their stick-and-ball games on the winter ice and snow; in 1825, John Franklin (1786-1847) wrote during one of his Arctic expeditions: "The game of hockey played on the ice was the morning sport" on Great Bear Lake. [178 ] 1823 or 1824: Invention of
Rugby football credited to William Webb Ellis (1806-1872). 1848:
Association football's Cambridge rules (largely the sport's rules as we know them today) established at Cambridge University. [179 ] 1850: The format of the modern
Olympic Games games inspired by William Penny Brookes (1809-1895); see also the Cotswold Olimpick Games. c. 1850: A
bowling machine for cricket named the Catapulta (a predecessor of the pitching machine) invented by Nicholas "Felix" Wanostrocht (1804-1876). [180 ] 1857:
Sheffield F.C. formed by former public school pupils, making it the world's first and oldest Association football club, as acknowledged by The Football Association and FIFA. [179 ] 1859-1865:
Lawn tennis invented by Harry Gem (1819-1881) and Augurio Perera, a Spanish-born merchant and sportsman based in England. 1874-1875:
Snooker invented by the British Army in India. [181 ] 1874: Formal codification of the rules of modern
Polo established by the Hurlingham Polo Association; polo had been introduced to England in 1834 by the 10th Hussars at Aldershot, Hants, and in 1862 the first polo club, Calcutta Polo Club, was established by two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and (later Major General) Joe Sherer. [182 ] 1880 onwards: Modern
rock climbing developed by Walter Parry Haskett Smith (1859–1946), so-called "father of rock climbing". 1880s:
Table tennis or ping-pong originated in Victorian England as an indoor version of tennis; it was developed and played by the upper class as an after-dinner parlour game. [183 ] [184 ] 1888:
Tiddlywinks patent application by London shop-owner Joseph Assheton Fincher (dates not known); tiddlywinks originated as an adult parlour game in Victorian England. [185 ] 1893-1897:
Netball developed from early versions of women's basketball at Madame Österberg's College in England. [186 ] 1895:
Rugby league created with the establishment of the Northern Rugby Football Union (NRFU) as a breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union (RFU). 1896: The dartboard-layout used in the game and professional competitive sport of
Darts was devised by Lancashire carpenter Brian Gamlin (c. 1852-1903); Gamlin died before he could patent his idea. [187 ] 1899:
Mixed martial art (MMA) Bartitsu invented by Edward William Barton-Wright (1860-1951). 1948: The first
Paralympic games competition, originally the Stoke Mandeville Games, created in England by German-born (from 1945 naturalised) British neurologist Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980). [188 ] 1979: First modern
bungee jumps made from the 250-foot (76 m) Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol by members of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club. [189 ]
Transport [ edit ]
Aviation [ edit ]
1799: Concept of the modern aeroplane as a
fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control set forth by Sir George Cayley (1773-1857); [190 ] Cayley is one of the most important people in the history of [191 ] Aeronautics and flight: he is sometimes called the "father of aviation". [192 ] 1804: First
glider to carry a human being aloft designed by Sir George Cayley (1773-1857). Cayley discovered and identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight: weight, lift, drag, and thrust; Modern aeroplane design is based on those discoveries, along with cambered wings which Cayley also discovered. [192 ] 1837: Pioneering contribution to
parachute design made by Robert Cocking (1776-1837); aged 61, Cocking was the first person to be killed in a parachuting accident. 1844: Hale
rockets, an improved version of the Congreve rocket design that introduced thrust vectoring, invented by William Hale (1797-1870). 1848: World's first powered flight (of 30 feet) achieved in
Chard, Somerset with the Aerial Steam Carriage by John Stringfellow (1799-1883), 55 years before the [193 ] Wright brothers; Stringfellow and [194 ] William Samuel Henson (1812-1888) patented their invention in 1842. [195 ] Late-19th century: The term "
air port" first used - to describe the port city Southampton, where some early flying boats landed. [196 ]
Turbojet engine single-handedly invented by Sir Frank Whittle (1907-1996). [197 ] 1949: First commercial
jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet, designed, developed and manufactured by [198 ] de Havilland. 1954: First aircraft capable of
supercruise, the English Electric Lightning, designed, developed and manufactured by English Electric. 1959: Aerospace engineer
John Hodge (b. 1929) migrated to become part of NASA's Space Task Group, which was responsible for America's manned space programme, Project Mercury. 1960:
VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft (most famously the Harrier) invented by Gordon Lewis (1924-2010), Ralph Hooper (b. 1926), Stanley Hooker (1907–1984) and Sydney Camm (1893-1966); the project developed on ideas by Frenchman Michel [199 ] Wibault.
Railways [ edit ]
Locomotives [ edit ]
1804: First full-scale railway
steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833). [200 ] 1812: First commercially viable steam locomotive, the twin cylinder
, designed and built by Salamanca Matthew Murray (1765-1826) of Holbeck. 1813: First practical steam locomotive to rely simply on the adhesion of iron wheels on iron rails,
, built by Puffing Billy William Hedley (1779-1843). 1814: First successful
flanged-wheel adhesion locomotive, the , built by Blücher George Stephenson (1781-1848). 1824: First steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail-line, the
, built by Locomotion No. 1 Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), son of George Stephenson. 1829:
Stephenson's built by Rocket George Stephenson (1781-1848) and his son Robert Stephenson (1803-1859); the Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, but it was the first to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day. 1829: The
, a less advanced competitor of Sans Pareil Stephenson's , built by Rocket Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850). 1829: The
, first steam locomotive to be operated in the Stourbridge Lion United States, built by Foster, Rastrick and Company of Stourbridge, Worcestershire, now West Midlands; the manufacturing company was headed by James Foster (1786-1853) and John Urpeth Rastrick (1780-1856). 1923: The
built to a design by Flying Scotsman Sir Nigel Gresley (1876-1941); the [201 ] Flying Scotsman was in 1934 the first steam locomotive to be authenticated at reaching 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) in passenger service. [202 ]
Other railway developments [ edit ]
Edmondson railway ticket invented by Thomas Edmondson (1792-1851); British Rail used Edmondson tickets until February 1990. [203 ] 1852 onwards: Numerous inventions for railways by
John Ramsbottom (1814-1897), including: the split piston ring (1852), the Ramsbottom safety valve (1855), the Displacement lubricator (1860), and the water trough (1860). 1863: Opening of the world's oldest underground railway, the
London Underground, a.k.a. the Tube; the Tube is the oldest rapid transit system, and it was the first underground railway to operate electric trains. Late 1940s:
Maglev, the use of magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground, invented by Eric Laithwaite (1921-1997). 1981: The
Advanced Passenger Train (APT), an experimental high-speed train that pioneered tilting, introduced by British Rail.
seat belt invented by Sir George Cayley (1773-1857). [204 ] 1808: Tension-spoke
wire wheels invented by Sir George Cayley (1773-1857). [192 ] 1829: First practical steam
fire engine invented by John Braithwaite the younger (1797-1880). 1834: The
Hansom cab, a type of horse-drawn carriage, invented by Joseph Hansom (1803-1882). 1868: First
traffic lights (manually operated and gas-lit) installed outside London's Houses of Parliament; invented by John Peake Knight (1828-1886). c. 1870: "Ariel", a
penny-farthing bicycle, developed by James Starley (1831-1881). 1885: First commercially successful
safety bicycle, "the Rover", developed by John Kemp Starley (1855-1901). 1901:
Tarmac patented by Edgar Purnell Hooley (1860-1942). c. 1902: The invention of the
Bowden cable popularly attributed to Sir Frank Bowden (1848-1921), founder and owner of the Raleigh Bicycle Company. 1910: Opening of the oldest existing driving school and first formal driving tuition provider, the
British School of Motoring, in Peckham, London. [205 ] 1922:
Horstmann suspension, a coil spring suspension system commonly used on western tankss, invented by Sidney Horstmann (1881-1962). 1926: First automated traffic lights in England deployed in
Piccadilly Circus in 1926; outside of London, [206 ] Wolverhampton was in 1927 the first British town to introduce automated traffic lights. [207 ] 1934: The
Cat's eye, a safety device used in road marking, invented by Percy Shaw (1890-1976). [208 ] 1934: The
Belisha beacon introduced by Leslie Hore-Belisha (1893-1957). 1962: First modern
Formula One car, the Lotus 25, designed by Colin Chapman (1928-1982) for Team Lotus; the design incorporated the first fully stressed monocoque chassis to appear in automobile racing. 1985: The
Sinclair C5, a one-person battery electric vehicle, invented by Sir Clive Sinclair (b. 1940). 1997: World
Land Speed Record, 1,228 km/h (763 mph), achieved by ThrustSSC, a jet-propelled car designed and built in England. Project director: Richard Noble (b. 1946); designed by Ron Ayers (b. 1932), Glynne Bowsher and Jeremy Bliss; piloted by Andy Green (b. 1962).
1578: The first
submersible (a small, submarine-like vehicle) of whose construction there exists reliable information designed by Englishman William Bourne (c. 1535–1582) in his book Inventions or Devises; Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel put Bourne's concept into action in 1620. 1691: A
diving bell capable of allowing its occupier to remain submerged for extended periods of time, and fitted with a window for the purpose of underwater exploration, designed by Edmund Halley (1656-1742), best known for computing the orbit of [209 ] Halley's Comet. c. 1730: The
octant invented by English mathematician John Hadley (1682-1744); American optician Thomas Godfrey developed the instrument independently at approximately the same time. 1743: The "Whirling Speculum", a device used to locate the
horizon in foggy or misty conditions, invented by John Serson (d. 1744); Serson's Speculum can be seen as a precursor to the gyroscope. 1757: First
sextant made by John Bird (1709-1776), adapting the principle of [210 ] Hadley's octant. 1785: The
lifeboat invented and patented by Lionel Lukin (1742-1834); William Wouldhave (1751–1821) made a rival claim, but he did not succeed with the practical application of his invention until 1789. 1799: The
Transit, a type of sailing vessel with a remarkable turn of speed, patented by Richard Hall Gower (1768-1833). 1835: The
screw propeller invented and patented by Francis Pettit Smith (1808-1874). 1843: Launch of the
SS Great Britain - the first steam-powered, screw propeller-driven passenger liner with an iron hull; designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), it was at the time the largest ship afloat. 1876:
Plimsoll Line devised by Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898). 1878: First commercially successful closed-circuit
scuba designed and built by Henry Fleuss (1851-1932), a pioneer in the field of diving equipment. 1878-1879: Two early
Victorian submarines, Resurgam I and Resurgam II, designed and built by George Garrett (1852-1902). 1894: The first
steam turbine powered steamship, Turbinia (easily the fastest ship in the world at the time), designed by Anglo-Irish engineer Sir Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931), and built in Newcastle upon Tyne. 1899-1901: Developments on the
hydrofoil by shipbuilder John Isaac Thornycroft (1843-1928), from the concept of Italian Enrico Forlanini. 1912: World's first patent for an underwater echo ranging device (
sonar) filed a month after the sinking of the by Titanic Lewis Richardson (1881-1953). 1915: Research into solving the practical problems of
submarine-detection by sonar led by Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937). [211 ] 1955: The
hovercraft invented by Sir Christopher Cockerell (1910-1999).
Miscellaneous [ edit ]
Early 17th century: The closely cut
"English" lawn created in the Jacobean epoch of gardening, as the garden and the lawn became places created first as walkways and social areas. The English lawn became a symbol of status of the aristocracy and gentry; it showed that the owner could afford to keep land that was not being used for a building or for food production. 1668: Earliest concept of a
metric system proposed by John Wilkins (1614-1672) in . An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language 1706: World's first life insurance company, the
Amicable Society, founded by William Talbot (1658-1730) and Sir Thomas Allen, 2nd Baronet (c. 1648–1730). 1719: Oldest music-based
festival, the Three Choirs Festival, established. 1725: The modern
kilt, associated since the 19th century with Scottish culture, arguably invented by English Quaker Thomas Rawlinson (dates not known). [212 ] [213 ] [214 ] 1767: The
carbonated soft drink invented by Joseph Priestley (1733-1804). 1768-1770: The modern
circus invented by Philip Astley (1742-1814) in Astley's Amphitheatre on Westminster Bridge Road in Lambeth. [215 ] [216 ] c. 1770: The
lorgnette (a pair of spectacles with a handle, used to hold them in place, rather than fitting over the ears or nose) invented by George Adams I (c. 1709–1773) and subsequently illustrated in his son George Adams II's An Essay on Vision, briefly explaining the fabric of the eye (1789). [217 ] 1772: Oldest
arts festival established in Norwich 1772. [218 ] 1787: First
glee club founded in Harrow School. [219 ] 1797: The
top hat arguably invented by English haberdasher John Hetherington (dates not known). 1798: Consequences of
population growth identified by Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) in . An Essay on the Principle of Population 1798: Oldest police force in continuous operation, the
Marine Police Force, formed by English seafarer John Harriott (1745-1817) and Scot Patrick Colquhoun; it merged with the nascent Metropolitan Police Service in 1839. 18th century-19th century: The
history of comics developed with innovations by William Hogarth (1697-1764), James Gillray (1756/1757-1815), George Cruikshank (1792-1878) and others. [220 ] 1811: The
graphic telescope, a drawing aid with the power of a telescope, invented by water-colour painter Cornelius Varley (1781-1873). 1821: World's first modern
nature reserve established by naturalist and explorer Charles Waterton (1782-1965); Waterton was described by David Attenborough as "one of the first people anywhere to recognise not only that the natural world was of great importance but that it needed protection as humanity made more and more demands on it". [221 ] 1824: Rubber
balloon invented by Michael Faraday (1791-1867) during experiments with gases. 1826: First effective friction
match invented by John Walker (1781-1859). 1840:
Stamp collecting initiated by zoologist John Edward Gray (1800-1875); on 1 May 1840, the day the Penny Black first went on sale, Gray bought several with the intent to save them. [222 ] 1844: The
YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) founded in London by Sir George Williams (1821-1905), with the aim of putting Christian values into practice. 1849:
Bowler hat designed by London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler. 1851:
Prime meridian established at Greenwich by Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), Astronomer Royal from 1835 to 1881); Airy's line, the fourth Greenwich Meridian, became the definitive, internationally-recognised line in 1884. 1851: Revolutionary
modular, prefabricated design, and use of glass utilised in the building of the Crystal Palace of the Great Exhibition by Joseph Paxton (1803-1865); after the exhibition, the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham where it was destroyed in a fire in 1936. 1851: Steel-ribbed
umbrella developed by Samuel Fox (1815-1887). 1860:
Linoleum invented by Frederick Walton (1834-1928). [223 ] 1865:
The Salvation Army, a Christian denominational church and international charitable organisation, founded by Methodist minister William Booth (1829-1912). 1870s: One precursor (among others) of the modern
gas mask constructed by physicist John Tyndall (1820-1893). 1897:
Plasticine invented by art teacher William Harbutt (1844-1921). 1901:
Model construction system Meccano invented by Frank Hornby (1863-1936). 1907: The
scout movement created by Lord Baden-Powell, on finding that his 1899 military training manual Aids to Scouting was being used by teachers and youth organisations. [224 ] 1913: The
crossword puzzle invented by Liverpool-born Arthur Wynne (1871-1945). 1933:
Bayko - a plastic building model construction toy, and one of the earliest plastic toys to be marketed – invented by [225 ] Charles Plimpton (1893-1948). 1946:
Toy building bricks invented and patented (under the name " Kiddicraft") by Hilary (Harry) Fisher Page (1904-1957); Lego acquired Page's patent in 1981. [226 ] 1949: Oldest
literary festival, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, established. 1965:
Geometric drawing toy Spirograph developed by Denys Fisher (1918-2002).
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
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^ "Connected Earth" . Retrieved . 22 March 2015
^ "Alan Blumlein – the man who invented stereo".
^ "RSC Historic Chemical Landmark Award – Liquid Crystals".
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