Inventions Category

17/06/2022

The fire extinguisher

After the Great Fire of London in 1666 there was a gradual move towards organised firefighting (initially…

24/02/2022

Hawk-Eye

Referees and umpires, we all should agree, have a very difficult job. The assistance of digital camera…

04/01/2022

Venn diagrams

Yorkshire-born Dr. John Venn (1834-1923) had two obsessions ~ logic and Cambridge University. His deep interest and…

06/12/2021

Belisha beacons

The flash rate of Belisha beacons (0.75 seconds on, 0.75 seconds off) might have been chosen by…

26/11/2021

The diving bell

Dr. Edmund Halley (1656-1742), of comet fame, lived in the era of seafaring buccaneers who sometimes sank…

05/11/2021

Polythene and Perspex

Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was once the UK’s largest manufacturing company and from the 1930s to the…

15/01/2021

Netlon and Tensar

Dr. Brian Mercer (1927-98) was born in Blackburn towards the end of the British textile industry’s golden…

16/12/2020

Parkesine, the first plastic

The motivation behind the first plastic was to conserve natural resources, such as rubber and timber, and…

25/10/2020

Rawlplugs

When the British Museum asked their local building contractor, Rawlings Brothers, to attach electrical fittings to the…

20/07/2020

The lawnmower

Edwin Beard Budding (1796-1846) from Gloucestershire was a mechanical engineer with a knack for devising improvements, repairs…

17/06/2020

Tinned food

Northumberland-born Bryan Donkin (1768-1855) was an extraordinarily creative engineer whose inventions included the world’s first commercial canning…

01/06/2020

The London Underground

The London Underground, or ‘the Tube’, was the world’s first subterranean railway network and without it and…