Britain has produced some of the greatest scientists and thinkers in the world. Without their diligent work and breakthroughs, our lives will look different today.
One of the best known is Sir Isaac Newton, born in Lincolnshire, who has invented the principles of motion and gravity. He developed a cat flap, too.
Many prominent scientists include Ada Lovelace, raised in London, who became the world’s first computer programmer. Mentored by the inventor and mathematician Sir Charles Babbage, she developed the first machine algorithm in the mid-19th century. Here are some of the great British achievements of all time:
The stereo was invented by British scientist and engineer Alan Blumlein, who thought the monophonic music of that day was not practical, so he patented the idea in 1933. His boss was not enthusiastic about this, EMI, pushed him to focus on other projects, including groundbreaking research on HDTV (1953). Blumelein also played a significant role in the production of radar during the Second World War-ironically, despite his part-German heritage.
The French will have you believe that they discovered photography, thanks to a certain Louis Daguerre (1834). In reality, however, British snappers predate him with one, Thomas Wedgwood, making pictures of insect wings using silver nitrate leather in 1802. Daguerre was also in collaboration with William Henry Fox Talbot-the man who developed the Calotype-a negative / positive method of creation that was the foundation of modern photography.
8. The jet engine
Alongside bouncing bombs, ballistic missiles, and corner guns, the jet engine is powerful. Established separately (for obvious reasons) by both the British and Germans, it was undoubtedly Coventry-born Frank Whittle, who first proposed the concept of patenting a functional turbojet in 1930. It was German Hans von Ohain, however, who had the first jet engine in service in 1935, followed by Whittle two years later. While Britain and Germany succeeded in putting jets in test aircraft in the early years of the Second World War, The Germans with the Messerschmitt Me 262 and the British with the Gloster Meteor did not come into production until 1944.
7. The electric motor
It was Faraday who first proved the theory of electromagnetism by immersing a magnet in a mercury pool and then feeding it with electrical current, which contributed to the electromagnetic movement of the motors. Capitalizing on his theories, inventors from Hungary to the US came up with a number of realistic models, including Nikola Tesla, who first created the AC engine in 1888, and Brit William Sturgeon. They invented the DC power plant in 1832. None of them had it not been for Faraday; it would have been impossible! Since then, Faraday also invented several other inventions, such as the magnetic dynamo.
6. The computer
We know what you’re thinking: it has to be American, right? In reality, the concept of the first programmable computer was conceived in 1812 by the London-born Boffin Charles Babbage, who had devoted his life to constructing the device. Thanks to an awful sequence of personal and financial challenges, Babbage never managed to complete his Difference Engine-a task eventually achieved in 1991, 120 years after his passing. The British have also been credited with the development of Colossus, the first portable mechanical device. He saw service at Bletchley Park outside Milton Keynes, where he helped decipher coded communications sent to Lorenz encryption devices used by Nazi high command during the Second World War.
H.G. Wells, a British artist who heralded the invention of the tank, with his story, “The Land Ironclads,” published in 1903. This pattern was a close interlacing of harbor holes, rifles, and telescope tubes.
Credited to help bring an end to The Blitz in 1941, radar was invented by Robert Watson-Watt of Scotland, who claimed that radio waves could identify German aircraft. In 1935, Watson-Watt conducted the first successful radar test in the area of Daventry and was later that year patented for his invention. In 1940, there were 19 stations running around the UK for Radio Direction Finder (RDF), which fed back data to the Watson-Watt system, the central mapping chamber. In response to the coming enemy aircraft, the RAF was able to scrape fighters in the British battle.
Faced with a lawsuit on the origins of iPod, iTunes, and QuickTime in 2006, Apple turned to British inventor Kane Kramer as part of its defense. It turns out that Kramer originally came up with the concept of a portable computer music machine, called the IXI, in 1979, and also managed to trademark it. Sadly, his proposal could not be supported, and his patent came to an end in 1988. Commenting on Apple’s iPod and the conclusion of the court case, Kramer told the Daily Mail, “I can’t even get myself to purchase an iPod … Apple sent me one, but it broke down after eight months.”
Usually, the design of the light bulb is credited to the US inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who patented his creation in 1879. The trouble is that he was overcome by British whizz Joseph Swann a year ago, and came up with a carbon filament bulb about ten years earlier. Swann eventually prosecuted Edison for violation of copyright by the British Court. Finally, in 1883, Edison was deprived of his US patent on the basis that his invention was founded on the prior art of the inventor William Sawyer.
1. The industrial revolution
Every school kid knows that it was the British that began the Technological Revolution in the late 18th century, without whom none of the above breakthroughs might have been feasible. The Industrial Revolution gradually converted production into a labor-intensive method carried out by professional craftsmen to a machine-centric operation powered by steam power. The British, of course, even developed a diesel engine.