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British inventions

(36 Posts)
Lisalou Wed 11-Oct-17 06:46:08

Good morning ladies,

I come searching for your wisdom!
As some of you may know, I teach English as a Foreign Language, in a school in Spain.
This year, I am doing a variety of projects with the secondary school children and would love some input from you.
We are going to be researching British inventions. The children have made a list of some of the ones they find appealing and I wondered if you lot could think of any others they might find fun, or revealing - in terms of how much they changed life for people, particularly in the twentieth century.
They have chosen:
The steam engine
The flushing toilet!
The chocolate bar!
world wide web
the telephone, given that Bell was born in Britain

Can you think of any which you noticed has been life changing for you?

Thank you in advance, for your help

notnecessarilywiser Wed 11-Oct-17 08:08:29


petra Wed 11-Oct-17 08:15:25

There's one invention that has changed some GNetters lives,
Hip replacement grin

Imperfect27 Wed 11-Oct-17 08:15:27

Not an 'invention' exactly, but the start up of the NHS and how it has changed lives.

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 08:26:26

Waterproofing fabric, invented by Charles Macintosh, a Scotsman

Greyduster Wed 11-Oct-17 08:30:29

The jet engine, invented by Sir Frank Whittle. Without it, the world would not be our oyster.

Maggiemaybe Wed 11-Oct-17 08:31:03

The computer (Babbage and Lovelace).

Maggiemaybe Wed 11-Oct-17 08:34:19

And inoculation.

petra Wed 11-Oct-17 08:37:20

Don't forget to tell your students that Great Britain is accredited with more inventions than any other country in the world.

Eglantine21 Wed 11-Oct-17 08:39:46

Postage stamp!
Have you seen the Dragons Den game? It sort of gives you outline details of an inventions and then you have to invest in whether you think it will succeed or not. It might be a fun thing to play with the class. You could edit it to just have British inventions and it would give you some really recent ones.
Eli Roots reggae reggae sauce!!!!!

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 08:42:23

In fact, here is a whole wikipedia page of Scottish inventions and discoveries - including the pedal bicycle and the pneumatic tyre, the adhesive postage stamp and the postmark, the Kelvin unit of temperature, and finger-printing criminals - and more recently, the first cloned animal (Dolly the sheep).

Greyduster Wed 11-Oct-17 09:18:19

Christmas pudding!

Morgana Wed 11-Oct-17 11:39:02

Love the Dragons den idea Eglantine. They could then invent some of their own and prepare a sales pitch.


Morgana Wed 11-Oct-17 11:39:31


paddyann Wed 11-Oct-17 12:14:36

Wha’s Like Us – Damn Few And They’re A’ Deid

By Tom Anderson Cairns

The average Englishman, in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national
costume, a shabby raincoat, patented by chemist Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland.

En route to his office he strides along the English lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.

He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland.

At the train station he boards a train, the forerunner of which was a steam engine, invented by James Watt of Greenock, Scotland.

He then pours himself a cup of coffee from a thermos flask, the latter invented by James Dewar, a Scotsman from Kincardine-on-Forth.

At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by James Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland.

During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith of Dumfries, Scotland.

He watches the news on his television, an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland,

And an item about the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.

He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot, King James VI, who authorised its translation.

Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.

He could take to drink, but the Scots make the best in the world.

He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland.

If he escapes death, he might then find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, which was discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland.

Or under anaesthetic, which was discovered by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.

Out of the anaesthetic, he would find no comfort in learning he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.

paddyann Wed 11-Oct-17 12:16:07

and of course it is said that the greatest discovery of the 20th century was electro-dynamics...Maxwell ..also a Scot .

lemongrove Wed 11-Oct-17 12:42:41

You can keep the shabby raincoat paddyann and really you know, the SNP should pay you a salary.

J52 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:56:21

Hear, hear Paddyann. Well done, a list I would have also posted.

paddyann Wed 11-Oct-17 15:09:34

thing is lemongrove I DO have a country to be proud of ,there are many more discoveries and inventions we can take credit for ,like much Scottish history its not widely known .We until quite recently were taught more about the Battle of Hastings or Waterloo than our own history...thankfully that is changing

lemongrove Wed 11-Oct-17 15:15:54

I think that changed quite a time ago, but it’s also necessary to know other history, apart from the Scottish one, to get the whole picture.
Now, if any poster had been disputing that there had been Scottish inventors I could understand your annoyance, but as it is, we are talking of British inventors, and Scottish is

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 15:19:34

The SNP with their aim for Scottish Independence are not the only source of pride in Scotland. There are many Scots who believe that union with the rest of Britain is a good thing, but still love Scotland and find things here to admire.

Quite a lot of "immigrants" to Scotland love the country too - some of us have been here for 50 or 60 years and would not live anywhere else.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 15:22:30

My DGS's best thing ever the JCB Backhoe Loader invented by Joseph Cyril Bamford.

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 15:25:08

I don't think any Scots were annoyed, lemongrove, they are quite happy with the inventions being British as well as Scottish. English posters can state the region where innovative things were invented by Englishmen too, if they wish.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 15:26:20

Cat's Eyes... Invented by Percy Shaw of Halifax.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 15:27:46

Mr JCB was from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.