Civilisation/Inventions

From Quiz Revision Notes

Disclaimer: Many inventions are disputed. It is possible that other lists will have different inventors for some of the inventions listed here.

Year Inventor Invention Notes
1454 Johannes Gutenberg Printing press
1571 Leonard Digges Theodolite
1577 Jost Burgi Minute hand Burgi's invention was part of a clock made for Tycho Brahe
1590 Antonie van Leeuwenhoef Microscope
1596 John Harrington Flush toilet NOT invented by Thomas Crapper
1608 Hans Lippershey Refracting telescope
1614 John Napier Logarithms
1620 Cornelius van Drebel Submarine
1630 Wiliam Oughtred Slide rule
1643 Evangelista Torricelli Barometer
1650 Otto van Guericke Vacuum pump
1656 Christian Huygens Pendulum clock
1670 Dom Perignon Champagne
1679 Denis Papin Pressure cooker
1671 Isaac Newton Reflecting telescope Isaac Newton did not 'invent' the cat flap. He may have made a hole in a door for his cat to get out
1698 Thomas Savery Steam powered engine Known as the 'fire engine'
1700 Bartolomeo Cristofori Piano
1701 Jethro Tull Seed drill Jethro Tull improved the seed drill, but didn't invent it
1704 George Graham Orrery Named after Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery
1711 John Shore Tuning fork
1712 Thomas Newcomen Atmospheric engine First operational and practical industrial engine
1714 Gabriel Fahrenheit Mercury thermometer
1733 John Kay Flying shuttle
1749 Philip Vaughan Ball bearings
1750 Benjamin Beale Bathing machine First used at Margate
1752 Benjamin Franklin Lightning rod Franklin also invented bifocal glasses, glass armonica, and the flexible urinary catheter
1760 James Heath Bath chair Named after city of Bath
1760 John Merlin Roller skate Merlin was born in Belgium
1761 John Harrison Marine chronometer
1762 Earl of Sandwich Sandwich John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, wanted a snack whilst gambling
1764 John Hargreaves Spinning jenny
1767 Joseph Priestley Soda water
1767 John Spilsbury Jigsaw puzzle
1769 Richard Arkwright Spinning frame Later renamed the water frame. Powered the world's first water-powered cotton mill at Cromford, Derbyshire
1769 Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Steam wagon
1775 James Watt Steam engine with separate condensor Led to development of engines by Boulton and Watt
1779 Samuel Crompton Spinning mule Hybrid of Arkwright's water frame and Hargreaves's Spinning jenny
1780 William Addis Mass-produced toothbrush
1783 Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier Hot air balloon
1783 Henry Cort Puddling furnace Steam rolling machine used for refining iron ore
1790 Johann Jacob Schweppe Process of artificially carbonating water Founded the Schweppes Company of Geneva in 1783
1791 Marie Harel Camembert
1792 William Murdoch Gas lighting Also invented the oscillating steam engine
1792 Claude Chappe Semaphore telegraph First practical telecommunications system
1792 Dominique-Jean Larrey Ambulance
1793 Eli Whitney Cotton gin Short for 'cotton engine'. Separates cotton fibres from seeds
1793 George Dunnage Silk top hat The invention of the top hat is often erroneously credited to a haberdasher named John Hetherington
1795 Nicholas Conte Modern pencil
1795 Samuel Henshall Corkscrew
1796 Alois Senefelder Lithography
1797 Andre-Jacques Garnerin Frameless parachute
1799 Alessandro Volta Battery Known as the Voltaic pile
1801 Joseph Marie Jacquard Jacquard loom The loom is controlled by punched cards with punched holes
1804 Richard Trevithick Steam locomotive First railway journey at the Penydarren Ironworks, in Merthyr Tydfil
1804 George Cayley Glider
1806 Ralph Wedgwood Carbon paper
1807 George Manby Breeches buoy Originally known as the Manby Mortar
1809 Nicolas Appert Canning May also have invented Chicken Kiev
1816 Rene Laennec Stethoscope
1815 Humphrey Davy Miner's lamp
1816 David Brewster Kaleidoscope
1816 Joseph Maelzel Metronome
1818 Seth Boyden Patent leather
1819 Joseph van Fraunhofer Spectroscope
1821 Christian Buschmann Harmonica
1822 Nicephore Niepce Photoetching First photographic images
1823 Charles Babbage Difference Engine Designed to calculate tables of logarithms
1823 Charles Macintosh Waterproof clothing
1824 William Sturgeon Electromagnet
1824 Joiseph Aspdin Portland cement Name is derived from its similarity to Portland stone
1825 Robert Foulis Foghorn
1826 John Walker Friction match
1827 Louis Braille Braille Developed from a French military code
1830 Edwin Budding Lawnmower
1831 Michael Faraday Electric generator
1833 Charles Babbage Analytical Engine Used punched cards
1834 George Horner Zoetrope A device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures
1834 Jacob Perkins Refrigeration
1834 Cyrus McCormick Mechanical reaper
1834 Hiram Moore Combine harvester
1834 Joseph Hamson Hamson cab Originally called the Hansom safety cab. Designed in York
1836 Samuel Morse Morse code First message - "What hath God wrought"
1837 William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone Electric telegraph
1837 Alfred Bird Egg-free custard
1838 Chester Carlson Electrophotography Process was subsequently renamed to xerography
1838 Charles Babbage Cow catcher Also known as a pilot
1839 Louid Daguerre Daguerrotype First practical photographic process
1839 Charles Goodyear Vulcanisation Rubber heated with sulphur
1840 George Elkington Electroplating
1840 Rowland Hill Postage stamp First stamps were Penny Black and Two penny Blue
1841 William Henry Fox Talbot Calotype process Photographic process using paper coated with silver iodide
1842 Joseph Groll Pilsener beer
1843 Charles Wheatstone Wheatstone bridge Also invented the English concertina, the stereoscope, and the Playfair cipher
1843 Alexander Bain Fax machine
1845 Henry James Self-raising flour
1845 William Morton Anaesthesia Used ether as the anaesthetic
1845 Robert Thomson Pneumatic tyre Design improved by John Dunlop in 1888
1846 Elias Howe Sewing machine
1846 Ascanio Sobrero Nitroglycerine
1846 Abraham Gesner Kerosene
1848 James Bogardus Skyscraper Built the Cast Iron building in New York
1849 William Hunt Safety pin
1852 Samuel Fox Steel-ribbed umbrella
1852 Elisha Otis Safety lift
1852 Jean Foucault Gyroscope Foucault experimented with a giant pendulum
1853 Ignacy Lukasiewicz Modern street lamp Also invented the kerosene lamp and built the world's first oil refinery
1853 George Crum Potato crisp
1855 Henry Bessemer Bessemer converter Converts pig iron into steel by blowing air through it
1856 William Henry Perkin Synthetic dyes Accidentally discovered mauveine, the first aniline dye
1857 Joseph Gayetty Toilet paper
1857 Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville Phonautograph Earliest known device for recording sound
1858 Etienne Lenoir Internal combustion engine
1861 Francis Galton Weather map
1866 Georges Leclanche Dry cell battery
1866 Thomas Allbutt Clinical thermometer
1866 Robert Whitehead Torpedo
1867 George Pullman Sleeping car
1867 Joseph Monier Reinforced concrete
1868 J.P. Knight Traffic lights First used outside Houses of Parliament
1869 Thomas Edison Stock ticker
1870 Alexander Parkes Celluloid First created as Parkesine by Alexander Parkes and as Xylonite before being registered as Celluloid
1870 William Lyman Rotating wheel can opener
1871 Thomas Adams Modern chewing gum
1873 Christopher Latham Sholes Qwerty Typewriter Marketed by the Remington Arms company
1874 Joseph Glidden Barbed wire
1875 Daniel Peter Milk chocolate Made in Vevey, Switzerland
1876 Alexander Graham Bell Telephone Elisha Grey is considered by many to be the true inventor of the variable resistance telephone
1876 Nickolas Otto Atmospheric gas engine First internal combustion engine to efficiently burn fuel directly in a piston chamber
1876 Francis Galton Dog whistle
1876 Samuel Plimsoll Plimsoll line
1836 Melville Bissell Carpet sweeper
1877 Thomas Edison Phonograph First words recorded were “Mary had a little lamb”
1878 Lazarus Zamenhof Esperanto First 'planned language'
1879 Joseph Swan Light bulb Edison developed a light bulb with a filament later in 1879
1879 James Ritty Cash register
1880 Charles Philips Milk of Magnesia
1881 Alexander Graham Bell Metal detector
1884 Hiram Maxim Maxim gun First self-powered machine gun
1884 Paul Nipkow Nipkow disc A fundamental component in mechanical television
1884 Francis Galton Fingerprint forensics
1885 LaMarcus Adna Thompson Roller coaster
1885 Karl Benz Automobile powered by internal combustion engine
1885 Gottlieb Daimler Motorcycle
1887 Charles Parsons Steam turbine
1887 Adolf Fick Contact lens
1887 Emile Berliner Gramaphone record Also invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter
1888 Marvin Stone Paper drinking straws
1889 John Brodie Football goal net
1891 Karl Elsener Swiss Army knife
1891 Jesse Reno Escalator
1892 Alexander Grant Digestive biscuit Invented by McVities in Edinburgh
1892 James Dewar Vacuum flask
1893 Henry Perky Shredded Wheat
1893 Whitcomb Judson Zipper
1894 William Hooker Mouse trap James Atkinson, a British inventor, invented a prototype called the ‘Little Nipper’ in 1897
1894 john Harvey Kellogg Cornflakes Brother of W.K. Kellogg
1895 Johann Vaaler Paper clip
1895 Guglielmo Marconi Rado Invented independently by Alexander Popov
1896 Neville Bertie-Clay Dum dum bullet
1897 Karl Braun Cathode ray tube
1899 Leo Baekeland Velox photographic paper Baekeland sold his patent to the president of Kodak, George Eastman, for $1 million
1901 King Camp Gillette Disposable razor blade
1901 Hubert Booth Powered vacuum cleaner Vacuum cleaner was known as 'Puffing Billy'
1902 George Ransome Powered lawnmower
1903 Edouard Benedictus Laminated glass
1903 Albert Parkhouse Wire coat hanger
1904 John Ambrose Fleming Diode
1904 Auguste and Louis Lumiere Colour photography
1904 Thomas Sullivan Tea bag
1906 Lee De Forest Triode Known as an Audion
1907 Paul Cornu Twin-rotor helicopter
1907 Alva Fisher Electric washing machine
1908 Jacques Brandenberger Cellophane
1910 William Allen Hex key
1910 George Claude Neon tube lighting
1913 Harry Brearley Stainless steel
1913 Mary Phelps Jacob Modern brassiere She sold the patent for the ‘backless brassiere’ to the Warner Brothers corset company for $1500
1913 Franz Schneider Interrupter gear Design improved by Fokker in 1915
1913 Arthur Wynne Crossword puzzle Published in New York World
1914 Stefan Banic Parachute
1915 Maurice Levy Metal lipstick cylinder
1915 William Mills Mills bomb grenade
1916 Earle Dickson Sticking plaster Marketed as Band-Aid
1920 George Owen Squier Technical basis for Muzak
1920 John Thompson Submachine gun Known as the Tommy gun
1922 Gustaf Dalen Aga cooker
1924 Hans Berger Electroencephalogram
1924 Clarence Birdseye Frozen food
1925 Vladimir Zworykin Television system Television transmitting and receiving system employing cathode ray tube
1926 John Logie Baird Television
1926 Robert Goddard Liquid-fuel rocket
1926 Erik Rotheim Aerosol
1927 Pjilo Farnsworth Image dissector camera tube First electronic television demonstration
1928 Otto Rohwedder Bread slicer
1928 Joseph Schick Electric razor
1928 Philip Drinker Iron lung
1929 Gyorgy Jendrassik Turboprop engine
1929 Ernest Lawrence Cyclotron
1930 Thomas Midgley Freon gas
1930 Frank Whittle Jet engine
1932 George Carwardine Anglepoise lamp
1932 Karl Jansky Radio telescope
1933 Ernst Ruska Electron microscope
1934 Edwin Armstrong FM radio
1934 Percy Shaw Catseyes
1935 Robert Watson-Watt Radar
1935 Wallace Carothers Nylon Invented at DuPont Experimental Station laboratory
1936 George Nissen and Larry Griswold Trampoline
1936 Max Factor Foundation (cosmetics) Known as Pan-Cake
1937 Otto Bayer Polyurethane Invented at IG Farben in Leverkusen
1938 Laszlo Biro Ballpoint pen
1938 Fred Morrison Frisbee Registered trademaek of the Wham-O toy company
1943 Jacques Cousteau Aqualung
1944 Ruben Rausing Tetra Pak
1946 Percy Spencer Microwave oven Invented at Raytheon
1946 Louis Reard Bikini
1947 Dennis Gabor Holography
1947 Ed Lowe Cat litter Sold as 'kitty litter'
1947 Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain Transistor Invented at AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories
1947 Marion Donovan Disposable nappy
1948 Edwin Land Polaroid camera
1948 George de Mestral Velcro
1949 Frank Zamboni Ice resurfacer
1949 Al Gross Telephone pager Also patented the first walkie-talkie, CB radio, and the cordless telephone
1950 Hubert Schlafly Teleprompter (autocue)
1950 Howard Head Lamimate skis Also invented the oversized tennis racket
1950 Ralph Schneider Credit card Diners Club card
1951 Carl Djerassi Oral contreaceptive pill
1952 Gregory Pincus Combined oral contraceptive pill
1952 Buckminster Fuller Geodesic dome
1952 Bernard Silver and Joseph Woodland Barcode
1953 John Hetrick Airbag
1953 Townes, Gordon, and Zeiger Maser Invented at Columbia University
1955 Louis Essen Atomic clock At UK National Physical Laboratory
1955 Christopher Cockerell Hovercraft
1955 Jonas Salk Polio vaccine
1956 Robert Adler TV remote control Device was known as 'Lazy Bones'
1957 Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes Bubble wrap Invented at Sealed Air Corporation
1958 Momofuku Ando Instant noodles
1958 Jack Kilby Integrated circuit Invented at Texas Instruments. Also invented the handheld calculator and thermal printer
1960 Theodore Maiman Laser Invented at Hughes Research Laboratories
1960 Wilson Greatbatch Cardiac pacemaker
1962 Alex Moulton Folding bicycle
1962 Ermal Fraze Ring pull
1963 Douglas Englebart Computer mouse
1963 Edward Craven-Walker Lava lamp Also known as Astro lamp
1964 Rudi Gernreich Monokini
1964 Bitzer, Slottow, and Willson Plasma display Invented at University of Illinois for the PLATO Computer System
1965 Stephanie Kwolek Kevlar Invented at DuPont
1965 James Russell Optical disc
1965 Owen Maclaren Baby buggy
1969 Willard Boyle and George E. Smith Charge-coupled device Invented at AT&T's Bell Labs
1971 Steve Chmelar Foam hand (finger)
1971 Clayton Jacobsen Jet ski
1974 Arthur Fry Post-it note Invented at 3M. Originally known as Press ‘n Peel
1977 Patrick Steptoe In vitro fertilisation Louise Brown was first 'test tube baby'
1977 Raymond Damadian MRI scanner
1980 Bill Carlton Cyclops System uses infra-red to decide whether tennis balls are in or out
1984 Friedhelm Hillebrand SMS (Short Message Service)
1984 Alec Jeffreys DNA fingerprinting
1991 Trevor Baylis Clockwork radio
2001 Dean Kamen Segway
2001 Paul Hawkins Hawk-Eye First used on television at cricket matches