British inventions that foreigners have taken credit for.


Blackleaf
#1
I suppose this could go in the history forum.

The Best of Brits - Great British Inventions

How the British, not the Americans, invented the plane. How the British, not the Germans, invented the car. How the British, not the French, invented photography -






Throughout history, the British have been responsible for many great inventions and are still commonly acknowledged to be among the best in the world when it comes to inventing. Over the past 50 years, according to Japanese research, more than 40 per cent of discoveries taken up on a worldwide basis originated in the United Kingdom.

Many of these British inventions have had an enormous impact on the world. For example, imagine how different life would be today if Michael Faraday had not built the first simple electrical generator or if James Watt had not developed the steam engine?

Leading British author Terry Deary has discovered some other pretty spectacular British 'firsts', some of which have not been traditionally attributed to the Brits.....


1. Powered flight
They say …

During 2003, Dayton, Ohio, and the Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers invention of the first powered airplane. The first successful flight occurred on December 17, 1903 at Kill Devil Hills in Kittyhawk, North Carolina. But hang on … the Wrights may have made “The first successful flight” but they could not claim “the invention of the first powered airplane” because …

Brits say …

Brit Percy Pilcher designed a powered triplane and built it in 1899. By the last day of September 1899, Pilcher's powered triplane was very nearly ready for flight (save, apparently, for mounting the engine), but on that day Pilcher was gliding in his "Hawk." His previously reliable "Hawk" suffered a structural failure, fell, and Pilcher died two days later. Pilcher's powered triplane was never flown. But the “invention” beat the Americans by 4 years.

Or maybe it was Bill Frost a Welsh carpenter who patented the aeroplane in 1894 and took to the skies in a powered flying machine the following year (8 years before the Wright brothers)

Or maybe the world's first powered flight took place not in America in 1903, but at Chard in Somerset 55 years earlier, and the man who made it happen was John Stringfellow
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2 The Guillotine

During the French Revolution M. Guillotin invented a machine for slicing off heads quickly and painlessly. It was pretty successful – though not quite so clean-cut as some people imagine. It took a couple of chops to get through fat King Louis’ neck. But the idea was 500 years after a British invention, “The Halifax Gibbet” because.....

The Guillotine wasn’t a French invention. There was one in Halifax, West Yorkshire, from the 13th to the 17th century. The earliest recorded execution was in 1286. Convicted criminals did have one thing going for them. For hundreds of years the law stated that if a condemned person could withdraw his or her head after the blade was released and before it hit the bottom, then he or she was free. The good old British idea of a “sporting chance”. The one condition: that person could never return.
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3 Electric Light Bulb
They say …

Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb. He began his experiments in 1878 and by 21 October 1879 he made a working electric light bulb. Fine, but …

Brits say …

Sir Joseph Swan of Newcastle announced that he had made a working light bulb on 18 December 1878 and on 18 January 1879 he gave a public demonstration in Sunderland – 10 months before Edison. The Americans say it was just a working model and not a commercial reality … but then they would say that, wouldn’t they?
--------------------------------------------------------------------



4 Telephone
They say …

The first telephone message was made at 5 Exeter Place, Boston, Massachusetts on 10 March 1876. Alexander Graham Bell called to his assistant, “Come here, Watson, I want you.” In June that year it was demonstrated at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and may have passed unnoticed if the Emperor of Brazil hadn’t caused a sensation by crying out, “My God … it talks!” The rest, is history. But …

Brits say …

Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He moved to Canada when he was 23 and only then migrated to the USA. He was British so Brits can rightly claim the telephone is a British invention.
-----------------------------------------------



5 Radio
They say …

On 23 July 1866 Mahlon Loomis of Washington DC described how to send signals by radio. That October he achieved it in Virginia. In 1896 Guliemo Marconi won even greater fame for sending a wireless telegraph over 94 miles. But …

Brits say …

David Edward Hughes, (D.E.Hughes), of Corwen (Denbighshire) – is recorded as the Welshman who became the first person in the world to transmit and receive radio waves. Evans, resident of North Wales, designed the synchronous type-printing telegraph in 1856. Yet another British first.

So forget the Wright Brothers, Marconi, Thomas Edison and Monsieur Guillotin. All they had was good PR. In their own quiet, modest way the Brits were always there first.
---------------------------------------------------

6 Discovering America
They say …

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

The Italian adventurer, Columbus, finally persuaded the Spanish to back an expedition across the Atlantic. They reckon he was the first European to discover America. But he wasn’t.

Brits say …

In 1170 Welsh prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd sailed from Wales in search of new lands and reached America. He then returned to Wales to tell his fellow countrymen of the great wonders that he had found. They are believed to have landed at Mobile Bay, Alabama and then travelled up the Alabama river along which there are several forts said by the local Cherokee Indians to have been constructed by "White People". These structures have been dated to several hundred years before Columbus and are of a similar design to Dolwyddelan Castle. An Indian tribe was discovered in the 18th century called the Mandans. This tribe were described as white men with forts, towns and permanent villages laid out in streets and squares. They claimed ancestry with the Welsh and spoke a language remarkably similar to it. Unfortunately the tribe was wiped out by a smallpox epidemic introduced by traders in 1837. A memorial tablet has been erected at Port Morgan, Mobile Bay, Alabama which reads: "In memory of Prince Madog, a Welsh explorer, who landed on the shores of Mobile Bay in 1170 and left behind, with the Indians, the Welsh language."
-------------------------------------------

7 Motor car
They say …

Karl Benz created the first motor car in Germany in 1889. It covered just over half a mile at nine miles per hour. People have been driving Mercedes Benz cars ever since – usually slower than nine miles an hour in rush hour traffic. But …

Brits say …

180 years before, in 1711, Christopher Holtum demonstrated a horseless carriage. It gave demonstrations under the piazzas at Covent Garden and travelled at five or six miles an hour.
-----------------------------------------

8 Jet propulsion
They say …

In 1796 the American, James Rumsey, drove a steam-powered boat that worked by pushing out a jet of water. It travelled at 4 mph. It became a popular motor for model boats and the US claimed the first jet-propelled vehicle. But …

Brits say …

The great Sir Isaac Newton invented the jet-powered car. He forecast that one day people would travel at 50 miles an hour. In 1680 a man called Gravesande designed a car that would be powered by Newton’s third law of motion – “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” A boiler sent out a jet of steam that pushed the car along. Of course everyone on the road behind the jet engine would have been scalded, but that’s a small price to pay for progress.
---------------------------------------

Sir Isaac Newton

9 Photography
They say …

Louis Daguerre produced the Daguerrotype camera in France. He was actually carrying on the work of a colleague Called Niepce. But Niepce made the clumsy error of dying in 1833 before it was perfected and he is forgotten. In 1838 Daguerre demonstrated a working method of producing photographs. But …

Brits say …

Niepce was basing his work on the experiments of Thomas Wedgewood – son of the famous potter Josiah (who was related to Charles Darwin. Josiah's son, Josiah II, was father-in-law AND uncle to Charles Darwin, who married his own cousin). He used silver nitrate and made images of insect wings and leaves on pieces of sensitised leather. His friend Humphrey Davey was doing similar work and they published their findings in 1802 – 36 years before Daguerre.
----------------------------------


10 The submarine
They say …

The Americans claimed that in the 1700s David Bushnell created the first usable submersible. It was christened “The Turtle”. It’s purpose was to sneak up on British ships in the American War of Independence and screw a mine into the wooden hull. Unfortunately when it tried to attack HMS Eagle the submariners discovered the hull covered in copper. They couldn’t bore into it. The mine went off but the only victims were an unlucky shoal of fish.

Brits say …

There was an English submarine that was not only demonstrated in the early 1600s but gave a test-ride to King James I. The design was created in 1578 by William Bourne, a mathematician. A Dutchman called Cornelis Drebbel came to London to test it in the Thames. Between 1620 and 1624 he did many tests; his oar-propelled craft worked at depths of five metres for several hours. Even the free trip for the King didn’t get a commission from the Navy!
 
jeckgo
#2
Does it really matter....?

Eg. the phone was invented in Brantford, Ontario Canada...to use it publically for the first time in the States was a marketing decision....there's evidence the first airbourne flight was by a German Company, etc...

every one of those you stated have several possibilities depending upon your point of view...eg. do we determine this by birth of the inventor? in which case Basketball is Canadian. Or by where it was invented? In which case Basketball is American...etc...
 
I think not
#3
Let's not forget your biggest claim of all Blackleaf, the British invented fire and the wheel!
 
Toro
#4
The British have given us many good things.

Food isn't one of them.
 
missile
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Let's not forget your biggest claim of all Blackleaf, the British invented fire and the wheel!

Oh ,that's true! Unfortunately for them, they were only discovered very recently
 
#juan
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

The British have given us many good things.

Food isn't one of them.

I would miss: Yorkshire puuding
Worchestershire Sauce
Kippered Herring
Bangers & Mash
Steak & Kidney Pie
Shepherd's Pie
To name only a few things.
 
athabaska
#7
Flag waving nationalism is alive and well. Snore.
 
#juan
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by athabaska

Flag waving nationalism is alive and well. Snore.

What are you talking about? I'm just a Canadian who likes some British food.
 
Toro
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

The British have given us many good things.

Food isn't one of them.

I would miss: Yorkshire puuding
Worchestershire Sauce
Kippered Herring
Bangers & Mash
Steak & Kidney Pie
Shepherd's Pie
To name only a few things.

Like I said, the British have....
 
Daz_Hockey
#10
come on then, what have the Dane's given us as far as food goes.....ok so ours are slightly on the fatty & rubbish side, but there's a lot worse
 
Toro
#11
British cooking instructions;

"Boil everything.

The end."
 
Daz_Hockey
#12
erm....maybe you have a point.

Apart from the "BOIL everything" that needs to be rephrased to "FRY everything", if you can fry it dont eat it!!!...never had a fried Mars Bar?...we invented them
 
Daz_Hockey
#13
*do eat it rather
 
jeckgo
#14
Hi Blackleaf,

Hmm some interesting snippets of info.
could you quote the url where you got this from..?
 
Toro
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Daz_Hockey

erm....maybe you have a point.

Apart from the "BOIL everything" that needs to be rephrased to "FRY everything", if you can fry it dont eat it!!!...never had a fried Mars Bar?...we invented them

"Deep fry everything" is from the Southern cookbook.
 
Blackleaf
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Let's not forget your biggest claim of all Blackleaf, the British invented fire and the wheel!

I was only joking when I said that.

The British COULD have invented the wheel, though. After all, no-one knows who invented it, I suppose.
 
Blackleaf
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by jeckgo

Hi Blackleaf,

Hmm some interesting snippets of info.
could you quote the url where you got this from..?

www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/BestifBrits.htm (external - login to view)

And Terry deary's website - www.terry-deary.com/homepage/index.html (external - login to view)
 
I think not
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

British cooking instructions;

"Boil everything.

The end."

They don't believe in eating, they drink their way to old age.
 
EagleSmack
#19
1. Powered flight
They say …

During 2003, Dayton, Ohio, and the Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers invention of the first powered airplane. The first successful flight occurred on December 17, 1903 at Kill Devil Hills in Kittyhawk, North Carolina. But hang on … the Wrights may have made “The first successful flight” but they could not claim “the invention of the first powered airplane” because …

Brits say …

Brit Percy Pilcher designed a powered triplane and built it in 1899. By the last day of September 1899, Pilcher's powered triplane was very nearly ready for flight (save, apparently, for mounting the engine), but on that day Pilcher was gliding in his "Hawk." His previously reliable "Hawk" suffered a structural failure, fell, and Pilcher died two days later. Pilcher's powered triplane was never flown. But the “invention” beat the Americans by 4 years.

Or maybe it was Bill Frost a Welsh carpenter who patented the aeroplane in 1894 and took to the skies in a powered flying machine the following year (8 years before the Wright brothers)

Or maybe the world's first powered flight took place not in America in 1903, but at Chard in Somerset 55 years earlier, and the man who made it happen was John Stringfellow



I went and checked into these people. Not one flew in a manned powered plane.

NOT ONE

The had designs, they had dreams but none of them came to reality.

Michalangelo had designs of flying machines AND helicopters. So I guess the Italians beat us all.

But hey... if it makes you feel better. But you are full of "Shepards Pie".
 
TenPenny
#20
And who can forget that Jesus was British:

"And did those feet in ancient times
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pastures seen...."
 
Blackleaf
#21
Without counting the images of leaves and petals taken by British photographers in the first decade of the 1800s, which can lay claim to being the world's earliest photographs, this is the earliest photograph ever taken -


This photo of a boy leading a horse was taken in 1825. Yep - 1825.
 
Blackleaf
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack

1I went and checked into these people. Not one flew in a manned powered plane.

hmmmmm........


Quote:

Or maybe it was Bill Frost a Welsh carpenter who patented the aeroplane in 1894 and took to the skies in a powered flying machine the following year (8 years before the Wright brothers)

 
Blackleaf
#23
According to this article, the first person to fly was Englishman Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, (who is more famous for his machine gun). He flew in 1894 - around 9 years before the Wright brothers.

So, if you think about it, around 4 or 5 people (all British) may have flown BEFORE the Wright Brothers -



2004 was the 110th Anniversary of Powered Flight!
But 2004 is the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers?
True, but the Wright brothers weren't the first people to do it!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the Wright brothers telegraphed home after Kitty Hawk, the only bit of their telegram which was commented on by the local press was "Wright brothers home for Christmas". Why wouldn't the press be carrying "Wright brothers first to fly" banners if they had just made history? The answer is that they hadn't. Everyone knew that powered flight had already been achieved, so the important portion of the communique was that they would be home for Christmas.

The first person to fly a powered, heavier than air vehicle (aeroplane) was Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, (who is more famous for his machine gun). On Tuesday 31st July 1894 at Baldwyn's Park (formerly the site of a mental hospital, now a housing estate) in the London Borough of Bexley, his flyer was launched for the first time and successfully flew.

Ten years before the Wright Brothers


The Maxim Flyer


The Maxin Flyer

The flyer had a 40 foot hexagonal "kite" centre section, which supported the pilot platform, on the front of which was mounted the engine. Front and back of the centre kite section were placed the elevators which were controlled in unison by an adjustment wheel mounted on the rear of the engine housing.

To each side of the centre section were placed wings, which Maxim termed 'aeroplanes' thus using the expression for the first time. The wings extended out at the level of the kite and the platform, thus creating a biplane with a total 104 foot wing span.

The most interesting thing about the flyer was that it was powered by steam, using a coiled pipe boiler heated by naptha. Although the coiled boiler was a mere 8 feet long, 6 feet high and 4 feet wide at the base, the use of piping in this manner provided 800 feet of heatable surface area, while the complete boiler weighed in at less than 1000lbs. The boiler could develop 362 h.p. and a pressure of 3201lbs.

The engine powered two 18 feet long proppeller blades which were mounted to the shaft by splines rather than the (until then) standard method of clamping the blade in an angle bracket, another innovation of Maxim's.


The twin props of the flyer

The Flight
Carrying THREE people, the flyer lifted from its base guiding track to a height of 9 inches where the wheels engaged a restraining rail. Held by the restraining rail, the flyer moved under its own lift above the ground for 1000 feet, after which one of the axle-trees buckled. The buckling axle-tree meant that only three of the wheels were in touch with the restraining rail, resulting in an uneven load which broke the restraining rail (9" thick Georgia pine). The flyer broke free and at a speed of 42mph it flew under the power of one screw, (the other having been damaged by the desintegrating restraining rail) for a further 15 seconds while Maxim shut off the engine.This free-flight was at a height of three feet above the rail.

Distance Calculations
Distance covered under the guiding rail: 1000 feet
Distance covered in free flight: 42mph = 61.6 feet per second for 15 seconds = 924 feet
Total distance during which the weight of the vehicle was supported by its own lift (i.e. in flight): 1924 feet.


Altitude Calculations

Height of lower track: 8 inches

Distance between lower track and restraining rail: 9 inches

Therefore height of restraining rail: 17 inches (altitude during restrained flight)

Thickness of restraining rail: 4 inches

Height of free flight above restraining rail: 3 feet (36 inches)

Total altitude from ground in free flight: 17" + 4" + 36" = 57" = 4 feet 9 inches

The restraining track was 1800 feet long and the flyer made a controlled descent of short duration and impacted into the soft ground with no skidding. The impact which buckled the platform, also resulted in a head injury to one of the three pilots.

The impact site was 246 feet further than the track's termination, therefore the Maxim flyer obtained lift approximately 122 feet along the track from its starting position.

That means that the Maxim flier moved forwards 2 feet as it descended from its stable (unrestrained) flight path. Consequently, the flyer flew for 922 feet in level free flight at a height of 57 inches.



The flyer after crash landing.

Was it Flight?
Heavier than Air flight is termed as "the ability of a vehicle to lift its own weight using its own power," The lifting of the flyer to engage the restraining rail nine inches higher shows without doubt that the vehicle was supporting its own weight and thus flying. Some people vulgarly describe the Maxim flyer as being nothing more than a 'Lift Test Rig'. This could not be further from the truth. Lift test rigs are generally stationary, with the air flow being blown over the wing area from an external source. A model in a wind tunnel is a 'Lift Test Rig'. The Maxim Flyer is an aeroplane. Even if the duration of the flight under the restraining rail is disputed as being 'Flight', the machine's breaking free and subsequent stable and level flight at three feet altitude for 924 feet, although not within Maxim's intentions is still 'flight'. As a consequence of this, it can not be denied that Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim was the first person to fly a heavier than air machine.

The Audience
The first flight was conducted in front of many spectators including personal friends invited by Sir Hiram, specifically the Prince of Wales, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but most importantly, H G Wells who used Maxim and his flying machine as the basis for his short story "Arganauts of the Air" (1895), the inventor of the flying machine in this story is called 'Monson'. In addition, in 1897, Well's Science Fiction masterpiece "The War of the Worlds" depicts a Martian flying machine which bears uncanny resemblance to Maxim's flyer.

So what exactly should the Wright brothers be in the history books for?

The Wright brothers were the first people to activley CONTROL their flight. They were not only able to fly, but to turn the vehicle around and return to its point of origin, an amazing achievement. Unfortunately patriotic re-write history drum-bangers ignore this in preference to toppling Maxim from his rightful place with the higher prize of being the first. It is unfortunate that most of the world's history books today perpetuate this mis-information, which is in fact nothing more than proof that anything said loudly enough and often enough becomes gospel.

bondle.co.uk
------------------
Americans first to fly? No, it was the British.

However, even THIS flight may not have been the first. Englishman John Stringfellow may have flown as early as 1848.
 
I think not
#24
So was it Pilcher, Frost or Maxim? When you make up your minds, give us a shout.
 
Blackleaf
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

So was it Pilcher, Frost or Maxim? When you make up your minds, give us a shout.

It doesn't matter which of those was first.

The fact is that all three flew before the Wright Brothers.
 
EagleSmack
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf

Without counting the images of leaves and petals taken by British photographers in the first decade of the 1800s, which can lay claim to being the world's earliest photographs, this is the earliest photograph ever taken -


This photo of a boy leading a horse was taken in 1825. Yep - 1825.


When the early photographers took photos the subject had to stay completely still. The reason being was that the photographer had to uncover the lens that would expose a wet plate for a few seconds so the image would set. The days of action photography were years away.

Look at US Civil War photos. It was difficult to keep a horse still so parts of the horse, especially the tail was a big blur. That went for children and someone shifting their arm or legs.

So this photo is BULL.

Anything else you need us to debunk?
 
EagleSmack
#27
Interesting revisionist view of the Brits being the first to fly. As I read it the flight was a failure and it crashed. You even helpfully installed a picture of the Maxim Flyer after it crashed.

BRAVO!

You proved our point.

The Wright Bros. took off and flew and landed. That is true powered flight which is what these folks tried to do and failed. There are plenty of old motion films of people trying to get their contraptions off the ground.

The US did it.... Britain didn't.

Have a nice day.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf

So, if you think about it, around 4 or 5 people (all British) may have flown BEFORE the Wright Brothers -

The Wright Bros were not the first to achieve flight, but they were the first to achieve powered controlled flight, which is, after all, what aviation is all about. There were several people who flew gliders before the Wright's first powered flight, including the Wrights themselves, but powered and controlled is the defining factor here.
 
EagleSmack
#29
And people flew in balloons as well. So technically they were the first in flight.

You know what else... the more and more I look at the silly picture that you tried to convince everyone that it is the first photograph the more I have to laugh.

Were they even wearing Tricorn hats then?

Where is the background? Was there nothing behind the boy?

How did he get the horse to remain perfectly still in that position?
 
EagleSmack
#30
www.npr.org/programs/watc/fea...ar/photograph/ (external - login to view)

www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/wfp/ (external - login to view)

www.anomalies-unlimited.com/O...02/Niepce.html (external - login to view)

Take a look at these links Blackleaf. Looks like the French beat you to it.

And the photographer had to expose the tin plate for 8 hours to get this image.

So do you think a boy and a horse can stay perfectly still for 8 hours?

Boy leading a horse!
 

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