Is it True...?
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  1. #1

    Is it True...?

    British inventions that foreigners have taken credit for.

    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

    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.

    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!

  2. #2
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Does it really matter....?

    Eg. the phone was invented in Brantford, Ontario 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 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...


  3. #3
    Hmm some interesting snippets of info.
    could you quote the url where you got this from attitude.?.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    As long as we can all agree that french fries are a Belgian invention (they're called "french" fries from the verb "to french", not the French), does it really matter?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pacific Northwest
    To french:

    1 : to trim the meat from the end of the bone of
    2 : to cut in thin lengthwise strips before cooking

    sounds true

    And btw the Slowish invented latency
    Connection refused, try again later.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    And the British invented the concentration camp.................................

  7. #7
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    For those familiar with Triumphs, Jaguars and MGs, Joseph
    Lucas, the inventor of darkness, AKA prince of darkness.

    It is said that, in WWII, they lost more spitfires to Lucas than
    to Jerry.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    It is said that, in WWII, they lost more spitfires to Lucas than to Jerry.
    Is that "Tom & Gerry"?

    Once a 24 cylinder Rolls Royce Merlin cuts in, the crappy Lucas electrics have bugger all to do with it

    Mosquitoes, Lancasters, Sterlings, Halifaxes, Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tempests, Blenheims, Sunderlands, Swordfish, Albacores, Skuas, Beauforts, Beaufighters, and so on..................

    If there was anything wrong with the Lucas kit WE would have known.........................

    EDIT: The British taught the Americans how to land a Corsair on a carrier, and how to make the Mustang a decent fighter

  9. #9
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I can assure you all from personal experience that there is only one sound in this world more heartlifting than the sound of a Merlin engine on a Spitfire.... It's the two Merlins on a Mosquito... and at the time I didn't know there was a single flying Mosquito left...

    I was at RAF Shawbury at No. 2 Flying Training School in about 1983. We missed the transport so we were walking the perimeter track to the hanger on the other side of the airfield. When we got to the runway the lights were red, (aircraft on approach), which is unusual since No. 2 FTS was a helicopter school so runway use was quite minimal and it was too early for the school to be using runways. I looked up the glideslope and about 1 1/2 miles out I could see the incoming kite... The moment I saw I was confused... I knew it was a Mossie... But I thought that there weren't any flying... So I didn't believe myself. But as it kept getting closer I was becoming more and more convinced... No-one else believed me when I kept saying "That's a Mossie... But it can't be, there aren't any flying... But it is a Mossie....". Then, when it was about 1/4 mile out I could start to hear the Merlins... I can pick out a Merlin engine anywhere... I _knew_ it was a Mossie... It was outstanding... We were stood less than 50' from a Mosquito as it landed with that wonderful "puttering" sound the Merlin makes when it is throttled back... but doubled... Two Merlins.... ahhh... heaven...

    I guess you have to be there... I guess you have to hear a Merlin... I guess you have to be wierd...
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  10. #10
    the beign of authority kurt_der_koenig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Y chromosome analysis of people from the British Isles, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Friesland and the Basque Country has revealed that some areas of England have a higher Germanic (Danish/North German/Frisian) component in the male line of descent than others. Germanic Y chromosomes are at their highest concentrations in York and Norfolk, here the Germanic male sex chromosome occurs in about 60% of men, with indigenous Y chromosomes comprising about 40%. The research cannot distinguish between Danish (the presumed source of Danish-Viking settlers to East and Northern England), North German (Schleswig-Holstein, modern era) and Frisian (Anglo-Saxon) Y chromosomes. The study concludes these data are consistent with the presence of some indigenous component in all British regions[9]. It should be noted that the work cannot make reference to the extent of settlement by Anglo-Saxon/Danish-Viking women. It is therefore the case that even in places like York, the total genetic contribution of these peoples may only represent 30% of the whole (if few or no women settled). Conversely the total contribution to the gene pool by these peoples would be greater than 60% if there were more women settlers than men.

    just thought that this was interesting.....

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