Inventions through history

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Below is a list of inventions that led to the world we see today.

Scramjet being developed.

A Scramjet is a jet engine with no moving parts. It works by air entering the front of the engine, which is large, then being compressed as it passes through the engine which gets narrower in the middle. Fuel is then added to the compressed air giving propulsion.

Scramjet's only work after they are traveling at high speeds when air is being forced through the engine, they cannot fly from a standstill.

A remote controlled NASA Scramjet reached 9 times the speed of sound in 2011 before crashing. They are expected to be able to reach 24 times the speed of sound.

The fastest aircraft before this was the Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane that traveled about 3 times the speed of sound.

This type of propulsion has been attempted from the early 1900s with little success. A Scramjet aircraft is expected to cut the flight time between London and Australia from 21 hours to under 2 hours.


Optical Fiber 1980.

Optical fibers are now widely used in fiber-optic communications, aloowing transmission of data over longer distances at higher bandwidths than other forms of communication before, such as wires.

Telephones and the Internet are the most well known users of this invention. Although the transmitting of data by Fibre Optics has been tested for over 100 years, it was not until 1980 that companies began using Fibre Optics to link large cities.

Nobody has been credited with inventing the modern day Fibre Optic system. Claims have been made the system was back-engineered from crashed alien spacecraft.


Personal Computers early 1970s/ Internet born 1987/ first computers that can be compared to todays 1990s.

Personal computers were developed from the early 1970s by companies such as Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Apple, Macintosh, IBM, Microsoft and Comodore.

In 1984, Apple Computers introduced the first reliable and affordable mouse for point and click navigation through the computer. This allowed the mass production of user friendly point and click software, leading to the personal computers seen today.

This first Apple computer was extremely limited with only 128 KB of Ram Memory (Fast Memory). If a computers Ram is overloaded, it Crashes. By the early 1990s, ram memory began increasing from 2 MB, about 20 times that of the first Apple. By the early 2000s, computers were appearing with 128 MB of Ram, that is still enough for some people today, although easily overloaded to a crash using high data programmes.

Ram has steadily ingreased to 20 GB in 2010s, that is the equivilent of 20,480 MB. I GB of Ram can cope easily with video editing, so it seems Ram reaching 20 GB has been for use in gaming computers, that seem never to have enough momory.


Integrated Circuit/ Silicon Chip/ Micro Chip 1960s/1970s.

An integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured into a thin form of semiconductor material, now normaly silicon.

Integrated circuits are now used in virtually every electronic device, making them more reliable, less expensive, and a fraction of the size.

Although the integrated circuit was being pursued from the early 1900s, it wasn't until the 1960s/1970s that the invention was mass produced for public use.

The first hand held calculator was developed in 1967, and the first Digital Watch was produced in 1974.

Jack Kilby, who produced the first hand held calculator, is probably the most recognized inventor of the integrated circuit, receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 2000.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_circuit . Timeline

Television 1923/ first regular broadcasts 1929/ colour TVs US from 1950s, Europe from 1960s.

The Scottish engineer John Logie Baird designed the world's first working television in 1923. His first public demonstration took place in Selfridges department store in London in March 1925.

The BBC began the world's first regular television broadcasts in January 1929, using Baird's system.

Mass production of TVs between 1945 and 1956, saw them appear in most reasonably well off homes.

Colour TVs were sold in the US from the 1950s, and in the UK and Europe from the 1960s, although it was the 1970s before they were commonplace, 28 to 32 inch screens were seen as large then.

The first remote controls emerged in 1956. The first large plasma TVs were manufactured in 1997 with 42 inch screens. By 2004, large Liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens were being sold as an alternative to plasma TVs. By 2005, plasma and LCDs had put and end to the old tube type TVs.

The first consumer videocassette recorders were launched in 1971.

The first DVD players were sold around the world from 1996 to 1999.


Powered Aircraft 1903/ first passenger service 1919/ first direct transatlantic passenger service 1958.

The first successful, powered, piloted flight took place in 1903 by the Wright Brothers. This first flight lasted just 12 seconds.

World War One (1914-1919) saw increased development of aircraft with speeds being acheived by the end of the war at over 100 mph, carrying guns and bombs.

World War Two (1939-1945) saw aircraft speed increase to over 400 mph.

Jet engines began appearing in the last year of the war capaple of reaching over 500 mph.

Britain and France introduce one of the first passenger services in 1919, this being across the English Channel between London and Paris.

The British built De Havilland Comet became the first jet powered passenger service flying between London and South Africa in 1952. The Comet also provided the first direct transatlantic passenger service, this between London and New York in 1958.


Diesel Engine 1893.

The German inventor Rudolph Diesel unveiled his first efficient Diesel Engine in 1893.

This engine works by the piston pushing up compressing the air at the top of the chamber making it hot, then Diesel is injected into the hot air at the top of the chamber to make the combustion, this pushing the piston back down. There are no spark plugs in a Diesel engine.

Diesel can be obtained from crude oil and vegetable oils.

The first boat powered by a Diesel engine was in 1903.

The first submarine to use Diesel engines was in 1904. The Diesel engine was used on the surface and electric power when submerged.

The first car produced with a Diesel engine was a Citroen in 1933.

Most of the worlds largest ships, and largest trucks, are now powered by massive Diesel engines.

The first fairly large transatlantic liner to be powered by Diesel engines was the 573 feet long SS Gripsholm that entered service in 1925.


Petrol/Gasoline Engine 1887/ large scale production of cars for the public from 1908.

Gottlieb Daimler invented what is recognized as the prototype of the modern gas/petrol engine.

His first engine had a vertical cylinder with gasoline injected through a carburetor. He patented the engine design in 1887.

Daimler first built a two-wheeled vehicle named the Reitwagen (Riding Carriage), then a year later, built the world's first four-wheeled motor vehicle.

A petrol engine works with a mixture of petrol/gasoline and air fed into the top of a cylinder as a piston is close to the top, a spark is then sent into the mixture to create an explosion to push the piston down.

Petrol engines are normally used in cars, motor bikes and lawnmowers, as they give a high performance.

Diesel engines tend to last longer and get more miles to the gallon, but have less performance and produce more toxic emissions.

The first affordable mass produced petrol engine cars where the Model T Ford that went on sale in 1908.


Electricity 1800/ first light bulbs 1880s/ first electric sockets 1910s

Although electricity had been known about for centuries, Alessandro Volta was the first to make use of it by manufacturing batteries from 1800.

Light bulbs were invented in the late 1870s, but were not common in homes until the 1930s.

The first electric kettle was seen in 1886, first electric iron in 1881, first thermostatically controlled electric iron in the 1920s, first electric hoovers appeared in the 1930s.

Although electric fridges were being mass produced from 1927, electric fridges and washing machines did not become common in homes until the 1960s, due to their high cost.

The first florescent lamps were installed in factories in 1904.

Compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs), also known as energy-saving light bulbs, were introduced in the late 1980s.

No more original light bulbs have been manufactured from 2012.


Steam Engine 1698/ passenger steam trains from 1807/ London to Aberdeen line opened in 1850 covering 500 miles.

Although inventors had been experimenting with steam power for centuries, it was Thomas Savery who built the first practical device in 1698 for pumping water out of coal mines.

In 1765, James Watt patented a new design of Steam Engine that became the design used over the following 200 years plus.

The first steamboat entered the water in 1787 when John Fitch made the first successful trial of a forty-five-foot steamboat on the Delaware River in the USA. The largest Liners of the early 1900s were all powered by steam engines, piston first, then steam turbines.

The first steam train ran in 1804 near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. The first passenger service began from Swansea in Wales in 1807. The first steam trains began running in the US in 1830.

By 1869, steam trains could travel between the east and west coast of the US by the transcontinental Central Pacific Railroad.

The first Diesel powered trains began entering service in 1912, but took until the 1950s before they really began taking over from Steam Trains.

Diesel engines were installed in fairly large ships from the 1920s.


The Wheel around 3,500 BC

The first wheeled vehicles seem to have appeared about 3,500 BC, around the Mediterranean and in Europe.

The earliest wheels were simple wooden disks with a hole drilled for the axle.

The first wooden spoked wheels were manufactured around 2,000 BC, with the wooden spoked wheel design lasting until the 1870s.

From the 1870s, wire and steel wheels with pneumatic tires were manufactured and improved to what can be seen today.


Domesticated Animals around 10,200 BC

The domestication of animals is thought to have began during the Neolithic Period that started around 10,200 BC. Their primitive agriculture lead to farming as can be seen today, with animals reared for food, and also used for pulling farming appliances.

The first working elephants were used in India around 3,300 BC.

The domestication of horses is believed to have began around 2,500 BC.

Horses then remained the main working animal until replaced by motor vehicles in the early 1900s. Some horses were still being used in farming and industry until the 1980s.


Tools / Weapons around 5 Million BC

The use of objects as weapons and tools has been noted among chimpanzees, this leading to speculation the first humans, around 5 Million BC, would also have used weapons.

The earliest tools and weapons were made of wood and stone, and later, a combination of wood and stone.

The earliest metal weapons and tools were made of copper during the Copper Age around 3,300 BC, followed by the Bronze Age around 1700BC, and Iron Age 1,300 BC.


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