There are three things which the British have traditionally excelled at. Exploring the four corners of the world. Collecting what they find. And inventing clever little gadgets and gizmos that enable the former two. Brits have an almighty list of inventions. The internal combustion engine, the jet engine, the train, radar, the electromagnet, television and toilet paper. Britain also shared the invention of the atomic bomb, although that seems to have been kept a secret on the other side of the Atlantic. Along with the invention of the aeroplane – a British inventor created a powered craft before the Wright brothers. But being British, he wandered off to other projects without bothering to put it to the test. It did work however. And, of course, a Brit created the Thermos flask. Must keep the tea hot, or the country would simply fall to pieces. You’re reading this on another great British invention by the by – the World Wide Web.
To ensure the continuing supply of British inventors into the rest of the 21st century, we created Viagra. The list of inventions is seemingly endless. I once read that 90% of everything used in the home is, or was based on, a British invention. My favourites are often the Garen Shed inventors. Eccentric geniuses who produce ingenious devices, more often than not held together with sellotape and paperclips, from the back garden. I have two contemporary favourites. Trevor Bayliss, who managed to make a wind up radio – I own one. And James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner. Is there a more satisfying story than a single man whose idea is rejected by the industry giant (wanting to protect their entirely unnecessary replacement bag sales revenue) who takes them on and bites them right in the ass? And now the new Dyson heater. I want one. I really, really want one. I’m simply not prepared for the fast coming British winter at all.