Pre-1565: The pencil invented in Seathwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria, using Grey Knotts graphite.
1588: Modern shorthand invented by Timothy Bright (1551?-1615).
1661: The postmark (called the “Bishop Mark”) introduced by English Postmaster General Henry Bishop (1611-1691/2).
1667: Tin can telephone, a device that conveyed sounds over an extended wire by mechanical vibrations, invented by Robert Hooke (1635–1703).
1714: Patent for an apparatus regarded as the first typewriter granted to Henry Mill (c. 1683-1771).
18th century: The Valentine’s card first popularised.
1822: The mechanical pencil patented by Sampson Mordan (1790–1843) and John Isaac Hawkins (1772–1855).
1831: Electromagnetic induction & Faraday’s law of induction. Began as a series of experiments by Michael Faraday (1791–1867); later became some of the first experiments in the discovery of radio waves and the development of radio.
1837: The first commercially successful electric telegraph developed by Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802–1875) and Sir William Fothergill Cooke (1806–1879).
1837: Pitman Shorthand invented by Isaac Pitman (1813–1897).
1840: Uniform Penny Post and postage stamp invented by Sir Rowland Hill (1795–1879).
1843: The Christmas card introduced commercially by Sir Henry Cole (1808–1882).
1873: Discovery of the photoconductivity of the element selenium by Willoughby Smith (1828–1891). Smith’s work led to the invention of photoelectric cells (solar panels), including those used in the earliest television systems.
1897: The world’s first radio station was located at the Needles Battery on the western tip of the Isle of Wight; it was set up by Marconi.
1899: The world’s first colour motion picture film produced by Edward Raymond Turner (1873–1903).
1902: Proposition by Oliver Heaviside (1850–1925) of the existence of the Kennelly–Heaviside layer, a layer of ionised gas that reflects radio waves around the Earth’s curvature.
1912: Development of radio communication pioneered by William Eccles (1875–1966).
1914: The world’s first automatic totalisator invented by English-born George Julius (1873–1946).
1922: Mechanical scanning device (a precursor to modern television) demonstrated in Sorbonne, France by Englishman Edwin Belin.
1930: The Plessey company in England began manufacturing the Baird Televisor receiver: the first television receiver sold to the public.
1931: Stereophonic sound or, more commonly, stereo invented at EMI in Hayes, Middlesex by Alan Blumlein (1903–1942).
1933: The 405-line television system (the first fully electronic television system used in regular broadcasting) developed at EMI in Hayes, Middlesex by Alan Blumlein (1903–1942), under the supervision of Sir Isaac Shoenberg.
1936: The world’s first regular public broadcasts of high-definition television began from Alexandra Palace, North London by the BBC Television Service.
1930s: Radar pioneered at Bawdsey Manor by Scotsman Robert Watson-Watt (1892–1973) and Englishman Henry Tizard (1885–1939).
1945: The concept of geostationary satellites for the use of telecommunications relays popularised by Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008).
1964 onwards: Use of fibre optics in telecommunications pioneered by Englishman George Hockham (1938–2013) and Chinese-born Charles K. Kao.
Late 1960s: Development of the long-lasting materials that made liquid crystal displays possible. Team headed by Sir Brynmor Jones; developed by Scotsman George Gray and Englishman Ken Harrison in conjunction with the Royal Radar Establishment and the University of Hull, who ultimately discovered the crystals used in LCDs.
1970: The MTV-1, the first near pocket-sized handheld television, developed by Sir Clive Sinclair (born 1940).
1973: First transmissions of the Teletext information service made by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
1992: Clockwork radio invented by Trevor Baylis (born 1937).
1992: The world’s first text/SMS message (“Merry Christmas”) sent over the Vodafone GSM network by Neil Papworth (born 1969).
2016: Holographic TV device created by the BBC.