English Inventors and Pioneers

There have been a great many fantastic inventions and wonderful discoveries made by the people of England over the centuries. This section attempts to comprehensively list the many great men and women who strived to push the boundaries of human endeavour.

The number in the hundreds so for the benefit of clarity, individuals have been divided where possible into the discipline they were most closely associated with, such as Chemistry, Engineering, Exploration and Medicine to name but a few.

Abraham Darby III The Iron Bridge (first metal bridge)
Alan Blumlein 405-line television system
Alan Blumlein H2S radar
Alastair Pilkington float glass process
Albert E. Richardson Teasmade
Alec Jeffreys DNA fingerprinting
Alexander Parkes (1831-1890), celluloid
Alexander Parkes Parkesine, the first man-made plastic
Alexander Parkes Parkes process, removing silver from lead.
Alexander Parkes Plastic
Almroth Wright First typhoid vaccine
Antony Hewish Discovery of pulsars
Antony Hewish Aperture synthesis,
Archer J.P. Martin chromatography
Arnold Frederic Wilkins Radar
Arthur Holmes Geological Timescale
Arthur Pollen analogue computer
Arthur Stanley Eddington Eddington limit
Arthur Wynne (1862-1945), inventor of crossword puzzle
Barnes Wallis (1887-1979), bouncing bomb
Benjamin Huntsman English crucible steel
Bill Moggridge laptop computer
Brian Gamlin Darts
Cambridge University, Sheffield F.C. Football
Cecil Frank Powell pion
Charles Algernon Parsons Steam turbine
Charles Algernon Parsons steam turbine powered steamship
Charles Babbage Analytical engine
Charles Babbage Difference engine
Charles Babbage Ophthalmoscope
Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution
Charles Dennistoun Burney High explosive squash head
Charles Henry Foyle Folding carton
Charles Plimpton Bayko
Charles Wheatstone electric telegraph
Charles Wheatstone Playfair cipher
Charles Wheatstone Linear motor
Charles Wheatstone Concertina
Charles Wheatstone Stereoscope
Christopher Cockerell Hovercraft
Clive Sinclair handheld television
Clive Sinclair pocket calculator
Clive Sinclair Sinclair C5
Colin C. Mitchell Steam catapult
Cornelius Varley Graphic telescope
Dan Albone The first commercially successful light farm tractor
Dan Albone Safety bicycle
David Braben computer game with 3D graphics
David E. Hughes The first Radio transmission using a Spark Transmitter
Dennis Gabor Holography
Denys Fisher Spirograph
Doggett’s Coat and Badge oldest rowing competition
Donald Bailey Bailey Bridge
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Protein crystallography
E. Purnell Hooley tarmac
Eadweard Muybridge movie projector, the Zoopraxiscope
Edmond Halley Discovery of Halley’s Comet
Edmund Cartwright Power loom
Edmund Cartwright Power Loom
Edmund Halley Diving bell
Edward Jenner Smallpox vaccine
Edward Stone Discovered the active ingredient of Aspirin
Edward Weston  Weston cell
Edwin Beard Budding Adjustable spanner
Edwin Beard Budding Lawn mower
Edwin Belin, television precursor
English Electric Lightning The first aircraft capable of supercruise
Eric A. Sykes Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife
Eric Laithwaite Maglev (transport)
Ernest Rutherford Discovery of the Atom
Ernest Rutherford Discovery of the Proton
Ernest Rutherford hydrophone
Francis Bacon Water desalination
Francis Bacon Bacon’s cipher
Francis Galton Standard deviation
Francis Galton Weather map
Francis Herbert Wenham Wind tunnel
Francis Pettit Smith Screw propeller
Frank Bowden Bowden cable
Frank Hornby Meccano
Frank Whittle (1907-1996), co-inventor of the jet engine
Frank Whittle Jet engine
Frederick Abel Cordite in the use of firearms
Frederick Gowland Hopkins Vitamins and Tryptophan
Frederick Kipping Silicone
Frederick Lanchester Pendulum governor
Frederick Lanchester Disc brakes
Frederick Sanger DNA sequencing
Frederick Scott Archer Ambrotype
Frederick Scott Archer Collodion process
Frederick Walton Linoleum
Geoffrey W.A. Dummer Microchip
George Adams  lorgnette
George Albert Smith Kinemacolor
George Atwood Atwood machine
George Cayley Aeronautics and flight
George Cayley Pioneer of glider development
George Cayley Seat belt
George Cayley Tension-spoke Wire wheels
George Daniels Co-axial escapement (Clocks)
George Elkington electroplating process
George Garrett Resurgam
George Julius automatic totalisator
George Stephenson Geordie lamp
George William Manby (1765-1854), Fire extinguisher
George William Manby Fire extinguisher
George Williams  YMCA
Giles Brindley Logical bassoon,
Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield Computed Tomography
H. J. Round light-emitting diode
Harold Ridley Artificial intraocular lens transplant
Harry Boot Cavity magnetron (RADAR)
Harry Brearley Stainless steel
Harry Kroto Discovey of Buckminsterfullerene
Henry Bessemer Steel production Bessemer process
Henry Cavendish Discovery of Hydrogen
Henry Cavendish Discovers hydrogen
Henry Coggeshall Coggeshall slide rule
Henry Cole Christmas card
Henry Fleuss Diving Equipment/Scuba Gear
Henry Fourdrinier Fourdrinier machine (Paper Machine)
Henry Hallett Dale Acetylcholine
Henry Hindley Screw-cutting lathe
Henry Mill Typewriter
Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842), Shrapnel shell ammunition
Herbert Akroyd Stuart Diesel Engine
Herbert Akroyd Stuart heavy oil engine
Hiram Maxim (1840-1916), First self-powered machine gun
Hubert Cecil Booth powered vacuum cleaner
Humphrey Davy Nitrous oxide an an anaesthetic
Humphry Davy Davy lamp
Humphry Davy First isolation of sodium
Humphry Davy First isolation of potassium
Humphry Davy First isolation of boron
Humphry Davy first discovery of aluminium
Ian Bell computer game with 3D graphics
Ian Wilmut Nuclear transfer
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) reflecting telescope
Isaac Newton Calculus
Isaac Newton Newtonian telescope
Isaac Newton The Law of Gravity
Isaac Newton Newton’s laws of motion
Isaac Pitman Pitman Shorthand
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Great Western Railway
J. J. Thomson Discovery of the Electron
J. J. Thomson Discovery of isotopes
J. J. Thomson Mass spectrometer
James B. Francis Francis turbine
James Blundell blood transfusion
James Chadwick Discovery of the Neutron
James Dyson Ballbarrow
James Dyson Bagless vacuum cleaner
James Hargreaves Spinning jenny
James Henry Atkinson Mouse trap
James Marsh Marsh test for detecting arsenic poisoning
James Parkinson Discovered Parkinson’s disease
James Prescott Joule First Law of Thermodynamics
James Puckle Puckle Gun
James Starley Penny-farthing
James Wimshurst Wimshurst machine is an Electrostatic generator
Jedediah Strutt Derby Rib (stocking manufacture)
Jethro Tull Improved seed drill
John Alexander Reina Newlands Periodic Table
John Ambrose Fleming (1848-1945), vacuum diode
John Ambrose Fleming vacuum tube
John Barber  Gas turbine
John Bennet Lawes Superphosphate – see also Chemical Fertilizer
John Bird Sextant
John Braithwaite Steam fire engine
John Cockcroft Splitting the atom
John Dalton Modern atomic theory
John Dalton Law of multiple proportions
John Dalton Dalton’s law
John Daugman Iris recognition
John Dollond Achromatic doublet lens
John Edward Gray Stamp collecting
John Fowler Steam-driven ploughing engine
John Frederic Daniell Daniell cell
John Frederic Daniell Dew Point Hygrometer
John Hadley Octant (instrument)
John Harington Modern flushing toilet
John Harrison Grasshopper escapement (for longitude clock)
John Harrison Gridiron pendulum (Clocks)
John Harrison Marine chronometer
John Heathcoat Warp-loom and Bobbinet
John Holland Founder of the Bank of Scotland
John Holmes Light switch
John Isaac Hawkins Mechanical pencil
John Isaac Thornycroft Hydrofoil
John J. Wild diagnostic ultrasound
John Kay Flying shuttle (Weaving)
John Kay Spinning frame
John Kemp Starley Safety bicycle
John Michell First theorised existence of black holes
John Michell First theorised exisbinary stars
John Michell torsion balance
John Milne Seismograph
John Nevil Maskelyne The pay toilet
John Ramsbottom Displacement lubricator
John Ramsbottom safety valve
John Ramsbottom the water trough
John Ramsbottom piston ring
John Randall Cavity magnetron (RADAR)
John Rex Whinfield Polyester
John Roebuck Lead chamber process
John Serson Whirling speculum
John Shore Tuning fork
John Snow  epidemiology
John Stringfellow Aerial Steam Carriage
John Strutt Rayleigh scattering
John Theophilus Desaguliers Planetarium
John Tyndall Gas mask
John Venn Venn diagram
John Walker Friction Match
John Wilkins Metric system
Joseph Aspdin (1788-1855), Portland cement.
Joseph Bramah Hydraulic press
Joseph Day Two-stroke engine
Joseph Hansom Hansom cab
Joseph Lister Antisepsis in surgery
Joseph Priestley Discovery of oxygen gas
Joseph Priestley Carbonated soft drink
Joseph Sidebotham Collodion-albumen process
Joseph Whitworth Whitworth rifle
Joseph Wilson Swan light bulb
Kane Kramer Digital audio player
Keith Campbell Nuclear transfer
Leslie Hore-Belisha Belisha beacon
Lionel Lukin Lifeboat
Louis Essen First accurate atomic clock
Martin Evans culture of embryonic stem cells
Martin Ryle Aperture synthesis,
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), electric transformer
Michael Faraday Electromagnetic induction
Michael Faraday Electrical generator
Michael Faraday Faraday cage
Michael Faraday Magneto-optical effect
Michael Faraday First isolation of benzene
Michael Faraday Invented the rubber balloon
Norman Lockyer Helium
Oliver Heaviside Kennelly–Heaviside layer
Owen Maclaren Collapsible baby buggy
Patrick Christopher Steptoe in vitro fertilization
Percy Shaw Cat’s eye
Peter Dollond Triple achromatic lens
Peter Durand Tin can
Reverend Samuell Henshall Corkscrew
Rex Paterson Pioneer of the development in dairy farming systems
Richard Arkwright Water frame
Richard Arkwright Water frame
Richard Hall Gower Transit (ship)
Richard J. Roberts Discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA
Richard Laurence Millington Synge chromatography
Richard Leach Maddox Dry plate process
Richard Trevithick The first full scale railway steam locomotive
Robert Baden-Powell Scouts
Robert Bakewell Pioneer of selective breeding and artificial selection
Robert Cocking Pioneer of parachute
Robert Geoffrey Edwards in vitro fertilization
Robert Hooke Clock Anchor escapement
Robert Hooke Balance spring
Robert Hooke Balance wheel
Robert Hooke Tin can telephone
Robert Hooke universal joint
Robert Hooke Cell biology
Robert Hooke Compound microscope
Robert Hooke The Iris diaphragm
Robert Hooke Correct theory of combustion
Robert Hooke Marine Barometer
Robert Hooke Hooke’s Law
Robert Hope-Jones Theatre organ
Robert Whitehead Torpedo
Roger Altounyan sodium cromoglycate for treatment of asthma
Roger Bacon (1214-1292), World Wide Web
Roger Bacon Magnifying glass
Ronald Ross (1857-1932) Identifying the mosquito as the carrier of malaria
Rookes Evelyn Bell Crompton Electric toaster
Rowland Hill (1795-1879) postage stamp
Sampson Mordan Mechanical pencil
Samuel Brown Internal combustion engine
Samuel Crompton Spinning mule
Samuel Fox Steel-ribbed Umbrella
Samuel Hunter Christie Wheatstone bridge
Samuel Plimsoll Plimsol line
Sidney Horstmann Horstmann suspension
Stephen Hales Surgical forceps
Stephen Hales First blood pressure measurement
Stephen Hawking Hawking radiation
Stephen Perry rubber band
Stephen Perry Rubber band
Sydney Camm Hawker P.1127
Thomas Boulsover Sheffield plate
Thomas Clifford Allbutt Clinical thermometer
Thomas Edmondson Edmondson railway ticket
Thomas Fowler Thermosiphon,
Thomas Hancock Rubber Masticator
Thomas Hancock vucanisation of rubber
Thomas Harriot Discovery of Sunspots
Thomas Mudge Lever escapement for Pocket Watches
Thomas Newcomen Atmospheric steam engine
Thomas Saint Sewing machine
Thomas Savery steam pump
Tim Berners-Lee World Wide Web
Timothy Bright Shorthand
Tommy Flowers (1905-1998) Colossus computer,
Trevor Baylis Clockwork radio
Walter Parry Haskett Smith Rock Climbing
William Armstrong Armstrong Gun
William Bickford Safety fuse
William Booth The Salvation Army,
William Bourne Submarine
William Congreve Congreve rocket
William Crookes cathode ray tubes
William Crookes Discovery of thallium
William Eccles radio communication pioneer
William Ewart Fairbairn Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife
William Fothergill Cooke electric telegraph
William Fox Talbot Calotype
William Friese-Greene (1855-1921), cinematography
William Friese-Greene cinematography
William Gascoigne Micrometer
William George Armstrong Hydraulic crane
William Gilbert electroscope
William Hale Hale rockets
William Harbutt Plasticine
William Henry Bragg Bragg’s law
William Henry Perkin Mauveine, first ynthetic dye
William Herschel Infrared radiation
William Herschel Discovery of the planet Uranus
William Herschel Discovery of moon Titania
William Herschel Discovery of moon Oberon
William Herschel Discovery of moon Enceladus
William Herschel Discovery of moon Mimas
William Howard Livens Livens Projector
William Kennedy Laurie Dickson Kinetoscope
William Kent Perambulator
William Lassell Discovery of moon Triton
William Lassell Discovery of moon Hyperion
William Lassell Discovery of moon Ariel
William Lassell Discovery of moon Umbriel
William Lawrence Bragg Bragg’s law
William Lee Stocking frame
William Oughtred Slide rule
William Parsons Spiral galaxies
William Penny Brookes The format of Modern Olympics
William Sturgeon Electromagnet
William Webb Ellis Rugby
Willoughby Smith photoconductivity of the element selenium
Depth charge
Harrier Jump Jet
Amoured Tank
Stun grenades
Beam engine
Northumbrian smallpipes
Ice Hockey
Field hockey
Thoroughbred Horseracing
jet airliner
Stockton and Darlington Railway the world’s first operational steam passenger railway
First inter-city steam-powered railway – Liverpool and Manchester Railway
traffic lights