Notable English technologists and inventors

Thomas Savery (1650-1715). Invented the first commercial steam engine -a steam pump. 

Thomas  Newcomen (1663-1729).  Improved Savery’s engine by  introducing the piston.  

Richard  Trevithick  (1771 – 1833). Invented the  high  pressure  steam engine. Built the first steam locomotive.

George Stephenson (1781-1848). Made the railway a practical reality. 

Abraham Darby (1678-1717). Developed the process of smelting iron using coke.

Sir Henry Bessemer,  1813-1898. Devised a process for making steel on a large scale.

James Hargreaves (1722-1778). Invented the spinning jenny.

John Kay  (1733-1764). Invented the  flying shuttle.

Samuel Crompton  (1753-1827). Invented  the spinning mule.

Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) Invented the waterframe.

Edmund Cartwright (1743-1823). Invented the power loom.

John  Harrison  (1693-1776) First to build watches accurate  enough  to solve the longitude measurement problem.

Edward Jenner (1743-1823). Developed vaccination.

Joseph Lister (1827-1912). Developed  antisepsis.

Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887) standardised  screw threads,  produced first true  plane surfaces in metal, developed ductile steel.

Henry Maudslay (1771-1831).   Invented the screw-cutting lathe and  the first  bench  micrometer  that  was capable of  measuring  to  one  ten thousandth of an inch. 

Joseph Bramah (1748-1814). Invented the hydraulic press.

John Walker (1781- 1859).  Invented the first friction matches.

John  Smeaton  (1724-1792) made the first  modern  concrete  (hydraulic cement).

Joseph  Aspdin  (1788-1855) invented Portland Cement,  the  first  true artificial cement.

Humphrey Davy (1778-1829).  Invented the first electric light,  the arc lamp.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867). Invented the electric motor.

Isambard  Kingdom  Brunel (1806-1859).   Built the first  really  large  steam ships – the  Great Britain, Great Western, Great Eastern.

Sir  Isaac  Pitman (1813-1897).  Devised the most  widely  used  modern shorthand.

Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802 – 1875).  Developed an electric telegraph at the same time as Samuel Morse.

Rowland Hill (1795-1879). Invented adhesive postage stamps.

John Herschel (1792-1871). Invented the blueprint.

William  Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877)  Invented the   negative-positive photography and latent image shorter exposure time.

Sir  Joseph  William Swan (1828-1914).  Invented the  dry  photographic plate.  Invented, concurrently with Edison, the  light bulb.

Sir William Henry Perkin (1838-1907). Created the first artificial  dye –  aniline  purple  or  mauveine – and  the  first   artificial  scent, coumarin. 

Alexander  Parkes  (1813-90).  Created the  first  artificial  plastic, Parkensine.

Sir   George  Cayley  (1773-1857).   Worked  out  the   principles   of aerodynamics,  his  “On  Ariel Navigation” showed  that  a  fixed  wing aircraft  with a power system for propulsion,  and a tail to assist  in the control of the airplane, would be the best way to allow man to fly. Also invented the caterpillar track.

Sir  Frank  Whittle  (1907-1996).  Took out the  first  patents  for  a Turbojet.

Sir Christopher Cockerell (1910-1999). Invented the hovercraft.

Charles  Babbage (1792-1871).  Worked out the basic principles  of  the computer. 

Alan Turin (1912-1954). Widely considered the father of modern computer science – worked out the principles of the digital computer. 

Tim  Berners-Lee  (1955-).  Invented the World Wide Web  defining  HTML (hypertextmarkup language), HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators).

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