The world’s first guided missile was invented in the 1870s by an ingenious Irish man, Louis Brennan. Brennan also invented what is probably the first tilting train and an early type of helicopter. Brennan’s guided missile was a torpedo steered by wires. It was designed to defend naval ports and harbours – not as an […]
Tag Archives | history of science
Up with (Ingenious) women!
Is there something in the air? Because suddenly — and happily — lots of people are interested in Ireland’s historic women scientists. There is a film in the making about two women from the mid-1800s: science writer Mary Ward, and early photographer Mary, Countess of Rosse. Ingenious Ireland has been helping SnugBoro Films with the […]
JD Bernal and the DNA double helix
Watson and Crick would never have discovered the DNA double helix in 1953, if it hadn’t been for an ingenious Irish scientist, who was born on this day 1901. That scientist was the great JD Bernal, who pioneered the study of the structure of proteins and other complex molecules, and is regarded by many as […]
A hidden treasure for Science Week!
Do you like a good story? Interested in geeky history and science? Then you’ll love the wonderful museum in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Well worth a visit, it is in our online Atlas of Ingenious Ireland. And for more great stories like this, check out our new ebook about Dublin’s scientific heritage, Ingenious Dublin (the […]
Dublin’s weird ‘witch’ bottle
This is a fascinating bottle with a weird story. We learned about it on a tour of historic Aungier St with Dublin City’s architects, archaeologists and conservation officers. It’s a pottery bottle, from about 1600, intact and sealed. But x-rays reveal that there is a lot of “stuff” in it, including old nails. This leads […]
The Botanic Gardens Podcast Tour : Red
The Botanic Gardens Podcast Tour : Red What links the alphabet with Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens and an ingenious Cherokee chief? Find out on this audio guided tour of the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin — the ‘alphabet tree’ is just one of the many fascinating stories featured on our Red tour of the historic gardens. Other […]
The Botanic Gardens Podcast Tour : Yellow
The Botanic Gardens Ingenious Ireland Podcast tour: Yellow Do you want to know who lives in one of the fanciest houses in Glasnevin? And hear how early botanical gardens were the pharmacy shops of their day? Come on this audio guided tour and we will bring on a fascinating walk around Ireland’s National Botanic Gardens in […]
Halloween: Samuel Haughton’s ‘humane hanging’
One of Ireland’s more unusual contributions to civilisation was calculating the humane hangman’s drop. In the good old days, public executions were a popular spectacle, and indeed, the word ‘gala’ comes from gallows. Now, hanging was originally a prelude to drawing and quartering — or, for women, being burned at the stake — and never […]
1907: was the first portable computer design Irish?
Possibly the first portable computer — more “table top” than “laptop” — was designed around 1907 by an inventive Irish accountant, Percy Ludgate. His invention gets a place in the history of computing, although it was never built. Ludgate died 90 years ago this week. Since the invention of the abacus, people have been […]
New digital walking tours of Ingenious Dublin
Press release Tuesday October 16th 2102: on Hamilton Day, the day quaternions were invented in Dublin in 1843 As hundreds of geeks gather in Dublin for the WebSummit… two new city walking tours are launched to celebrate Ireland’s many great inventions and scientific discoveries. Did you know. . . that Dublin algebra helped to land […]