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 | Irish inventions
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 […]
How statistics helped to make Guinness good!
An important statistical technique was invented at Guinness’s Dublin brewery, as part of quality control in 1908. By helping to improve the product, it helped to make Guinness an international brand. An extract from our new book, Ingenious Dublin, for Arthur’s Day 2012. If you wanted to know the average height of the Irish population […]
New book celebrates Dublin inventions, discoveries and hidden stories
Think you know Dublin? Press release: August 27th 2012 Where in Dublin can you peer inside a Victorian diving bell? Or see the skeleton of Tommy, the prince’s elephant? Where was the world’s first earthquake experiment done? Did you know the hypodermic syringe was invented in the former Meath Hospital? And that Dublin algebra […]
A song, a walk and a good equation: podcast tour 1
Do you enjoy a song, a walk and a good algebra equation? Then you’ll enjoy our podcast walking tour. It features a lovely stroll by Dublin’s Royal Canal, tracing the steps of Ireland’s greatest scientist Sir William Rowan Hamilton, on the day he invented a new type of algebra. Click to download the podcast here. […]
What inventions should be in our new tour?
From the stethoscope and the hypodermic syringe to Sudocrem… there are lots of ingenious inventions associated with Dublin and Ireland. There are also some tasty ones — like milk chocolate and flavoured crisps — and rather a lot of boozy ones too (think: whiskey, Bailey’s Irish cream, Irish coffee and draught Guinness in a can). […]
The ingenious Irish latch-hook needle
The latch-hook needle, used by rug-makers the world over to knot yarn in carpets, was patented on this day, 1904. The needle was invented by an ingenious Irish landlord, Robert Flower (1836-1919), the eighth Viscount Ashbrook of Durrow. His patented latch-hook needle had a hinged latchet that kept the yarn hooked so that, with one […]