Things You May Not Realise Were Invented in Britain

Realise Were Invented in Britain

You may not realise, but more things have been invented in Britain. In fact, some of the most staple services and products in the world are actually Great British inventions which have gone worldwide thanks to their popularity and efficiency in England. This article will cover some of these Great British inventions as well as the years they were released and by who. 


Despite the insensitive stereotype of the British for having poor dental hygiene, the first mass-produced toothbrush actually originated in England. Invented in Britain by William Addis somewhere in the decade between 1770 and 1780, the first mass-produced toothbrush was released to the public. The company he created in order to sell his toothbrushes is actually still running and incredibly successful today, and is known as Wisdom

The Steam Engine

The Steam Engine is one of the great British inventions. The original steam engine was invented in 1968 by Thomas Savery, but has been perfected by several inventors since, closer to the industrial revolution in the UK. The refined version of the steam engine was created by Richard Trevithick in 1801. This wonderful invention is still widely used today, despite being labelled “outdated” by some for creating unnecessary and excessive pollution in the air. Steam engines have since been replaced by deisel and electric engines, which are far more efficient and faster as a result. 

Pneumatic Tyres

Did you know that this is the real term for tyres we have on our cars and bikes? Pneumatic tyres refer to those that have been inflated with air and are made of rubber. The pneumatic tyre was invented in Britain in 1847 by Robert William Thomson but was never actually produced. Instead, the first released pneumatic tyre was patented in 1888 by John Boyd Dunlop. These tyres are still widely used today and have remained extremely popular and unrivaled by other types of tyres. 

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Patent Glazing

Patent glazing is the most widely used product used for overhead glazing. It is extremely durable, supportive, and can include many additional features, such as self-draining systems for pitched and vertical purposes. They usually use toughened glass to ensure the panes are as safe as possible. Patent glazing was initially introduced in the late 1800s, and has since been used for various applications, including commercial and industrial buildings, domestic purposes, and conservatories. It is not clear who invented patent glazing, but it is still popular in construction today. 

The Chocolate Bar

Yes, you read that right. The chocolate bar was invented in Britain. Initially released to the public in 1866, the chocolate bar was a great British invention created by a company named Fry’s, who still sell chocolate today! Now owned by Cadbury, Fry’s is the oldest manufacturer of chocolate in the world. Now 157 years old, Fry’s is one of the most famous chocolate brands in the world, and rightfully so.

The World Wide Web

The world wide web, the first website, and the first web browser were invented in 1980 by Tim Berners-Lee. He used hypertext to share and update information among researchers. Using his prototype system, ENQUIRE, he showcased his abilities to a private company which allowed him to redistribute his project in 1990. The first web browser was actually called WorldWideWeb, but was renamed to Nexus to create distinction between the term for the information space and the program itself. Since then, there have been many juggernaut web browsers on the internet, with the most notable being Google. Nexus was actually discontinued not even five years after its release in 1994 to make way for more advanced internet browsers. 

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Soda, despite the Americanised name, was actually first invented in Britain in 1767 by a man named Joseph Priestly. He discovered a method of infusing water and carbon dioxide which resulted in the fizziness that is so popular in modern society. Although the methods of creating these satisfying drinks has changed in the modern world, the way it makes people feel hasn’t altered one bit. 


The first vaccine to have been developed was actually invented in England in 1796 by an English physician and scientist who is now known as the “Father of Imnmunology”, Edward Jenner. Through observations of various handmaids who suffered from cowpox who did not contract smallpox, he developed a vaccine for cowpox from matter of the virus, and inoculated an eight year old boy, who did not contract smallpox after his exposure to cowpox. This helped pave the way for future developments of vaccinations for a plethora of illnesses, which have undoubtedly saved lives. 

We hope you have learned something from this article, and realised that more of your everyday life is actually an invention of Britain than you may have thought previously. 

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