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First recording of the human voice
A group of researchers has succeeded in playing a sound recording of a human voice made in 1860 – 17 years before Thomas Edison (pictured) invented...

Bond gadgets of the past
Do you love the gadgets in Bond films? Nowadays you can often buy your own! We had a look at the engineering behind the gadgets used in Bond films. Many...

Bond gadgets: Fingerprint identification
Police use it these days as a matter of course, but why was it so revolutionary for Bond? And how have things improved since them? What was it for? The...

Bond gadgets: Jet pack
Find out why the US Army rejected Bond's most unusual mode of transport, and tell us what Bond gadget you'd engineer. What was it for? Bond used a jet...

Bond gadgets: Secret weapons
One of the first rules of spying is that things are not always as they seem. Check out the disguised pieces of engineering that helped Bond battle his...

Famous inventors: Louis Braille
Read the story of Louis Braille to see how a disability led to the development of a communication tool that would change the lives of many, even to this...

Hands off my invention!
So, you’ve designed the best thing since sliced bread. How do you make sure no one steals your idea? There are many different ways of protecting your...

Heath Robinson's crazy contraptions
Nothing he invented was ever built, but his absurd creations are still fondly remembered. Who was he? William Heath Robinson was an English cartoonist...

How microprocessors have changed your life
There is a microprocessor in almost every piece of electronic equipment you own. But what are they, and why are they so important? What is a microprocessor?...

Ingenious engineering: Homemade phone charger
Rather than cycle 20 miles to charge her phone, one housewife decided to make her own. Mrs. Muyonjo lives in an isolated village in Eastern Uganda. Her...

What's the most annoying invention ever?
Karaoke tops the list of inventions which really get on your nerves. It’s not necessarily every inventor’s dream, but appearing on the ‘annoying...

Weird office inventions
Have a hard time getting up for work? Inventors have come up with some wacky gadgets to help you work more efficiently. Flying alarm clock Always late...

Weird health inventions
We all want to live longer, healthier lives. So how have the wackiest inventors tried to help us out? The non-smoking ashtray Everyone knows smoking kills,...

Weird animal inventions
How pampered is your pet? Some of these inventors went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that humans and animals could get along smoothly. Dog translator...

Weird food inventions
Delicious and innovative! Check out our favourite food inventions. Sprayable pancake batter Saves you the hassle of making batter, as well as the washing...

Weird inventions: Assorted oddities
Some inventions are just weird enough that they don’t fit any other category. Read on to find out about teenager repellent and disposable pants. Disposable...

Famous inventions: The car
Who can imagine life today without the car? The dream of a horseless vehicle is an old one but it took quite a bit of ingenuity to produce the true ancestor...

Famous inventions: The lift
The Empire State Building, impressive city skylines - how would we get up there without lifts? It is hoped that the Dubai Tower, which is currently being...

Famous inventions: The mobile phone
This device was only invented last century, so how did it so quickly become the most popular gadget in the world? The first telephone was patented by...

Famous inventions: Nylon
Would you like to be brushing your teeth with animal bristles? - thank goodness for nylon! In 1928, the DuPont chemical company opened a research laboratory...

Famous inventions: The refrigerator
How does a fridge work? And how did people survive without them? Although salting and smoking are useful in preserving food, one of the most efficient...

Famous inventions: Safety glass
It’s not something we often notice, but safety glass saves lives every day. Find out about the accidents that led to its discovery. In 1903 Edouard...

Famous inventions: Sliced bread
Everybody has heard the expression: “It is the greatest thing since sliced bread!” but what’s so great about sliced bread? Until fairly recently,...

Famous inventions: Superglue
How did an invention designed to improve weapons end up saving lives? In 1942 Dr Harry Coover was trying to isolate a clear plastic to make precision...

Famous inventions: TV
It is impossible to live in the UK without watching TV at some point. So who invented it? And how did it become so popular in less than 100 years? Probably...

Famous inventions: Toilet roll
It hasn’t been around forever – find out how long it’s been here and, more importantly, what people did without it! Although paper had been known...

Famous inventions: Velcro
Nature inspires science - how walking the dog led to the invaluable invention of Velcro. One summer day in 1948, George de Mestral, a Swiss inventor,...

Famous inventions: Ice cream cones
Before 1904, ice cream was served on dishes. It wasn’t until the World’s Fair of that year, held in St Louis, Missouri, that two seemingly unrelated...

Famous inventions: Post-It notes
A failed attempt to make super strong glue led to the office and studying staple: the yellow Post-It. In 1970, Spencer Silver, a researcher for the American...

Famous inventions: The bra
We know from several frescoes (a type of painting) that the Ancient Roman women wore bras to exercise or swim but the modern bra was invented by Mary...

Famous inventions: The microwave
A melted chocolate bar led American engineer, Percy Spencer, to realise the cooking potential for the microwaves he was researching. In 1945 Percy Lebaron...