For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
Posts tagged Discovery and Invention (67)
Nos 1 to 10
← Return to the Home Page
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Discovery and Invention
Timothy Hackworth
Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) turned steam locomotives into a reliable commercial success.

TIMOTHY Hackworth was locomotive superintendent on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world’s first public railway using steam locomotives, from its opening in 1825. His task was to keep the line’s primitive steam locomotives running and earning revenue.

Often overshadowed by his larger-than-life employer, George Stephenson, Hackworth was the man who made railways reliable.

Continue reading
No. 1
Charles Avison
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820)
Spinning Jenny
James Hargreaves’s historic invention was not without its critics when it first appeared.

IN the 1760s, John Kay’s new ‘flying shuttle’ looms allowed Colchester’s weavers to double their output. More cloth at lower prices promised full order-books and new jobs across the textile industry, but spinning was still a laborious handicraft, and could not supply enough yarn. The looms fell silent, and unemployed weavers smashed them, sending Kay in fear to Paris.

Continue reading
No. 2
Muzio Clementi
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820)
Not for Sale
Sir Humphry Davy pleads with Britain’s scientists not to be bought by Napoleon’s gold.
By Sir Humphry Davy
(1778-1829)

SCIENCE for its progression requires patronage, - but it must be a patronage bestowed, a patronage received, with dignity. It must be preserved independent. It can bear no fetters, not even fetters of gold, and least of all those fetters in which ignorance or selfishness may attempt to shackle it.

Continue reading
No. 3
2 two-part story
Gustav Holst
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Japan’s First Railway
As Japan’s ruling shoguns resist the tide of progress, a Nagasaki-based Scottish entrepreneur steps in.

FOR over two centuries, Japan isolated herself from the rest of the world, a policy vigorously pursued by the Tokugawa shogunate that had sidelined the Emperors. But from 1853, zealous American, Russian and British merchants and their modern wares were grudgingly admitted into selected Japanese ports.

Continue reading
No. 4
2 two-part story
Cipriani Potter
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Thomas Brassey
The unsung surveyor from Cheshire, who built railways and made friends across the world.

THOMAS Brassey, son of a prosperous Cheshire farmer, began his career in road-building as an apprentice to surveyor William Lawton, on Thomas Telford’s Shrewsbury to Holyhead road. Brassey rose from apprentice to partner, and Lawton and Brassey relocated to Birkenhead to make road-building materials.

Continue reading
No. 5
Louise Farrenc
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
A Leader by Example
George Stephenson won the admiration of French navvies by showing them how a Geordie works a shovel.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHEN examining the works of the Orleans and Tours Railway, Mr Stephenson, seeing a large number of excavators filling and wheeling sand in a cutting, at a great waste of time and labour, went up to the men and said he would show them how to fill their barrows in half the time.

Continue reading
No. 6
2 two-part story
Elias Parish Alvars
Discovery and Invention
King William IV (1830-1837)
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Businessmen in Liverpool engaged George Stephenson to build one of his new-fangled railways.

ON May 24th, 1823, Liverpool corn merchant Henry Booth founded the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, to build nothing less than the world’s first intercity railway. The canals had created lucrative markets by linking the port at Liverpool to bustling manufacturing towns inland, but were overwhelmed by rising demand.

Continue reading
No. 7
William Croft
Discovery and Invention
King Charles II (1649-1685) to Queen Anne (1702-1714)
Abraham Darby I
To the poor of England, the Worcestershire man gave affordable pots and pans, and to all the world he gave the industrial revolution.

ABRAHAM Darby learnt his trade grinding malt in Birmingham, managing the brass mills and coke-fired malting ovens. In 1699, he founded a malt-mill of his own in Bristol, and branched out into brass cookware.

Together with his apprentice John Thomas, Darby developed a method for casting utensils in sand rather than clay, improving on techniques learnt during a visit to Holland in 1704.

Continue reading
No. 8
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Paxton’s Palace
Sir Joseph Paxton not only designed the venue for the Great Exhibition of 1851, he embodied the festival’s most cherished principles.

JOSEPH Paxton one day confided to John Ellis MP, a fellow board-member of the Midland Railway, that he had designed a building truly fit to host the forthcoming Great Exhibition of 1851, the exciting showcase for Imperial science and industry destined for Hyde Park. Ellis gave Paxton just nine days to submit a formal application.

Continue reading
No. 9
2 two-part story
Sophia Giustani Dussek
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Mary Anning
A twelve-year-old girl from Lyme Regis made a historic discovery while selling seashells to tourists.

IN 1811, twelve-year-old Mary Anning pieced together a fossilised skeleton from the limestone cliffs of Lyme Regis in Dorset. It was very different from the usual ammonite and belemnite shells that she and her brother sold to tourists, and it netted them £23, a welcome windfall following the death of their father Richard the previous year.

Continue reading
No. 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
Love doesn’t make people pay for past mistakes.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
Anne Elliot resents being expected to court the society of anyone simply because of social status.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
How do we get the help of millions of people we don’t know? Only by trade.
An apparent miracle is revealed as sleight-of-hand.
Irish monk St Columba is credited with being among the first witnesses to the ‘Loch Ness monster’.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (406)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (112)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Seraph’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.