10 Incredible Irish Inventions

By Keara Long / December 3, 2020
10-incredible-irish-inventions

Ireland is known for many things: its rich culture, hospitality, food, drinks, landscape, and more. But did you know that Ireland was and is the home to quite a few famous inventors and inventions? Keep reading to learn more about 10 incredible Irish inventions!

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1. The Submarine

submarine

John Philip Holland was an engineer born in Liscannor, County Clare. Holland is known as the “father of the modern submarine,” as he designed and built the first submarines that were used by the U.S. Navy. He also sold his designs to the British Royal Navy and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.

2. Radiotherapy

radiotherapy

John Joly was an Irish physicist, inventor, and Professor of Geology working at Trinity College when he developed a method to extract radium and use it in a form of cancer treatment called radiotherapy.

3. The Hypodermic Syringe

hypodermic-syringe

Dublin born physician Francis Rynd is responsible for inventing the hollow metal needle needed in order to inject patients with medications. Rynd figured that if sedatives could be injected directly into the bloodstream, they would begin to take effect faster than if they had been taken orally. His idea proved to be correct, and now billions of hypodermic needles are now used around the world.

4. Chocolate Milk

chocolate-milk

Chocolate milk, or drinking chocolate, was invented by Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish physician, collector, and naturalist. Whilst on a visit to Jamaica, Sloane tried a local drink; cocoa mixed with water. Seeing as the taste needed improvement, Sloane had the idea to mix cocoa with milk and sugar. Thus, chocolate milk was born.

5. Sugru

sugru

Sugru is what its inventor, Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, likes to call a “happy accident.” Sugru Mouldable Glue is a putty-like substance that can be used as a different form of glue or tape. It is moldable, but takes the shape of whatever it is molded to when exposed to air.

6. The Ejection Seat

ejection-seat

James Martin was an Irish engineer known for founding the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company. When his friend and partner Captain Valentine Baker was killed during a test flight of one of their prototypes, Martin dedicated the rest of his career to pilot safety, and created the ejection seat. Martin-Baker has been the world leader in the design and manufacturing of ejection seats for almost 70 years.

7. Flavoured Crisps

flavoured-crisps

Joseph “Spud” Murphy, the man responsible for the “Tayto” potato chip brand, is also responsible for coming up with different flavoured crisps. It was not until 1954 that Murphy introduced the barbeque, salt & vinegar, and cheese & onion flavoured crisps. There are now over 200 flavours of potato chips out there in the world. Could you imagine a life without them?

8. Pulsars

pulsars

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist from Belfast, discovered the first radio pulsars as a graduate student at Cambridge University. At first, they were not sure what the pulsars were or where they were coming from, and she and her advisor D. Anthony Hewish labeled them as LGM, or Little Green Men. She later figured out that the pulsars were the remnants of dead stars.

9. The Guided Missile

guided-missile

Irish born inventor Louis Brennan created the guided missile in the 1870s. This missile was a torpedo that could be controlled by wires, and was designed as a form of protection and defense for naval ports, not as an attacking weapon. His invention was quickly bought by the British Navy and installed in ports around the world.

10. Guinness

guinness

Arthur Guinness was an Irish brewer and entrepreneur, most famous for the drink that bears his last name. Guinness is popular due to its unique taste and color. The alcohol content in Guinness Draught is lower than that of many other beers, making Guinness a bit healthier and less heavy.

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About the author

Keara Long

College student from California currently studying Communications at California State University, Northridge. Enjoys reading, writing, and film.

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