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Irish Inventors

The following is an account of Irish Inventors submitted by 'Ireland Calls' member 'henrytaggart' to the 'Ireland Calls' discussion boards.

List of Irish scientists, engineers and inventors,
Louis Brennan (1852 - 1932)
A prolific Inventor, his main achievements were: Torpedo : 1874 , Monorail with gyroscopic stabilisers: 1907, Early Helicopter : 1925

Dr. Francis Rynd (1801-1861) Inventor of the Hypodermic Needle & Syringe

Beaufort, Sir Francis (1774 - 1857) In 1805 Navan man, Sir Francis Beaufort, conceived the wind force scale that now bears his name. A distinguished naval commander, Sir Francis' 13-point 'Beaufort Scale' was adopted by the British navy in 1838.

Drumm, Dr. James (1896 - 1974) County Down man, Dr. James Drumm invented the nickel-zinc rechargeable battery in 1930. Having been successfully tested on a train in 1931, Drumm's traction batteries had many advantages over their predecessors - especially their ability to discharge and recharge rapidly.

Fitzgerald, George Francis (1851 - 1901) A physics professor at TCD, he was the first person to suggest the possibility of producing radio waves in laboratory conditions - his theory was successfully tested in 1888 by Heinrich.

Joly, John (1857 - 1933) A native of Hollywood, Co. Offaly, John Joly lays claim to many inventions including: the meldometer for measuring the melting points of minerals, the steam calorimeter for measuring specific heats, and the photometer for measuring light intensity. He also co-pioneered the use of radiation for cancer treatment, and was responsible for the first successful method of producing colour photographs from a single plate.

Kyan, John (1774 - 1850) Inventor of an early wood preservative used in various timbers. Patented in 1832, the technique still bears his name today - 'kyanisation'.


Leared, Arthur (1822 - 1879) Wexford doctor who invented the modern binaural (double earpiece) stethoscope in 1851. He also later discovered the importance of pancreatic juices in the digestion of fats.

Mallet, Robert (1810 - 1881) Explosion seismology was born in 1851, when Dublin man Robert Mallet used dynamite explosions to measure the speed of elastic waves in surface rocks - pioneering and coining the word 'seismology'.

Walker, John (1841 - 1901) A native of Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, John Walker invented a prototype of the caterpillar track to assist him in transporting logs over rough terrain to his saw mills.

Walton, Earnest (1903 - 1995) In 1932, Earnest Walton (from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford) in collaboration with John Cockcroft, became the first people in history to artificially split the atom, thus ushering the nuclear age. Walton and Cockcroft had vindicated Einstein's famous equation (E=mc2) and successfully converted matter into energy. In 1951 they were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics - making Walton Ireland's first and only Nobel science laureate.

* Vincent Barry (1908-1975), led a team that discovered a treatment for leprosy
* Francis Beaufort (1774-1857), hydrographer, developed a scale for classifying wind strength (fartometer)
* John Stewart Bell (1928-1990), atomic physicist, 'Bell's Inequalities'
* John Desmond Bernal (1901-1971), X-ray crystallography
* George Boole (1815–1864), inventor of Boolean algebra, the basis of all modern computer arithmetic
* Robert Boyle (1627-1691), pioneer scientist, 'Boyle's Law'
* Louis Brennan (1852-1932), principle of a guided missile, wire-guided torpedo
* Lucien Bull (1876-1972), high speed photography, modern electrocardiogram (ECG)
* Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943- ), discovered pulsars
* Nicholas Callan (1799-1864), inventor of the induction coil and discoverer the principle of the dynamo (See link: http://che...llan.html)
* Aeneas Coffey (1780-1852), heat exchanger
* Nicholas Comins, binaural stethoscope
* William Monad Crawford, entomologist
* William Dargan, railway engineer
* John Boyd Dunlop, pneumatic tyre
* Michael Everson, expert in writing systems and Unicode,
* Henry George Ferguson, engineer, designer of the modern farm tractor, inventor of the three-point hitch
* George Francis FitzGerald (1851-1901), theoretical physicist, 'Fitzgerald-Lorenz Contraction'
* John Robert Gregg (1868-1948), Gregg shorthand system
* Sir John Purser Griffith (1848-1938) Chief engineer for Dublin port and Irish Free State senator (1922-1936)
* William Rowan Hamilton, quaternions; mathematical physics
* John Phillip Holland (1841-1914), submarine inventor
* Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815), botanist
* John Joly (1857-1933), photometer, colour photography
* Richard Kirwan (1733-1812), meteorologist
* Arthur Leared (1822-1879), binaural stethoscope
* Robert Mallet (1810-1881), seismology
* Sir James Martin (1893-1981), aircraft ejector seat
* Alexander Mitchell (1780-1868), lighthouse and marine engineer
* Sir Charles Parsons (1854-1931), inventor of the steam turbine
* Francis Rynd (1811-1861), doctor, hypodermic needle
* George Stokes (1819-1903), mathematician, physicist, 'Stokes Theorem' and Stokes-Navier Equations'
* George Johnstone Stoney (1826-1911), atomic physicist, named the 'electron' and measured its charge
* John Lighton Synge (1897-1995), mathematician
* William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), physicist
* John Tyndall (1820-1893), physicist
* Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton, physicist, 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics
* Mary Ward (1827-1869), microscopist
* John Walker (1841-1910), principle and forerunner of the caterpillar track
And finally yer man from west belfast(anon) who invented the "black box" which makes electricity meters go backwards !