15 Irish Inventions That Changed The World

From colour photography to rubber soles and submarines, Ireland has created its fair share of inventions that have changed the world. Irish people have created some of the most important inventions we are benefiting from today. Here are fifteen of the most influential Irish inventions.

15. Induction Coil

induction coil

Rev Nicholas Callan was responsible for the induction coil. He wrapped 2 long wires around the end of an electromagnet. The ends of one wire were then connected to a battery. When he interrupted or inhibited the current from the battery, he got a spark from the end of the other unconnected coil.  The induction coil was born. Car ignitions today still use his invention.

14. Guinness


Guinness is the most popular and successful export of Ireland. Arthur Guinness started brewing the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Leixlip, County Kildare before moving to St. James’s Gate Brewery. Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year contract in 1759, showing how confident he was in his alcoholic drink. Today, the alcoholic drink boasts over $2.6 billion sales.

13. Whiskey Distilling Apparatus

Whiskey Distilling

In 1830, Aeneas Coffey introduced the first heat-exchange device in the world. This apparatus led to significant developments in distilling.

12. Guided Missile

The guided missile was invented by Louis Brennan. It was used as a coastline defensive mechanism. Louis Brennan also invented the first helicopter. His prototype was launched in 1925, but it crashed and burnt.

11. Ejector Seat


There were previous versions of ejector seats, but it was Sir James Martin’s invention that allowed pilots to eject from planes that moved at high speeds. The first live test of his ejector seat occurred in July 1946 and it was a success. An explosion blew away the cockpit and a second blast pushed the pilot out of the plane that allowed him to parachute to safety. Martin’s idea was approved by the RAF and within a year, the whole RAF fleet had been installed with ejector seats.

10. Hypodermic Syringe


The first subcutaneous injection in the world was performed by Francis Rynd using a hypodermic syringe he made on his own. The Dublin doctor has been treating a patient who had been suffering from pain in her face for years. The women was taking morphine pills, but not getting any result. Rynd decided to put the morphine directly under the patient’s skin and close to the nerves. He made a narrow tube and a trocar, a cutting implement. Rynd created 4 puncture holds and the morphine poured through the tubes.

9. Flavoured Crisps

tayto irish invention

Joseph ‘Spud’ Murphy was the man behind crisps and Tayto. Before his invention, the only flavour of crisp available was salt.  After several experiments, he created three crisp flavours – salt & vinegar, cheese & onion and barbecue. His invention changed crisps and companies from different parts of the world have since replicated his work.

8. Submarine


John Philip Holland has changed the way deep sea exploration could be conducted and the way war could be done at sea. Holland’s first prototype sank on its very first voyage. In 1881, he launched Fenian Ram and it was a success. He won three competitions held by the US Naval Department to design and construct submarines. After successful tests, the US Navy bought its first submarine Holland VII and continued to purchase six more.