15 Irish Inventions That Changed The World

7. Bacon Rasher

bacon irish invention

Henry Denny invented the bacon rasher. The Waterford butcher patented a number of bacon-curing methods and re-invented the way of curing bacon. Bacon was previously cured by soaking huge portions of meat in brine. Instead of chunks, he used long flat pieces of meat. Denny used dry salt instead of brine. He started exporting to the Americas, mainland Europe and India.

6. Colour Photography


John Joly is certainly one of the most productive inventors of Ireland. He invented the meldometer, a device used to measure the melting points of mineral. John Joly was also the one responsible for photometer and steam calorimeter. Photometer is used to measure light intensity and steam calorimeter was designed for measuring specific heats. He was also responsible for using radiation for treating cancer. However, his most popular invention would be colour photography. In 1894, John Joly discovered a successful means of producing colour photos from one plate. The viewing plate was marked with thin coloured lines and the glass in the camera was placed in front of the photo. The photo could then be taken, making the process a lot simpler.

5. Modern Tractor


Harry Ferguson invented the tractor’s original Ferguson System in 1926.  It has the same basic design for modern tractors used today. Known as The Mad Mechanic, Ferguson also invented his own plane, race car and motorcycle. He was the first Irish man to fly in 1909. He also built the very first 4-wheeled Formula-One car.

4. Tank


The first armoured tank in the world came from Blackrock, Dublin. The tank was invented in 1911 when Winston Churchill, then Home Secretary in Britain, ordered the design of a vehicle that can withstand shrapnel and bullets, flatten barbed wire and cross trenches and muds. Modern tanks might look different to the original design, but the crucial battle buggy is still the same.

3. Trans-Atlantic Calls


In 1865, an Irish man established the Atlantic Telegraph Cable. Lord Kelvin Thomson helped in laying the cable that ran from Newfoundland to Valentia in County Kerry. His intense interest in thermodynamics and measurement of temperature also led to the development of The Kelvin Scale.

2. Cure for Leprosy


A cure for leprosy was accidentally discovered by an Irish man while he was seeking an answer to the tuberculosis problem afflicting Ireland. Vincent Barry created B663, a compound that saved 15 million people suffering from leprosy.

1. Portable Defibrillator


Professor Frank Pantridge invented the emergency defibrillator, changing and modernising emergency medicine in the process. In 1965, the first prototype was installed in a Belfast ambulance. Since then, emergency defibrillators have become an important first aid tool and saved a lot of lives.