🎧 Patented: History of Inventions

🎧 Patented: History of Inventions

This podcast investigates the curious history of invention and innovation. Did Thomas Edison take credit for things he didn’t actually invent? What everyday items have surprising origins? And would man have ever got to the moon without… the bra?

Each episode host Dallas Campbell dives into stories of flukey discoveries, erased individuals and murky marketing ploys with the help of experts, scientists and historians.

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🎧 Patented: History of Inventions
  • 🎧 Rise and Fall of High Heels

    For most of their history, High Heels were resolutely masculine. The most manly of manly footwear. How did they turn into burning icons of femininity? And now that the heydays of women's high heels are waning, what lies ahead for them?

    Dallas's guest today is Elizabeth Semmelhack, Director and S...

  • 🎧 Sunglasses

    What do all incredibly cool people have in common? They wear Sunglasses. Whether you're Miles Davis or Audrey Hepburn, James Dean or Bob Dylan, your sunglasses are never far away.

    Who invented sunglasses and who made them so cool? Was there a moment when sunglasses went from being just an instru...

  • 🎧 Patriarchy

    Why are men in charge? Who invented Patriarchy?

    Was it chest-thumping primate ancestors? Was it spear-wielding hunter gatherers? Was it at dawn of agriculture and the creation of property? Or was it something more subtle?

    These are the questions that Angela Saini has set out to answer in her ne...

  • 🎧 Donald Hebb: Brainwashing in the Cold War

    In 1950, a new word ‘brainwashing’ entered the English language. From the paranoia of the Cold War a new type of Evil Scientist had emerged — the Mind Controller. But was there any truth to the fear?

    In the 1950s the CIA went to an eminent psychology Donald Hebb and asked him to investigate the ...

  • 🎧 Marie Curie

    In a leaky shed in Paris, Marie Curie turned two tons of pitchblende (aka special rocks) into a single test tube of radium chloride - its green glow lighting up the walls. It must have been a magic...if radioactive!...moment.

    Today on Patented we talk with Patricia Fara about Marie Curie. A gian...

  • 🎧 Nanotechnology

    Nanotechnology may seem like something from a sci-fi movie plot, but it’s a very real thing and has likely affected many areas of your life, whether you realise it, or not.

    Nanotechnology looks at dimension and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers. For context, hair follicles or a sheet of pap...

  • 🎧 Wernher Von Braun: Nazi Father of Rocket Science

    Wernher von Braun launched America's space programme, and took Apollo 11 to the moon. He was also a Nazi member who served in the SS, and developed the lethal V-2 rocket bomb.

    He helped America progress in the Cold War, but he also helped Hitler attack his enemies, and as many as 20,000 concentr...

  • Digital Calculators

    What did humans do before calculators? How big was the very first electronic calculator? And what do monkey bones have to do with the history?

    Dallas Campbell is joined by Keith Houston to talk about the rise and reign of the pocket calculator.

  • 🎧 Bombs: Oppenheimer, Teller & Armageddon

    Robert Oppenheimer was the father of the atomic bomb - a weapon of unprecedented power, which, when dropped on Japan, would end WWII and would change the course of history. 
    While some perceived the bomb as inhumane and other’s perceived it as necessary to end end the war, we did manage to come...

  • 🎧 Coca Cola: A Backyard Invention

    Was Coca Cola originally made with Cocaine? Did Coca Cola invent Santa? Who knows the Coca Cola recipe? Dallas is joined by Bart Elmore, an award-winning Professor and Writer who investigates the impact of big business on our environment to answer all of the questions which bubble in our minds a...

  • 🎧 Fritz Haber: Inventor of Poisonous Gas

    Fritz Haber is an undisputed genius and is considered one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century. He’s an incredibly complex person, who has given so much to the world, but whether his inventions and intentions are good or evil are up for debate. 

    Dalllas is joined by Dan Charles, Autho...

  • 🎧 Inventing Hello Kitty

    She’s the most famous cat in the world. She’s definitely the most expensive. She’s worth a cool $84.5 Billion. She’s none other than Hello Kitty! 

    In the final episode of our mini series on Japanese Inventions, Dallas is once again joined by Matt Alt, Author of Pure Invention. There’s an entire ...

  • 🎧 Thermos Flask: A Hot and Cold History 

    Isn’t it mind-blowing that a thermos flask can keep your drink hot or cold for 8 hours, despite what’s happening in the climate around you? A real sip of relief really.

    But who invented this incredibly helpful concept of keeping hot things hot and cold things cold?  Enter the troubled and quick...

  • 🎧 The Walkman: The First Intimate Technology

    Think about how intimate our relationship with technology is. In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to function in the modern world without it. 
    Believe or not, this intimate relationship with technology actually starts with the Sony Walkman. For the first time in history, we’d put on ou...

  • 🎧 Chewing Gum: From the Aztecs to Avocados

    Spearmint, peppermint, double-bubble. You may think that chewing gum is a modern invention, when in fact we've been chewing the stuff since the year 200. Both the product and the flavour have improved immensely over almost 2000 years.

    Jennifer Mathews joins Dallas on Patented today. She is a Pr...

  • 🎧 Karaoke: The History

    When you think about it, the Karaoke machine is a simple invention. Basically two existing inventions, the tape deck and the microphone, were stuck together, add some lyrics on a screen and BOOM, you have Karaoke. 

    Anyone could have thought of it. And indeed Karaoke machines were independently i...

  • 🎧 Ectoplasm: Seances & the Rise of Spiritualism

    Communicating with the dead has a long and winding history. The rise of seances and the showmanship of paranormal activity rose to prominence in the late 19th century. 

    Spiritualism was entering a new wave, and communicating with the spirit world was now making itself physically evident through ...

  • 🎧 Fish & Chips: The Unexpected Origins of Britain's Favourite Dish

    ish and Chips. About 382 million portions of the iconic national dish are consumed every year. That works out to around 6 servings per person, per year!

    But who invented it?

    Panikos Panayi is a Professor at De Montfort University in Leicester will be answering just that. He works on the socia...

  • 🎧 Black Box: Indestructible Recorder

    They can survive in lava for half an hour and accelerations of 3,400 Gs. Their beacons can be detected 20,000 feet beneath the waves. Most shocking of all - they aren't actually black! (They're bright orange = the least common colour in nature.)

    Today it's the invention of the iconic Black Box (...

  • 🎧 Rise and Fall of Cinema

    What was the first cinema? When were the heydays of cinema-going and where are we now? How has the experience of going to the cinema changed?

    Today’s show is about the rise and fall of cinema. Or should that be the rise and fall and rise again of the cinema.

    Dallas's guest is Trevor Griffiths, ...

  • 🎧 Dogs

    How do we go from wolves to modern dogs? And where do Killer Beavers fit into the story?

    Humans domesticated wolves long before any other animal (or even any plants). Yet what exactly happened is shrouded in mystery.

    We cover ancient origins, the explosion of breeds in the Victorian era, and so...

  • 🎧 Ejector Seats

  • 🎧 McDonald's: Roadside Stand to Worldwide Brand

    Every second, McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers. It serves 70 million customers each day (more than the population of the UK). All this began at a roadside stand manned by two brothers: Dick and Mac McDonald (no joke). Then along came Ray Kroc who turned the roadside business into a global brand.


  • 🎧 Kitchens

    Who invented the Kitchen? It might seem silly to ask that but there is in fact one kitchen that people point to as the mother-of-all-kitchens. It was built in 1926 in the middle of a German housing crisis, by an architect called Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. It became known simply as the "Frankfurt...