🎧 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
  • 🎧 LEGO

    LEGO was invented by someone made of yellow plastic, with a funny shaped head and claw hands. That feels like it might be true. Who else could come up with it?

    The real story takes us back to a Danish fishing village during the depression and to a family of toy makers who, over the course of thr...

  • 🎧 Croissants

    CROISSANTS WEREN’T INVENTED IN FRANCE. Mon dieu! C’est pas vrai!

    Today Dallas finds out about the person responsible for bringing the croissant to France.

    It wasn’t Marie Antoinette and it has nothing to do with the Turkish flag.

    The person we have to thank is an Austrian entrepreneur called A...

  • 🎧 Aliens

    Who invented aliens? We did. Each age invents its own. When we invented robots, aliens became robotic beings. In the Cold War, intergalactic peacemakers appear. Aliens came to abduct us in a decade when the news was full of kidnappings.

    In this episode Dallas discovers when we first started to t...

  • 🎧 Roller Coasters

    The world’s first Loop-the-Loop roller coaster gave so many people whiplash that they kept a medical team on the payroll.

    Find out where roller coasters began; why your hands sweat when you’re on them; and how long it takes the human brain to realise that it’s fallen to its death (perhaps).

    Dal...

  • 🎧 Frozen Food

    The Frozen Food industry was invented by the Birdseye company. And that company was started by a living breathing Birdseye; Clarence Birdseye.

    Clarence Birdseye was a small, bespectacled New Yorker who lived a life somewhere between Buffalo Bill and Thomas Edison.

    He came up with the idea for f...

  • 🎧 Warhammer

    ***Real life inventor alert*** We speak to Rick Priestley the co-creator of the weird world of Warhammer where valiant humans, noble elves, savage orcs and a variety of monstrous creatures battle eternally. How on earth do you invent something like this?

    If you have no idea what Warhammer is t...

  • 🎧 Batteries

    We’re tracking down the origins of batteries and it turns out it has a lot to do with a fish with a nasty sting in its tail. Zzzaaap!! Hold onto your fishing rods guys.

    Human’s have known that an electrical force existed for thousands of years. But it wasn’t until the turn of the nineteenth cent...

  • 🎧 Canned Food

    Hope you’re hungry because today we’re opening a can of historical worms as we discover the origins of canned food.

    How did canned food go from something only explorers would consider eating to the centrepiece of kitchen cupboards? We go from a competition run by Napoleon to Andy Warhol’s paint...

  • 🎧 Zeppelins

    They were cigars the size of ocean liners that floated through the clouds. Cow intestines filled with hydrogen held them up. The world’s first flight attendant served champagne and caviar. And for a moment they looked like the future.

    Zeppelins seem almost too strange to have been real now. But ...

  • 🎧 Online Advertising

    What was the first ever internet ad? When was the last time someone actually clicked on one? What happened to all the proper ads with catchy jingles?

    Today Dallas investigates one of the most infuriating aspects of modern life, online advertising. We discover how they started and the mind-bogg...

  • 🎧 Paranormal Technology

    Welcome to Patented-Gone-Paranormal! Thomas Edison tried to make a telephone that called the spirit world. One of the pioneers of radio believed he could talk with his dead son through the 'Ether'.

    Technology might seem the antithesis of the spirit world. But just at that point in our history wh...

  • 🎧 Nuclear Fusion Power

    For almost a century we’ve been trying to build a star on earth. Not easy with temperatures reaching 150,000,000℃.

    Today on Patented it’s the story of our efforts to make a nuclear fusion reactor with Arthur Turrell author of The Star Builders: Nuclear Fusion and the Race to Power the Planet.

    F...

  • 🎧 Linoleum

    Linoleum, or “lino”, once ruled the world (of flooring). It appeared everywhere from the Titanic to your gran’s kitchen. But where did it come from?

    We hear the story of the Victorian inventor, Frederick Walton, who came up with lino whilst trying to find an alternative to rubber.

    And we discov...

  • 🎧 How The Victorians Took Us To The Moon

    If a Victorian met Elon Musk they would completely get him. The world’s richest man, determined to use technology that doesn’t yet exist to colonise Mars. Classic Victorian thinking.

    The Victorians didn’t really take us to the moon. But what they did do was give us a way of thinking about the fu...

  • 🎧 Eco Farming

    George Washington Carver is well known to Americans as the Peanut Man. It’s been written of him that ‘peanuts were like paintbrushes: They were tools to express his imagination’.

    If that sounds a bit ridiculous, it’s because it is.

    George Washington Carver was far more radical and innovativ...

  • 🎧 FORENSICS: DNA

    The birth of DNA fingerprinting will forever be tied to Leicester, England. It was invented in a lab in the city’s university by Alec Jeffreys in 1984. And it was in the outskirts of the city that it was first used to catch a murderer – Colin Pitchfork who raped and killed the young girls Lynda M...

  • 🎧 Punk & the Sex Pistols

    Have you ever heard the story of how punk began?

    “They are Dickensian-like urchins who with ragged clothes and pockmarked faces roam the streets of foggy gaslit London…Some of these ragamuffin gangs jump up on tables amidst the charred debris and with burning torches play rock and roll…One of ...

  • 🎧 Recorded Sound

    From talking sponges to voices frozen in ice, the history of recorded sound is not what you expect.

    People fantasised about being able to record sound long before it was possible. We begin by hearing a few of the most remarkable ways that were dreamt up. Then we meet the first person ever to r...

  • 🎧 FORENSICS: Lie Detectors

    What does Wonder Woman have to do with the invention of the lie detector? Does refusing to yank a donkey’s tail make you a liar? Is it folly to believe that a machine can ever peer inside the human mind?

    The invention of the lie detector is a strange story full of eccentric characters, fascinati...

  • 🎧 Space Food

    If humans travel to Mars then by the time they come home all the food they eat will be five years old. Want a bite?

    Food often gets overlooked in stories about space flight. Yet space food has a fascinating history and will become an ever-increasing challenge the further we journey into space.

    ...

  • FORENSICS: Fingerprinting

    We take you to London’s most inaccessible museum, the Met police’s Crime Museum, and back to India in the time of the British Raj. We hear about the first murder case ever to hinge on fingerprint evidence.

    No one had to invent fingerprints. They’ve been around for ages…But to be able to use fing...

  • 🎧 Perfume

    First Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel shocked the world’s eyeballs with her fashion designs. Then she shocked its nostrils with a new smell - Chanel No. 5.

    “It’s punk rock but with feather boas and fragrance”. That’s how today’s guest, Suzy Nightingale, describes the impact that Coco Chanel had on soci...

  • 🎧 FORENSICS: the beginning

    Death by tiger bites. Death by prodding. Death from sexual excess. Deaths from over-eating and over-drinking. The opening of graves.

    These are a few of the chapter headings in a 13th century Chinese book called ‘The Washing Away of Wrongs’. It is a compendium of grizzly, gory, bizarre murders an...

  • 🎧 PowerPoint

    We take PowerPoint for granted. It's as much a fact of life as concrete. Or rainy afternoons. But it hasn’t always been here. It has a story. And once you’ve heard it, you’ll never look at PowerPoint the same way again.

    Those old enough can remember the world before PowerPoint. A world where pre...