🎧 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.

Subscribe Share
🎧 Patented: History of Inventions
  • 🎧 Pyramids

    The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest building in the world for nearly four thousand years…until it was beaten by Lincoln Cathedral.

    This week Dallas is joined by Egyptologist and friend Chris Naunton for a crash course in pyramid construction and the mysteries that surround them.

    Discover ...

  • Transistors & Telecommunication Satellites: Bell Labs

    The transistor; solar panels; the first telecommunications satellite; cell phone networks; UNIX code; information theory. All these and more were invented in one place: Bell Labs.

    Bell Labs was where the future, which is what we now happen to call the present, was conceived and designed. It was ...

  • Shipping Containers

    90% of everything you own arrived by sea.

    And there’s one invention to thank above all else – the humble shipping container.

    Today on Patented we’re joined by Rose George - journalist and author of the book Deep Sea and Foreign Going about her experience of spending five weeks on board a contai...

  • 🎧 Barbie

    Which is strange in a way because she’s over sixty years old. Few things have managed to stay relevant so long, surviving seismic cultural change.

    This week it’s the story of how the doll that changed childhood for millions came to be.

    Our guest is Tanya Stone author of The Good, the Bad and th...

  • 🎧 Contactless Payment

    *tap* *tap* *tap*

    That’s the sound of physical cash being consigned to the dustbin of history by us tapping cards/phones/watches instead.
    Contactless payments are growing so rapidly that it seems a safe prediction that a cashless future is not far away.

    In the UK contactless payments rose 52%...

  • 🎧 Air Conditioning

    No summer blockbuster. No Las Vegas and no skyscrapers in Dubai. No chocolate bars when the weather gets hot. Air conditioning is one of those things we take for granted but that has transformed the world around us, for good and for bad.

    There are 1.6 billion air conditioners in the world toda...

  • 🎧 Baby Formula

    The United States has been suffering from a baby formula shortage for months now. It’s shown how reliant we are on this one commodity. People need it to feed their babies. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

    But we managed without baby formula for a very, very long time. So when did the United...

  • 🎧 Measurements

    A pint might be Britain’s most beloved measurement. But what’s the name for the distance a reindeer can walk before it needs to pee?

    The way we measure things changes the way we see the world. Measurements have shaped our history and are bound up in ideas of statehood, power and control.

    β€œMeasu...

  • 🎧 Sign Language

    Imagine knowing no language at all…

    *wordlessness*

    …and then giving birth to one.

    This is what happened amongst the children at a school for the deaf in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

    And my guest today was there to witness and document it.

    Judy Shepard Kegl is a linguist who specialises in sign l...

  • 🎧 Mummification

    When the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead they were trying to stop time, to preserve the body so well that it would last throughout eternity.

    They succeeded (sometimes). There are mummies that when we look at their faces today it’s as if they’re about to wake up and say hello.

    How did the...

  • 🎧 Cryonics: Living Forever?

    Cryonics is the speculative practice of preserving and storing recently dead bodies at very low temperatures, in the hopes we may one day be able to bring them back to life.

    Crucially, the technology to execute that final step, reanimation, doesn't exist. At least not yet. Individuals who sign u...

  • 🎧 Video Games

    A whistle stop tour of the 50 year history of video games β€” and all the innovations along the way, from our TV sets to virtual reality.

    Why are the roots of gaming in universities and labs?

    What technology helped gaming spread and grow?

    How do you explain the console wars of the 1990s?

    Fi...

  • 🎧 Drone Delivery

    The drones are coming. In twenty years there’s going to be a hundred times more flying planes, taxis, parcels in the airspace than today thanks to drone technology. Assuming we don't try to stop them first...
    Today on Patented we're handing over the mic to the incredible Jacob Goldstein (former h...

  • 🎧 Warships with Dan Snow

    Today we are talking warships: from the revolutionary Tudor ships to modern aircraft carriers, and all the innovations along the way. Our guest is History Hit’s own Dan Snow.
    Dan, a self-confessed Martime history nerd, gives Dallas a whistle stop tour of nearly 200 years of history β€” from the ris...

  • 🎧 Special Effects

    The history of Special Effects β€” from stop motion to motion capture.

    In just over a century, we special effects have been subject to rapid innovation. What were the biggest breakthroughs? How did the digital revolution transform the industry? And, what does the future hold?

    Today on the show, w...

  • 🎧 The Invention of Sex Toys

    _CW: This episode is a bit saucier than normal with explicit sexual references and some swearing - if that isn’t your cup of tea or are listening with kids, please check out one of our past episodes instead_.

    It is fair to say, Sex Toys aren’t the taboo they once were. The stats show they are i...

  • 🎧 Lunar Rover

    The success of the Apollo Missions relied on hugely imaginative engineering. There is perhaps no better example of this than the first off-planet electric car, The Lunar Rover.

    Today on the show we ask: Why did we send a car to the moon? How did we design something for an environment we knew not...

  • 🎧 Plastic Surgery

    World War One led to the advancement of weaponry, technology, and cosmetic surgery as we know today. In this episode Dallas is joined by award winning historian and author Lindsey Fitzharris to talk about the birth of reconstructive surgery, and the Grandfather behind it - Harold Gillies. Repairi...

  • 🎧 Daylight Saving Time

    Introduced just over 100 years ago, Daylight Savings have always been divisive.

    So, why are people for and why are people against β€” and how have those arguments changed over time?

    We find out with today's guest, Dr Kristin Hussey - a science historian currently based in Denmark who is working o...

  • 🎧 Coronation Chicken

    Chicken, mayonnaise, curry powder - and wait, sultanas? What exactly is Coronation Chicken and what does it have to do with her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II? Created by students, beloved by many, how does this iconic sandwich filler fit into British culinary history? In this Jubilee Special, Dallas...

  • 🎧 Coffee

    A cup of coffee was once a luxury. Now it is quick, cheap and widely available β€” a daily essential for many.
    How did this happen? Today on Patented, Jonathan Morris walks us through the evolution of coffee: from how people first figured out its psychoactive properties, to the transformations in r...

  • 🎧 Tattoos

    Why have tattoos been reinvented in so many cultures - and with so many different meanings - throughout history?

    And yet, tattooing is constantly portrayed as a new β€˜thing’, when tattoos were just for criminals or sailors.

    Far from truth, tattoos and the art of painting ones skin is as old and ...

  • 🎧 The Telescope

    The telescope marked, arguably, the first invention to truly transform a human sense. For the first time it allowed our eyes to observe the universe beyond the bounds of our Earthly home.

    But how did this groundbreaking instrument first come about? Today on the show we find out who really invent...

  • 🎧 UFOs

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? A UFO maybe? Or is it some reflective Lichen? Where does the idea of an Unidentified Flying Object come from and are they real? Spoiler alert - probably not. In this episode Dallas is joined by journalist and author David Clarke to discuss all things unidentified. Fro...