5 Scientific Discoveries We Have the Irish to Thank For


Every year on March 17th, people the world over come together to celebrate the rich history and culture of the Irish people, and share in a ubiquitous love of fermented beverages.

The Irish are well-known throughout the world for their long, glorious history of music, art, literature and all-around epicness. What they are -sadly- not well known for is their amazing contributions to science and technology, apart from the whiskey still.

Here is a list of 5 cool scientific discoveries we have the Irish to thank for:

5) Color Photography
John Joly, born and raised in County Offaly, was the physicist responsible for creating the first successful process by which color photographs were created from a single photographic plate: the aptly-named Joly Color Process.

4) The Ejector Seat
James Bond may be an Englishman (though played by both Scots and Irish), but his famous ejector-seat wouldn’t exist without the technological achievements of an Irishman. Sir James Martin, of County Down, invented the world’s first ejector seat in 1945. A company bearing his name is currently the world-leader in aircraft ejector-seat manufacture.

3) Guided Missiles
Louis Brennan of County Mayo, observed that if a thread is pulled on a reel at an angle with enough force, the reel will move away from the thread side. This observation led to years of tinkering and experimentation until, in 1877, he patented the Brennan Torpedo.

2) Hypodermic Needles
Every time you get a flu vaccine, or a rabies-shot that keeps you from turning into one of the Infected from 28 Days Later (starring two Irishmen), you have Dubliner, Dr. Francis Rynd, to thank. In May of 1844, Dr. Rynd developed a drip-needle that made it possible to deliver medicines directly into the bloodstream.

1) Submarine
Dubbed the “Fenian Ram,” this fighting machine was the first submarine to be commissioned by the US Navy. Developed and built by John Phillip Holland (aka Seán Pilib Ó hUallacháin), it was originally funded by the Fenian Brotherhood (a sister organization to the Irish Republican Brotherhood) for use against England.

After construction was completed,  and numerous disputes occurred between Holland and the IRB over payment, Holland decided to steal the Fenian Ram and fled to America in 1883, selling the design to the US Navy, and setting the stage for widespread use of military submersibles.

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About hakancemm
CSUN,CA-Computer and Information Science.

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