What a great idea!
1935 ? CAT?S EYES
Cats Eyes have made nighttime driving a safer experience
Anyone who?s a driver knows how valuable Cats Eyes are when driving at night. This device was invented by the Englishman Percy Shaw, born in Yorkshire in 1890. He invented it after he had been driving on a dark, winding road on a foggy night. He was saved from going off the side of the hill by a cat, whose eyes reflected his car?s lights.
Percy Shaw set about inventing something similar to cats? eyes by inventing a small device with two marbles placed close together in a rubber casing. This would then be set in the road at intervals between the lanes of traffic. The device formed a small hump and would reflect the oncoming car headlights to show the way ahead. Percy was not a man to forget a detail and he realised that his new invention would quickly get dirty and stop reflecting the light, so he put a small depression where the marbles were which would fill with water every time it rained. Any car wheel passing over the device would press the marbles into the depression, forcing the water out and cleaning the marbles. In 1935 he formed his own company and named his invention after the inspiration that gave him the idea, Catseye®.
For his invention, Shaw was awarded the OBE in 1965 and died in September 1976.
1962 and 1985 ? THE POCKET CALCULATOR AND THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE
One of the most useful inventions, particularly for those of us who are enumerate. And an environmentally friendly vehicle which never quite caught on
Sir Clive Sinclair, born in 1939 to a family of engineers, is a British inventor who pioneered the home microcomputer market in the early 1980s, with the introduction of lowcost, easy to use 8-bit computers produced by his company, Sinclair Research.
Sinclair also invented and produced a variety of electronic devices from the 1960s to 1990s, including pocket calculators (he marketed the first pocket calculator in the world), radios, and televisions. But perhaps he is most famous (or some might say notorious) for his range electric vehicles, especially the Sinclair C5, introduced in 1985. From his early days at school he independently invented the binary system while working on a protocalculator and was disappointed to discover that it had already been invented. When the magazine Practical Wireless advertised for an editorial assistant he applied and got the job. Sinclair found himself running the magazine single-handedly at age 17. But the work took just a fraction of the week so he had lots of spare time to design circuits, which were published in the magazine.
In 1961 he registered Sinclair Radionics Ltd as a company, having spent some time designing a pocket transistor radio and finding backing, which unfortunately was later withdrawn. Sinclair had to find work quickly, which he did with United Trade Press as a technical editor. Sinclair Radionics lasted until 1979, with various products and company spin-offs. Beginning with a mini-amplifier, the company quickly earned a name for design, quality and pioneering ideas.
Miniaturisation, at which Sinclair proved himself so talented, was also a key idea. In 1962 he marketed the world?s first pocket calculator, in 1976 the world?s first digital wristwatch and in 1977 came the first pocket TV.
1989 ? THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Information at our fingertips and now we can?t imagine how we ever did without it.
The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 with the first working system deployed in 1990, while he was working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He went on to found the World Wide Web Consortium, which seeks to standardise and improve World Wide Web-related things such as the HTML mark-up language in which web pages are written and he coined the phrase ?World Wide Web?.
He started out on his road to success while he was at Queen?s College, Oxford in 1976. While he was there he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television. After he graduated he spent two years with Plessey Telecommunications Ltd, a major UK Telecom equipment manufacturer, working on distributed transaction systems, message relays and bar code technology. In 1978 Berners-Lee left Plessey to join D G Nash Ltd, where he wrote typesetting software for intelligent printers and a multitasking operating system.
Eighteen months spent as an independent consultant included a six month stint as consultant software engineer at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Switzerland. While he was there he wrote his first programme for storing information, including using random associations. This programme formed the conceptual basis for the future development of the World Wide Web. In 1989, Berners-Lee proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web. It was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first World Wide Web server, ?httpd? and the first client, ?WorldWideWeb? a what-you-seeis- what-you-get hypertext browser/ editor.
This work was started in October 1990 and the programme ?WorldWideWeb? first made available within CERN two months later, and on the Internet in the summer of 1991. Through 1991 and 1993 Berners-Lee continued working on the design of the Web, coordinating feedback from users across the Internet. His initial specifications of URSs, HTTP and HTML were refined and discussed in larger circles as the web technology spread.
He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his work on the web in 2003.