Victorian Inventors & Inventions

Queen Victoria’s reign began in 1837 and ended with her death in 1901. This period is often described as an age of rapid change, and many breakthroughs were achieved in terms of scientific thought and industrial innovation and design.

Here is a list of some of the inventions that were developed during the Victorian period (both in the UK and overseas) and the inventors behind them.

1837 – The telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse, and the postage stamp was invented by Rowland Hill.

1838 – Samuel Morse invented Morse Code.

1839 – The process of rubber vulcanization was invented by Charles Goodyear, the first pedal bicycle was produced by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, and the first paddle steamship was made by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

1841 – The stapler is invented by Samuel Slocum.

1842 – The first grain elevator is constructed by Joseph Dart.

1843 – The first Christmas card was designed by John Calcott Horsely.

1845 – Elias Howe invented a type of sewing machine.

1849 – The safety pin is invented by Walter Hunt, and modern concrete was developed by Monier.

1851 – Isaac Singer invents a type of sewing machine.

1852 – The gyroscope is invented by Jean Bernard Leon Foucault.

1856 – Louis Pasteur invents the process of pasteurisation.

1858 – The internal combustion engine is invented by Jean Lenoir.

1861 – The Yale lock is invented by Linus Yale.

1862 – The machine gun is invented by Richard Gatling, and the first man-made plastic is produced by Alexander Parkes.

1864 – Jelly Babies are invented by Herr Steinbeck.

1866 – Dynamite is invented by Alfred Nobel, and Robert Whitehead invents the torpedo.

1868 – Air brakes are developed by George Westinghouse, and J. P. Knight invents the traffic light.

1873 – Barbed wire is invented by Joseph Glidden.

1876 – The telephone is patented by Alexander Graham Bell.

1875 – First chocolate Easter eggs were manufactured by Fry’s in Bristol.

1877 – The world’s first recording of the human voice is made by Thomas Edison.

1880 – A form of toilet paper is manufactured by the British Perforated Paper Company, and the seismograph is invented by John Milne.

1881 – Roll film for cameras is patented by David Houston.

1884 – The mechanical cash register is invented by James Ritty, and a useable fountain pen is invented by Lewis Edson Waterman.

1885 – The first practical internal-combustion engine powered car is developed by Karl Benz.

1886 – The dishwasher is invented by Josephine Cochrane, and Coca-Cola is invented by John Pemberton.

1887 – Radar is invented by Heinrich Hertz, the gramophone is invented by Emile Berliner, and the first wearable contact lenses are developed by Muller & Fick.

1888 – The first pneumatic tyre is patented by John Boyd Dunlop, and the AC motor and transformer are invented by Nikola Tesla.

1891 – The escalator is invented by Jesse W. Reno.

1892 – The diesel-fueled combustion engine is invented by Rudolf Diesel.

1895 – The first wireless is launched by Guglielmo Marconi.

1888 – George Eastman invents the Kodak box camera.

1898 – The rollercoaster is invented by Edwin Prescott.

1899 – A motor-powered vacuum cleaner is patented by J. S. Thurman.