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10 greatest British tech inventions

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1. Electric motor

British scientist Michael Faraday came up with the idea in 1821, when he first proved the principle of electromagnetism by dipping a magnet into mercury and driving electrical current through it. This lead to electromagnetic rotation motors. 

In 1831, he began a series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction. Allegedly, Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall.

2. Photography

The discovery of the camera obscura that provides an image of a scene can be traced back to ancient China. The first success of reproducing images without a camera occurred, however, in 1802 when Thomas Wedgewood created pictures of insect wings using silver nitrate on leather, keeping them in a dark room for viewing. 

In 1840, British inventor William Fox Talbot created the calotype process which used a translucent negative to print multiple positive copies, the basis of today’s chemical photography.

3. Telephone

Although the credit for the invention of the telephone is frequently disputed, Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be awarded a patent for the electric telephone by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 1876. The telephone worked using the vibration of the diaphragm which caused a needle to vibrate in the water, varying the electrical resistance in the circuit. Bell managed to boost his invention with help from Thomas A. Watson and beat American Elisha Gray in the race to patent the telephone.

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