This 1920s Concept for a Drive-Through Supermarket Completely Failed

Today, getting your groceries delivered to your house is old news. But there once was a time when the most futuristic thing in food shopping was the car. Specifically, drive-in shopping like these stores from the 1920s. Read More >>

Reinventing the Wheel: Mankind’s Best Attempts at Updating Design Classics

There are some things you don't mess with in the design world. Chairs, for example, have long since been perfected. Any modern redesign of the chair is a mere novelty that can only make sitting down a worse, less comfortable hobby. But some things are still improving thanks to the planet’s finest reinventors. Yes, your easy life can still get easier. Read More >>

How the Tea Bag Was Invented

Legend says that brewing tea dates back to around 2737 BC, when tea leaves fell into water being boiled for Emperor Shennong of China. There does not appear to be any hard evidence of tea being discovered this way, but evidence we do have suggests that brewing tea did indeed likely start in China, first as part of a medicinal elixir. The first documented reference to this is found during the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC to 1046 BC). By the Qin Dynasty in the 3rd century BC, it had become a relatively popular drink using just the tea (camellia sinensis), rather than mixed with other things as seems to have been common when used medicinally. From the beginning until the early 20th century, very little innovation came about in terms of the common method of brewing tea. This all changed in 1901. Read More >>

happy hour
How Scotch Was Invented

Scotch has been referred to as "the water of life," and to many who know its allure today, they can understand why. Yet the chronicle of this sometimes, smoky, often nutty, occasionally fruity elixir is poorly known, and in fact, its precise origin is lost to the mists of time (or more likely, drinking Scotch). Read More >>

Mark Champkins
Mark Champkins: The Science Museum’s Inventor-in-Residence

Coming up with ideas and inventions on demand is tricky. I work as the Science Museum's "inventor-in-residence" and it is my job to generate a stream of products and ideas that are interesting to the science-savvy as well as engaging to those new to the museum. If possible the products should also be wildly popular and generate lots of income. No pressure then. Read More >>

What Do You Think Is the Best British Innovation From the Last 100 Years?

Britain is and always has been, a powerhouse of invention, innovation, science and technology. From penicillin, DNA, cloning and stem cells, to carbon fibre, radar, the jet engine, Concorde and the ARM chips that power your smartphone, Britain is behind it all in some sort of capacity. But what's the best British invention from the last 100 years? Read More >>

Trevor Baylis
the dreamers
Trevor Baylis: From Inventor’s Bliss to Patently Broke

When you think of Trevor Baylis, you think of the invention that was meant to have made him, the wind-up radio. An innovation that easily ranks within the 50 best British inventions of all time, and which should have made him a mint, but for various reasons, didn't. Baylis may be an inventor and a dreamer, but did you know he was also an aquatic stunt performer; an escape artist, and served in the army? Now he's broke, and this is why that's a crying shame... Read More >>

If Cars Can Have Airbags, Why Can’t Bikes?

That's what one Singaporean design student thought. Alvin Chan is entering the prestigious Dyson Awards with his Cyclist Emergency Protection System (EMPS) -- an all-in-one cycle safety device. The bicycle protection system comes complete with sensors; an airbag; indicators, and a horn, all stuffed into a compact pack that sits under the saddle. Read More >>

Kid Invents Sweet Cure for Historically Incurable Ailment

A 13-year-old girl from Connecticut named Mallory Kievman has come up with a pretty clever cure for hiccups: vinegar lollipops! She developed the idea after researching various at-home remedies—a teaspoon of vinegar, hard candy, etc—as well as the physiological reason for a bout of hiccups. Read More >>

China’s Patent System Sucks and Blows, Says Fan Expert Sir James Dyson

China is risking being kicked out of the World Trade Organisation due to its continuing abuses of copyrights and a two-speed patent approval system that favours its own companies, according to Dyson. Read More >>

The Two-Beverage Water Bottle: Scotch or Whiskey? Scotch and Whiskey!

Maybe when I take long walks through my neighbourhood I want more than one beverage to quench my mighty thirst. As a thirsty fellow, I'm excited to learn that soon I will no longer have to choose between beverages again. We are living in a two-drink minimum future people. Read More >>