Famous British Inventors & Discoverers

Before you go on to read this section, thank Sir Timothy John Berners Lee for had it not been for this supremely talented British computer scientist, you wouldn’t have had World Wide Web! It was Berners Lee whose pioneering work led to the foundation of the modern computing system and internet. But British contribution to inventions and discoveries does not limit to World Wide Web alone. The English men are responsible for great many discoveries and invention that have made the world a better place to live in. Be it Roger Bacon’s magnifying glass or Michael Faraday’s electric transformer, John Ambroise Fleming’s vacuum diode or Rowland Hill’s postage stamp, George William Manby’s fire extinguisher or Sir Isaac Newton’s reflecting telescope, Stephen Perry’s rubber band or Joseph Priestley’s soda water, each of their inventions has greatly influenced our lifestyle and made living stress-free. Talking about discoveries, British explorers contributed greatly to the development of modern society that we know of today. So whether it is Sir Walter Raleigh or Henry Hudson, Sir Francis Drake or Captain James Cook, each of them and many more discovered new lands and routes for current and future generation travellers and explorers. Check this section to know about the life and works of famous British inventors and discoverers.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee
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Famous As: Inventor of the World Wide Web
Birthdate: June 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Widely known as ten inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee made the first communication between an HTTP client and server through the internet in 1989. He is associated with various organizations, such as the W3C and the World Wide Web Foundation, and has received the knighthood, too.

 2 Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley
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Famous As: Discoverer of Oxygen
Birthdate: March 24, 1733
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 6, 1804

 3 Francis Galton

Francis Galton
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: February 16, 1822
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: January 17, 1911

 4 James Dyson

James Dyson
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: May 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

James Dyson is a British industrial designer, inventor, entrepreneur, and landowner. He is credited with founding the popular technology company, Dyson Ltd. He is also credited with inventing the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner. Also known for his philanthropic activities, Dyson established the James Dyson Foundation to support engineering education and to inspire young people.

 5 James Chadwick

James Chadwick
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Famous As: Discoverer of Neutron
Birthdate: October 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: July 24, 1974

 6 Edd China

Edd China
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Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: May 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Edd China is best known as the host of the Discovery Channel show Wheeler Dealers. He has also been part of Fifth Gear and Top Gear. He established Cummfy Banana Limited. After racing a motorized sofa at 148 km/h, China set a Guinness record for the fastest furniture.

 7 Humphry Davy

Humphry Davy
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Famous As: Inventor of Davy Lamp
Birthdate: December 17, 1778
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: May 29, 1829
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 8 William Henry Perkin

William Henry Perkin
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 12, 1838
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: July 14, 1907

 9 George Stephenson

George Stephenson
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Famous As: Father of Railways
Birthdate: June 9, 1781
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 12, 1848

 10 Frank Whittle

Frank Whittle
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Famous As: Inventor of Turbojet Engine
Birthdate: June 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 9, 1996

 11 Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull
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Famous As: Agricultural Pioneer
Birthdate: March 30, 1674
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 21, 1741

 12 Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: December 23, 1732
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: August 3, 1792

 13 Richard Trevithick

Richard Trevithick
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Famous As: Pioneer of steam-powered road & rail transport
Birthdate: April 13, 1771
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: April 22, 1833

 14 Barnes Wallis

Barnes Wallis
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Famous As: Inventor of Bouncing Bomb
Birthdate: September 26, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: October 30, 1979

 15 John Harington

John Harington
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Famous As: English author
Birthdate: August 4, 1561
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: November 20, 1612

 16 Joseph Swan

Joseph Swan
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Famous As: Chemist, Physicist, Inventor
Birthdate: October 31, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: May 27, 1914

 17 John Herschel

John Herschel
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: May 11, 1871

 18 Clive Sinclair

Clive Sinclair
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Famous As: Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor, Computer scientist
Birthdate: July 30, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 19 Henry Shrapnel

Henry Shrapnel
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: June 3, 1761
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: March 13, 1842

 20 Henry Bessemer

Henry Bessemer
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: January 19, 1813
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: March 15, 1898

 21 Andre Geim

Andre Geim
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Dutch, British, Russian

 22 Hiram Maxim

Hiram Maxim
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: February 5, 1840
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, American
Died: November 24, 1916

 23 Robert Watson-Watt

Robert Watson-Watt
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Famous As: Developer
Birthdate: April 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: December 5, 1973

 24 Thomas Newcomen

Thomas Newcomen
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Famous As: Inventor of Atmospheric Steam Engine
Birthdate: January 31, 1664
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: August 5, 1729

 25 John Boyd Dunlop

John Boyd Dunlop
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Famous As: Inventor, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 5, 1840
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: October 23, 1921

 26 George Cayley

George Cayley
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Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: December 27, 1773
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: December 15, 1857

 27 James Hargreaves

James Hargreaves
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Famous As: carpenter, inventor, engineer
Birthdate: 1720 AD
Nationality: British
Died: April 22, 1778

 28 Thomas Savery

Thomas Savery
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Famous As: engineer, inventor
Birthdate: 1650 AD
Nationality: British
Died: April 30, 1715

 29 David Brewster

David Brewster
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 11, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: February 10, 1868

 30 Trevor Baylis

Trevor Baylis
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Famous As: Swimmer, Inventor
Birthdate: May 13, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 31 James Dewar

James Dewar
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: September 20, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: March 27, 1923

 32 John Shepherd-Barron

John Shepherd-Barron
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Famous As: Inventor, Military personnel
Birthdate: June 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: May 15, 2010

 33 Edmund Cartwright

Edmund Cartwright
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: April 24, 1743
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: October 30, 1823

 34 Harry Ferguson

Harry Ferguson
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Famous As: Mechanic
Birthdate: November 4, 1884
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British, Northern Irish
Died: October 25, 1960

 35 John Ambrose Fleming

John Ambrose Fleming
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Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: November 29, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 18, 1945

 36 Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall
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Famous As: British inventor
Birthdate: July 29, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: April 5, 2012

 37 Charles Algernon Parsons

Charles Algernon Parsons
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Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: June 13, 1854
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: February 11, 1931

 38 George Daniels

George Daniels
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Famous As: watchmaker, non-fiction writer
Birthdate: August 19, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: October 21, 2011

 39 Samuel Crompton

Samuel Crompton
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: December 3, 1753
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: June 26, 1827

 40 William Friese-Greene

William Friese-Greene
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Famous As: Photographer, Inventor
Birthdate: September 7, 1855
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: May 5, 1921

 41 Elihu Thomson

Elihu Thomson
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Famous As: Engineer, Inventor
Birthdate: March 29, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: March 13, 1937

 42 Oliver Lodge

Oliver Lodge
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: June 12, 1851
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 22, 1940

 43 Ian Wilmut

Ian Wilmut
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: July 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 44 William Willett

William Willett
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: August 10, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: March 4, 1915

 45 Alexander Parkes

Alexander Parkes
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Famous As: Inventor, Chemist, Engineer
Birthdate: December 29, 1813
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: June 29, 1890

 46 William Kennedy Dickson

William Kennedy Dickson
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Famous As: Inventor, Film director, Film producer, Cinematographer, Actor, Photographer, Engineer
Birthdate: August 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: September 28, 1935

 47 Philip Astley

Philip Astley
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Famous As: Equestrian
Birthdate: January 8, 1742
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: January 27, 1814

 48 Joseph Bramah

Joseph Bramah
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Famous As: Civil engineer, Engineer
Birthdate: April 13, 1748
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: December 9, 1814

 49 William Thornton

William Thornton
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 20, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, American
Died: March 28, 1828

 50 Peter Mark Roget

Peter Mark Roget
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Famous As: Lexicographer
Birthdate: January 18, 1779
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: September 12, 1869