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16 Things That Wouldn't Exist If Scotland Hadn't Invented Them

Enjoying those tiny Speedos at the Olympics? Yep, that was us.

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5. Television...

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TV as we know it today was invented by Scottish electrical engineer John Logie Baird (1888–1946). This creepy AF photo shows one of Baird's original television images of a moving face, which he transmitted at his first public demonstration.

6. ...the BBC...

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The BBC was founded by Baron John Reith in 1922, who was born in Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire; he was the BBC's first director-general. The first BBC television broadcasts would have been viewed on a Baird Televisor (pictured above).


11. ...and marmalade.

Invented in Dundee by an 18th-century sweet shop owner called Janet Keiller. Janet's husband was fobbed off with a shipment of overly bitter oranges, so resourceful Janet boiled them with sugar and invented the first shred marmalade.


13. ...and tarmac roads.

You wouldn't get far in your shiny new Jag without decent roads. Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836) invented the precursor to tarmac.

14. Aspirin.

Instagram: @nastatia

Ideal for Kirin beer hangovers. The earliest form of the popular painkiller was developed in Dundee in 1876 by Dr Thomas John MacLagan during his research into the effects of salicin, an extract from willow bark.

16. And, most importantly of all, the Speedo.

Getty / Matthew Stockman / BuzzFeed

You probably think of Speedo as an Aussie company, but its founder, Alexander MacRae, emigrated from Loch Kishorn in the western Highlands of Scotland to Sydney in 1910. So next time you're watching a BBC broadcast of Tom Daley in his Speedos on your TV while eating toast, say, "Thank you, Scotland."

This post was compiled with help from staff at the new V&A Museum of Design in Dundee. The upcoming V&A-curated exhibition Adventures in Design in Milan will feature some of these inventions.