Yorkshire is famous for its inventions and technologies. From a favourite bar of chocolate, to improving safety on our roads.
George Cayley, a Scarborough-born engineer, beat the Wright brothers to the sky by 50 years when, in 1853, Cayley built a full-sized glider.
His footman, John Appleby, flew the glider 200m across Brompton Dale making him the world’s first aviator. Cayley spent most of his life studying aerodynamics and is credited with the invention of the principles of the fixed-wing aircraft from as late as 1799. It took him most of his life to produce a working glider prototype and, sadly, it would take others to finish his work.
One of the most important scientific progressions of the 20th century occurred at the University of Leeds.
William Henry Bragg and his son William Lawrence Bragg discovered a method for determining the structure of crystals using X-ray technology.
This has been fundamental in the development of many scientific fields helping to determine the size of atoms, the lengths and types of chemical bonds, and the atomic-scale differences among various materials, especially minerals and alloys.
The method also revealed the structure and function of many biological molecules, including vitamins, drugs, proteins and nucleic acids such as DNA.
Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince sounds like an unlikely name for a Leeds hero but the French artist and inventor did most of his important work while living in Leeds.
He developed many of the earliest innovations in cinematography, culminating in Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge, regarded as the first piece of true film ever recorded.
8. Jelly tots
Brian Boffey, from Horsforth, was working as a young research scientist at Rowntrees at York when he invented jelly tots during the 1960s.
At the time he was trying to come up with a way to produce a powdered jelly that set instantly when it was added to cold water.
He thought that the droplets were just waste but within weeks the novel sweet was being sold in shops across the country.