Welcome to the next installment for Scottish Month. The Scots have long been known for their discoveries and innovations. I googled Scottish inventions, and when I copied the list from just one website, it was ten pages long… So, this week, I am injecting a bit of humor into my look at items invented by Scottish folk.
But the Englishman below need not feel bad. The ingenuity of the Celts goes back much further. We now understand they were responsible for items formerly attributed to the Romans. The chain tank or lorica hamata, the armor worn by Roman warriors, was originally a Celtic design. The Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro describes the “Gallian chest harness” made of iron rings. Romans later added these to their leather chest tank.
Enjoy the following written by Tom Anderson Cairns. And keep in mind, this is only a fraction of their contributions.
The average Englishman, in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national costume, a shabby raincoat, patented by chemist Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland. En route to his office, he strides along the English lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.
He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland, he arrives at the station and boards a train, the forerunner of which was a steam engine, invented by James Watt of Greenock, Scotland. He then pours himself a cup of coffee from a thermos flask, the latter invented by Dewar, a Scotsman from Kincardine-on-Forth.
At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by James Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland.
During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith of Dumfries, Scotland.
He watches the news on his television, an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland, and hears an item about
the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.
He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot, King James VI, who authorised its translation.
Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.
He could take to drink, but the Scots make the best in the world. He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick of Pitfours, Scotland.
If he escapes death, he might then find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, which was discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland, and given an anaesthetic, which was discovered by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.
Out of the anaesthetic, he would find no comfort in learning he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.
Perhaps his only remaining hope would be to get a transfusion of guid Scottish blood which would entitle him to ask “Wha’s Like Us?” Damn few and they’re A’ deid!