Patented: History of Inventions

Patented: History of Inventions

This podcast investigates the curious history of invention and innovation. Did Thomas Edison take credit for things he didn’t actually invent? What everyday items have surprising origins? And would man have ever got to the moon without… the bra? Each episode host Dallas Campbell dives into stories of flukey discoveries, erased individuals and merky marketing ploys with the help of experts, scientists and historians. Expect new episodes every Wednesday and Sunday.


September 26, 2023 30 mins

If you can never connect to a printer, if furniture jumps out to stub your toe, if when you do the dishes the water jumps out the sink to soak you - then you are victim of the inanimate malice of things.

The belief that all things are essentially out to get us us has a name - Resistentialism. This is a theory created by columnist Paul Jennings. On one level it's clearly a joke, on another level though he was convinced of its tru...

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400 years ago on the River Thames a mad genius showed off the world's first submarine. A crowd of thousands including King James watched as Cornelis Drebbel disappeared beneath the murky water, only reemerging after three whole hours had passed.

The same genius also came up with perpetual motion machines, self-regulating ovens, chemical air conditioning for Westminster Cathedral, and a project to provide central heating for all ...

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September 19, 2023 36 mins

Fire is the unsung hero of human evolution. We could not have turned into the big-brained, deep-thinking animals we are on raw food alone. The moment two million years ago that our forebears first started using fire to cook, was the spark that started everything off.

That's according to today's guest - Richard Wrangham one of the world's leading anthropologists and author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Edited by ...

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September 16, 2023 47 mins

For most of their history, High Heels were resolutely masculine. The most manly of manly footwear. How did they turn into burning icons of femininity? And now that the heyday of women's high heels is over, what lies ahead for them?

Dallas's guest today is Elizabeth Semmelhack, Director and Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum.

Edited by Tom Delargy, Produced by Alex Carlon, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long

Get 50% o...

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September 12, 2023 30 mins

What do all incredibly cool people have in common? They wear Sunglasses. Whether you're Miles Davis or Audrey Hepburn, James Dean or Bob Dylan, your sunglasses are never far away.

Who invented sunglasses and who made them so cool? Was there a moment when sunglasses went from being just an instrument for protecting your eyes to becoming an iconic symbol of high fashion?

Vanessa Brown, author of Cool Shades: The History and Mea...

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September 10, 2023 35 mins

The Titan submersible implosion was a tragic example of marine exploration going wrong. Today Dallas speaks to one of the world's leading marine archaeologists about Titan and the history of deep-sea submersibles leading up to it. Why and how did we begin exploring the ocean depths? What drives us on? And what lessons should be learned from Titan?

Edited by Tomos Delargy, Produced by Alex Carlon, Senior Producer Charlotte Long

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September 5, 2023 47 mins

Why are men in charge? Who invented Patriarchy?

Was it chest-thumping primate ancestors? Was it spear-wielding hunter gatherers? Was it at dawn of agriculture and the creation of property? Or was it something more subtle?

These are the questions that Angela Saini has set out to answer in her new book The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule. She and Dallas talk through the mother of all origin stories.

Edited by Tom Delargy, P...

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September 2, 2023 31 mins

In 1950, a new word ‘brainwashing’ entered the English language. From the paranoia of the Cold War a new type of Evil Scientist had emerged — the Mind Controller. But was there any truth to the fear?

In the 1950s the CIA went to an eminent psychology Donald Hebb and asked him to investigate the possibility. His idea was to test what happened to the brain when it is starved of everything that anchors it to reality. Of anything to...

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August 29, 2023 35 mins

No invention conjures up the 'Old World' as much as the Sword. It's an utterly iconic object that whisks us back to knights in shining armour. But what were Medieval swords really like? Who owned them? And what did they mean at the time?

Today we're bringing you an episode from another History Hit podcast we thought you'd love - Gone Medieval hosted by Matt Lewis and Eleanor Janega.

This episode was edited by Joseph Knight an...

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August 26, 2023 38 mins

In a leaky shed in Paris, Marie Curie turned two tons of pitchblende (aka special rocks) into a single test tube of radium chloride - its green glow lighting up the walls. It must have been a magic...if radioactive!...moment.

Today on Patented we talk with Patricia Fara about Marie Curie. A giant in the history of science but a woman whose story has been twisted and mistold over the years.

Edited and Produced by Freddy Chick....

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August 22, 2023 48 mins

Nanotechnology may seem like something from a sci-fi movie plot, but it’s a very real thing and has likely affected many areas of your life, whether you realise it, or not.

Nanotechnology looks at dimension and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers. For context, hair follicles or a sheet of paper are 100,000 nanometers thick. So, pretty small…


But what is it? How are scientists changing our lives with it? And why was King ...

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Wernher von Braun launched America's space programme, and took Apollo 11 to the moon. He was also a Nazi member who served in the SS, and developed the lethal V-2 rocket bomb.

He helped America progress in the Cold War, but he also helped Hitler attack his enemies, and as many as 20,000 concentration camp prisoners died assembling his missile invention.

Von Braun was able to manipulate the Nazi regime to serve his own agenda,...

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August 15, 2023 45 mins

What did humans do before calculators? How big was the very first electronic calculator? And what do monkey bones have to do with the history?

Dallas Campbell is joined by Keith Houston to talk about the rise and reign of the pocket calculator.

You can find out more about Keith’s book here.

Discover the past on History Hit with ad-free original podcasts and documentaries released weekly presented by world renowned historia...

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August 12, 2023 40 mins

Robert Oppenheimer was the father of the atomic bomb - a weapon of unprecedented power, which, when dropped on Japan, would end WWII and would change the course of history. 


While some perceived the bomb as inhumane and other’s perceived it as necessary to end the war, we did manage to come to the conclusion that a ban on nuclear weapons was necessary due to the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of its use.


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August 8, 2023 52 mins

Was Coca Cola originally made with Cocaine? Did Coca Cola invent Santa? Who knows the Coca Cola recipe? Dallas is joined by Bart Elmore, an award-winning Professor and Writer who investigates the impact of big business on our environment to answer all of the questions which bubble in our minds about Coca Cola.

In 1864 Pharmacist, John Pemberton is injured in the American Civil War, finding himself bankrupt, addicted to morphine ...

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August 5, 2023 45 mins

Fritz Haber is an undisputed genius and is considered one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century. He’s an incredibly complex person, who has given so much to the world, but whether his inventions and intentions are good or evil are up for debate. 

Dalllas is joined by Dan Charles, Author of Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare to discuss the life...

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August 1, 2023 31 mins

She’s the most famous cat’s in the world. She’s definitely the most expensive. She’s worth a cool $84.5 Billion. She’s none other than Hello Kitty! 

In the final episode of our mini series on Japanese Inventions, Dallas is once again joined by Matt Alt, Author of Pure Invention. There’s an entire chapter in his book designated to Hello Kitty called “Cult of Cute” explaining why she became a runaway success story. 


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July 29, 2023 37 mins

Isn’t it mind-blowing that a thermos flask can keep your drink hot or cold for 8 hours, despite what’s happening in the climate around you? A real sip of relief really/ 

But who invented this incredibly helpful concept of keeping hot things hot and cold things cold? Enter the troubled and quick-tempered Scottish Chemist and Physicist, James Dewar who invents the vacuum flask.

But how did he get to this point? Join D...

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Think about how intimate our relationship with technology is. In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to function in the modern world without it. 

Believe or not, this intimate relationship with technology actually starts with the Sony Walkman. For the first time in history, we’d put on our headphones and unplug from the world around us. 

Matt Alt, author of Pure Invention joins Dallas for another episode on our ...

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Spearmint, peppermint, double-bubble. You may think that chewing gum is a modern invention, when in fact we've been chewing the stuff since the year 200. Both the product and the flavour have improved immensely over almost 2000 years.

Jennifer Mathews joins Dallas on Patented today. She is a Professor of anthropology in sociology and knows everything there is to know about chewing gum. Starting from chewing on Chicle found among...

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