Patented: History of Inventions
The Electric Chair
In 1890, the Governor of New York called for a new method of capital punishment. A more modern, efficient, scientific method was being sought. There was still a buzz around the recently harnessed power of electricity, which, when delivered. at high voltage to a prisoner strapped to a chair, would do the job (though not quite, at least the first time). The terrifying prospect of the Electric Chair was also hoped to put off potential criminals. Mark Essig, author of Edison and the Electric Chair: a Story of Light and Death, tells Dallas how it came about.
Mixed by Benjie Guy. Produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.
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126. Suffragette Scientists28:21Hold onto your lab coats, because the suffragette scientists are here to shake things up! Patricia Fara, author of A Lab of One's Own, joins Dallas to tell the stories of forgotten pioneers of invention during the Suffragette era.Patricia and Dallas also discuss the wider question of why there are so many more men in the history of invention than women (at least in our telling of it).You can take part in our listener survey here.
125. Hieroglyphs33:04Vulture. Snake. Baboon in a Basket. Get ready for hieroglyphs, history, and hilarity as Dallas talks to Egyptologist Chris Naunton.We discover the mysteries of the Narmer Palette and the birth of hieroglyphs, crack the code with the Rosetta Stone and ponder where Emojis fit into the story.Edited by Tom Delargy, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte LongYou can take part in our listener survey here.
124. Stone Tools: The First Ever Invention32:52Stone Tools are technology 1.0. They’re where it all begins. For millions of years, Stone Tools were our primary piece of technology. At some point we became dependent on them for survival. They became a defining part of what it meant to be human.Dallas's guest today is John Shea, an anthropologist whose latest book is The Unstoppable Human Species: The Emergence of Homo sapiens in Prehistory.Edited by Tom Delargy, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long
123. Colours: from Cave Paint to Nanotube Black40:39There's a theory that the invention of paint had something to do with the dawn of humanity. We are on a never-ending quest to create brighter, better colours. From grinding rocks, to crushing bugs, concocting chemicals and now manipulating nanotubes - a mind-boggling array of beautiful pigments and dyes litter our history.Today's guest is Kassia St Clair, author of international bestseller The Secret Lives of Colours.Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long
122. Inventing Disneyland: The First Themepark37:02Giant mouse ears at the ready, we're off to Disneyland! Hop on board and travel with us inside Walt Disney's mind (for better or for worse). We discover how he came up with the idea, what it all means, and how his dream of a Utopian city led indirectly to the Magic Kingdom.Dallas's guest today is Sabrina Mittermeier, author of 'A Cultural History of Disneyland Theme Parks: Middle Class Kingdoms'.Edited by Tom Delargy, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.
121. Rise and Fall of Encyclopedias35:08The 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1974, cost $32 million to create. The largest investment in publishing history. And yet you can now buy the complete set for pennies.Who invented encyclopedias? Who wrote for them? And why did Samuel Taylor Coleridge get so upset about them?Dallas is joined by Simon Garfield, author of All the Knowledge in the World: The Extraordinary History of the Encyclopaedia.
120. Inventing Bond: Wiretapping37:09We live in a world where everything is bugged. We all know we are being monitored. The surprising thing is that this is nothing new.From tapped telegraph wires to bugged Martini olives, Dallas is finding out about the history of Wiretapping with Brian Hochman, author of The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States.Before that though Dallas chats to comedian, writer and masterful impersonator Anil Desai. Can Dallas finally learn how to do a Sean Connery impression?
119. Chicken Nuggets: A Bitesized History38:05The most famous chicken nugget of them all, the McDonald’s McNugget, turns 40 this year. So we’re asking, who invented the Chicken Nugget? Enter food-scientist Robert Baker who came up with them twenty years before the McNugget was even a glimmer in Ronald McDonald's eye. Baker was a poultry alchemist who could turn a chicken into anything he wanted. And he did it all to try to save the chicken farmers he loved so much.Editing and sound design by Stuart Beckwith, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long
118. Inventing Bond: Cocktails30:55It's Cocktail Hour! In honour of James Bond we ask who invented cocktails? Have they always been a cool thing to drink? And where do horses bottoms fit into things?Dallas' guest today is the pre-eminent historian (and maker) of cocktails David Wondrich, author of 'Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash'.