#1. Chocolate Milk
Irishman Hans Sloane tested Caribbean chocolate in the 1750s and thought it too bitter and added milk. He sold it as a medicinal elixir and by the 1900’s the Cadbury Brothers were selling “drinking chocolate” in tins all over the country inspired by the original recipe.
#2. Flavoured Chips
Joseph “Spud” Murphy invented cheese and onion, BBQ and salt and vinegar chips in 1954. Before this, chips had only been flavoured with salt.
#3. Rubber Soles
Humphrey O’Sullivan worked in a printing press all his life. His feet would get sore, so he found a rubber mat to stand on. Eventually he thought of putting the rubber directly into his shoes and from there, the rubber sole was born.
#4. Ejector Seats
Sir James Mardin in 1945 used dummies to test the ejector seat. Then Bernard Lynch, a very brave guy, was the first ‘live tester.’ Fortunately for Bernard it was a success. The Royal Air Force then used the ejector seat as part of safety protocol.
#5. ‘Humane’ Hanging
And then come the weird ones. Samuel Haughton (who lived in a time when a nice day out with the family was going to watch a hanging), realized a longer rope would mean a quicker death for the condemned. Shorter ropes led to long suffocation. So he calculated the length needed to create a quick and decisive snap. What a guy.
His gory math didn’t stop there. he also invented the first reasonable estimate of blood pressure, by measuring how far blood spurted from a human body. But hey, both his inventions were appreciated.
Fun Facts! -There are more Murphy’s in the US than in Ireland. -Some people in Ireland called chips “Murphys” and -in the 1940’s, the Irish hated the English so much they couldn’t decide whether to cheer for the Brits or Germans in WWII. So they called the war, “The Emergency.” (and evidently were concerned they might run out of cider)