Archive for June, 2009

The cocktail

June 18, 2009

The English invented the first recorded cocktail when in 1832 a Mr Campbell Johnson of Basildon, Essex asked for a pint of beer with “just a splash of lemonade” in it.

The “lager top” had been created and soon the classic English cocktails the “shandy”, the “lager and lime” and the “snakebite and black”  were the most popular drinks at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Waldorf in New York, the Dingo’s Nuggets in Sydney and all other colonial back-waters.

Tom Cruise prepares a Lager Top, his signature cocktail in the film "Cocktail"

Tom Cruise prepares a Lager Top, his signature cocktail in the film "Cocktail"

Related non-invention:
Cocktail onion (Non-invented by the Californians): It’s just a small onion.  You don’t put onions in your drinks Keanu!

Talking

June 17, 2009

In 528 B.C., having just invented the first language (English), the English went on to invent talking.

Not stopping there the English went on immediately to invent the first ever question (“How are you, old chap?”), the first ever reply (“Mustn’t grumble.”) and the first ever platitude (“That’s good to hear.”). Although invented by Englishmen it was Englishwomen who went on to excel in talking and really took it to the next level.

Two English women practising talking in 1982. By this time many other countries had tried talking themselves (with varying degrees of success).

Two English women practising talking in 1982. By this time many other countries had started talking themselves (with varying degrees of success).

Related non-invention:
Rapping  (Non-invented by the Americans): Talking whilst wearing oversized trousers does not make it a new form of communication,  Dwayne

Football

June 16, 2009

Football was invented by an English schoolboy at John Port School, Etwall.

Whilst playing rugby in 1865, Herbert Blackwell dropped the ball and proceeded to kick it with his feet rather than carry it in his hands. Continuing to the try line he kicked the ball between the posts and below the bar scoring the first ever “goal”. He then proceeded to run along the touch line cupping his hand to his ear before pulling his shirt over his head. Unfortunately in those days all sport was played in a thick woollen all-in-one leotard and Herbert later that afternoon also invented soprano singing.

The 1865 England Football team shown here waiting for some other countries to start playing the game

The 1865 England Football team shown here waiting for some other countries to start playing the game

Related non-invention:
Aussie rules football (Non-invented by the Australians): Playing it on a cricket pitch in tank tops doesn’t make it a new sport, Bruce

The neck tie

June 16, 2009

The neck tie was invented by the English in 1352 when it was realised that there needed to be an easy way to distinguish an English gentleman from jonny foreigner. Other nationalities were forbidden from wearing the tie until 1826, and then only bowties.

Whilst playing Bond, Roger Moore naturally wore a tie however Sean Connery (a Scot) had to wear a bowtie.

Whilst playing Bond, Roger Moore naturally wore a tie however Sean Connery (a Scot) had to wear a bowtie.

Related non-invention:
The cravate (Non-invented by the French): Tying a handkerchief roughly round your neck isn’t fashion, Jean-Pierre

The scotch egg

June 16, 2009

The scotch egg was invented by the English, and not as suggested by the name, the Scottish.

The addition of a sausage layer to the outside of a boiled egg came first, in 1354, but it wasn’t until 1782 that the breadcrumbs were added (by Mr George Percey of Bromsgrove) creating the staple of wedding buffets we’ve come to love.

A scotch egg (plus another half scotch egg): Combining egg and pork sausage doubles your chance of salmonella

A scotch egg (plus another half scotch egg): Combining egg and pork sausage doubles your chance of salmonella

The cat flap

June 16, 2009

The cat flap was invented in England by Isaac Newton, an Englishman.

Before the invention of the cat flap cats were often given their own set of house keys which, being feckless creatures, they would often lose.

A catflap, shown here with half a cat

A catflap, shown here with half a cat

Related non-invention:
The doggy door (Non-invented by the Americans): Just a bigger cat flap, you are fooling no-one Brad.

The sandwich

June 16, 2009

The sandwich was invented in England by the Earl of Sandwich, an Englishman.

It combines bread (invented by the English) with “filling” (also invented by the English).

The sandwich as it should be: bread, filling and a hint of condiment

The sandwich as it should be: bread, filling and a hint of condiment

Related non-invention:
The open sandwich (Non-invented by the Swedish):  Just a badly made sandwich, you are fooling no-one Sven.