Gordon Brown claims a Brit invented the iPod
Grosse Pointe, Surrey?
While talking about the economy during daytime television show, This Morning, Brown let it drop that it was a Briton who in fact invented the iPod.
"Companies will come and locate in Britain if we have the talented people to offer them," said Brown. "People with ideas and innovative things that they can market. You know it was a Brit that invented the iPod. If you've got really innovative things, people will come to your country to locate."
Perhaps Brown was confused about the role of design engineer, Jonathan Ive, a Brit who crafted the casing and packaging of the iPod and many other Apple products. We dare say there's a subtle difference between the house painter and architect. (Let's also ignore that Brown's one example of British ingenuity came from an American company, and that mp3 player sales aren't exactly keeping the US economy primed at the moment.) And even then, Ive ran off to America for a job at Apple in 1992 and currently lives in California.
Brown's historical revision begins at about seven minutes in.
Let's be perfectly fair to everyone. Brits have a long and distinguished history of invention. Here's a somewhat abridged list that Brown could have chosen from:
- Downhill skiing
- Corrugated paper used as liner in tall hats
- Rubber bands
- The Royal Navy
- Smallpox vaccine
Note the glaring omission of the iPod. Quite contrarily, we'd find that device in another list:
Inventions not at all from Great Britain
- Racoon hats
- 1989 Toyota Celica
- The number 0
- Leslie Nielsen
So, there you have it, kids. Hitch your wagon to corrugated paper futures, if you want to prosper in the homeland. Otherwise, it's off to America where you can wrap metal in expensive white cases for a living. ®
I've always found it ironic...
that the British invented the angled deck and fresnel-lens landing system (AKA the "meatball lights") that made it possible to land jets on aircraft carriers...
then they get rid of their carriers, and are now pretty much the only navy in the world NOT using it.
I don't need a coat, I've got a yellow shirt.
ah, but one more thing
The late, great Arthur C. Clarke described a personal audio player small enough to be worn around the neck back in the 1950's or 1960's. So Iguess he scores the MP3 player as well as the comms satellite...
The Scandinavians probably invented the ski, and used it for transport cross-country, but it was the Brits who pioneered ('invented" is a dodgy word) the idea of climbing up a mountain (near Chamonix) just so they could slide down it again.
These days it's only the French army recruits who have to do that, the rest of us can use ski lifts. Bet those boy soldiers just love us for that...