Scottish Inventors and Innovators

Below are twenty inventions, innovations, creations and discoveries made by Scots. How many can you name?

This quiz is part of the larger Scottish Interest quiz series.
Quiz by elijahwade
Last updated: June 3, 2020
First submittedJuly 22, 2018
Times taken25
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Innovation or Invention
Biochemist and physiologist who discovered insulin. For his role in this discovery, he was a recipient of the 1923 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine.
John Macleod
Author who created the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved on Thomas Newcomen's steam engine in 1781, proving fundamental to the Industrial Revolution. The international unit of power is named after him.
James Watt
Scientist who formulated the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, demonstrating that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light.
James Clerk Maxwell
Physician, microbiologist, and pharmacologist who discovered penicillin. For this, he was a recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Alexander Fleming
Mathematician, physicist and astronomer who discovered logarithms (the inverse function to exponentiation in mathematics). Namesake of a university in Edinburgh.
John Napier
Engineer credited as one of the inventors of the mechanical television, demonstrating the first working television system in 1926.
John Logie Baird
Often credited with the invention of the pedal-driven bicycle (name either of the two possible Scots bearing this distinction).
Kirkpatrick Macmillan or Thomas McCall
Author whose works include Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped (1886) and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886).
Robert Louis Stevenson
Key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and considered the founder of modern economics. His most notable works include An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) and The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).
Adam Smith
Scientist, inventor and engineer credited with the invention of the first practical telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell
Engineer, philosopher, artist and inventor who is credited with the invention of the steam hammer.
James Nasmyth
Chemist and inventor of waterproof fabric, with a particular style of raincoat bearing his name.
Charles Macintosh
Physician who invented the first true hypodermic syringe in 1853.
Alexander Wood
Physician and pharmacologist who developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. For his contribution, he was a recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
James Black
Physician, chemist and agriculturalist who first developed artificial refrigeration.
William Cullen
Author who created the fictional character Peter Pan.
J. M. Barrie
Watchmaker and instrument inventor who was the first to patent a design of the flush toilet (pioneered by the Englishman John Harrington), employing the 'S-trap' (or bend), which retained water permanently within the bowl, preventing sewer gases from entering buildings.
Alexander Cumming
Chemist who discovered the noble gases, for which he received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
William Ramsay
Chemist and physicist best known for his invention of the vacuum flask (or thermos).
James Dewar
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