|T-R (Tribal Reports) brings News Items, Historical Notices and Other Relevant Information from Nations amongst whose population we find a significant proportion of Israelites from the Ten Lost Tribes.|
Contents in Alphabetical Order
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So, what have the Scots ever done for us' Just 101 of the innovations Caledonia gave the world
SUNDAY 15 JANUARY 2012
Misappropriated as the philosophical father of our money, money, money culture, the absent-minded Scottish Enlightenment philosopher spent a decade writing The Wealth of Nations. He studied at the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford ' and considered the teaching at the former superior.
Bank of England
Sir Mervyn King has Sir William Paterson to thank for the second-oldest central bank in the world. The Scottish trader proposed the idea of the BoE. In 1694, Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, adopted his idea, founded the bank and was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. Where did we keep the gold before'
Blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan made a pedal cycle based on a hobby horse, with horizontal pedal movement. He would "cycle" the rough roads in Dumfriesshire, but never tried to profit from his invention. Unlike the Lycra industry.
While canals date back to Roman times, we have Thomas Telford, from Dumfriesshire, to thank for the design of the Ellesmere and Shrewsbury canals, as well as the Caledonian canal.
Andrew Carnegie's ascent from weaver's son to billionaire steel magnate is one of the greatest rags-to-riches tales ever. Of course, he had to leave Scotland to make his fortune, heading for America with his parents in 1848, aged 13. But he did put a lot back, giving oodles of money to his home town of Dunfermline to build a library and a park, and to New York for Carnegie Hall.
Sir James Y Simpson, a professor of midwifery, was his own guinea pig, experimenting with chloroform on himself and later on his friends in 1847. He went on to use it as an anaesthetic to ease the pain of childbirth, leading to its acceptance in modern medicine. If only you could use it during a debate on the Barnett formula.
Those Kodak moments were only possible thanks to 19th-century Scottish scientist James Maxwell, who invented the "three-colour method". His theory, based on mixing red, green and blue colours of light, led him to present the world's first colour photograph ' inevitably of a tartan ribbon ' in 1861.
It wasn't until 1880 that Dr Henry Faulds, a Scottish surgeon working in Japan, realised he had the secret to catching criminals at his fingertips. He published his idea of recording fingerprints with ink, and was the first to identify fingerprints left on a glass bottle. Which is why all good criminals wear gloves.
He hides it well, but the Prime Minister is of Scottish stock. His great-great-grandfather, Alexander Geddes, made his fortune in the US before returning to Scotland in the 1880s. And the Camerons had an ancestral home in Aberdeenshire, Blairmore House, for decades before selling up in 1931. Expect him to mention this more in the next couple of years.
The 16th-century mathematician John Napier's discovery of the logarithm has brought misery to countless generations of maths students. And Napier, the 8th Laird of Merchiston, also invented "Napier's bones" ' an abacus to calculate products and quotients of numbers.
Driving on the left
It was Scotland, not England, that pioneered driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Driving on the left entered Scottish law in 1772, more than 60 years before England and Wales adopted it in 1835. If only the rest of the world had followed suit.
Pointy-hatted class clowns, thickos and anyone caught pulling girls' hair should have spent their time stood in the corner of the classroom cursing 13th-century Scottish theologian John Duns Scotus, who was ridiculed by humanists and gave the word dunce to the world.
In 1753 a law was passed in England saying that under-21s had to have parental permission to marry. It didn't apply in Scotland, and the legend of Gretna Green, the first village people came to when crossing the border on the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh, was born. Just don't tell your mum.
Long screeds of wafer-thin, slippery paper, the beep-beep-chrchrch, the catchphrase "number of pages including this one". Hurrah for inventor Alexander Bain from Watten in Caithness, who came up with the world's first facsimile machine. We might think of it as an icon of the 1980s, but it was in 1846 that Bain reproduced graphic signs using a clock to synchronise the movement of two pendulums to scan a message. How would we ever cope without it' Oh.
Eighteenth-century watchmaker Alexander Cummings was the first to patent a design of the flush toilet. In 1775 he invented the, S-trap ' still in use today ' which uses standing water to prevent nasty smells backing up out of the sewer.
Laughing in the face of death, literally, has its origins in the taunts made at public executions in Scotland and elsewhere. Now Scottish humour is a byword for gallows humour ' especially when it comes to the regular ritual of seeing the national football team getting trounced.
Gin and tonic
The drink of millions worldwide, but it would not exist had it not been for Edinburgh-born George Cleghorn, an 18th-century doctor who discovered that quinine could cure malaria. The quinine was drunk in tonic water, but it was so bitter that gin was added to make it more palatable. Bottoms up!
Scotland is the birthplace of golf ' with the first written record in 1457, when James II banned it as an unwelcome distraction from learning archery. Since then, it's given us plus fours, Pringle jumpers and Tiger Woods's colourful private life. The Old Course at St Andrews dates to the 16th century. Fore!
The singing of psalms in Gaelic by Presbyterians of the Scottish Hebrides, according to Yale University music professor Willie Ruff, evolved from "lining out" ' where one person sings a solo before others follow ' into the call-and-response of what we now know as the black gospel music of the southern US. Hallelujah.
The word (from Hallows Evening) is Scottish in origin ' arising out of ancient Celtic celebrations of Samhain ("summer's end") that signalled the end of the harvest season. Some Scots would leave an empty chair and a plate of food ' believing that ghosts would come out on Hallowe'en.
From losing weight to giving up smoking and Paul McKenna stage shows, this just won't go away. The Kinross-born surgeon James Braid was the first to experiment with hypnotism, using candles to get people into a trance-like state. And, presumably, eat an onion while clucking like a hen.
Anyone who has seen Trainspotting shouldn't be surprised that Scotland's connection with syringes goes back a long, long way. The Edinburgh-based physician Alexander Wood is credited with inventing the hypodermic syringe in 1853. And 143 years later, Danny Boyle's underground hit would chart Renton's bid to kick his heroin habit on the streets of Edinburgh.
Without this Glaswegian engineer, the Industrial Revolution might never have happened. He developed a way of making steam engines efficient, to speed trains along. The rail replacement bus service came later.
The dancing coloured shards seen through a kaleidoscope have entertained children and drug-addled teenagers for generations. The Edinburgh-based physicist Sir David Brewster first came up with the concept in 1815, but never made a penny from it as he didn't register a patent in time.
Glasgow University academic William Thomson, Lord Kelvin to his friends, discovered there was a lower limit to temperature, which he called absolute zero. His rescaling of temperature to start at this point (-273C) was named after him and is still used today. Brrr.
King James Bible
To traditionalist English Anglicans, there are few things more faith-affirming than the King James translation of the Bible. It is poetry compared with the New International Version. Only trouble is ' England's James I was Scotland's, and was born in Edinburgh Castle. A scholar and author of several works, he was nevertheless called "the wisest fool in Christendom". By an Englishman, of course.
How peculiarly British it is, like lemon barley water and Vimto. In fact, it is specifically Scottish, first bottled and sold by the son of a Leith shipbuilder, Lachlan Rose. It had grown in popularity on ships as a way to prevent scurvy on long journeys. Today, Rose's remains the leading brand.
Loch Ness Monster
Conspiracy theorists have had years of pleasure ruminating over the possibility of a monster living at the bottom of Loch Ness. Snaps of the snake-like beast, with those famous double hoops poking out of the water, have fuelled fantasies worldwide, and helped the local economy not a little.
Long John Silver
Shiver me timbers, the meanest baddest pirate on the high seas was the brainchild of Edinburgh-born Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson. With a parrot on his shoulder and a wooden leg, he has become the image of swashbucklers the world over. And Scotland's links to piracy go beyond literature ' Captain Kidd, executed in 1701 for piracy, was born in Dundee.
Mary Queen of Scots
"Don't die before you've lived," is a suitable motto for one of the largest characters of 16th-century Europe. At one point, Mary Queen of Scots presided over four nations: Scotland, France, England and Ireland. But a lack of political prowess, three failed marriages and an intense rivalry with the Queen of England meant she died almost as dramatically as she lived: executed in 1587, with all her possessions burnt by order of the English government. But her son united the crowns.
Descended from a Scots-Irish family, brothers Dick and Mac McDonald changed the way the world ate after they opened the first branch of McDonald's in San Bernardino in 1938. Now 64 million people are lovin' it....
Ready-meals would be a distant dream if the magnetron had not been developed by Scotland's Robert Watson-Watt. These short-wave radio waves are now used as the source of heat in microwave ovens ' essential for students, exhausted parents and rubbish cooks the worldwide.
Scotland didn't only give one of Canada's most beautiful spots its name (the translation from Latin is "New Scotland"), but also many of its people. The largest non-Canadian ethnic group in the province is the Scottish, who make up almost a third of the population.
After noticing that oil was dripping from the roof of a coal mine, Glaswegian chemist James Young discovered that by using heat you could distill coal to make paraffin. Homes without electricity could be lit and heated, thanks to his invention.
If Ayrshire-born Alexander Fleming hadn't been such an untidy scientist we would never have the life-saving drugs we have today. His discovery of a mould growing in one of his culture dishes that killed the surrounding bacteria prompted one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the 20th century.
Piano foot pedals
East Lothian-born carpenter John Broadwood is credited with developing the foot-pedal method for sustaining the pianoforte's sounded notes. Broadwood also revolutionised the instrument's boxy design, coming up with the grand piano in 1777.
Where there's a hit, there's a writ. So, the question of who invented the inflatable rubber tyre had to be fought out in a legal battle between two Scots. Veterinary surgeon John Boyd Dunlop, who patented a bicycle tyre for his son's tricycle in 1888, is commonly credited with the invention.
Parritch, as it is correctly known, has been described as the "backbone of many a sturdy Scotsman" and was made famous by the Highlanders of the 18th century. Eaten for breakfast and left to harden into slabs for consumption later, it was a symbol of a life led simply.
Imagine a world without those little damp sponges for people who are too busy/posh/dry-mouthed to lick their own stamps. Thanks to James Chalmers, from Dundee, we don't have to. He wrote proposing the idea to Robert Wallace, then MP for Greenock. It is not clear how he made sure the stamp stayed on his letter.
The screw, or a mechanical type of fan that produces a force by converting a rotational motion into thrust, is credited to Scot James Watt, who first applied it to a steam engine on board ships in 1770.
Developed in secret during the Second World War, the object-detection system that uses radio waves to determine the location and speed of an object evolved under Angus-born Robert Watson-Watt in 1936 and later tracked aircraft in the Battle of Britain.
First sold in 1824, the Macintosh coat is named after its Glaswegian inventor, Charles Macintosh. He designed one of the first waterproof fabrics by rubberising sheets of material in his textile factory.
Considering the wintry temperatures recorded in Scotland, you would not think refrigeration was utmost in people's minds, but it was here that physicist and chemist William Cullen demonstrated the first method of artificial refrigeration in 1748. However, he did not put it to practical use.
You ain't nothin' but a Highland terrier, or so the song might have gone, had Elvis known he was a Scot. Yes, even the father of rock was a Jock, as a fan discovered when he traced his idol's ancestors back to Lonmay in Aberdeenshire in the 1700s. Without The King, we'd all still be listening to tea dances, so thank goodness for Lonmay.
Sir Walter Scott
Thanks to his poems such as The Lady of the Lake, and novels including Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, the Scot is still considered to be one of Britain's literary greats. Waverley, published in 1814, is often credited with being the first historical novel.
A power-driven hammer used to shape large pieces of wrought iron was invented in 1837 by Scot James Nasmyth. His hammers were said to be able to crack the top of the shell of an egg placed in a wine glass, without breaking the glass. If only the same could be said of the glass in Glasgow pubs.
Forget Rab C Nesbitt and The Simpsons' Groundsman Willie, a Scot was actually behind the original stereotype ' a type of printing plate in which a whole page of type is cast in a single mould and was invented by William Ged in 1725.
Ever wondered where the word "tarmac" came from' Add "tar" to the surname of Scot engineer and road builder, John McAdam, and you have it. His process, "macadamisation" developed smooth, hard-surfaced for roads in around 1820.
"Mr Watson ' come here ' I want to see you," are the famous first words that Scottish inventor Alexander Bell uttered to his assistant during his invention of the first practical telephone in the 1870s. He rushed his design to patent within hours of another inventor. It took another two years before he could get Mrs Bell off it.
The King of the wild frontier
In 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged Davy Crockett as one of a number of "trail-blazing Scottish-Americans" in a message to mark St Andrew's Day. The frontiersman and politician died in the battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution.
Ae, a village near Dumfries and Galloway, boasts the claim to fame of having the shortest place name in the UK. Situated in a conifer forest, it lies near the Water of Ae, a tributary of the River Annan.
The Tartan Army
Football's finest export anywhere. Ambassadors, more than fans, men, women and children who carry the good name of the nation abroad, by road, rail, bicycle, foot, and even once, when making it to Argentina, by submarine ' allegedly ' cf England's thuggish boors.
The Americans have Greenock to thank for the personification of their country as Uncle Sam. Popular theory suggests Uncle Sam was named after New York meat-packer Samuel Wilson, whose parents originally came from the Scottish town.
Sailor John Paul Jones is known in America as a founder of the country's naval force. Born on the estate of Arbigland near Kirkbean, southwest Scotland, he later emigrated and fought against Britain in the American War of Independence.
An astonishing 23 presidents of the United States have Scots or Scots-Irish heritage, including many of the most distinguished: Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. The George Bushes, senior and junior, also originate from Scotland, though obviously it was Texas that made them that way.
Wee ginger people
If Scots have a reputation for being short, it might be because they are: research last year showed Scottish men (averaging at 1.73m) are two centimetres shorter than men in south-east England. There are also statistically more redheads in Scotland than England.
Not to be confused with Irish whiskey, the first evidence of the production of the "water of life" in Scotland is recorded in 1494, although distillation dates back centuries before. James IV was said to be rather partial to the tipple. Sl'nte!
Spending a penny John Nevil Maskelyne was an English stage magician but for the Scots his greatest disappearing act came in the form of the lockable toilet, requiring the insertion of a penny. Its contribution includes the well-worn euphemism of "spending a penny".
The pencil For most of the 17th century the only source of this soft, greasy allotrope of carbon was a mine at Borrowdale, Cumbria. The French spoiled everything by developing graphite powder.
Bagpipes What' You mean that dreadful whine isn't Scottish' Nope. Evidence suggests the instrument first appeared in the Middle East, in about 1000BC. And bagpipes even make an appearance in the Bible. The Highland bagpipe is now mass produced in Pakistan.
Getting off scot free 'Scot' is a actually a Scandinavian word for a tax ' levied hundreds of years ago ' and the phrase is used to describe people who have got away without paying a price of some sort.
Kilt The Scots may have developed the kilt during the 16th century; English Quaker Thomas Rawlinson may have made it wearable in the 1720s, but the orgins of the kilt lie in ancient Egypt, where the shendyt was worn
Meanness The joke that copper wire was invented by two Scots pulling at opposite sides of a penny has done little to dispel the myth that the Scottish are frugal. But a myth it is: in a recent poll by Readers Digest, Scottish people are reported to give more to charity per head, than anywhere else in the UK.
Scotch mist To the English ' and the rest of the world ' it is rain, but in Scotland, well, it is still rain, yet to assert their hardiness, the Scots call it mist. The expression is now used as an impatient description of something obvious which another has failed to grasp.
Tartan The pattern has roots cast as far afield as China. Tartan-like leggings were unearthed in western China, strapped to the "Cherchen Man", a 3,000 year-old mummy. by Pharaohs. Today it just makes it easier to spot a Jock at a wedding.
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