All of the greatest inventions of the Victorian period were on display at THE GREAT EXHIBITION of 1851. Queen Victoria herself kicked off this "Invention Convention" at the crystal palace in London's Hyde Park. The awe inspiring gathering took place 25 years before Jake was even born, but an event like this captures the creativity, innovation, wonder, and majesty (pun intended) of the era. The spirit of events like this were our inspiration for Archie's glider from THE LOST HEIR and many other surprises that you will see in JAKE AND THE GIANT.
There was over 100,000 exhibits! Including fancy security locks, a power printing press, a pre fax machine, an early camera, a voting machine, various farm machines, an electric telegraph, a gas cooking stove, improved guns, and new musical instruments.
George Jennings installed the first ever public toilets for visitors to the convention. He called them "Monkey Closets" and charged one penny per person. As you can imagine, people were REALLY excited about the monkey closets and lines were long. I guess before 1851 people just had to hold it all day long. Sounds dangerous:) Well, by the end of the exhibition, 827,280 people paid a penny to use the new toilet. FYI, Thomas Crapper (real name, not kidding) is often cited as the inventor of the toilet. Not true! He was in-fact a plumber in Victorian times, but he only improved upon it's design. I'm really thankful to these guys, but really, Ewww! Moving on...
Then there was the Tempest Prognosticator. What a cool name for a Victorian invention! Live leaches were used to check barometric pressure (for weather prediction). It involved grumpy, agitated leaches striking a bell. The more times and the faster they struck the bell, the more serious of a storm was approaching. How on EARTH did someone come up with THAT? It just makes me go HUH? Anyway, it was proven to be accurate.
Have you ever invented anything? What should be invented?
E, who is still waiting for his flying car:)