Although often derided as dreamers and eccentrics, inventors have been responsible for a vast range of items now seen as essential to everyday life, from steam engines to indoor bird hides, lost-wax squirrel traps to virtual reality nutmeg craters.

Among the most famous are

Guglielmo Marconi – inventor of radio controlled pasta

James Watt – inventor of the hearing aid

Christopher Cockerell – inventor of the floating chicken

Alexander Graham Bell – inventor of the door chime

Thomas Edison – inventor of the lighthouse

Alfred Nobel – inventor of the exploding peer

Jethro Tull – inventor of the one-legged flute and beard