25 Incredible Ways Scotland Has Changed The World For Good

Scotland is famous for its Highlands, but it has much more to offer. To put it in another way, Scotland has contributed to world development in its own right and here are some of them.

1. Scots may have invented the telephone and television, but as Sean Connery said, “There is no more creative act than creating a new nation.”

2. Actually, the witches in the play were made-up, and he was a fair monarch.


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3. In 1694, Dumfries-born William Paterson suggested then co-founded the Bank of England because the nation’s public finances were in disarray.


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4. With The Wealth of Nations (1776), Adam Smith, the founding father of economics, introduced the concept of the “invisible hand”, the idea that self-interested free-market competition without government intervention benefits the whole of society.


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5. Written in 1788, Robert Burns’ poem “Auld Lang Syne” is sung around the English-speaking world on Hogmanay to bid farewell to the departing year.


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6. The Alloway-born Burns, the author of masterpieces such as “A Red Red Rose”, is Scotland’s national poet – in 2009 he was voted the greatest Scot of all time.

7. He was a commander when the Stars and Stripes were first recognized by a foreign government, in Quiberon, France, in 1778.


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8. His theories affected the thinking of Charles Darwin.


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9. In 1797 Janet Keiller launched the world’s first commercial marmalade in Dundee, apocryphally after receiving a batch of bitter oranges from Spain, but actually by adapting an existing recipe.


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10. His company Mackintosh is still selling coats, starting at £500.


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11. When tar was later added to his process, Tarmac was born.

12. Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the inventor of the first bicycle in 1839, was fined 5 shillings in 1842 for “causing a minor injury to a little girl who ran out in front of his contraption”.

13. Described by Florence Nightingale as “the greatest man of his generation” , the Lanarkshire-born missionary, explorer, and abolitionist David Livingstone was one of the first Europeans to explore central Africa, most famously naming Victoria Falls in 1855.


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14. In 1876 the Edinburgh-born Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in Boston after emigrating to escape tuberculosis that killed his two brothers.

15. According to Bell’s journal, now held by the US Library of Congress, his first words using the device were, “Mr. Watson, come here – I want to see you.”


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16. Holmes is “the most-portrayed movie character” ever, with more than 70 actors playing him in 200-plus films.


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17. The man who developed the world’s first commercial pneumatic rubber tire in 1888, Dreghorn-born John Boyd Dunlop, patented his invention after designing it to smooth the ride on his son’s tricycle.

18. His masterpiece, the Glasgow School of Art, was seriously damaged by fire earlier this year.

19. By his death in 1919 he had founded 2,811 libraries and given away 90% of his fortune.


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20. He demonstrated his transmitter in January 1926 and achieved the first trans-Atlantic broadcast in 1928.


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21. The antibiotic penicillin is one of the most important drug advances in history.


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22. Born near Stirling in 1898, John Grierson was the first person to use the term “documentary” and established the genre with classic films such as 1936’s Night Mail.


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23. No in 1962.


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24. In 1977, Dumbarton-born Talking Heads frontman David Byrne wrote “Psycho Killer”, a pop song that described the world from a serial killer’s perspective.


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25. She went on to write the bestselling book series in history.

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