1890s-1900s

1908 - Electric washing machine

The Thor was the first electric-powered washing machine, sold by the Hurley Machine Company of Chicago and invented Alva J. Fisher.

1908 - Electric vacuum cleaner

James Murray Spangler develops the first electric powered vacuum cleaner. The patent is bought by Hoover.

1907 - Helicopter flight

French brothers Jacques and Louis Breguet's helicopter makes the world's first flight.

1907 - Brooklands

Brooklands, the first purpose built, off-road race track, is built at Weybridge in Surrey.

1906 - Grand prix

The French Grand Prix, the first of its kind, takes place on a 100km road circuit near the town of Le Mans. The total distance run is 1100km.

1904 - Geothermal electricity

A geothermal electric generator is built at Larderello, Italy.

1901 - First hybrid car

Ferdinand Porsche designs the ‘Mixte’, the first recorded petroleum electric hybrid vehicle on record. It uses a petrol motor to power a generator, which in turn powers a hub motor, with a battery pack for backup. It has a top speed of 35mph.

1900-1901 - Escalator

Charles D Seeberger joins forces with the Otis Elevator Company to produce the first practical device with moving stairs. It is exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The first commercial version is installed at Gimbel's department store, Philadelphia, the following year.

1900 - The Zeppelin

Ferdinand von Zeppelin develops the world’s first successful dirigible – the Zeppelin.

1900 - Peanut oil engine

Diesel demonstrates an engine which runs on peanut oil.

1899 - IMechE Headquarters

Institution of Mechanical Engineers constructs Storey’s Gate headquarters, later known as 1 Birdcage Walk. A Graduates’ section for younger members is created and immediately makes its mark when the first ever paper on automobiles is delivered.

1896 - Michelin & Cie

Pneumatic tyres are first used on motor cars by Michelin & Cie, France.

1896 - First flight

Samuel Pierpont Langley makes the first sustained flight by a heavier-than-air powered, unmanned aircraft: the Number 5 model, driven by a miniature steam engine, flew half a mile in 90 seconds over the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. In November that year the Number 6 flew more than five thousand feet.

1896 - British petrol-driven car

Frederick Lanchester develops the first full sized British petrol-driven car.

1895 - X-rays

Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X-rays. In recognition of his work, he is awarded the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901. He refuses to patent his work, considering it a gift to humankind.

1895 - First petrol driven bus

The world's first petrol driven bus is created in Germany by the Netphener Omnibusgesellschaft, who convert a Benz truck. It is capable of carrying eight passengers.

1895 - First Lanchester automobile

Frederick Lanchester and his brother construct a production model, one of the earliest petrol automobiles in England.

1893 - Lawnmower

James Sumner of Leyland, Lancashire, develops the first motor driven lawnmower. It is powered by steam and weighs two tonnes.

1893 - Hydroelectric dam

The first dam designed specifically for generating hydroelectricity is built across the Colorado River.

1893 - Ferris wheel

George Washington Ferris builds the first Ferris wheel for the World Fair at Chicago.

1892-1898 - Diesel engine

Rudolf Diesel invents the engine in 1892. It is patented six years later.

1891 - Electric toaster

Crompton and Company invent the electric toaster. The same company later launches the electric kettle, exhibited 1892.