One of the things about Birmingham being the place which changed the world through industrialisation is a hell of a lot of stuff was invented here.
And it’s not just massive breakthroughs like the pacemaker, the portable vacuum cleaner and even the nuclear bomb – Heavy Metal was invented here too.
And the Curly Wurly.
But because they don’t put huge, great, signs up saying “massive stuff was invented here” you can often pass through a life-changing part of the world right on your doorstep and never know.
And, let’s be honest, Curly Wurlys have changed lives.
This house in Kings Heath
It’s nice enough, but unspectacular.
But this was the house which gave the world the board game Cluedo, which is played inc countries all over the world 70 years later.
In 1944 Anthony Pratt, a musician, revealed the murder-mystery game. It had the rather less fun name, in spite of an exclamation mark, Murder! at the time.
Board game giant Waddingtons loved it, the name changed, and shortly after the war it went to market.
This grand home in Edgbaston
Without this grand house in Edgbaston, Andy Murray may never have had a few Wimbledon titles to supplement his sparkling personality.
The reason being that Ampton House, on Ampton Road, Edgbaston, is the birthplace of lawn tennis.
While tennis has been played in various forms since the 13th century, it was solicitor Harry Gem and friend Augurio Perera who turned it into the sport we see today.
It all happened when they combined elements of Spanish ball game pelota with rackets on a croquet lawn in the 1870s.
This small, unassuming, room
This room has stood unchanged for decades at the Univeresity of Birmingham.
With books piled high and the odd unusual-looking tool, you could believe it was a doctor’s office.
Well, it was the place where the atomic bomb became a thing.
It was down to the work of physicists Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch, who were both refugees from the Nazis.
The pair said in their report: “As a weapon, the super bomb would be practically irresistible. There is no material or structure that could be expected to resist the force of the explosion.
Until then, the idea of a super bomb was a thing of science fiction.
This factory in Digbeth
OK, you probably knew that the Custard Factory had something to do with custard.
Well, this one is cheating a bit. It was the home of Bird’s Custard – the company founded by the inventor of egg-free custard.
But he didn’t actually invent it here.
The qualified chemist and druggist probably make the breakthrough at his experimental chemist’s shop in Bull Street in 1837.
This Highgate street
It’s a nice enough street. Plenty of room for parking.
Well, little may you know, but it is the birthplace of the portable vacuum cleaner.
There’s no flies on Walter Griffiths of 72, Conybere Street, Highgate, who created the domestic appliance in 1905.
This old hospital
Great stuff happens at hospitals. We all know this.
But it’s not everyday you create something that saves tens of thousands of lives every year.
However, this is where the pacemaker was invented in the 1960s. More than 50 years later, 25,000 Brits get one every year.
It all came when scientists learned electrical stimulation could be used to help a weak heart beat normally.
The first pacemaker experiments involved hooking patients up to large machines plugged into the mains but the Birmingham team created a device with electrical wires that ran under the skin up to the heart and an external box which supplied the electrical pulse.
Yvonne Keeler was among the first people to be given a pacemaker. She carried it around hidden in her handbag.
This old gun factory
It’s a gun factory. So I am going to talk about guns, right?
Birmingham manufacturer Mills Munitions patented the windscreen wiper in 1921 from this factory in Bridge Street West.
This white terraced house
14 Lodge Road looks underwhelming. But it has a part in the history of music.
That is because the Aston home is where Ozzy Osbourne grew up.
His band, Black Sabbath, alongside some others in the West Midlands, went on to create the Heavy Metal genre.
The band’s first No 1 album, Paranoid, was released on September 18, 1970.
But in the 1960s, they used to rehearse at Newtown Community Centre, below, which perhaps has even more of a shout as the birthplace of Heavy Metal.
This shiny, new, apartment block
The Franklin in Bournville is a fancy apartment block for city types.
However, it is hiding a massive history.
It used to be Franklin House, the headquarters of chocolate giant Cadbury.
And that means it was where the Curly Wurly was invented.
And who wants to consider a world without Curly Wurlys?
Source : BirminghamMail