The Greatest Invention in History

We asked members of the public to pick their favourite invention from history. The answers ranged from sewers to tea bags, lightbulbs to the internet - and now you get to choose a winner.

Vote for your favourite invention from the shortlist below and help us to shine a light on England's ingenious history.

Think there is a significant invention missing from the list? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #Ingenious.


The Wheel
The Fridge
The Plough
The Internet
Light Bulbs
The Clock
Tea Bags

Discover Our Collections

At any one time we have around 100,000 artefacts on display across our historic places. Explore samples of our vast collections below and get a taste of what we have on offer before you decide to visit in person.

You can also go behind the scenes at two of our collection stores to find out more about the objects in our care, and how we meet the challenges of caring for them. Find out more about visiting the Wrest Park Archaeological Collections Store or the Helmsley Archaeology Store in Yorkshire.

  • Stonehenge

    Spend a whole day in history by exploring the unique collections housed at the Salisbury and Wiltshire Museums before heading to one of the world's most iconic monuments – Stonehenge.

  • Collections at Apsley House

    Apsley House

    Apsley House is filled with a huge range of priceless artefacts, including rare paintings, silver centrepieces and incredible examples of sculpture.

  • Collections at Kenwood


    Kenwood's collection includes sculpture, furniture and jewellery as well as internationally renowned paintings by artists including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Reynolds.

  • Collections at Chesters Roman Fort and Museum

    Chesters Roman Fort

    The Clayton Collection at Chesters Roman Fort houses a wide range of objects, inscriptions and sculpture - with an especially diverse range of Roman religious material.

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