Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell is easily one of the best-known inventors of the Victorian era thanks to his being credited with the invention of a device that has since gone on to rule our lives, the telephone. Granted the phones we are used to in these modern times are far more advanced (and will likely only continue to advance with time) than they were back in the latter half of the 19th century, still the key function is based on the same basic principle as Bells original invention. He went on to create several other innovations after this, one of these was the ‘photophone’, this contraption enabled the user to transmit sound on a beam of light.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison

Though he may not have invented the first ever lightbulb, it was Thomas Edison who perfected it enough in his time to see the power of electricity light up homes and streets across the world, replacing the gas, oil and candle lights that were commonly used and ushering forward a new age of operation, powered by electricity. Edison created a multitude of inventions in his time that went beyond just light bulbs, extending to further electrical advancements, work with film and audio devices too just to name a few.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla is perhaps one of the most unfortunate of inventors of the era, he died penniless and alone despite the fact the he was one of the greatest minds of the 19th Century. Tesla too did groundbreaking work with electricity and even worked with Edison doing so (a relationship that he would later come to regret). Much of his work was stolen by other inventors however since he has been credited with fluorescent lighting, the Tesla coil, the Tesla induction motor, the creation of AC (alternating current) and even three-phase electricity. He has gone on to be honoured by Elon Musk, who named his company after him (Tesla).

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

It could be argued that nobody did more to advance steam power during the Victorian era than Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Brunel was a man who worked on a multitude of projects that hoped to push technology beyond its limits. He is credited with making dozens of iron bridges across the UK which includes one of the oldest in existence today, the Windsor Railway Bridge. His work also extended to the railways; in fact, he is known as one of the contributors of the creation of the Great Northern Railway. He is also well-known known for his work in the ship industry where he created some of the most advanced steam powered ships of the time, pushing Britain into the forefront of maritime technology. Not all his works were a success though, he planned and even tested a vacuum powered railway that if successful could have saved an incredible amount of power. His final project was a gargantuan ship named The Great Eastern, unfortunately Brunel never lived to see it make its first voyage, he died in 1859 of a stroke said to have been brought on by his overworking.