Hydroelectric power (1870)
A Victorian inventor who devised the mechanism that moves London Bridge also came up with hydroelectric power, although not on the vast scale of the dams that currently provide 1.8 per cent of Britain’s power supply. William Armstrong thought up the idea of hydraulic energy generation while trout fishing in the Dee in Scotland – realising that much of the power was being wasted. He built a house powered by hydraulics and hydroelectricity, Cragside, in Northumberland, which featured a rotating electric spit, electric lighting and a hydraulic lift. It was considered the world’s first hydroelectric plant, and the power was initially used for one arc lamp.