Scotland is on the verge of a referendum to determine if it wants to remain part of Britain or go its separate way. This could be the first time since 1707 that the country is an independent nation. Regardless of their political status, the Scots have always had an identity as distinctive as their brogue. We have lots to thank them for, including golf, whiskey, the telephone, Sherlock Holmes and penicillin. There are quite a number of other significant contributions that you might not know have Scottish origins. Here are a list of 8 great Scottish inventions you never knew hailed from the Highlands. Raise a glass (of whiskey, of course) to the Scots for their following gifts to mankind.
1. Thank a Scot for the Adhesive Postage Stamp
Next time you lick a stamp to send a postcard (does anyone do that anymore?), pause for a moment to appreciate the practical convenience of that sticky square. Several people lay claim to the postage stamp invention, but Scotsman James Chalmers is most credited. In 1834, he proposed the idea of a “gummy slip” representing a low and uniform rate of postage. It was originally called a “penny back” and the first one featured a young Queen Victoria. Stamp collectors everywhere should be forever grateful to this Scot.