Tastier crisps to cheaper flights: How the Irish became shorthand for consumer glory

From Sudocrem to tractors, here's 14 ways the Irish revolutionised how the world shops

It is hard to imagine how low cost flying would have grown so fast without Ryanair.

It is hard to imagine how low cost flying would have grown so fast without Ryanair.

For the weekend that is in it, we thought we’d look at just some of the ways Irish people have shaped the consumer world in which we live. From tastier crisps, to improved ability to listen to our hearts, to hot chocolate, Irish people have had quite the impact.

1. Next time you whip out your swanky smartphone for a selfie or to photograph your lunch spare a thought for the Offaly-born and splendidly named John Joly. You might not recognise his name but he was one of the most brilliant scientists of his – or any – generation and helped bring the colour photograph to life. In 1894 he devised a system of photography which used plates marked with narrow lines in three colours to allow photographers develop colour images from a single photographic plate using what became know as the “Joly Method”. It would be remiss to leave you with the impression that is all Joly did when it was very much a by-the-way thing. The Trinity graduate was a geologist, physicist and engineer as well as being an inventor. He was the Chair of Geology and Mineralogy in Trinity College from 1897 until his death in 1933 and also played a key role in the development of radiotherapy as a cancer treatment and came up with techniques to accurately estimate the age of a geological period using the radioactive elements in minerals. Oh and his theory as to what made ice slippy held sway in the scientific world.

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