Pioneers in WW1 were driven to innovate and find new solutions. In medicine, Doctors and nurses vastly increased our understanding and use of x-rays, blood transfusions, and reconstructive surgery.

And if you’ve ever used a teabag or worn a wristwatch, you can thank the necessity during the war for making them commonplace items.

Everyday items that came out of the First World War

There are many products that we use on a daily basis and don’t even think about where they originated and how they came to be a part of everyday life. The First World War was a time of great innovation – and not just in military terms. Products that owe their development to the war include items such as tea bags, wristwatches, zips and tissues.

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Words and phrases from WW1 that we still use today

In the English language new words and phrases are constantly created, and existing words repurposed. In January 2018 the Oxford English dictionary added the word ‘Hangry’ - a state of being starving and angry at the same time. A century on from the First World War it may seem that there are few traces left from that time. But the legacy of the war can be heard all around us in words and phrases we still use today that were established by soldiers on the front line.

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The development of plastic surgery during WW1

The First World War was one of the first major conflicts that saw the number of casualties from wounds outnumber those from disease. Today procedures such as skin grafts and reconstructive surgery are common, but in 1914 there was often little that could be done to help people with serious wounds. Thanks to medical advancements more lives were saved, but the nature of the conflict also pushed doctors to pioneer techniques to help soldiers coming home with complex injuries.

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The builder who campaigned for daylight savings time

Although daylight savings was not a new idea, it had never been adopted in Britain before the First World War. Today we move clocks forward an hour in Spring to create longer days, and move them back an hour in Autumn, giving us the luxury of an extra hour in bed. And all this is thanks to a builder from London, and the great-great grandfather of Coldplay front man Chris Martin.

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The invention of the mobile X-ray

One of the key medical developments in the years before the outbreak of the First World War was undoubtedly the invention of the X-Ray, a way to identify metal objects and broken bones within the human body without the need of an operation. As you can imagine, when it came to war in 1914, the X-Ray was a very useful tool, but one that was only able to be used in hospitals some distance away from the battlefield.

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The father of Stainless Steel

Steelworker’s son Harry Brearley was on a mission – to create a metal that could resist heat.

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Thank You Team, Remembrance Department
199 Borough High Street
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