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Land of Invention

About the film

An overview of Scotland’s great inventors.


Release year
Andrew Buchanan
Production company
British Films Limited
Andrew Buchanan
Henry Cooper
John Selous
James Anderson
Running time (minutes)
10 mins 53 secs

Original Description

Famous Scottish Inventors
'Scotland is a beautiful land, though rugged, and has been the nurse of many famous inventors. Macadam, creator of the macadamised road; Watt, who built the first locomotive engine; Murdock, who showed us how to light our cities with gas; Nasmyth, inventor of the steam-hammer; Telford, builder of the Caledonian canal; Henry Bell, who built the first steamship; Alexander Bell, the first man to transmit the human voice along an electric wire; Simpson, who developed the use of chloroform; Ross, who conquered malaria; and a host of others whose greatness dwarfs the barren careers of modern dictators.’
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)


  • Land of Invention contains shots of the RMS Queen Elizabeth - the largest passenger liner built at the time, and for 56 years thereafter. It last appeared in film as the covert MI6 headquarters in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), but unfortunately as a wreck.
  • Land of Invention shares the same opening music as British Council film Island People (1940), and is the only example of this in the collection.