Britain has a storied history of innovators, inventors and scientists who have contributed greatly to society at large. Whether they revolutionised their field or paved the first stone in the path to future greatness, these icons deserve great recognition.
Many of the most famous innovators are memorialised in the form of street names, spread out across the country. But, are those streets named after the greats of British STEM worth more than just their contribution to science.
- Our research discovered that, on average, the houses on streets named after scientists were worth £48,000 more than the national average.
- On a regional level, the most significant increase in value can be found on Francis Crick Avenue in Cambridgeshire, where houses are over £280,000 more expensive than the regional average.
- Inventor street names could see the highest average value increase in Scotland, where houses were £124,000 higher than average.
Most valuable inventor/innovator street names
We calculated the estimated value difference between houses on streets named after inventors and the national average property price.
As of December 2020, the average UK house price stands at around £252,000.
Regions where inventor names add the most value
Scotland values innovators the most, with streets there an estimated £124,000 over the average house price.
The Yorkshire has the highest negative house value, with inventor streets in this region worth an estimated £15,000 less than the average house in the region.
Do innovator’s names add value in the local area?
The majority of the street names studied added value to house prices at a regional level, but compared with house prices in their general area, it was a slightly different picture.
- The average value increase an inventor’s name added to house prices compared with the local area was £13,000.
- Humphry Davy Way in Bristol added the most value, with prices standing around £214,000 higher than the average house in Bristol.
About the innovators
The scientists, doctors and inventors featured in this study are heroes of British industry, healthcare and technology.
The creator of the electric motor, Faraday was a leading scientist in the field of electromagnetism.
Along with James Watson, Crick won the Nobel prize for discovering the double helix structure of DNA.
Tull was an innovator in agriculture during the 1700’s. His horse-drawn seed drill economised and revolutionised the industry.
Babbage’s idea for the ‘difference engine’, a form of calculator that could store data temporarily, paved the way for modern computing. He is often considered the ‘father’ of computers.
Humphry Davy is an English chemist who is credited with the discovery of elements like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Working with Charles Babbage, many credit Lovelace with creating the first computer ‘program’ and believe she was the first person to theorise the use of a computer beyond mathematical functions.
Though many believe Thomas Edison to be the inventor of the lightbulb, a similar design for an incandescent bulb was patented 10 years before by British inventor Joseph Swan.
Alan Turing’s contribution to maths is credited with bringing the Second World War to an early end. His work as a cryptanalyst cracked the Enigma code and allowed Allied forces to interpret German messages. His Universal Turing Machine was the basis for the first computer.
Cayley is recognised as one of the earliest people to understand the forces of flight. However, he was also responsible for creating the modern bicycle wheel when creating landing wheels for his planes.
Whittle was the first person to complete a turbo-jet engine and created the mechanism single-handedly. There was a patent for a similar device developed earlier in France but the design was never completed.
Eleanor Coade is credited with developing an alternative ceramic material that was used to create numerous statues and monuments in the 1700s. The stone remains completely weather-resistant even today and many of her statues can be see in London looking just as they did when they were constructed.
Without the work of Franklin, Watson and Crick would never have discovered the helical structure of DNA. Her X-ray crystallography was used to identify the structure. However, she had passed away by the time Watson and Crick were awarded the Nobel prize and the prize is not awarded posthumously.
John Walker’s discovery led to the first friction matches. Before coming up with the composition, nobody had been able to easily transfer fire from an ignitable source to a slow-burning material like wood.
John Kay invented the flying shuttle in the 1700s. This was an important step towards automatic weaving. The flying shuttle automated a process that previously required two weavers to throw the shuttle to one another.
As well as discovering gravity, Newton created the first reflecting telescope, a device that directed light from a concave mirror onto a secondary flat mirror. This discovery helped prove that white light is a combination of the colour spectrum.
Watt is best known for the creation of the Watt engine, an improvement on a previous version of the steam engine. However, he invented numerous devices in his life, many that made the steam engine more economic and effective.
Known as the ‘father of railways’ Stephenson was the inventor of the railroad locomotive. Though Richard Trevithick had created a steam locomotive, Stephenson’s innovation led to an internationally-recognised standard in steam trains.
Along with Charles Wheatestone, Cooke was the inventor of the first electric telegraph machine. The single-needle design made the telegraph device affordable, leading to the first public telegraph company.
Hodgkin was a Nobel prize winning chemist whose work with X-ray crystallography was able to determine the structure of penicillin, along with many other significant discoveries.
Seacole was the first Black woman to become a nurse in Britain. Originally from Jamaica, she is best remembered for her work during the Crimean War, at the same time Florence Nightingale began her career in nursing.
Lombe is credited with creating the first British silk spinning machine but he is also known as the inventor of the modern factory. His silk-spinning operation was the model for factories developed later in the 18th century.
The creator of the world’s first vaccine, Edward Jenner pioneered the process of vaccination by using cowpox, a weaker form of smallpox, to inoculate people against the deadly disease.
We compiled the names of over 80 British STEM pioneers from various sources, using Zoopla and Streetlist to find streets that contained the entire name of each inventor.
We then used Zoopla and Streetlist to determine the estimated value of houses on the street and compared them with average prices from the latest data releases from the ONS.