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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After getting some grief from some Londoners about Brum's contribution to the world while down in London for the Opening Ceremony on Friday, I thought we could do a little competition in the style of the Greatest Ever Britons the Beeb did a few years back. A kind of celebration of the great people and their contributions to the world who came from this region.

House Rules:
1.) Must have lived or been born in Birmingham, The Black Country or Coventry. Essentially, the West Midlands Connurbation. The person doesn't necessarily have to be famous. But it must be an individual.
2.) Please post a pic or video to back up your nomination, and some information on the person.
3.) Once we've enough nominations, I'll do a new thread with a poll.

Who want's to kick off?
 

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Sir Frank Whittle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Whittle) credited with the invention of the turbojet engine and regarded by many as 'the father of jet propulsion.'

Born in Earlsdon, Coventry in 1907.
 

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Realised I should back up this nomination with more info, so I'll get back to it later ;)
 

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James Watt, whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.

Although he was born in Scotland he came down to Birmingham to work with Matthew Boulton (another nominee?) to work on the steam engine.

These engines were sold all over the world and possibly did as much as anything push the UK into the industrial revolution.

The "watt" is named after him, and he has been on UK bank notes (Boulton and Watt are on the current £50 note).

James Watt's workroom is now preserved in the Science Musum in London.

He is buried in Birmingham.

I think your friends in London should realise that without Boulton and Watt the UK would not have become the "powerhouse" of the world during the industrial revolution (or become so rich) and still hold such an important position in the world today.

James Watt on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt

Steam engine on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt_steam_engine
 

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Shakespeare is not from Birmingham, the Black Country, or Coventry.

Locally (to me) speaking the people with the most impact were probably the Mander Brothers who shaped much of Wolverhampton and it's surrounding area. Or, Sir Alfred Hickman, of the Tarmac company - we "invented" (rediscovered) tarmac which a lot of people don't seem to know! Our products are all over the world in mass swathes.

Alfred Bird did a lot to shape the food industry.
 

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Sir Edward Coley Burne Jones for obvious reasons.

George Richards Elkington and Henry Elkington for their invention of the mass production of electroplated goods, and their associate who found the process using Potassium Cyanide, John Wright, a Birmingham surgeon, who sold them the process which they then patented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Correct but the OP asks 'who is the Greatest West Midlander who ever lived?'
Birmingham, The Black Country or Coventry. Essentially "The Connurbation" The person doesn't necessarily have to be famous.

Sorry. Shakespeare doesn't count. Unless you can find some proof that he spent time living in the areas above.

Tolkien counts..... ;)
 

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Alec Issigonis must be in with a shout.

Mainly remembered for the design of the Mini, this car revolutionized cars by changing the normal rear wheel drive by rotating the engine 180 degrees and having the engine drive the front wheels directly.

Very quickly more and more cars became front wheel drive and I guess most cars are now front wheel drive, all becuase Alec Issigonis did it with the mini.

He also designed other cars like Morris Minor.

He lived in Edgbaston and died in his house there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alec_Issigonis
 
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