John C Taylor

My World


Inventions


Work with bi-metal materials started with my father’s family business (Otter Controls).  Eric Taylor invented his bi-metal blade and I decided that I wanted to make it smaller. I made it about the size of a 50 pence piece. I remember showing it to people, who would always say, “Gee, that’s small” so I decided to call it the Otter G.

In the 1960s Jaguar, the car manufacturers, were looking at new ways to place the radiators in their cars.  They were having terrible trouble sorting out the cooling fan system, so they used my patented invention in the engine cooling systems in the cars.  I used to have the job of testing the cars on the race tracks.  You can only imagine what fun that was!

We started to export controls to Germany to use in all sorts of electrical items, and they took off in a big way.  A few years ago, after I retired, I was speaking to the current Chairman of the company.  I’d noticed that the Otter G was still being made, so I asked him how many had been made in total.

Since I left the company in the seventies they’ve made, and this is only an estimate, almost one billion of these little bi-metal blades.  I’m very proud of that, as I am for the Queen’s Awards, three for Export and one for Innovation, granted for my 360-degrees cordless kettle connector.

I can go to any high street in the Western world, look in the window of any shop selling kettles, and say “I designed that one, designed that one, designed the controls on that one”, and it’s a very satisfying feeling to be able to say that.

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The Isle of Man Post Office has featured two of my best known inventions in the following two postage stamps.

Interesting Facts

Diamonds are actually unstable at surface temperature and pressure. Every diamond above ground is very, very slowly altering into graphite, another form of pure carbon.

Latest News

Luxury of Time Exhibition at National Museum of Scotland

A special display of rare and significant historical timepieces telling the story of a golden age of innovation in British watch and clockmaking will go on show at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, which runs to 26 January 2020. The Luxury of Time: Clocks from 1550-1750 features objects from the private collection of Dr John C Taylor OBE. The 25 objects to be shown demonstrate the golden age of British clock and watch-making and illustrate the delicate workmanship and incredible technical skills involved.  Exquisitely made and decorated in precious metals, they were labour-intensive, luxury items… read more

Interesting Quotes

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

Helen Keller