Made in Bristol

Bristol has a global reputation for innovation, with many science and technology organisations based here. But did you know that Bristol is also the home of Ribena and the plimsoll line?

Wallace and Gromit

Bristol-based Aardman Animations created the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit films, along with Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Morph.

Plimsoll Line

Samuel Plimsoll was born in Bristol in 1824 at 9 Colston Parade. He successfully fought for a compulsory maximum load line on passenger and freight ships which became known as the Plimsoll line.

Lead Shot

Redcliffe plumber, William Watts, invented the manufacture of lead shot by dropping molten lead from a height into water. He built a shot tower on Redcliffe Hill.


Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam was appointed to the position of General Surveyor of Bristol Roads. He instructed that stones should be graded and laid in three levels, with the smallest stones crushed and laid as a top surface. These roads were said to be 'macadamised'. Later, tar was laid over the top of the crushed stones, giving an even more durable surface known as tarmacadam, subsequently abbreviated to tarmac. McAdam lived at 23 Berkeley Square from 1805 to 1808. He later lived at 6 Sion Hill from 1815.


The world's first commercial supersonic jet was designed and built in Filton, North Bristol.

Airbus A380

The wings of the world's largest double-decker passenger plane are made at Airbus in Bristol.

Bristol Cars

Luxury car manufacturer that began in Bristol in 1910, famous worldwide for outstanding quality. Now the only luxury car manufacturer still under British ownership.

Motorcycle and Detachable Sidecar

P.J. Kerswell was the inventor of the motorcycle (1901) and detachable sidecar (1904). In 1887 he opened his riding school on Cheltenham Road making cycles for special order.

Bollom Dry Cleaning

The Bollom brothers of Philip Street, Bedminster, were the founders of the Bollom dry cleaning empire.


The much-loved blackcurrant drink was invented in Bristol at the National Fruit and Cider Institute, originally as a vitamin C supplement. Scientists at the institute turned blackcurrants into a concentrated syrup which could easily be mixed with water to make a healthy drink. Ribena was subsequently produced in Bristol for many years.

Harvey's Bristol Cream

This world famous sherry was created by John Harvey and Sons in Bristol in 1796.


Jacob Schweppe set up shop in Dowry Square selling his discovery soda water in 1812.

Fry's Chocolate

Joseph Fry opened a sweet shop in Small Street, Bristol in 1756. The business was so successful that chocolate factories were built in Broadmead (now the city's main shopping centre).

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