Many say William Wouldhave from South Shields invented the lifeboat
BBC Newcastle is using 20 objects from museums in Tyneside, Wearside, County Durham and Northumberland to tell stories from the North East's past.
The broadcasts are part of a year-long BBC series of TV and radio programmes called A History of the World.
We'll be exploring the region's international influence and sharing the tales of how global artefacts have found their way to the region.
The objects chosen range from a broken toy rocking horse to a Roman tombstone.
Ten of them come from Tyneside and Northumberland.
Staff at each of the region's museums suggested items they thought should be included and these were then whittled down to 10.
The final list gives a spread both throughout history and geographically.
The objects are:
The world's first light bulb factory was in Benwell
• One of the first electric lightbulbs
• Model of RMS Mauretania
• Recording of the King's speech at the Tyne Bridge opening
• Hartley Colliery disaster memorial glass
• Tombstone of a Roman woman
• Model of William Wouldhave's lifeboat
• The Blaydon Races painting
• "Wanted" poster for voters in the 1826 election
• An 8th-Century frieze from St Paul's Monastery, Jarrow
• A musette de cour bagpipe
Juliet Horsley, regional exhibitions manager at North East Regional Museums Hub, said the story behind each object was an important factor in the selection process:
"We wanted to choose a wide range of objects that told important stories about our region, from Roman times to the present day.
The Regina tombstone is evidence of immigration 1800 years ago
"These themes range from love and death to important inventions, industries, and changes to national legislation brought about by events in the North East."
Whether the objects raised questions that are still relevant to today's world was also something considered.
The Alnwick "Wanted" poster from the 1826 election is a good example, with a general election a definite fixture for 2010.
The poster advertises for steam ships and carts to transport voters to the hustings in Alnwick and is a reminder of how our democracy has developed over time.
The other 10 objects BBC Newcastle are featuring come from Wearside and County Durham.
Read about them
Find out how to listen to the BBC Newcastle series - and be part of it -
Radio 4 series
Also in 2010, BBC Radio 4 will be telling the story of the history of the world in 100 objects.
The items have been picked by the British Museum and the series is written and narrated by its director, Neil MacGregor.
The 100 programmes will be broadcast in three instalments, with the first starting on 18 January.
Find out more about the BBC Radio 4 series here: