It’s a very interesting question. It’s one that Steve Coogan’s character Alan Partridge asks without being given an answer. He also says that whoever did is braver than 10 firemen or a dozen policemen. That’s not quite true, those officers are not really comparable but there is an answer to the question and the person did lead a rather interesting life.
As the owners and workers of Llanelli skip hire company http://pendragonskiphire.co.uk/skip-hire/ will tell you it, the inventor of the skip was on Edwin Walker so, yes, the world can thank Great Britain for this labour saving device. Edwin came up with the idea in 1922. Back then the rag and bone man on his horse and cart was pretty much the only way waste was removed. This was a lengthy process and Edwin realised that if he could come up with something that could be used on the new trucks he drove there could be money in it.
Using iron and or steel Edwin devised the shape of the skip and soon began offering the service out to companies to use it as a mass disposal system. It became popular immediately and the rest as they say is history.