Inventions and Inventors: Facts You might not know
Just a quick, fun little quiz. Answers are provided at the end and are deliberately more informative than the test itself in case this is given to introduce a chapter or lesson. Have fun!
1) Congress would not use Thomas Edisons' first invention, the electronic vote counter because:
a. It did not work
b. It worked too well.
c. It was too noisy
d. It used too much ink
2) Two things Edison is often said to have invented that he actually did not are:
a. Concrete houses and the pianos
b. a Tattoo machine and the Telegraph
c. X-Rays and the Light Bulb
d. Electrical Systems and a Motion Picture Camera
Alexander Graham Bell
3) Alexander Graham Bell never actually phoned his mother:
a. she was deaf
b. she did not have a telephone
c. she always called him
d. He never had time
4) Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 as a citizen of what country?
5) Though popularly thought to be the inventor of the telescope, Galileo actually borrowed and developed the technology from which people?
a. Venetian mathematicians
b. Florencian Physicists
d. Dutch spectacle makers
6) Ms. Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1903 to help what form of transportation operate safely in the rain?
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7) A cotton buyer for Johnson and Johnson, he invented band-aids. Where do you think he got his inspiration?
a) From his wife, she was always having kitchen accidents
b) From his children, they were always falling down
c) From his co-workers, they were always getting paper cuts
d) From himself, he was forever stapling his fingers
8) This Native American/African American inventor of potato chip actually created the treat in hopes of doing what to/for a customer?
a. Getting him to leave a big tip
b. Getting him to leave the restaurant
c. Getting him really annoyed
d. Getting him to use more salt
9) The steam engine was originally invented by Heron as a:
a. means of transportation
b. unique toy
c. "motorized" workhorse
d. passenger carriage
10) The popular Razor Scooter was originally invented by J.D. Corp to be:
a. the most popular toy ever for the Christmas of 1998
b. A gift for the son of a visiting dignitary
c. A winning entry in a World Sports Expo
d. a way for the president of the company to get around the factory floors faster
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1) b- His electronic vote machine was never used because in the words of Congress:
The chairman of the committee, unimpressed with the speed with which the instrument could record votes, told him that "if there is any invention on earth that we don’t want down here, that is it." The slow pace of roll call voting in Congress and other legislatures enabled members to filibuster legislation or convince others to change their votes. Edison’s vote recorder was never used. (Source: The Edison Papers)
2) c- Edison did not actually invent the light bulb. Joseph Wilson Swan already had working light bulbs in England in 1028, long before Edison succeeded in 1879. But even Swan was working from the work of those who had come before him!!
As for the X-Ray, it was discovered by William Conrad Rontgen and after an employee and friend of Edison's contracted cancer and died from working with a form of them in 1903, Edison publicly refused to have anything further to do with X-rays of any sort. He feared them.
3) a - She was deaf. Thus, Alexander Graham Bell never called his mother on the phone. So, in fact, was his wife, who never got a phone call either.
4) c- Britain.. He did not become an American citizen until 1882.
5) d-Galileo borrowed and developed the technology for the telescope from Dutch spectacle makers. There was a large uproar when it was discovered that he had taken credit for work that was not his own.
6) b- The windshield wiper was invented expressly for streetcars to help them function more safely in the rain. The external, swinging arm invention was patented in 1905. It allowed the driver to operate it from inside the vehicle.
7) a-Earle Dickson created Band-aids for his wife, who was always having kitchen accidents and needed something easy to use for her injuries. He was rewarded by being made vice-president of his company - Johnson and Johnson.
8) c- George Crum invented potato chips in 1853. Crum was chef at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, French fries were a favorite at the restaurant and one day a customer complained that the fries were too thick. Although Crum made a thinner batch, the customer was still unhappy. Finally, George made fries that were too thin to eat with a fork, hoping to annoy the very fussy customer. The customer, though, was happy - and potato chips were invented!
9) b-The steam engine was invented by Heron, an ancient Greek engineer. It was called the "aeolipile," looked nothing like our "modern" steam engines and was never used as more than a toy by the Greeks. It wasn't until 1690 that Dionysius Papin published plans for the first steam engine and 1698 that actually built one.
10) d-The Razor Scooter was invented by a team of scientists at J.D. Corp for Gino Tsai, the president of the company, as a means of getting around the factory floors faster. He said he was a slow walker and needed a more efficient means of getting around.