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It's time for our annual end-of-the-year invention quizzes       By Paul Niemann

[DEC. 23, 2004]  It's that time of year again -- time to review what we learned this past year. As my Christmas gift to you, the Education Division here at Invention Mysteries World Headquarters provides you with a two-part quiz this week and next week. You can use it to entertain your guests with some fun trivia over the holidays.

Grading is as follows: A = 13-15 correct; B = 10-12 correct; C = 7-9 correct; D = 4-6 correct; F = 0-3 correct

The answers can be found in our previous columns. They're also at the end of this column, for those of you who haven't been reading this column each week (and I know who you are).

1. Which Charles invented the "perfusion pump" that paved the way for doctors to perform open-heart surgery by providing a way to keep organs alive outside the body during surgery?

A. Charles Dickens
B. Charles Lindbergh
C. Charles Darwin
D. Charlie Brown

2. Conrad Hubert founded the Eveready Battery Co. with a product known as an "electric flowerpot," which he redesigned into the world's first flashlight. He bought the rights to the electric flowerpot from his friend, Joshua Lionel Cowen. Which company did Cowen start?

3. True or false: The fee for the first federal patent issued in the U.S. was only $4. (Today, patent fees average $4,000.)

4. True or false: The first patent issued to a woman was in the 1800s.

5. What was inventor Lewis Latimer's claim to fame? He lived from 1848-1929.

6. Inventors Christopher Sholes, who invented the QWERTY keyboard layout, and George Ferris, who constructed the first Ferris wheel, were born on which holiday? Hint: It's the same holiday on which Florence Henderson of "Brady Bunch" fame was born. That's not much of a hint, is it?

7. The first known version of this invention, which the Dutch named "schenkel," means "leg bone." It was first found in the bottom of a Swiss lake and dated to around 3000 B.C. It was made from the leg bones of large animals, with holes bored at each end of the bones. The modern version is used to play a certain popular winter sport.

8. This inventor whose first name was Thomas founded the cement company that built Yankee Stadium. When he was 6 years old, his teacher once sent him home from school with a note stating, "He is too stupid to learn."

9. True or false: Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler, who created both the Barbie doll and Ken doll, named the two dolls after her daughter and son (respectively, of course).

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10. The modern baseball glove was invented in 1920 by a spitball pitcher named Bill Doak, who licensed it to Rawlings Sporting Goods. Which National League team did Doak play for?

11. Richard Saunders was the pen name for which famous inventor?

12. There are three criteria that an inventor must meet in order to be granted a patent. What are the criteria?

13. True or false: Inventor Nikola Tesla created a man-made earthquake in Manhattan in 1898 when he found the exact frequency required to cause the earth to rumble.

14. True or false: Inventor Walt Disney sold his first work at age 7. He was also afraid of mice.

15. What is the significance of 18th-century inventors Francis Hopkinson and George Clymer?

…and the correct answers are:

The answer to each of the true-false questions is "true." Here are the answers to the rest of the questions:

1. B (Charles Lindbergh)

2. The Lionel (train) Manufacturing Company

5. He was the only inventor who worked for both Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

6. Valentine's Day

7. Ice skates

8. Thomas Edison

10. St. Louis Cardinals

11. Ben Franklin; he wrote "Poor Richard's Almanack" under the pen name of Richard Saunders.

12. The invention must be new; it must be "unobvious" to people in that industry; and it must be useful.

15. They both were signers of the Declaration of Independence!

[Paul Niemann]

Paul Niemann is the author of Invention Mysteries. He can be reached at niemann7@aol.com.

© Copyright Paul Niemann 2004

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