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It's time for our final invention quiz of the year       By Paul Niemann

[DEC. 30, 2004]  Today we finish up the year with the sequel to last week's quiz. The answers can be found in previous columns earlier this year and at the end of this column. Grading is as follows: A = 13-15 correct; B = 10-12 correct; C = 7-9 correct; D = 4-6 correct; F = 0-3 correct.

1. Which of the following inventions have been issued U.S. patents: a pet petter, a Santa Claus detector and a motorized ice cream cone?

2. Which well-known inventor electrocuted animals -- ranging in size from a dog to an elephant -- to try to convince the public that AC electricity was more dangerous than his own DC electricity? Hint: He was featured in last week's quiz.

3. This Swedish chemist and inventor earned the nickname of "The Merchant of Death" when one of his factories blew up in 1864, but he also established a set of five well-known awards named after him. Name the inventor and his invention.

4. Which of the following inventors, if any, have had their images appear on a U.S. postage stamp?

A. Thomas Edison
B. Nikola Tesla
C. Alfred Nobel
D. Ben Franklin
E. All of the above

5. You've heard the story of the pet rock, but do you know who invented it?

6. Possible trick question 1: Who invented the Archimedes screw?

7. True or false: The great Missouri inventor George Washington Carver, who invented hundreds of uses for plants, was born to slave parents.

8. What do the following products have in common -- the first washing machine, 1871; the first dishwasher, 1872; the first car heater, 1893; the first medical syringe, 1899; the first windshield wipers, 1903; the first refrigerator, 1914; the first engine muffler, 1917?

9. Originally known as Sam, this Missouri inventor was better known for his writings than for his inventions. He showed his high appreciation for inventors when he said, "Inventors are the creators of the world -- after God." Who was he?

10. Which Croatian-born inventor was the main inventor of both radio and alternating current (AC) electricity, even though many people have never heard of him?

[to top of second column in this article]

11. Possible trick question 2: Who invented the outboard motor?

A. Evinrude
B. Binford
C. Outboard
D. None of the above; it's still being determined by the courts.

12. What was the job title of the inventor of the vacuum, Otto Von Guericke of Magdeburg, Germany, from 1646 to 1676?

A. Burgermeister
B. Court jester
C. Police chief
D. Historian
E. None of the above; Otto was too busy vacuuming to hold a full-time job.

13. True or false: Nancy Johnson developed the first hand-crank ice cream maker in 1847. It became known as the "Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer."

14. Third and final possible trick question; true or false: The inventor of the Fahrenheit scale was a man whose last name was Fahrenheit.

15. Which Marx brother was also a successful inventor?

A. Leonard "Chico"
B. Adolph "Harpo"
C. Julius "Groucho"
D. Milton "Gummo"
E. Herbert "Zeppo"

…and the correct answers are:

1. All of them; 2. Thomas Edison; 3. Alfred Nobel and dynamite; 4. E. All of the above; 5. Gary Dahl; 6. Archimedes. He was a famous Greek mathematician and inventor born during the third century B.C. He also coined the word "eureka." 7. True; 8. They were all invented by women; 9. Mark Twain; 10. Nikola Tesla; 11. A. Evinrude; 12. A. Burgermeister, which was another term for "mayor;" 13. True; 14. True; 15. E. Herbert "Zeppo."

[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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