Calendar | Menus

Send a link to a friend

"The little-known stories behind well-known inventions"

It’s time for your year-end patented invention quiz          By Paul Niemann

[DEC. 28, 2006]  Four times a year, the education division here at Invention Mysteries World Headquarters presents you with a quiz. See if you can figure out the correct answers to these nine questions about inventors or inventions that have appeared since the first week of October.

The answers appear at the end of the quiz. Regardless of how well you do, this is the last quiz of 2006. I promise.

1. For more than 100 years, there has been a debate over who invented baseball; it was either bank clerk Alexander Cartwright or Civil War veteran Abner Doubleday, whose great-great-grand-nephew is the co-owner of the New York Mets. One of the men has a Hall of Fame plaque, which lists him as the “Father of modern baseball.” Which one – Cartwright or Doubleday?

2. In the article, “Who’s the real McCoy … an inventor, a boxer or someone else?” the “real McCoy” could be …
a. An automatic oil lubricating cup invented by Elijah McCoy that automatically dropped oil onto moving parts of trains.
b. Genuine whiskey – as opposed to the stuff made by moonshiners – that prohibition-era smuggler Billy McCoy imported into the United States from Canada.
c. The chuck wagon that cattle baron Chuck Goodnight of Texas designed in 1866 (hence the name “chuckwagon”).
d. It could be any of the above.

3. In the article, “Morphine addict’s invention didn’t cure his addiction,” the morphine addict was John Pemberton. What did John Pemberton invent?
a. Morphine
b. Aspirin
c. Coca-Cola
d. Cough medicine

4. Dr. Robert Rines, who the History Channel refers to as one of the world’s foremost Loch Ness Monster experts, invented which product?
a. Radar, which he used to search for the Loch Ness Monster.
b. The sonar technology used in sonograms.
c. Binoculars, which he used to search for the Loch Ness Monster.
d. None of the above

5. The inventor of the Archimedes screw was …
a. Ctesibius (pronounced ctesibius)
b. Hero (possibly the inventor of the sandwich)
c. Archimedes

[to top of second column]

6. In the same story about Archimedes, we learned about an inventor named Hero. What did he invent?
a. The world’s first steam engine, which was called an aeolipile and relied on the principle that every action has an “equal and opposite reaction.”
b. The world’s first automatic vending machine, which was a machine which would dispense a fixed amount of holy water when a coin was put into it.
c. The screw-press, which extracted olive oil from olives and juice from grapes.
d. All of the above.
e. None of the above – Hero invented the sandwich that bears his name.

7. Who was the first person to appear on a U.S. stamp? Hint: He was also our first postmaster general.
a. George Washington
b. Ben Franklin
c. Abraham Lincoln
d. Elvis

8. Iraq is home to the Tower of Babel, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Hammurabi Code. Which of these inventions have come from Iraq?
a. The first stringed harp
b. The sickle for harvesting grain.
c. The first windmills for pumping water.
d. The first soap
e. All of the above

9. Mary Shelley was only 18 years old when she first began writing about a fictional monster created by a fictional doctor named Victor. What was Victor’s last name?
a. Frankenstein
b. Dracula
c. Jekyll
d. Hyde

ANSWERS: 1: Alexander Cartwright. 2: d. It could be any of the above. 3: c. Coca-Cola. 4: b. The sonar technology used in sonograms. 5: c. Archimedes. 6: d. All of the above. 7: b. Ben Franklin. 8: e. All of the above. 9: a. Frankenstein.

# # #

© Paul Niemann 2006
Paul Niemann may be reached at

Copyright Paul Niemann 2006

[Other columns]

< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor