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Can you pick the people who are generally credited with inventing the following things?
Click the matching answer button below
Correctly selected answers will show up in green
Some are co-inventors, some were developed independently and some are disputed. Dates and nations may provide a clue.
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Telephone (USA 1876)
World Wide Web (UK 1991)
Ballpoint Pen (Hungary 1938)
Stainless Steel (UK 1913)
Hovercraft (UK 1950s)
Revolver (USA 1836)
Aqualung (France 1943)
Thermos Flask (UK 1892)
Roll Film (USA 1894)
Phonograph (USA 1877)
Electric Motor (UK 1832)
Lightning Rod (USA 1749)
Machine Gun (USA 1861)
Safety Razor (USA 1904)
Barbed Wire (USA 1874)
Vulcanized Rubber (USA 1839)
Movable Type Printing (Germany 1439)
Pendulum Clock (Netherlands 1656)
Stethoscope (France 1816)
Waterproof Garments (UK 1823)
Laser (USA 1960)
Radio (Italy 1890s)
Hot Air Balloon (France 1783)
Combine Harvester (USA 1834)
Telegraph (USA 1837)
Basketball (USA 1891)
Reflecting Telescope (UK 1688)
Safety Elevator (USA 1852)
Mechanical Calculator (France 1642)
Electric Guitar (USA 1931)
Saxophone (Belgium 1846)
Road Cat's Eye (UK 1933)
Microwave Oven (USA 1945)
Barometer (Italy 1648)
Electric Battery (Italy 1800)
Cotton Gin (USA 1793)
Jet Engine (UK 1930)
Powered Aeroplane (USA 1903)
Cylinder Lock (USA 1861)
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Who Invented It? Quiz
Created Jan 2, 2013 in
Featured Feb 21, 2013
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Jan 2nd, 2013 at 15:54 GMT
Excellent quiz, good range of questions - thanks!
Jan 2nd, 2013 at 17:08 GMT
Nice quiz but I couldn't find Al Gore anywhere.
Jan 5th, 2013 at 07:59 GMT
Today I learned what a "Cat's Eye" is!
Feb 3rd, 2013 at 01:16 GMT
Greetings, Cortez. As editor for History, I have a question for you. I realize you have a “disclaimer” of sorts in your primary instructions, but I still want to check with you: Are you sure you want to keep any inventors as “controversial” as Marconi? Even the phrase within the instructions, “generally credited with”, could be disputed in cases like that. It’s your call, but I just wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks, - napb
Feb 5th, 2013 at 10:08 GMT
needapausebutton: I'm happy enough not to change anything as I think each person is specific to each invention. Cheers.
Feb 8th, 2013 at 19:55 GMT
i am pretty sure tesla invented the radio
Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:12 GMT
Feb 10th, 2013 at 17:50 GMT
@joefish - do tell, I have no clue
Feb 11th, 2013 at 15:34 GMT
Rontgen discovered X-rays - he didn't invent them.
Feb 13th, 2013 at 22:26 GMT
Quite right alastor, I slipped up there.
Game published: Feb 21st, 2013 at 15:23 GMT
Feb 21st, 2013 at 15:58 GMT
joefish & MovieGuru, interesting - do cats' eyes not exist in the states then or do you call them something else? Those reflective little square thingies you get on roads to show lane markings and exits etc.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 16:02 GMT
It's actually refreshing that it took two comments to get to the Al Gore joke. Would have thought it'd be first.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 16:16 GMT
I've got a brand new combine harvester, and I'll give you the key...
Feb 21st, 2013 at 16:44 GMT
Oh, its where the inventions were invented, not the nationality of the inventors - that confused me at first :/
Feb 21st, 2013 at 16:45 GMT
Isaac Newton would have been 200% more kick-ass had he invented the electric guitar.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 16:53 GMT
Vince says his name at the beginning of his commercials. There's no excuse for calling him "The Sham-wow Guy"
Feb 21st, 2013 at 16:54 GMT
isaac newton invented gravity
Comment below threshold:
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:07 GMT
Isaac Newton did not invent gravity - it was already there. He noticed and formulatted the laws of gravitation. He did however invent the reflecting telescope.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:13 GMT
no i'm pretty sure he invented gravity
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:36 GMT
@jobean: We do not have them in the states. Also, we're a little grossed out that you abuse cats like that, although as a dog person, I can't say I personally mind.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:42 GMT
@jobean I've always heard (in the Western US) those road reflector things called Bott's dots, although I didn't know that it was a proper name Bott until I looked it up just now. They are also known, it turns out, as road turtles, which I find delightful.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:44 GMT
@crow t: When I lived in New England, there were no road reflectors (and I'm trying to remember if I saw them in Michigan when I was there last year), but they are all over in California, presumably because there are no snow plows and salt to wreck them, but I don't actually know why.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:47 GMT
And looking around more, I find that there are SQUARE road reflectors and ROUND ones made of plastic which are the ones called Bott's dots. And yes! The snow plows! Who knew? And now I am positively certain I have said everything I can on the subject.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:48 GMT
I was more just expressing my disgust that English people eviscerate cats for the sake of road safety. And I'm every bit as disgusted by this practice as I am sure that Isaac Newton invented gravity, which he must have, b/c otherwise, when I jump in the air, why do I fall back down to the ground? Huh?!
Feb 21st, 2013 at 17:51 GMT
And all this time I thought it was Jethro Tull that invented the Aqualung ;)
Feb 21st, 2013 at 18:02 GMT
For Tim Berners-Lee should it say '(Switzerland)'? He was working at CERN when he created... his invention. Or was he working for them whilst resident in the UK? I suppose considering the nature of his invention whehis location at the time is less important than for some others.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 18:04 GMT
"Hm, for some reason I want to say Goodyear for rubber...but I'm sure that's the guy who invented the blimp." Never have I facepalmed so hard at my own brain.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 18:30 GMT
Naismith (basketball) was Canadian, although he lived most of his adult life in the US, and 'invented' it in the USA, he never took American citizenship - things were more fluid back then on issues like that. Bell was Scots-American, and invented the telephone in Canada, so maybe both Scottish/UK and American, should be after his name.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 19:45 GMT
@beefchop: The country in brackets after the invention is where it was invented, not the nationality of the inventor. I believe that the telephone as patented, was invented in Boston, so USA is correct.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 20:14 GMT
are you sure Al Gore didn't invent the internet
Feb 21st, 2013 at 20:46 GMT
Anyone see 'Aqualung' and subconsciously look for Jethro Tull?
Feb 21st, 2013 at 20:52 GMT
Jethro Tull (UK) invented a seed drill in 1701, that's where the band's name comes from.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 21:33 GMT
@milkmeister - thanks for the clarification. I believe you are right on all counts, I did some research and Bell made the first long-distance call in Canada, not the first call.
Feb 21st, 2013 at 21:37 GMT
So basically the UK and the US get off the backsides more and use their brains than others. Centuries of partial world domination has nothing to do with it...
Feb 21st, 2013 at 22:08 GMT
Percy Spencer may have invented the microwave, but it was Jack Donaghy's idea to make it pocket-sized (the Funcooker), and as well as bigger, with four doors, wheels, and an AM/FM radio (the Pontiac Aztec).
Feb 21st, 2013 at 22:22 GMT
Don't let the fellas over at Cracked see this quiz. The Bell and Whitney questions alone might make their heads explode. Great quiz, and some of the best comments I've read in a while!
Feb 21st, 2013 at 22:54 GMT
needapausebutton: could you explain why jamboree's post above is below the threshold as it seems factual to me. Cheers.
Feb 22nd, 2013 at 00:09 GMT
I thought Wankel invented the rotary engine.
Feb 22nd, 2013 at 00:27 GMT
@Cortez: The short answer is "No I can't."
The longer answer is: As a volunteer editor, I am not involved in the mechanics of the comment-voting system, or in overtly validating the "accuracy" of people's opinions (votes). As to why jamboree was down-voted, my guesses are that a) some people are inaccurately equating "invention" with "discovery", b) some are just casually responding without really reading it, and simply see "Newton", think of an apple falling, and the term "gravity", and c) some people may be voting facetiously.
Feb 22nd, 2013 at 00:51 GMT
Thanks needapause, appreciated. However I find it disappointing a factual response is deemed below the threshhold by someone.
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