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Eureka - They Found Them!
Scientists & Inventors
"So many people, in the past, have used their scientific knowledge to create new things and we have inherited so many wonderful technological inventions. I have selected 10 of these which I find interesting. Do you know who invented them?"
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
The date is 250 BC. As you take a stroll bordering a river bank in Sicily, you notice that there is a long, cylindrical object lying against the bank, with one end in the water. A man is turning a handle on the top of this contraption. He tells you that there is a large screw inside the cylinder which raises water from the river to the field above, when he turns the handle. You realise that you are looking at a screw pump - a method of irrigation which was becoming very popular at that time.
Who allegedly invented this method of raising water?
In the early 18th century, coal was becoming increasingly important in British industry. Mine shafts had to be sunk ever more deeply to reach rich, lower seams of coal. This meant that there was more risk of water flooding the underground tunnels. A certain blacksmith and his assistant, John Calley, created a very effective, steam-powered pump which was so successful that it was used in hundreds of mines in Britain and abroad.
Who was this blacksmith?
In 1752 in America, a man sent a kite up into the air with a sharp-pointed piece of metal attached to it during a thunderstorm. In doing so, he invented the lightning conductor. Who was this man?
Alexander Graham Bell
On 4th June 1783, in a field near Annonay, in the Ardèche (France), a crowd of invited dignitaries were gasping in astonishment as they stared upwards at a huge, ascending envelope of hot air. They were watching the first, public, lighter-than-air flight.
Who were the two brothers who made this possible?
Wilbur and Orville Wright
Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier
Louis and Francis Bleriot
Heinz and Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Towards the end of the 18th century, on a cotton plantation in the USA, a man watched slaves handling the harvested cotton bolls as they laboriously separated the fibres from the seeds, by hand. After some thought, he came up with the idea of making a perforated cylinder containing rows of teeth which would be rotated inside the tube by a handle. When cotton bolls were put into the cylinder, the fibres clung to the rotating teeth and were pulled through slits in a piece of wood whilst the unwanted seeds fell through the hole in the cylinder. The cotton gin was born. Who was this man?
In 1800, in Como (Italy), a man was interested in the electrical interaction of metals submerged near to each other in an acidic solution. He placed a series of copper and zinc rings in an acid solution, known as an electrolyte, and thus gave the world its first battery. Can you find his name in the following list?
There are many wonderful exhibits to be seen in The Science Museum in London (England). One of them which always attracts an interested crowd is an early railway locomotive called 'The Rocket'. It was built in the early 19th century in Newcastle upon Tyne and was designed for The Rainhill Trials, held by The Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company. They needed to find the best locomotive for a new line between these two cities. The Rocket won easily, reaching a speed of 24 mph during the 20 laps of the course.
Who was the man who, with the help of his father, George, and also Henry Booth who gave advice on the boiler, is given credit for the design of this special, winning locomotive?
'Lady Liberty' stands on an island in New York harbour lifting her torch to the sky. In 1886 she was a gift to the people of America from France. It was a sculptor who was asked to make this stupendous statue, in 1871, but it was an engineer who, using all the technology available to him, decided how 'Lady Liberty' should be internally supported. He designed a metal pylon which would support the external, copper plates fixed to it. Who was this clever Frenchman who thought of this internal skeleton?
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi
Ferdinand de Lesseps
In the 1920s, driving along foggy, country roads in Yorkshire, England, a certain man became increasingly aware of the hazards to motorists. Frequently he was unable to see the centre or the side of the road so he invented 'cats' eyes'. He thought of embedding small, reflecting beads, facing in opposite directions, in flexible rubber. He sunk both beads and rubber into small, cast-iron containers.
Having perfected the idea, he patented the 'cats' eyes' in 1934. In 1947 they were introduced on British roads - being buried in lines to mark the centres.
Who was this inventor?
During the night of the 16-17th May, 1943, aircraft of 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force were maintaining a speed of 240-250 mph at a height of 60 feet above the water as they flew towards the Moehne, Eder and Sorpe Dams in Germany. They were carrying very unusual bombs which, when released, went bouncing and re-bouncing towards the dams, to breach them.
Who was the designer of this bouncing bomb?
Hugh Montague Trenchard
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Compiled May 24 13