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Thomas Edison Trivia

Thomas Edison Trivia Quizzes

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4 Thomas Edison quizzes and 45 Thomas Edison trivia questions.
Thomas Alva Edison
  Thomas Alva Edison   great trivia quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
It could be argued that Thomas Alva Edison's accomplishments had the greatest influence on the development of the modern 20th century world. What do you think?
Average, 10 Qns, reedy, Apr 04 14
reedy gold member
952 plays
  Thomas Edison - Inventor Extraordinaire   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Thomas Edison was probably the most successful and prolific inventor in world history. This quiz follows the history of wondrous inventions and exceptional life. You are invited to learn more about him here...please enjoy!
Tough, 15 Qns, thejazzkickazz, Apr 19 11
thejazzkickazz gold member
2429 plays
  The Great Wizard of Oddity   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Yeah, we all know about the dead elephant, but do you realize how far the quirks go? Thomas Edison is well-known as The Wizard of Menlo Park, but is perhaps better-described as the Wizard of Oddity.
Average, 10 Qns, nautilator, Sep 18 14
640 plays
  Thomas Edison    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors and industrial leaders of American history. Let's see how much you know about this man who has left his mark on the world.
Tough, 10 Qns, heintz57, Apr 19 11
1564 plays

Thomas Edison Trivia Questions

1. Working on an offbeat schedule, Edison's remarkable tenacity enabled him to make groundbreaking discoveries. What basic necessity of life did often shun in favor of his work?

From Quiz
The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: sleep

Being an ambitious person, Edison was not all that fond of the idea of sleep. He felt that sleep was a waste of time and would sleep as little as he could get away with, often three or four hours per day. His erratic schedule would often lead to him being in his laboratory at all hours of the day and night. Incidentally, Edison's development of the light bulb and artificial light is thought to have greatly reduced the amount of sleep that modern people get.

2. When was Thomas Edison born?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: Feb. 11, 1847

Thomas was born on Feb. 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He was the youngest of seven children. Samuel and Nancy Edison were Thomas' parents.

3. The prolific American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in a small Ohio town. After which Italian city was his town of birth called?

From Quiz Thomas Edison - Inventor Extraordinaire

Answer: Milan

Nancy Elliot Edison gave birth to her seventh child Thomas on that fateful February day of 1847, with father Samuel Edison, Jr. close at hand. Thomas was preceded in birth by his six siblings, Marion, William, Callie, Harriet, Samuel and Eliza. The family was not poor, as the myths would have it, but at the same time they were not bathing in wealth.

4. Edison married his first wife, Mary Stilwell, after just two months of knowing her. Inspired by Samuel Morse, what did he nickname their first two children?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: Dot and Dash

Edison had three children by his first wife Mary: Marion, Thomas Jr, and William. Edison's career had taken off when he became a telegraph operator, and he took to calling his first two children Dot and Dash. When Mary died, Edison married Mina Miller, proposing to her in Morse code. They had three more children: Madeleine, Charles, and Theodore; at one point, Charles became the governor of New Jersey. Being a child of Edison was not always easy. At one point, Edison had a legal battle with Thomas Jr over the use of the Edison name to promote what were essentially quack products.

5. What is Thomas Edison's middle name?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: Alva

Al was his nickname within the family.

6. It may seem better-suited for Egon Spengler or Ray Stantz, but Edison at one point allegedly attempted to make a machine intended to attract and capture what otherworldly entities?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: ghosts

Long before the Ghostbusters saved New York from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Edison singlehandedly attempted to create his own machine that could attract and capture spirits from beyond. While Edison did not particularly believe in spirits the way most believers do, he thought that human life consisted of numerous entities that were indestructible. Edison was secretive about this machine and how it was supposed to work; no blueprints of it were left, and there is no evidence that it ever got past the planning stage to begin with.

7. Despite being personally opposed to its use, what invention did Edison help fund in an attempt to discredit Alternating Current?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: electric chair

The War of Currents was conducted between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison, and was a struggle between the promotions of alternating current (Westinghouse) and direct current (Edison) as forms of electricity. At the time, direct current was common in the United States, and alternating current was common in Europe. In an attempt to discredit alternating current as dangerous, Edison started a campaign where he used it to electrocute animals, including an elephant. But that wasn't enough: Edison actually helped fund the invention of the electric chair to "prove" that alternating current was so terribly dangerous. Edison was personally opposed to the death penalty, but even more opposed to not making money!

8. When did Thomas Edison die?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: Oct. 18, 1931

He died in bed from a severe illness. Edison was honored throughout the world for his invention and for his impact on the world.

9. At what age did Edison become a telegraph operator?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: 15

Edison become a telegraph operator because he saved a telegraph operator's son from the path of a railroad car. As a reward, the operator gave him free telegraph lessons - which started Edison on his way of becoming one of the greatest men in history.

10. Edison helped establish a monopoly on the movie-making industry, but this in turn led to independent filmmakers moving west and establishing what district?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: Hollywood

As the inventor of the kinetoscope, Edison had a large role in developing early movies. He had a large stake in the Motion Picture Patents Company, a monopolistic trust that quickly developed a stranglehold on the entire movie-making process. However, some people were not fond of the MPPC, and moved west to escape the MPPC's lawsuits. In doing so, these so-called Independent Outlaws found that moving west had numerous other benefits, such as better weather for filming, and a greater variety of scenery. Ultimately, they were what established the movie industry around a community called Hollywood -- a happening that was actually catalyzed by Edison.

11. In 1876, Edison built his famous laboratory in Menlo Park. In which U.S. state is Menlo Park?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: New Jersey

This was the first laboratory built for Edison. This is where he did his research on the telephone, phonograph and other great inventions. Menlo Park was located in the Raritan township.

12. At one point, the equally great Nikola Tesla was told by Edison that he would be paid $50,000 for improvements to their direct current motors. When Tesla made good on the improvements, how did Edison respond?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: "you don't understand our American humor"

Upon arriving in America, Tesla found work at Edison Machine Works, where he was paid $18 per week. When Tesla suggested he could improve some of Edison's inefficient designs, Edison promised him a $50,000 reward. Tesla made good on his promise, but Edison did not, instead saying "Tesla, you don't understand our American humor." Tesla ended up resigning from the company. Edison was well-known to be miserly with the wages of his employees.

13. In 1879, Edison successfully tested the incandescent light. What did he use for a filament?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: burned sewing thread

Edison made the filament for the light bulb from burned sewing thread, which produced a light that wasn't as bight as the carbon arc light. Later Edison began to use bamboo filaments.

14. Edison's first marriage began in 1871, when he decided to hitch up with a laboratory assistant nine years his younger. Who was this lovely girl with whom Thomas became betrothed?

From Quiz Thomas Edison - Inventor Extraordinaire

Answer: Mary Stilwell

With Thomas, Mary would have three children, Marion Estelle, Thomas Alva Jr. and William Leslie. Sadly, Mary would die in 1884, at only 29 years of age. His second wife was called Mina Miller and she bore Thomas three children, Madeleine, Charles and Theodore Miller. Mina outlived Thomas by 16 years.

15. While becoming contentedly rich from his patents, Edison reserved much animosity for the banking system. He hyperbolically described gold as "a relic of Julius Caesar," and interest as what?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: "an invention of Satan"

As much as Edison enjoyed money, he hated banks and gold. His views on both were published in "The New York Times" on December 6, 1921. He claimed that gold is "intrinsically of less utility than most metals" and predicted that it would one day become cheaper than steel. We're still waiting for that to happen. His views on interest stemmed from his disdain for the banking industry. Edison noted that bankers could easily become rich simply by charging interest on borrowed money, without so much as moving a single shovelful of dirt. It's easy to see how a go-getter like Edison would not be enamored of this situation.

16. What is the name of Edison's motion picture invention?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: kinetoscope

The kinetoscope was a machine where you put in a coin, look through a peephole in a cabinet, and watch a short motion picture.

17. Thomas and his wife soon had three children. What were the fitting nicknames of the first two children, a daughter and a son?

From Quiz Thomas Edison - Inventor Extraordinaire

Answer: Dot and Dash

Given Thomas's connection with the telegraph, it being the partial inspiration for his future works, it makes sense that his first two kids would be named for the two symbols of Morse code!

18. The Henry Fort Museum owns a glass vial that holds what artifact of Thomas Edison's death?

From Quiz The Great Wizard of Oddity

Answer: last breath

The Henry Ford Museum houses a glass vial purported to contain Edison's last breath. Henry Ford supposedly asked Edison's son Charles to keep a glass vial by Edison's side as he lay dying in 1931. The vial was then sealed with wax and eventually made its way to the museum. Though the "last breath" part is probably somewhat exaggerated, the connection to Henry Ford is quite real and well-known. Edison and Ford were good friends while alive, going to clubs and even living next to each other for a time as well.

19. When did Edison marry his first wife Mary Stilwell?

From Quiz Thomas Edison

Answer: Dec. 25, 1871

Mary and Edison had three children: Marion Estelle, Thomas Alva Jr., and William Leslie. Edison nicknamed Marion and Tom "Dot" and "Dash" after the telegraph code. In 1884 Mary died. A year later Edison got remarried Mina Miller.

20. In 1876, Thomas, with the support of several financiers, including J. P. Morgan, set up a laboratory for inventing purposes in which small New Jersey town?

From Quiz Thomas Edison - Inventor Extraordinaire

Answer: Menlo Park

It was at this site that Edison and his assistants would create the many memorable inventions for which Thomas is now famous. It's no wonder that he was called the 'Wizard of Menlo Park'.

21. The following year, 1877, Edison patented his personal favorite invention. What was this remarkable device?

From Quiz Thomas Edison - Inventor Extraordinaire

Answer: Phonograph

Edison invented the phonograph (aka record player) in 1877, the year after opening his Menlo Park laboratory. He called the phonograph his 'baby'. Thomas believed that the phonograph would bring him the most fortune, but this was not so. All told, Edison was involved in the patent of over 1,093 inventions (singly or jointly), the most ever for an individual in U.S. history.

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