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Quiz about Australian Inventions
Quiz about Australian Inventions

Australian Inventions Trivia Quiz


Here is a list of ten Australian inventions since European settlement in this country, some of which, no doubt, will be hotly debated. See how many you know - and have fun!

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
336,859
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
846
Last 3 plays: Guest 211 (5/10), Guest 206 (5/10), panagos (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. In 1838, what did the Postmaster-General of New South Wales introduce? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In 1843, John Ridley and John Bull created a machine that could not only cut grain during harvesting, but also place the grain into bins when it had done so. What was this machine known as? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Moving along to 1856, James Harrison came up with which world's first working chilly invention? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. And so to 1874, and which rather sad invention emerged for use in nautical warfare? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. On to 1876 when Richard and Clarence Bowyer Smith invented a farming machine that could jump over tree stumps and large stones to enable quick ploughing of land. What was this machine called? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. In 1889, Arthur James Arnot patented the world's first electric drill. What was its primary use back then? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In 1894, what did Lawrence Hargrave invent to enable man to fly? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The humble notepad was invented in 1902 by J.A. Birchall of Australia. From which little state did this quiet achiever spring? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The world's first feature film was produced in Australia in 1906. What was this film called? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In 1905, the world's first surf life-saving reel was invented for use by lifeguards at beaches. On which of our well known beaches was this device first demonstrated? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
May 24 2024 : Guest 211: 5/10
May 24 2024 : Guest 206: 5/10
May 14 2024 : panagos: 9/10
May 09 2024 : Guest 1: 6/10
Apr 27 2024 : Guest 203: 5/10
Apr 09 2024 : Guest 124: 5/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1838, what did the Postmaster-General of New South Wales introduce?

Answer: Pre-paid postage

The gentleman in question was one James Raymond. He came up with the idea of pre-stamping sheets of paper which could then be used as envelopes, thus eliminating the need for extra envelopes and stamps in the one hit.
2. In 1843, John Ridley and John Bull created a machine that could not only cut grain during harvesting, but also place the grain into bins when it had done so. What was this machine known as?

Answer: Grain stripper

This machine saved hours of manual labour and wages throughout all grain farming communities. Times were tough and hours were long back then. The sad thing though was that it eventually put many manual labourers who relied on this form of seasonal work, out of a job.
3. Moving along to 1856, James Harrison came up with which world's first working chilly invention?

Answer: Ice making machine and refrigeration system

Harrison created this invention by using the principle of water compression that kept refrigeration systems going in food manufacturing industries. His invention was utilised in Australia in the meat packing and brewing industries, particularly so in the state of Victoria. Various successful means of refrigeration on a small scale had been used by humanity going right back to the first recorded invention by a Persian physicist in the 11th century. Harrison's invention though, and home refrigeration for the everyday user which was later invented by American Jacob Perkins in 1834, took refrigeration into the wider world.
4. And so to 1874, and which rather sad invention emerged for use in nautical warfare?

Answer: Underwater torpedo

Louis Brennan came up with this one. His torpedo operated by the use of two propellers attached to long wires that led back to an engine on the shore. The torpedo could be steered by an operator from land simply by varying the speed of either of the propellers at a time. Pretty impressive back then, and efficient enough to attack enemy ships coming into a harbour.
5. On to 1876 when Richard and Clarence Bowyer Smith invented a farming machine that could jump over tree stumps and large stones to enable quick ploughing of land. What was this machine called?

Answer: Stump-jump plough

When farmers moved into new land in Australia, particularly in the Mallee scrub regions, the land was particularly difficult to clear and plough. The roots of the hewn trees very rapidly grew again, and had to killed by burning. However the stumps still remained in the ground and were incredibly hard to shift.

This machine was designed by using hinged blades, and whenever they encountered one of the stumps still in the ground, the blades lifted up automatically so the machine cleared the stumps and then continued ploughing. Australia was expanding rapidly at that stage and more and more land was needed for cultivation.

The stump-jump plough brought this about just that much faster.
6. In 1889, Arthur James Arnot patented the world's first electric drill. What was its primary use back then?

Answer: Drilling rocks and digging coal

Australia, at first formed on the sheep's back and in the farming communities, was now beginning to move into the manufacturing period of its history. Vast supplies of coal were needed to keep its giant manufacturing industries going. Arthur Arnot was working for the Union Electrical Company in Melbourne, a huge consumer of coal products at the time.

He came up with this invention to enable the coal to be accessed more quickly by mining companies.
7. In 1894, what did Lawrence Hargrave invent to enable man to fly?

Answer: Powered flight

Hargrave realised curved surfaces had better lift that straight surfaces. He subsequently built four box kites, tied them together, stuck an engine in for good measure - and took off. Of course he didn't get very far at first, but then neither did the Wright boys over in America at a later date.

The difference is that the Wright brothers were canny enough to patent their invention. Hargrave didn't. He wasn't interested in the commercial side of it, but more for how it could be utilised for the benefit of humanity.

He donated all of his prototypes and machines to the Munich Museum, after his initial offer to donate them to the Premier of New South Wales was delayed by the bureaucratic process. Hargrave was an engineer, explorer, astronomer and inventor during the course of his interesting life.
8. The humble notepad was invented in 1902 by J.A. Birchall of Australia. From which little state did this quiet achiever spring?

Answer: Tasmania

Launceston in fact. Mr Birchall was a stationer there and prior to his invention, paper had only ever been supplied in sheets. Birchall came up with the idea of getting a bundle of the standard sized sheets sold at this time, cutting them in half, placing a sheet of cardboard behind them - and then gluing them all together along the top. An excellent example of good old common sense at work. Beautiful little Tasmania, one of our oldest states, is a separate island to the south of the mainland.
9. The world's first feature film was produced in Australia in 1906. What was this film called?

Answer: The Story of the Kelly Gang

This film, which ran for an hour, reenacted the life of Australia's notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly. Eleven minutes of the film still exist today and can be found, along with a copy of the programme giving a synopsis of the film's six scenes, at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

The movie cost just over one thousand pounds to produce back then, and starred Nicholas Brierly, Elizabeth Tait and John Tait. The Australian film industry, which began with such promise, slumped badly as a result of the First World War and subsequent world wide depression.

It was years before it finally got under way again.
10. In 1905, the world's first surf life-saving reel was invented for use by lifeguards at beaches. On which of our well known beaches was this device first demonstrated?

Answer: Bondi

Though Australia could be said to be surrounded by one giant beach, Bondi Beach, located in Sydney, has always been THE beach as far as Australians are concerned. The Surf Lifesaving Association of Australia patrols as many of these beaches as possible year after year to protect some of our more foolhardy swimmers, and many lives have been saved as a result.

This was established in 1907, not long after the invention of the surf life-saving reel by Bondi surfer Lester Ormsby, when several Sydney surf lifesaving clubs banded together into the one organisation.

The surf life-saving reel was such a simple idea, yet so many lives have continued because of it.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Exit10 before going online.
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