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Quiz about  Greatest British Inventions Part Four
Quiz about  Greatest British Inventions Part Four

Greatest British Inventions: Part Four Quiz


In part four of our series we complete our look at some of the greatest British inventions of the last 250 years.

A multiple-choice quiz by darksplash. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
darksplash
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
403,446
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
282
-
Question 1 of 10
1. Which 1914 invention by the Briton Ernest Swinton was to change the way wars were fought for ever? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In July 1996, a team of scientists and researchers led by the Britons Keith Campbell and Ian Wilmut made a breakthrough in genetics by cloning the first living animal. What was the clone's name? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In 2002, the man who invented a vaccine against smallpox 200 years before was named among "The 100 Greatest Britons of All Time ". Who was he? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What home essential did the Briton Frederick Walton come up with in 1855 that has divided opinions ever since? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. If you cannot strike it first then strike it better may well have been a good motto for the British inventor John Walker. What did he develop in 1826 that improved efforts by others earlier? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Other nations may have claimed him, but Alexander Graham Bell was undisputedly British by birth. Of course he was the first to be granted a patent for the telephone, but what were the locations on either end of the first two-way telephone conversation? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Sir Humphry Davy is the Briton feted for his work in improving safety standards in coal mines. What, though, did he invent in 1807 that would ultimately be an enormous boon to the movie industry? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In the nineteenth century, a new form of transport became available to the masses: the bicycle. What was it that George Cayley invented in 1808 that improved the comfort for cyclists? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What was the raw material used in the world's first factory, started by the Briton John Lombe in 1721? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. What did Richard Arkwright and John Kay develop in 1769 that has been described as "one of the greatest British inventions of all time"? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which 1914 invention by the Briton Ernest Swinton was to change the way wars were fought for ever?

Answer: The tank

By 1914, wars between armies were well developed, but in a fixed pattern. They comprised ranks of soldier standing shooting against each other, sweeping cavalry charges and artillery barrages. Few individual battles lasted very long.

All that changed on the Western Front in Europe when armies soon became bogged down -sometimes literally - in a war of attrition. The emerging era of the machine gun and barbed wire emplacements meant that armies could not move very far, or very fast.

Edward Swinton came up with a weapon that was intended to make a breakthrough. He had seen the muddy wastes of no-man's land and the tiers of barbed in which movement was not easy. His answer was the 'Landship': to use the caterpillar tracks, that had been used by farmers for years, in a bullet-proof vehicle.

In 1917, tanks were first deployed in action. That came in the Battle of Cambrai, and the shock to the German forces was enormous. But their effectiveness was blunted by inefficiency. They were slow and broke down readily. Of the 49 tanks deployed at Cambrai, only about half actually moved in a forward direction.

New tanks were soon built, by both sides, but it is probably fair to say neither really exploited the new weapons. Yes, tanks could cross mud and barbed wire entrenchments, but often they got so far ahead of the infantry that their gains were temporary. Still, they changed warfare and it came to be accepted that tanks were an effective weapon, when used with infantry in close support, each providing cover for individual weaknesses.

It is probably all due to the tank that no war since has been fought the way it was on the Western Front.
2. In July 1996, a team of scientists and researchers led by the Britons Keith Campbell and Ian Wilmut made a breakthrough in genetics by cloning the first living animal. What was the clone's name?

Answer: Dolly

Campbell and Wilmut were part of a research team at the Roslin Institute attached to Edinburgh University and looked at ways of cloning cells.

Without blinding people with the science, they took cells from the udder of a six-year-old sheep and introduced them into eggs donated by other sheep. This resulted in just one live birth, Dolly, in July 1996.

In case you are wondering, the name was chosen in honour of the singer Dolly Parton.
3. In 2002, the man who invented a vaccine against smallpox 200 years before was named among "The 100 Greatest Britons of All Time ". Who was he?

Answer: Edward Jenner

Jenner's invention came about in 1796. Jenner had been apprenticed to a London surgeon at the age of 14. After his medical training he returned to his native Gloucestershire.

At that time, smallpox was rife in the countryside. Jenner was aware of an old maids' tale that milkmaids who contracted cowpox never developed the much more deadly smallpox. He took a sample of cowpox and inserted it into a cut on one arm of a boy called James Phipps. He then established that Phipps was immune to smallpox.

He was widely ridiculed at the time, but it worked and Jenner saved the lives of many more young people. He was to go in to become known as "the father of immunology".
4. What home essential did the Briton Frederick Walton come up with in 1855 that has divided opinions ever since?

Answer: Linoleum

Before Walton got in on the act, our homes had floors of wood, stone, carpet or mud - if you were very poor.

There was another covering, India rubber, but it was very expensive. Walton discovered that solidified linseed oil (linoxyn) could be an alternative. It was also ideal for places where the floor was likely to get wet a lot, such as kitchens and bathrooms, was much cheaper, and could be made with a huge variety of patterns.

Early on it did not wear well. Linoleum could dent or be fractured by high heels or sharp objects. It also faded quickly in sunlight. Lino, as the new material became known, had its heydays in the 1950s and 1960s, but is still manufactured.

Modern Lino has its pros and cons. On the good side is it is eco-friendly, water resistant and stylish, and with good maintenance, can last for 40 years. On the bad side it is high maintenance, not waterproof, can be damaged by pets' claws, is difficult to lay, and is pricy.

* Yes, pedants, there is a difference between water-resistant and waterproof.
5. If you cannot strike it first then strike it better may well have been a good motto for the British inventor John Walker. What did he develop in 1826 that improved efforts by others earlier?

Answer: Friction match

Walker was a chemist, but his long-lasting invention came about quite by accident. He discovered a stick coated with chemicals would burst into flame when scraped across his stone hearth.

The first friction matches were made of cardboard but these were replaced by wooden splints cut by hand. Walker packaged the matches in a cardboard box equipped with a piece of sandpaper for striking.

So far, so good, for Walker, but he resisted entreaties to patent his new idea and it was copied by Samuel Jones of London who launched his own "Lucifers" in 1829, an exact copy of Walkers "Friction Lights".

So far, so bad: both the Walker and Jones matches had a problem, they could be ignited by friction with any object, however unintended. It was not until 1844 that a Swede called Gustav E. Pasch produced the first 'safety matches' which could only be ignited by striking the match head on the side of the box.
6. Other nations may have claimed him, but Alexander Graham Bell was undisputedly British by birth. Of course he was the first to be granted a patent for the telephone, but what were the locations on either end of the first two-way telephone conversation?

Answer: Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, Massachusetts

Setting aside the now famous "Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you" instruction from Bell between two rooms on March 10, 1876, the first real conversation took place some months later.

On October 9, 1876 Bell spoke on a telephone line from his laboratory in Boston to his assistant Thomas Watson, who was two miles away at the Cambridge office of the Walworth Manufacturing Company. We are also setting aside the one-way call between Brantford and Paris, Ontario, in August of that year.

Born Alexander Bell in Edinburgh in 1847, in 1871 he emigrated to teach at the Boston School for the Deaf. He became friends with Thomas A. Watson and they joined forces to try to produce the first means of transmitting voice. History tells us they were in a race against Elisha Gray and beat him by a matter of hours in having a patent application accepted.

Bell went on to have a hand in several other technologies, including the photophone (1880) and the Graphophone (1886). He also helped develop an electrical probe to find bullets in the human body. Going into the 20th Century, Bell was deeply enthusiastic and involved in the new aviation phenomenon.
7. Sir Humphry Davy is the Briton feted for his work in improving safety standards in coal mines. What, though, did he invent in 1807 that would ultimately be an enormous boon to the movie industry?

Answer: Arc lamp

That first lamp created a 100mm arc between two charcoal rods. While there was not much use for it at the time, within 60 years it had been developed into a means of lighting film stages.

The arc lamp went on to be used to light interior shots. It was also used in lighthouses and street lamps.
8. In the nineteenth century, a new form of transport became available to the masses: the bicycle. What was it that George Cayley invented in 1808 that improved the comfort for cyclists?

Answer: Tension spoked wheel

Some early bicycles had wooden wheels - in fact, wooden everything. The rider sat astride his machine and propelled it forward using his feet on the ground. Some later developments got feet off the ground, but only onto pedals that directly turned a wheel - the penny farthing, for example.

Wooden wheels were, as you can imagine, uncomfortable. Cayley came up with the idea of wire spokes held in tension within a metal rim.

Unfortunately for him, he did not patent the idea, but Theodore Jones did in 1826.
9. What was the raw material used in the world's first factory, started by the Briton John Lombe in 1721?

Answer: Silk

The Industrial Revolution took many processes out of the homes of workers and into giant mechanised remises that became known as factories.

Lombe, a textile trader, toured Italy in the early part of the 18th Century looking at their ways of turning silk into finished material. He opened the world's first factory in Derby, England, in 1721. It was a five-storey building housing around 30 machines powered by a water wheel in the adjacent River Derwent.

The Italians were not best pleased. The process of making silk was a closely-guarded secret. Lombe, it is alleged, crept into a workshop late one night and copied down details of the equipment that was being used. Rumour has it that the Italians sent an assassin after him.
10. What did Richard Arkwright and John Kay develop in 1769 that has been described as "one of the greatest British inventions of all time"?

Answer: Spinning frame

Before the spinning frame, the manufacture of clothes through spinning had been a cottage industry. Arkwright and Kay came up with a mechanised way of turning wool or cotton into yarn.

Arkwright put his frame into the first water-powered cotton mill at Cromford, Derbyshire, in 1771. Soon he had factories all over the north of England and became a wealthy man.

The spinning frame itself had a short shelf life, being replaced within a few years by the spinning mule, but, as Encyclopedia Britannica noted: "[Arkwright's] use of power-driven machinery and employment of a factory system of production were perhaps more important than his inventions."

This series of quizzes has been culled from a list of "45 of the Greatest British Inventions of All Time" by interestingengineering.com

Those that did not make the director's cut were:

The Hydraulic Press - George Bramah in 1795
The Halifax Gibbet, the First Guillotine - circa 1280
The First Successful Flight - 1849, using the principles set out by George Cayley
The Hydrogen Cell - William Grove in 1838
The Power Loom - Edmund Cartwright 1774-1775.
Source: Author darksplash

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