The Amateur Inventors Quiz
They say necessity is the mother of invention, but sometimes the impetus is just a really weird idea. Can you match these amateur inventors to their inventions? Take this quiz to find out.
Which extremely prolific amateur inventor was also known as "the first American"?
- George Washington
- Benjamin Franklin
- Thomas Jefferson
How many patents did Benjamin Franklin hold?
This is NOT a Benjamin Franklin invention.
- swim fins
Franklin designed the first version of this coin.
What did Franklin invent to help when his brother had kidney stones?
The invention of air conditioning is often attributed to Franklin because of his fondness for this activity.
- putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan
- taking ice baths
- opening the windows
Which inventor got his start when he began swimming after being injured in a car accident?
- Nikola Tesla
- Jacques Cousteau
- Bill Gates
What was the name of the underwater house Cousteau developed in the '60s?
How old was Louis Braille when he started developing braille?
This 19th-century inventor was a traveling portrait painter before he came up with his signature creation.
- Thomas Edison
- Samuel Morse
- James Watt
Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the traffic light and military gas mask, got his start by tinkering with this device.
- telegraph machine
- sewing machine
The self-taught Leonardo da Vinci was basically the house inventor for this powerful Italian family.
- the Sforzas
- the Medicis
- the Borgias
Da Vinci's sketch for an armored tank had one fatal flaw that some believe was intentional. What was it?
- It didn't have a steering mechanism.
- The wheels didn't turn.
- The gears didn't work.
Which early movie actress was also an inventor?
- Lillian Gish
- Jean Harlow
- Hedy Lamarr
What's the modern name for the secret communications system?
- spread-spectrum technology
- radio frequency propagation
- amplitude modulation signaling
What was the occupation of Lamarr's co-inventor?
- military engineer
Which inventor was sometimes called the "black Edison"?
- Garrett Morgan
- George Washington Carver
- Granville Woods
Which Marx brothers were also amateur inventors?
- Chico and Harpo
- Gummo and Zeppo
- Groucho and Dummo
Amateur inventor Lonnie G. Johnson had his biggest success with a toy originally called the Power Drencher, now known as the …
- Slip'N Slide
- Super Soaker
- Wet Willie
The 2015 film "Joy" was partly based on the life of inventor Joy Mangano. Which of these choices is NOT a Joy Mangano invention?
- My Little Steamer
- Huggable Hangers
Which '60s movie star held a patent for car bucket seats?
- Omar Sharif
- Steve McQueen
- James Dean
Which famous author held a patent for adjustable garment straps?
- John Steinbeck
- Charles Dickens
- Mark Twain
Who were the two men who claimed to have accidentally (and separately) invented Silly Putty?
- James Wright and Earl Warrick
- Daniel Schreiner and Curtis Joyner
- Brian Higgins and Ole Kirk Christiansen
Which famous guitar player does NOT hold a U.S. patent?
- Eddie Van Halen
- Eric Clapton
After John Landis Mason invented the jar that bears his name, he also came up with a useful improvement to this kitchen item.
- salt shaker
- frying pan
- tea kettle
Inventing was a side gig for Paul Winchell, who patented the first artificial heart. What was his main job?
- marketing executive
What did Paul Brown invent in 1991 that made him $13 million in just four years?
- smart pill
- upside-down squeeze bottle
- computer mouse
Which one-named hunk has an unreleased fat-burning drink?
What was the profession of Sylvan Goldman, who invented the shopping cart?
- automotive engineer
- supermarket owner
Sara Blakely was nearly broke when she came up with this invention, which made her a billionaire.
- Pillow Pets
- the Snuggie