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Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Quiz
by Staff
As if being a Founding Father weren't enough to keep him busy, Benjamin Franklin also invented an astounding number of things, many of which are still used today. How much do you know about the many inventions of Benjamin Franklin?

Why did Franklin invent an extendable device for reaching and grabbing things?

  • He was only 4 1/2 (137 centimeters) feet tall.
  • He wanted to reach his library books.
  • So his wife could reach things in the pantry.

What was the device called?

  • the Claw
  • the Nifty Nabber
  • the Long Arm

Franklin developed an odometer. How many revolutions of a carriage wheel equaled 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)?

  • 400 revolutions
  • 800 revolutions
  • 1,200 revolutions

Franklin used the odometer to measure the distance between …

  • his houses
  • post offices
  • state capitals

Franklin's devotion to swimming and his invention of this device earned him a spot in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

  • goggles
  • snorkel
  • swim paddles

Franklin obviously didn't invent electricity, but he proved this fact, which paved the way for countless electrical inventions.

  • Electricity is not man-made.
  • Lightning comes from the clouds.
  • Lightning and electricity are the same.

What did Franklin use for his famous experiment to prove this theory?

  • a kite and key
  • an iron needle and metal sphere
  • a set of bellows and a match

This invention of Franklin's dramatically decreased losses by fire all over the globe.

  • fire hose
  • fire engine
  • lightning rod

What was the main difference between Franklin's lightning rod and other rods?

  • Franklin's was twice as long.
  • Franklin's had a pointed tip.
  • Franklin's had a blunt tip.

This invention was Franklin's lasting contribution to the field of optometry.

  • bifocals
  • contact lenses
  • the optometric magnifying glass

Which eye condition was Franklin's inspiration for his invention of bifocals?

  • near-sightedness
  • presbyopia
  • astigmatism

Franklin devised a new phonetic alphabet that would do away with the letters C, J, W, Y, Q and …

  • Z
  • K
  • X

This was Franklin's first invention.

  • swim paddles
  • the Long Arm
  • bifocals

How old was he when he came up with the paddles?

  • 11 years old
  • 18 years old
  • 25 years old

In which river did he swim when he was a boy?

  • Charles River
  • Hudson River
  • Connecticut River

Why did Franklin decide that the paddles actually weren't that great after all?

  • They got moldy after awhile.
  • They weighed him down.
  • They hurt.

In 1741, Franklin invented what is now known as the Franklin stove. What was Franklin's original name for it?

  • the Rumford fireplace
  • the Merrimack oven
  • the Pennsylvania fireplace

What was so great about the Franklin stove?

  • It didn't require wood.
  • It heated more efficiently than fireplaces.
  • It was much bigger than a fireplace.

Another inventor made drastic improvements to the Franklin stove, but the Franklin name stuck. What might the stove be called today if it had taken the second inventor's name?

  • the Rittenhouse stove
  • the DeAngelis stove
  • the Bookbinder stove

Franklin is credited with inventing political cartooning. Which animal was featured in his first, and most famous, cartoon?

  • a snake
  • a lion
  • a bumblebee

"Join, Or Die" was printed in this newspaper published by Franklin.

  • the Philadelphia News
  • the Pennsylvania Gazette
  • the Boston Observer

Bach and Beethoven composed pieces on this now-obscure instrument that Franklin invented.

  • euphonium
  • chordophone
  • glass armonica

Franklin got the idea for the glass armonica by watching people in England play music with …

  • eye glasses
  • glass eyes
  • wine glasses

Franklin invented a flexible catheter to help his brother, who suffered from …

  • kidney stones
  • urinary incontinence
  • prostate cancer

What was Franklin's catheter made from?

  • wood
  • plastic
  • silver

Franklin devised a major improvement to these public fixtures that made them much more effective.

  • street lamps
  • sewers
  • outhouses

Which of these electrical terms was NOT coined by Franklin?

  • conductor
  • amperes
  • armature
  • battery
  • charge

How many patents did Franklin hold?

  • none
  • five
  • 43

Franklin considered this to be his most important invention.

  • bifocals
  • political cartooning
  • lightning rod

But this, he said, was his favorite invention.

  • swim paddles
  • glass armonica
  • library chair