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Quiz: How well do you know your appliances?
by Staff
There are so many appliances and tools we use today that we take for granted, yet for centuries people went without them. Imagine a world without toilets, refrigerators or computers! Take this quiz to see how much you know about the history of the appliances you couldn't do without.

The astronomer Ptolemy developed the concept of standardized time measurement using which method?

  • dripping water through a small whole
  • placing a slanted object parallel to the axis of the Earth
  • burning a candle in a place with no breeze

In which century was the mechanical clock invented?

  • 12th century
  • 13th century
  • 14th century

Where was the first sewer network created?

  • Mesopotamia
  • Rome
  • Egypt

In the 16th century, Sir John Harington created which luxury item?

  • the modern toilet
  • toilet paper
  • the water closet

Carl von Linden used which method to build the modern refrigerator?

  • building a special insulated box and packing it with ice
  • developing a process that changed gas into liquid
  • using a fan system to blow heat away

Which was the first company to mass-produce refrigerators?

  • Frigidaire
  • GE
  • Kelvinator

What does an agitator have to do with washing clothes?

  • It's the paddles in a tub of water that are manually turned.
  • It's the rendered animal fat used to remove stains.
  • It's the wooden boards that clothes are scrubbed against.

During the final spin, how fast can the drum of a washing machine rotate?

  • 70 mph (112 kph)
  • 80 mph (128 kph)
  • 90 mph (144 kph)

About how long did it take for telephones to progress from switchboard systems to wireless satellite technology?

  • 100 years
  • 150 years
  • 200 years

Who is responsible for the creation of the Internet?

  • American military
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What sort of material did Thomas Edison use to record sound waves in his phonograph?

  • cotton
  • foil
  • wax

How does MP3 recording software evaluate sound?

  • compares decibels at different distances to the recorder
  • through binary code
  • relative to the range of human hearing

Which world event brought the benefits of TV to people's attention?

  • the Japanese surrender in World War II
  • man walking on the moon
  • assassination of Gandhi

How many TV sets are there in the world today?

  • 500 million
  • 1 billion
  • 1.5 billion

Why was the first air conditioner built?

  • to cool a printing plant
  • to cool a town hall
  • to cool a movie theater

What was the brand name of the first home air conditioner?

  • Weathermaker
  • The Breezer
  • Viva Air

What type of waves does a microwave oven use?

  • sound
  • radio
  • ultraviolet

Which food was involved in the accidental discovery that led to the building of the microwave oven?

  • candy bar
  • potato
  • popcorn

What were the dimensions of the computers used by the U.S. Navy in World War II?

  • 10 feet by 8 feet (3 meters by 2.4 meters)
  • 25 feet by 8 feet (7.6 meters by 2.4 meters)
  • 55 feet by 8 feet (16.7 meters by 2.4 meters)

The development of which device enabled computers to become accessible to the public?

  • microprocessor
  • transistor
  • graphical user interface (GUI)