Quiz: Quiz: How well do you know your appliances?: HowStuffWorks
Quiz: How well do you know your appliances?
4 Min Quiz
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About This Quiz
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 and burning candles were once used to gauge the passing of short lengths of time; placing a slanted object parallel to the Earth's axis solved the problem of the changing length of day.
In which century was the mechanical clock invented?
The mechanical clock was created in the 14th century, although it's not known who invented it.
Where was the first sewer network created?
Elements of a plumbing system can be traced to around 2,500 B.C. in Mesopotamia, but the Romans developed a system of outhouses strategically placed over sewers with running water.
In the 16th century, Sir John Harington created which luxury item?
Sir John Harington invented the water closet, which used indoor plumbing and gravity to dispose of human waste. Toilet paper and the modern toilet were created in the 1880s.
Carl von Linden used which method to build the modern refrigerator?
Carl von Linden found a way to change a gas into a liquid. The important aspect of this process was that it absorbed heat. This is the method upon which our refrigerators work today.
Which was the first company to mass-produce refrigerators?
In 1923, Frigidaire began mass-producing a self-contained refrigerator, although the first refrigerator built for preserving food was made in 1911.
What does an agitator have to do with washing clothes?
In the first forms of washing machines, agitators were manually turned wooden paddles that churned the wash water and thereby released dirt from clothes. Wooden scrubbing boards and rendered animal fats were used in earlier times, but that method was back-breaking and inefficient.
During the final spin, how fast can the drum of a washing machine rotate?
The drum of a washing machine can rotate at speeds of about 80 mph (128 kph)!
About how long did it take for telephones to progress from switchboard systems to wireless satellite technology?
It took a little more than 100 years for us to go from all calls by switchboards to the point that in the second half of 2007, 16 percent of Americans exclusively used cell phones!
Who is responsible for the creation of the Internet?
The Internet came about in the 1960s when the American military had the Advanced Research Projects Agency design a system that could link four important computers in the case of a nuclear attack.
What sort of material did Thomas Edison use to record sound waves in his phonograph?
Edison used a stylus with a piece of tin foil wrapped around a cylinder to record and play back sound waves.
How does MP3 recording software evaluate sound?
The evaluation method used by MP3 recording software is relative to the range of human hearing, while a digital recording system uses binary code.
Which world event brought the benefits of TV to people's attention?
People were able to feel the reality and intensity of current events when the Japanese surrender that ended World War II was broadcast on TV.
How many TV sets are there in the world today?
Today there are more than 1.5 billion TV sets throughout the world, and the number continues to increase.
Why was the first air conditioner built?
The first air conditioner was built to cool and to remove some of the humidity in a printing plant.
What was the brand name of the first home air conditioner?
Willis Carrier invented the first air conditioner in 1902 and released his first home brand in 1928, the Weathermaker.
What type of waves does a microwave oven use?
Although the name is misleading, microwave ovens actually use high-energy, short radio waves that cook faster and more evenly by agitating water molecules in food.
Which food was involved in the accidental discovery that led to the building of the microwave oven?
A candy bar was the innocent victim that led to the microwave oven, when Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer accidentally melted it with radio waves.
What were the dimensions of the computers used by the U.S. Navy in World War II?
The MARK 1 computer, used by the Navy in World War II, was a whopping 55 feet (16.7 meters) long and 8 feet (2.4 meters) high. It was impractical due to its size, its costs to run and the extreme heat it produced.
The development of which device enabled computers to become accessible to the public?
Transistors did help to decrease the size of computers, but it was the creation of the microprocessor that made computers accessible to the general public. Graphical user interface (GUI) was a later refinement.
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