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Five questions about British inventors – Quick Quiz

Crazed alchemist clutches a flask of a mysterious potionMost of us would be able to match an inventor’s name with the associated invention. But these people didn’t just invent, they also got up to some interesting things in their spare time. It’s a tough quiz and we’d be surprised if you get a high score. But we’re sure you’ll find it interesting – and you might even learn something. Have fun!

  1. John Napier (1550-1617), a Scottish landowner, mathematician, physicist and astronomer, is credited with the invention of logarithms. He was also said to be a magician who dabbled in alchemy and necromancy. What creature was said to have been his travelling companion?
  2. Alexander Wood (1817-1884) invented the first true hypodermic syringe. What creature did he use as a model to develop this invention? For a bonus point, can you name the first, and exclusive, use for which this invention was used?
  3. Humphry Davy (1778-1829), inventor of the Davy lamp among other things, during the course of his work became addicted to what amusing substance?
  4. Percy Shaw (1890-1976), inventor of the cat’s eye road safety innovation, became eccentric in his later years. He removed carpets and furniture from his home, but what appliance did he have in excess (compared to what might be considered usual at the time)?
  5. Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is considered by many to be the “father of the computer”. As well as his amazing achievements in computer science, he was also famous for his campaigns against public nuisances. Can you name the nuisances he was particularly vociferous about?

Check your answers here!

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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