How well do you know your inventors and their inventions?
From modern-day creations to accidental inventions to essential inventions that changed the way we live, this inventions trivia quiz will cover some of the best products we know and love.
You’ll encounter some easy questions that you SHOULD already know (ahem, Thomas Edison)… and then some harder questions about lesser-known inventions.
You ready to test your knowledge on who invented what? Call on the part of your brain that holds random facts, challenge your invention knowledge, and get started below. We’ll even give you an easy one to start with.
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Inventions Trivia: Questions On Who Invented What
This game-changing inventor filed 1,093 patents, including those for the electric railways and the movie camera. When he died in 1931, he held 34 patents for the telephone, 141 for batteries, 150 for the telegraph and 389 patents for electric light and power. Who was he?
Answer: Thomas Edison
Venetian blinds were invented in not Italy, but in which Asian country?
Where was the first Apple computer born?
Answer: In Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage in Los Altos, CA. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak worked furiously in that garage assembling computers for fellow students, trying to keep up with demand.
The ____ was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. What was the invention?
Answer: The microwave
Which legendary Italian polymath of the High Renaissance, best known for being a painter, invented the scissors?
Answer: Leonardo Da Vinci
Which inventor, born in 1867 as Sarah Breedlove, formulated a revolutionary hair care treatment for Black women, known as the “Walker Method”?
Answer: Madam C.J. Walker
John Landis Mason invented screw-top salt shakers. What other kitchen staple did he invent?
Answer: Mason jars.
The first ____ was invented in 1869 by an American Baptist minister, Rev. E. Jonathan Scobie, to transport his invalid wife around the streets of Yokohama. What was it?
Who invented the first commercially viable incandescent lightbulb and held over 1,000 U.S. patents for various inventions?
Answer: Thomas Edison
Known for inventing the telephone, this inventor also worked on flying machines and founded Bell Telephone Company. Who is this inventor?
Answer: Alexander Graham Bell
Who created portable refrigeration units essential during World War II and received over 60 patents related to refrigeration technologies?
Answer: Frederick Jones
The creator of Miracle Mop and other innovative products like Rolykit and Huggable Hangers is?
Answer: Joy Mangano
Credited for designing the alternating current electric system, including the first AC hydroelectric power plant and the Tesla coil. Who is this famous inventor?
Answer: Nikola Tesla
Which inventor in the agricultural space experimented with more durable plow designs, leading to the popularization of steel plows?
Answer: John Deere
Referred to as “the father of computing,” this mathematician and inventor laid the groundwork for modern computers. Who is he?
Answer: Charles Babbage. Although he didn’t invent the computer as we know it today, his ideas laid the groundwork for modern computers.
Who is credited with inventing the ironing board, creating a narrower, curved board with padding that could collapse for simple storage?
Answer: Sarah Boone
Inventor of the lasting machine, which revolutionized shoe-making by mechanically attaching the body of a shoe to the sole. Who is this inventor?
Answer: Jan Matzeliger
Accidentally discovering the process of vulcanizing rubber in 1839, which inventor’s name is now associated with a well-known tire company?
Answer: Charles Goodyear
Credited with inventing the world’s first power-driven airplane along with his brother Orville. Who is this aviation pioneer?
Answer: Wilbur Wright
After his brother’s death, this aviation pioneer sold the Wright Company and was considered one of the fathers of modern aviation. Who is he?
Answer: Orville Wright
Creator of the first electronic television, who eventually accepted a deal from RCA to market and sell the invention. Who is this inventor?
Answer: Philo T. Farnsworth
The trademarked name “Baby Ruth” was inspired by which real person?
Answer: President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth (not by Babe Ruth)!
One of the inventors behind Apple Computers, who returned to the company in 1997 and played a crucial role in the development of iPod and iPhone?
Answer: Steve Jobs
Co-founder of Apple Computers, this man personally invented the Apple II computer and worked on technologies like universal remote control. Who is this inventor?
Answer: Steve Wozniak
Inventor known for creating the Super Soaker, originally intended as an environmentally friendly heat pump. Who is the creator of this popular water toy?
Answer: Lonnie Johnson
Inventor of the cotton gin, a device that revolutionized cotton processing. Who is credited with this invention?
Answer: Eli Whitney
True or false: Thomas Edison got a patent for a cigar which was supposed to burn forever.
Which inventor earned $13 million for the upside-down ketchup bottle?
Answer: Paul Brown. He sold his product to everyone from shampoo companies to ketchup companies to NASA.
What was the original intended use of the inventors of Bubble Wrap, before its inventors accidentally created the popular packaging material?
Answer: 3-D plastic wallpaper
Who sold the invention of the chocolate chip cookie to Nestle Toll House in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate?
Answer: Ruth Wakefield
The inventor of petroleum jelly, Robert Chesebrough, claimed health benefits and lived to be 96. What did he do every day?
Answer: Ate a spoonful of petroleum jelly
Why is bubble gum pink, according to Walter E. Diemer, the inventor of bubble gum?
Answer: It was his favorite color and the only dye he had on hand
Who, initially Nintendo’s janitor, became the inventor of the Game Boy and started his career after the president of the company noticed a toy he created out of boredom?
Answer: Gunpei Yokoi
Which auto company invented the three-point seat belt and generously gave free licenses to all other auto manufacturers to use it?
Who, known as the inventor of basketball, is also the only head coach in University of Kansas basketball history with a losing career record?
Answer: James Naismith
Which Founding Father invented the swivel chair and used it while writing much of the Declaration of Independence?
Answer: Thomas Jefferson
Frederick Graff Sr. is credited with inventing the post-type fire hydrant around 1801. What ironically happened to the records of his patent?
Answer: Destroyed in a fire at the patent office in 1836
Who made the first mobile phone call in 1973, and where did he work as an inventor?
Answer: Martin Cooper, former Motorola inventor
In 2012, a 10-year-old accidentally created a new molecule in science class. What is the name of the molecule?
Famous for the design of the revolving chamber pistol and the Colt revolver, which inventor revolutionized weaponry?
Answer: Samuel Colt
Inventor of the ultraviolet camera and image converter used during the Apollo 16 mission. Who is known for proving the existence of molecular hydrogen in interstellar space?
Answer: George Carruthers
Famous for creating a wire precision resistor used in radios and televisions, this inventor also worked on the pacemaker’s control unit. Who is he?
Answer: Otis Boykin
Inventor of the Kodak camera, who played a significant role in making photography more accessible to the public?
Answer: George Eastman
Instrumental in the development of the telephone and electric transit systems, this inventor created a telephone transmitter purchased by Alexander Graham Bell. Who is he?
Answer: Granville T. Woods
This inventor revolutionized communication by creating the raised-dot codes known as Braille. Who is credited with this invention?
Answer: Louis Braille
A physicist is known for inventing the first effective systems of radio communication, including sending the first wireless message across the Atlantic Ocean. Who is this inventor?
Answer: Guglielmo Marconi
This inventor is credited with creating the electret microphone, used in 90 percent of all microphones. Who is this inventor?
Answer: James West
Known for his work on the mechanical television, this inventor transmitted the first television transmission across the ocean. Who is he?
Answer: John Logie Baird
This high-tech inventor of the first home video game system with interchangeable games changed the landscape of gaming. Who is this video game pioneer?
Answer: Jerry Lawson
Notable for building hotels like the Waldorf-Astoria, this inventor designed a bicycle brake and an improved turbine engine. Who is he?
Answer: John Jacob Astor IV
This man was inspired to start the Nobel Prize when he read his own obituary in a newspaper that ran it by mistake. Who was he?
Answer: Alfred Nobel. Nobel didn’t like the headline, “The Merchant of Death is Dead,” a reference to the fact that he invented dynamite, so he created a new legacy for himself.
This man is famous for agricultural inventions and for being one of the first Black Americans to receive a U.S. patent. Who is this inventor?
Answer: Henry Blair
This inventor and businessman was known for introducing the Model T and launching the first moving assembly line in car manufacturing. Who is he?
Answer: Henry Ford
This Belgian inventor created the first workable internal combustion engine, powering the automobile revolution. Who is he?
Answer: Étienne Lenoir
In addition to his environmental advocacy, John Muir was also an inventor. Which was NOT one of his early inventions?
- a) Horse feeder
- b) Trekking poles
- c) Wooden thermometer
- d) A device to push a person out of bed
Answer: Trekking poles
This African-American inventor patented a traffic light design with three signals for “stop”, “caution”, and “go” positioned vertically rather than horizontally. Who is she?
Answer: Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner
Earl Tupper and Brownie Wise are best known for which invention?
African-American inventor Marie Van Brittan Brown contributed to a safer society with her invention of what?
Answer: The first home security system
This scientist was experimenting with chemicals and accidentally spilled some on a hot plate, creating Teflon. Who is he?
Answer: Roy Plunkett
This scientist was trying to develop a new refrigerant but instead created the popular foam material known as Styrofoam. What’s his name?
Answer: Ray McIntire
A man wanted an item his wife could easily apply herself, so he took two of his company’s early products—adhesive tape and gauze—and combined them by laying out a long piece of surgical tape, and then placing a strip of gauze down the middle. What did he create?
Answer: The Band-Aid
John Harvey Kellogg and W.K. Kellogg invented what popular breakfast cereal while running a medical facility called the Battle Creek Sanitarium?
Answer: Corn Flakes
Which famous aviator and inventor was a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium?
Answer: Amelia Earhart
Who invented the telegraph, Morse code, and also ran for political office with an anti-immigrant slogan?
Answer: Samuel Morse
Who invented the popular video game Tetris in 1984?
Answer: Alexey Pajitnov
Who is inventor Yoshira Nakamatsu and what is he best known for?
Answer: An eccentric inventor with more than 3350 patents to his name. He claims to have invented things like the floppy disc, jumping shoes, a toilet seat-lifter, a self-defense wig that could be swung at attackers, and a musical golf putter.
What two household appliances did inventor Margaret A. Wilcox patent designs for in 1893?
Answer: A car heater and a washing machine that would wash both clothes and dishes
What everyday item did inventor Floyd Paxton create after needing to reseal a bag of snacks on an airplane?
Answer: The bread clip
Who invented the Richter Scale in 1935 to measure the intensity of earthquakes?
Answer: Charles Richter
Which English chemist did not patent matches because he felt they should be public property?
Answer: John Walker
In what country was the bicycle invented in 1791?
Which famous inventor never patented any of his inventions because he wanted to serve others?
Answer: Benjamin Franklin
In what country and year was the Zeppelin invented?
Answer: Germany, 1900
What was used to fasten shoes before shoe strings were invented in England in 1790?
What was the original name for the Internet?
Who invented potato chips and when?
Answer: George Crum, 1853
In what year were plastic bottles first used for soft drinks?
Best Trivia Games of 2024
Can’t get enough of the trivia goodness? Neither can we. If you’re looking for trivia games to play with friends/family, here are our favorite trivia board games on the market this year!
Ultimate Pub Trivia
1,100 questions covering 6 different categories
Host your own pub-style trivia nights
4 or more players | Ages 12 and up
Anomia Party Edition
A very popular card game for families, teens and adults!
Fast-paced friendly competition and laugh-til-you cry kind of fun
3-6 players | Ages 10+
…I should have known that! Trivia Game
110 cards with 400+ questions
Instead of points for answering questions right, points are subtracted for every wrong answer
Players 2+ | Ages 14+