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History of Technology


  1. A loop frame with a flat base is said to be one of the most significant inventions in the history of warfare, prior to gunpowder. What is it?
  2. What are the Four Great Inventions from ancient China that are celebrated in Chinese culture for their historical significance?
  3. The Domesday Book recorded 5,624 what in Britain in 1086? That worked out at about one per thirty families.
  4. Historians suggest that it was Leonardo da Vinci’s fascination with flight that inspired him to design which instrument for measuring the speed of wind?
  5. A material similar to thick paper was used in ancient Egypt as a writing surface, it was made from the pith of which plant?

  6. What early vehicles were known as "boneshakers"?
  7. In 1473 who was the first man ever to print a book in the English language?
  8. In the early 1990s, Linus Torvalds created the first version of which collaboratively written computer operating system?
  9. On December 23, 1947, Bell Labs engineers William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain gave the first public demonstration of which electrical component?
  10. What name was given to the spinning machine patented in 1779 by Samuel Crompton which produced a higher quality thread than the spinning jenny?
  11. On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first airplane flight near which town in North Carolina?
  12. What term was coined by Jeremy Thacker of Yorkshire in 1714, referring to his invention of a clock in a vacuum chamber?
  13. After many years of unsuccessful experimenting, in 1839 Charles Goodyear perfected a durable form of what product?
  14. What was the name of Stephenson's early steam locomotive that won the Rainhill Trials of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829?
  15. Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco is famous for inventing which musical instrument?
  16. English potter Josiah Wedgwood was elected to the Royal Society in 1783 for the development of which device to measure extremely high temperatures?
  17. The LG Prada was the first mobile phone with the first capacitive what?
  18. What was the name of the metal sphere that the Soviet Union launched into space on October 4, 1957?
  19. Who in 1901 reported his transmission of the letter S in Morse code across the Atlantic to Newfoundland from Cornwall?
  20. Opened in 1781, the first major cast iron bridge in the world was built across which river?
  21. What layout was devised and created in the early 1870s by American newspaper editor and printer Christopher Sholes?
  22. What was the name of the world's first nuclear power station to provide electricity to a public grid on a commercial scale?
  23. In 1938, Roy Plunkett accidentally invented which nonstick plastic coating?
  24. Fujio Masuoka is a Japanese engineer who is best known as the inventor of what type of storage in the 1980s?
  25. Which bank issued the first UK credit card in 1966?


  1. Stirrup
  2. Compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing
  3. Water mills
  4. Anemometer
  5. Papyrus plant
  6. Bicycles
  7. William Caxton
  8. Linux
  9. Transistor
  10. The spinning mule
  11. Kitty Hawk
  12. Chronometer
  13. Rubber (vulcanized rubber)
  14. Rocket
  15. Piano
  16. Pyrometer
  17. Touchscreen (capacitive means a touchscreen that works by sensing when something that conducts electricity, for example a fingertip, is in contact with the screen.)
  18. Sputnik 1 (the first artificial satellite)
  19. Guglielmo Marconi

  20. River Severn
  21. The QWERTY layout on a keyboard
  22. Calder Hall (in Cumbria, England) (officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1956)
  23. Teflon
  24. Flash Memory
  25. Barclays