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American Inventions #1

Based on the clues, name these things that were invented in the United States.
Last updated: September 12, 2018
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Clue
Answer
Edison's most famous invention
Lightbulb
Wright Brothers' contribution to the world
Airplane
Modern computer chips have more
than a billion of these
Transistor
Made rock & roll possible
Electric Guitar
The deadliest weapon ever used
Atomic Bomb
Synthetic fabric beloved by cyclists
Spandex
Protects a building from lightning strikes
Lightning Rod
When someone builds a better one
the world will beat a path to their door
Mousetrap
A hard plastic way to ruin
yourself financially
Credit Card
Faster way to heat your food
Microwave
Shoots a concentrated beam of light
Laser
Clue
Answer
What makes Miami inhabitable
Air Conditioning
Cheap way to fence your ranch
Barbed Wire
Keeps you warm in cold water
Wetsuit
Super-efficient light source
Light-emitting Diode
Tuba for marching bands
Sousaphone
Flying saucer found at parks?
Frisbee
Doctors using it yell "CLEAR!"
Defibrillator
Non-stick substance
Teflon
Way to avoid walking up stairs
Escalator
Combines reading glasses and
regular glasses
Bifocals
Standing conveyance used by
police and tourists
Segway
+2
level 70
May 9, 2014
Would you consider accepting Lycra for spandex? Yes, it's a brand name but like Kleenex or Band-aid pretty much synonymous with spandex.
+1
level ∞
May 12, 2014
Okay
+4
level 55
May 15, 2014
I couldn't figure out what makes Miami inhabitable because guns, marijuana, and alcohol weren't invented in the US.
+3
level 75
May 15, 2014
Am I the only one who wrote Mojito?
+1
level 55
May 28, 2014
That was misleading - why Miami in particular? I put Art Deco!
+1
level 49
Jan 21, 2015
my first guess was.. LMAO DDT ..
+1
level 71
Jul 27, 2015
I tried sunglasses
+1
level 15
Oct 23, 2018
yeah same with los angeles, phoenix, texas, new orleans, thennessee, south carolina, albuquerque, etc....
+1
level 75
May 15, 2014
Segway but no Internet?
+7
level ∞
May 15, 2014
This quiz is strictly about the important inventions.
+6
level 75
May 15, 2014
well in that case you missed velcro, Post-Its, and the Snuggie.
+1
level 36
May 15, 2014
You don;t think the internet is important yet mousetrap and a frisbie are? Try updating your quiz on a frisbie!
+1
level 65
May 15, 2014
If it weren't for the internet, we wouldn't be taking this quiz.
+6
level 22
May 15, 2014
He's being sarcastic relax
+3
level 56
Oct 23, 2018
You left out Pop Rocks, Poptarts, and Jiffy Pop. Basically all the significant Pops.
+1
level 75
Oct 24, 2018
Push pops, blow pops, and tootsie pops?
+1
level 45
Apr 10, 2019
I feel like everyone on this website is as dense as a cinderblock
+3
level 27
Jul 1, 2015
England invented both the World Wide Web and the internet
+6
level 75
Sep 25, 2017
There isn't even a single part of that sentence that's accurate.
+2
level 51
Oct 23, 2018
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web
+3
level 75
Oct 24, 2018
Hoofar, thanks for backing me up. That page helps verify that there is, in fact, not a single part of the above sentence that is true.
+2
level 75
Oct 24, 2018
Selections from the article:

"Not to be confused with the Internet."

"in 1990 while employed at CERN in Switzerland"
+2
level 46
Oct 24, 2018
CERN is not in the US...
+1
level 75
Nov 26, 2018
That's true. It's also not in England. And they also didn't invent the Internet.
+1
level 20
Jan 5, 2019
CERN didn't invent the internet, DARPA did. The World Wide Web is something different.
+2
level 71
May 15, 2014
Sousaphone? Nice! Technically, a defibrillator regulates the heart beat, it doesn't restart the heart if it stops altogether, but most people think it does so the clue's a good 'un, I'm just being pedantic.
+1
level 49
Jan 21, 2015
from my knowledge which isn't tons, defibrillator check to see if their is a heartbeat and if the heart is "defibrillating" IE not beating properly it will shock the heart to a regular heartbeat. If there is no heartbeat i dont know what they do.
+1
level 72
Oct 26, 2018
Probably note the time of death
+5
level 48
May 15, 2014
I thought inhabitable meant that people couldn't live there. It's confusing that habitable and inhabitable mean the same thing...
+2
level 69
May 15, 2014
Just like flammable and inflammable.
+2
level 47
Apr 16, 2015
Or valuable and invaluable
+2
level 76
Oct 14, 2015
The worst thing is when you're reading French and inhabitable actually means uninhabitable.
+1
level 49
May 15, 2014
Defibulators DO NOT restart hearts! They stop erratic heart beats, if you used one on someone who's heart has stopped, congratulations Dr. Frankestein, you just electrocuted a corpse.
+1
level ∞
May 15, 2014
Haha. Good to know. I changed the clue.
+1
level 49
Jan 21, 2015
more like shocked. duh
+1
level 44
May 15, 2014
Surely accept "plane" or "aeroplane" for The Wright Brothers?
+1
level ∞
May 15, 2014
Those will work now.
+3
level 63
May 15, 2014
The Wright Brothers didn't 'invent' the airplane/aeroplane. They demonstrated the first, manned, powered flight with a heavier than air vehicle. The aeroplane they designed and used for that flight was an evolution of their own, and others', experiments with gliders and previous unsuccessful powered aeroplanes. Don't forget, gliders are also aeroplanes, just unpowered ones. The work they did to lead to the successful first flight in 1903 was fantastic but the airplane/aeroplane wasn't 'invented' at that point.
+3
level 69
May 15, 2014
So what was your answer to the question?
+2
level 70
May 15, 2014
I knew this was coming when I saw the name of the quiz.
+3
level 75
May 16, 2014
Since airplanes are often not considered airplanes unless they are powered (otherwise they are gliders), and the Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight, they are usually given credit for inventing the airplane. Yes, a glider includes a plane that is designed to move through the air but colloquially it's not the same thing.
+1
level 62
Jan 6, 2015
Clément Ader is the first man to constructed the first flying machine in 1886, the "Éole".
+1
level 47
Apr 16, 2015
Ahh the good ol' Steampunk Era. Gotta love it.
+2
level ∞
Oct 25, 2018
Comparing anything that came before to what the Wright Brothers invented is just silly. I like this anecdote from Wikipedia:

Facing much skepticism in the French aeronautical community and outright scorn by some newspapers that called him a "bluffeur", Wilbur began official public demonstrations on August 8, 1908, at the Hunaudières horse racing track near the town of Le Mans, France. His first flight lasted only one minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them Louis Blériot.

+3
level 64
May 15, 2014
I don't get the clue for mousetrap...?
+1
level 76
May 15, 2014
Yeah me neither
+2
level 77
May 15, 2014
It's a common saying, at least in the US. "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door." More generally, it's meant to convey that you'll become very successful when you find ways to do everyday things in a better way.
+1
level 64
May 15, 2014
Ahh, makes sense. Thanks! :)
+2
level 64
Nov 19, 2016
I've never heard it, and I've lived in the U.S. my entire life. Maybe it's regional?
+2
level 58
Oct 23, 2018
It's not regional; it's just a little dated by now. You'll more frequently hear people allude to it than to say the whole phrase. A lot of business people say they're "trying to build a better mouse trap" as a euphemism for saying they are just trying to make a common process more efficient.
+1
level 69
Oct 23, 2018
I heard the phrase in The Mummy Returns (at least the build a better mousetrap part) and never understood why it was said. This makes sense.
+1
level 57
May 15, 2014
Can you accept "lightning conductor" for lightning rod please?
+1
level ∞
May 16, 2014
Okay
+1
level 22
May 15, 2014
I kept trying AED because I couldn't remember what it stood for :P
+1
level 44
May 15, 2014
I did the same. AED should be accepted...
+1
level ∞
May 16, 2014
Okay, AED will work for defibrillator now.
+1
level 75
Jun 20, 2018
Except that the AED was invented in Northern Ireland. These are two different inventions, not synonyms. The AED is an Automated External Defibrillator.
+1
level 75
Oct 23, 2018
I wouldn't say they are two different inventions, but rather Pantridge improved the device by making it portable (and easier to use by laypeople.) Since one sees them everywhere now in the US, people tend to think they are all the same thing even though AEDs are only one specific type of defibrillator. Everyone should take a CPR class and learn to use them, since they can improve the chances of someone surviving a heart attack from 10% to as much as 50%.
+2
level 52
Oct 17, 2016
Pedantic, but an AED is different from a defibrillator. And AED monitors the heartbeat and, if required, administers a shock, while the defibrillator just does the shocking part.
+1
level 55
May 15, 2014
Would you be willing to accept diving suit or scuba suit for wetsuit?
+1
level 49
Jan 21, 2015
I used dry suit and it took it because a dry suit is designed to keep you warm in really cold water , a wetsuit traps cool water which gets warmed by body heat to provide insulation :) glad it took it.. wetsuit was my next guess if it didnt work :)
+1
level 44
May 17, 2014
I don't understand why democracy isn't one of the answers. I'm pretty sure that that is this country's greatest invention.
+4
level 75
May 21, 2014
Not sure if this was trolling or not, but democracy wasn't invented in the US. The USA has the oldest still-in-use Constitution in the world. You could say they were a pioneer of Constitutional Democracy or Republic. Maybe say they invented "Jeffersonian Democracy." They were by some measures the first nation in the world founded on secular and liberal principles. They were among the first in the world to practice universal suffrage. And they're among the oldest democratic countries in the world today with an unbroken line of more-or-less stable governance back to its inception. But... they didn't come up with the idea of democracy. Credit for that is usually given to the Athenians though I think in actuality it was first practiced in India or some city states around the Middle East.
+5
level 71
Jun 12, 2014
All good points, except for the universal suffrage thing. The USA was a long way behind the pioneers (31 years behind New Zealand) and then it effectively abolished universal suffrage when it allowed some states to withdraw the right to vote from black people. It only granted universal suffrage again in (amazingly) 1965.
+3
level 49
Jan 21, 2015
sadly even today USA suffers from racism and lacks equality for voters. In many states now they are trying to force photo ids on voters. This disenfranchises the poor and elderly. (mostly by requirements for drivers licenses instead of other forms of ID which were fine for many years, its another poll tax)
+4
level 49
Apr 12, 2017
Actually it's pretty hard to get an ID especially if you are poor. For instance I am unable to walk any distance at all due to a back injury. For me to get an ID it's fifty dollars but first I somehow have to get all the way across town to get my birth certificate which cost more money. Then I have to go to another place on the other side of town to get my social security card. Then I have to get proof of residency and go back to DMV and pay the fifty dollars for the ID. They mail it to you in a few weeks and if you didn't have an address I'm not sure how'd you get one. I don't have three days and about 100 dollars (gas ,fees,and rides) to wrap up in getting an ID not to mention with my back I can't even see how I could do it. Also if my husband doesn't work we don't eat so if he has to take me.... I have my expired license and a copy of my birth certificate, you'd think that was enough. Things that are easy for "normal" people are very difficult for the poor and disableD.
+1
level 75
Sep 25, 2017
Wombat: first, I didn't say it was first to universal suffrage I said it was among the first. And it was. New Zealand was first to the party, yes, but it was a pretty lonely party then (1893). Finland wouldn't grant universal suffrage until 13 years later, and it would be 20 years before the number of countries with universal suffrage jumped up to 3 (including Norway). From 1915-1920 7 other nations adopted universal suffrage, including the United States, making them among the first 10 worldwide. I'm not counting Australia or Canada since they both denied voting rights to indigenous people, legally and officially, until the 1960s. Jim Crow practices in the South to attempt to suppress voter turnout and prop up racial hierarchies there were never a practice of the federal government and were always illegal and unconstitutional. It took a few decades of hard fought battles in the Supreme Court and Congress to put an end to all that, but it's not the same thing.
+1
level 75
Sep 25, 2017
I'm not sure what you think happened in 1965 but you're probably referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which did not grant anybody suffrage, but rather explicitly outlawed discrimination on several different bases. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted in 1870 giving "blacks" the right to vote in the United States. Something Aborigines in Australia did not have until 1962, by law not by local racist and unconstitutional practice.
+1
level 75
Sep 25, 2017
Paco: it's hard to qualify this statement now as the social 'justice' and black lives matter and intersectional feminist movements, as well as the reactionary forces that have developed in opposition to each, have worked hard to set race relations back generations... but up until at least 2010 or so I'd say the United States was probably the least racist country on Earth. Certainly less racist than the other 60 countries I have visited, anyway. Maybe I missed out on visiting the one place in the world that was less racist.

But yes certain political forces/parties understand that their voters are not in the majority and have been cynically working to reduce voter turnout for decades for this reason. Voter ID laws, voter fraud hysteria, etc are all obviously designed to that end and when speaking candidly the politicians who endorse such things will admit that this is exactly what it's about. Nobody said that once granted power you wouldn't have to fight to keep it.
+2
level 75
Sep 25, 2017
Even if getting an ID was very easy the simple fact remains that taking away someone's right to vote based on whether or not they have a valid photo ID is going to disproportionately effect certain people and everyone knows this. That is actually the point. Most Americans do not have a valid passport or national ID card so the default ID for them is their driver's license. Who is less likely to have a driver's license? 1. the young who haven't gotten around to getting one yet (and who overwhelmingly vote Democrat), 2. urban dwellers who rely on public transportation (and who overwhelmingly vote Democrat), 3. the elderly who have had their IDs expire (skew slightly Republican in most areas, but not in some important swing states where their numbers are enough to decide an election), and 4. the poor (who are actually pretty evenly split between Republican and Democratic voters, but the states where poor Republicans vote in large numbers are solidly red and it doesn't much matter)
+1
level 75
Nov 26, 2018
someone else was commenting here trying to say that Republican efforts to suppress votes from minorities was the same thing as Australia legally prohibiting aborigines from voting until the 60s, and that you couldn't have true democracy in a racist country like the United States, or something to that effect.
That user appears to have been purged; I'm going to leave up my replies.
+1
level 35
May 19, 2014
This is the one I liked best: "A hard plastic way to ruin yourself financially - Credit Card"!
+2
level 43
Apr 8, 2015
Edison didn't invent the lightbulb, look it up. He improved it. And the quiz doesn't even take "incandescant lightbulb" for an answer.
+2
level ∞
Apr 9, 2015
Almost no one really invented anything. Like Newton said: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".
+1
level 74
Apr 10, 2015
And King Solomon said "Nothing is really new under the sun." By the way, isn't the flying disc spelled Frisbee?
+1
level ∞
Apr 11, 2015
Right you are. I fixed the spelling.
+1
level 61
Oct 23, 2018
You are correct, Edison bought the patent from a British inventor called Swan.
+2
level 19
Apr 16, 2015
Lightbulb ? Thomas Edison ? Nope !! Check out "Heinrich Goebel" who had a lightbulb running for 400 hours, far before Edison. Already 25 years before Edison's "invention", Goebel had his first successful tests ......
+1
level 35
Dec 28, 2015
Many of these answers are wrong or incomplete. For example; Thomas Crapper is commonly credited with inventing the flushing toilet, however he only invented an improvement that simplified the process.
+1
level 54
Oct 23, 2018
Oh wow....is that why they call it the crapper? Who would have thought it!!
+1
level 47
Oct 24, 2018
Nope, just a coincidence. The term "Crap" was around much longer.
+1
level 37
Feb 28, 2016
Shoudnt that be What makes Miami Habitable not inhabitable
+1
level 73
Oct 23, 2018
in·hab·it·a·ble - /inˈhabədəb(ə)l adjective suitable to live in; habitable.
+2
level 59
Apr 1, 2016
Powered flight ought to be accepted for the wright brother's invention
+1
level 28
Jun 12, 2016
The hint for mousetrap was too vague. Also I answered scuba gear for wetsuit, I think that should count.
+1
level 75
Oct 23, 2018
The mousetrap phrase is a well-known adage by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 19th-century American poet and transcendentalist.
+1
level 76
Oct 17, 2016
Even tough I still got it, I think Neoprene should be acceptable for "Keeps you warm in cold water". It was invented in the US and is the basis of the wet suit and many other things like waterproof gloves, fishing waders etc. that make cold wet conditions tolerable.
+1
level 47
Oct 17, 2016
I kept trying "Cuban" or "Cubano sandwich" for the Miami question. Am I right?
+2
level 73
Nov 3, 2017
Let's be fair, America is just an extension of europe, so technically they're all European inventions ;) x
+1
level 75
Nov 26, 2018
They're not European. But you could group them in with achievements made by Western Civilization.

Could have thrown on some pre-Columbian Native American inventions, maybe... lacrosse, baby bottles, bunk beds?
+2
level 64
Dec 4, 2017
What makes Miami inhabitable??? This was a questionably phrased clue.
+1
level 23
May 10, 2018
Can Vari-focal be accepted as well as bifocal?
+1
level 54
Oct 23, 2018
'Bifocal' isn't even accepted. I got it wrong cos it only accepts 'bifocals'. Didn't realize this and instead tried 'bifocal lenses'.
+3
level 77
May 29, 2018
Controversies I expected to find and found in the comments: Edison didn't invent the lightbulb, Wright brothers didn't invent the airplane, rock and roll clue could be a lot of things (jazz, etc.)

Controversies I expected to find but did not find in the comments: Why no South American inventions?

Controversies I did not expect to find but found in the comments: People not knowing what inhabitable means.
+1
level 70
Oct 23, 2018
Don't forget US is amazing vs US is horrible
+1
level 68
Jul 5, 2018
Maybe accept nuke for atomic bomb?
+2
level 52
Oct 7, 2018
not sure if this has been raised, but why not elevator for a way of avoiding climbing stairs?
+1
level 75
Oct 23, 2018
Seems logical as the first elevator was put in use in New York City.
+1
level 65
Oct 23, 2018
Why not accept Bifocal glasses
+1
level 59
Oct 23, 2018
Most of these were good, but I had a problem with two of the questions. There are many things that were invented in the U.S. that made rock and roll possible. The other one I thought of was jazz or blues, which were invented in the U.S. and without which, rock and roll as we know it would not exist. The second question I had a problem with was the Miami one. I was trying to think of something that it would be completely uninhabitable without (e.g., levees in New Orleans or dykes in Amsterdam). I'm pretty sure Miami was inhabited well before the invention of air conditioning. Maybe reword the clue to "What makes Miami comfortable enough to live in?"
+3
level 61
Oct 23, 2018
Air conditioning makes Miami inhabitable? As in not able to live there? There is an English lesson here somewhere.
+4
level 73
Oct 23, 2018
I think the English lesson is "know the definition of inhabitable before you make a comment online that makes you look like a bozo."
+1
level 74
Oct 23, 2018
If it weren't for AC everybody would live in Miami! Thankfully AC makes it inhabitable.
+1
level 79
Oct 23, 2018
The blues made rock and roll possible. Still an (African) American invention.
+2
level 58
Oct 23, 2018
And a lot of rock and roll (especially the earliest stuff) was centered around the piano, not the guitar. The consensus "first rock and roll" song is Rocket 88, which is on the piano. Little Richard is often considered the first rock and roll star...also piano. If not Little Richard, a lot of people would pick Fats Domino. Piano again. Jerry Lee Lewis is another huge rock and roll star who featured the piano. The electric guitar made a lot of genres possible, but I don't think rock and roll is one of them.
+1
level 58
Oct 23, 2018
I like an escalator because an escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. Instead of an "Escalator out of order" sign, it should just say "Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience."
+1
level 60
Oct 24, 2018
Or something like this could happen.
+1
level 43
Oct 24, 2018
I think microtransistor should definetely be an option
+1
level 46
Oct 24, 2018
I find it hard to believe they didn't have a device to trap mice before the settlement of America
+1
level 58
Oct 25, 2018
There have been mouse traps for centuries, but the conventional one most people think of as a "mouse trap" now was invented in America.
+1
level 75
Nov 26, 2018
Perhaps the ancient Egyptians should get the credit, since they are believed to have domesticated cats, and kept them as pets...
+1
level 35
Oct 25, 2018
You should accept bifocal for bifocals
+1
level 41
Jan 16, 2019
can you make nuke work for atomic bomb?
+1
level 55
Feb 1, 2019
Segway is a brand name, not an invention. Personal transporter would be more apt. You should also accept air condition.
+1
level 75
Mar 24, 2019
Nobody would guess "personal transporter"