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Monday, June 13, 2011

Reference Question of the Month

Posted by Judy T.

We can feel overwhelmed sometimes when we try to keep abreast of new technologies along with the vocabulary that goes with these innovations.  There are Smartphones and apps; you can keep in touch long distance via Skype; you can play games on a Wii, and the list goes on.  It’s easy to forget about some earlier inventions we use every day.  Can you guess when the following were invented?  The answers are listed at the bottom of the post.

1) Passenger elevator -  Elisha Graves Otis demonstrates his passenger elevator at the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York.

2) Hearing Aid - R.G. Rhodes improves on the ear trumpet with another very basic hearing aid. The device is a thin sheet of hard rubber or cardboard placed against teeth which conducts vibrations to the auditory nerve.

3) Zipper – Whitcomb L. Judson introduces his clasp locker, a hook-and-eye device opened and closed by a sliding clasp at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Other inventors will make improvements to the device, and in 1923 workers at B.F. Goodrich will coin the name “zipper.”

4) Air Conditioning - Willis H. Carrier designs the first system to control temperature and humidity. He will found his own company, the Carrier Corporation, to produce air-conditioning equipment.

5) Frozen Food - Clarence Birdseye offers quick-frozen foods to the public. Birdseye got the idea during fur-trapping expeditions to Labrador in 1912 and 1916, where he saw the natives use freezing to preserve foods.

Source:  The American Experience

1) 1857, 2) 1880, 3) 1893, 4) 1902, 5) 1929

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