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April 27, 2004 > Test Your Hardware IQ

Test Your Hardware IQ

Dale Hardware Quiz #12

The first fire extinguishers, invented in 1734 by a German physician, were:

  1. Wooden cylinders filled with water
  2. Metal Canisters that mixed dirt and water
  3. Bags of glass balls filled with salt and water
  4. Sacks of pumice stones

  • The first metal cylinder fire extinguisher was created in 1816 by a British Army captain named George Manby. It was a commercial flop. Why?

  • The lubricant, WD-40 was invented by:

    1. A chemist fisherman who found the oil occurring naturally in trout
    2. Three scientists at Jet Propulsion Labs who designed submarines
    3. A young chemist playing with a toy chemistry set
    4. Engineers at Rocket Chemical Company to protect electrical circuits

  • Charcoal Briquettes were invented by Henry Ford using compressed charcoal from his factories. Charcoal has been around since the 1700's. How was it made? What was it used for?


    1. c. Glass balls filled with salt and water were thrown at a fire. Early ads show families throwing the balls into a raging house fire.

    2. Water mixed with pearl-ash in a cylinder filled with compressed air. There was nothing wrong with it. The invention was ahead of its time and when reintroduced 50 years later, was a big seller.

    3. d. It stands for Water Displacement Formula 40 designed to prevent corrosion and eliminate moisture from electric circuitry on airplanes and rockets. Engineers took it home and the rest is history!

    4. "Charcoal Burners" built 30 foot high mounds of wood, sod and mud that burned for a month or more. The mound would finally collapse on itself and the result was charcoal. Charcoal was used for to make iron, gunpowder, printer's ink, black paint and even to clean teeth.
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