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We think that the Engineers and engineering behind the Industrial
Revolution is a fascinating, interesting, sometimes funny and tragic
We invite you to try our quiz which we have based upon these great
Engineers and their achievements.
There are nine questions and nine correct answers. Even if you
get an answer wrong - read on, as you will still gain information.
We apologise to overseas visitors that this quiz is Australian
originated. It is an educational tool.
The museum has a policy of opening at any time, all we ask is that
you let us know beforehand of your intended visit. Especially important
for groups so that we can organise catering and have sufficient
guides on hand for assistance in making your visit enjoyable.
Overseas visitors are especially welcome.
For location and contact details click here.
QUIZ NO. 2
BEHIND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Most students & historians are familiar with the socio-political
side of the Industrial Revolution while some are aware it was an
age of great railway building, civil works & ship building.
There was however another side, because the industrial revolution
was all about Engineers and their profession.
This quiz is to test your knowledge of the engineering which started
the Industrial Revolution and the impact it still has upon our daily
1. Who invented the steam engine?
A. Thomas Savery - Go to 27
B. Thomas Newcomen - Go to 23
C. James Watt - Go to 8
D. All of the above - Go to 33
2. Correct, the PS Surprise built at Millards
ship yard, Neutral Bay, NSW in 1831, with a
10 hp engine and made her maiden voyage on 1 June 1831. The first
movement in the Southern Hemisphere. Later she went to Hobart under
power to become a ferry.
Now go to 29.
3. Sorry. Popular history suggests George Stephenson
(1781-1848) is the father of
locomotion - his first locomotive was "Blucher" in 1814. He was
the first President of
the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and he was the engineer for
the Stockton to
Darlington Railway, 1822.
Return to 29.
4. What was James Watt's contribution to the
A. The separate condenser - Go to 18
B. The crank - Go to 15
C. The governor - Go to 31
D. All the above - Go to 30
5. Sorry, Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) (George's
son), built the "Rocket" for the
Rainhill Trials in 1829. He was a great railway engineer, civil
engineer and bridge
builder. Return to 29.
6. Sorry, After 1842. Return
7. Why was the rotating steam engine so important?
A. It made better & cheaper beer, the analgesic of the masses
- Go to 22
B. It could drive anything which turned - Go to
8. Partly, James Watt (Scotland) 1736-1819, over
a long period developed the
condenser, air pump and sun & planet gears, which turned lineal
motion into rotary
Return to 1.
9. Nearly, PS Sophia Jane arrived in Sydney
in May 1831. A 50 hp (37 kw) engine
drove her at 13 kph. Not the first, her paddles came out as cargo.
Engines of the
era were used as auxiliary engines. Sophia Jane's engines
are believed to lie on the
seabed off Coffs Harbour.
Back to 26.
10. Spot on! Tamworth streets were first lit
by electricity in 1888. The plant, in a local
museum, is available for inspection.
Good, now on to 24.
11. Why is the invention of the Bessemer Converter
A. It made cast iron cheaper - Go to 28
B. It burnt carbon, etc, out of cast iron - Go
12. That's right. The first steam engine was
erected in Sydney in 1814 and opened by Governor
Lachlan Macquarie on 29 May 1815. Owned by John Dickinson
of Scotland, it cost
10,000 pounds and was situated at the head of Cockle Bay, at
the bottom of Goulburn
Street, now under the Darling Harbour reclamation. Within ten
years it had put out of
business all the windmills on the ridge which ringed the CBD
Now on to 26.
13. Yes. (Sir) Charles Parsons. Produced the
first turbine in 1883, doing the calculations
in his head as he did not understand calculus. Little success followed
provoked the Royal Navy in front of Queen Victoria (Spit Head Review
seven years the turbine drove SS Mauritania and captured
the Blue Ribband, which
she held for 22 years (fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean).
Excellent - now on to 21.
14. Nearly, PS William the Fourth, launched
on the William's River (Newcastle), October
1831 and sold to China in 1850s.
Back to 26.
15. Yes, but, the crank was part of the plan,
it turns lineal motion into rotary motion - and
is a vital part of today's life. In 1780 the idea of the crank
was stolen from James
Watt and given to a rival, James Pickard, who beat Watt to the
patent office. Watt then invented the
Sun & Planet motion - the first case of industrial
Go to 4
16. Who invented the Turbine?
A. Frank Whittle - Go to 19
B. Charles Parsons - Go to 13
17. Correct - Richard Trevithick (1771-1833).
The first locomotive ran on smooth rails in
1804, the first model locomotive in 1796. A replica of the engine
can be seen at
Coalbrookdale Museum, Shropshire.
Spot on, you have completed the quiz! Now visit
18. Yes, but the condenser turns steam back
into water outside the engine and saved
heat loss from the cylinder, thought up after a discussion with
Black, Glasgow University, who became his sponsor.
Go to 4.
19. Sorry. Frank Whittle bench tested the gas
turbine (jet engine) in late 1937. The first
successful flight in England was in late 1939 and in Germany earlier
the same year.
Back to 16.
20. True. The Bessemer Converter (Invented 1856)
blasts hot air through the molten
metal burning off the carbon & silica, it is the most spectacular
process in steel-
making. At this stage metals such as chromium or manganese may
be added to
produce the vast range of special steels we know today.
Now on to 16.
21. Where was the first electric street light
A. Sydney - Go to 25
B. Tamworth - Go to 10
22. It is true the first installation of a rotating
engine was at Samuel Whitbread's Chiswell
Brewery in 1784, commissioned 22 July 1785, where it replaced 24
horses. It worked
for 102 years; at first single acting, in 1795 it was converted
to double acting. It is the
beam engine in the Powerhouse Museum, but the engine is not important
Go to 7.
23. Partly. Thomas Newcomen (UK) 1663-1729,
developed the atmospheric engine to a
high level and many exist in UK museums. It was while working on
a model of the engine at Glasgow
University that James Watt realised the massive heat losses involved.
Try again, back to 1.
24. Where and when was the first steam engine
in Australia erected?
A. Sydney - Go to 12
B. Melbourne - Go to 6
25. Sorry. Sydney street lighting was not installed
until 1904. Prior to that street lighting
was by gas light - you may see examples at The Rocks, Sydney. The
electrical power for street lights was
generated in what is now the Powerhouse Museum.
Back to 21.
26. What was the first steam ship in Australia?
A. PS Surprise - Go to 2
B. PS Sophia Jane - Go to 9
C. PS William the Fourth - Go to 14
(PS stands for paddle ship)
27. Partly. Thomas Savery (UK) 1650-1715, made
a pumping engine in 1698 working on
the idea of Denis Papin (France). The engine was very slow and
inefficient, being single acting, using steam
pressure to push the piston up - atmospheric pressure to push the
piston down - hence the name
Go back to 1.
28. No. Cast iron is made in a blast furnace,
the origins of which are lost in time. Cast
(pig) iron in its crude form contains carbon, silica & sulphur.
Back to 11
29. Who invented the locomotive?
A. Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) - Go to 17
B. George Stephenson (1781-1848) - Go to 3
C. Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) - Go to 5
30. Yes, correct, all these ideas were necessary
to make a practical rotating engine, but
read 15, 18 & 31.
Now go to 7.
31. Yes, but, James Watt invented the governor
in 1789 to control the revolutions of his
engine. The governor became known as the Watt fly-ball governor,
other types are
Pickering & Hartnell.
Go to 4.
32. Correct. Lathes & boring machines were
driven by water wheels, the largest only
developing 10 hp (7.5 kw), sometimes windmills were used, both
were slow and
unreliable. The greater power of the steam engine enabled greater
accuracy of the
Now go to 11
33. Correct, but read notes 8,
23 and 27. It is worth noting
that the cylinders of the
Boulton Watt engines were bored on a cylinder boring lathe invented
Wilkinson for boring cannon barrels. The development of the engines
over 150 years and eventually lead to the start of the industrial
turned Great Britain into a Great Nation.
Go to 4.