How well do you know this situation? You’ve just been presented with a problem. You need to come up with an idea – fast. You come up with the big NOTHING! Later, while contemplating the shower head, BAM! The idea hits you out of the blue. A moment of inspiration… Can you guess the moment of inspiration for the fellow creators? Use your intuition.

For each of the following scenarios, select the item that you think describes the person’s moment of inspiration for solving the problem. If you select the correct answer, then it will be displayed in green, but if your selection is incorrect, then the correct answer will be displayed in red. There will be a running tally of your score at the bottom of the page after the last question.


1)  John Dunlop got the idea for rubber tires from… 

His garden hose

A raincoat

A molted snake skin

A sugar maple tree

2)  Eli Whitney realized his concept for the cotton gin when he saw… 

A waterwheel

A cat reaching through a fence trying to grab a chicken

His landlord scraping a frying pan with a thin metal spatula

A horse drawn sleigh

3)  Rudolf Diesel got the idea for the design of his diesel engine from looking at… 

A magnifying glass

A typewriter

A daVinci drawing of the human lung

An Aztec spear

4)  Carrier got the idea for the air conditioner when he… 

Took steam bath at the Yale club in New York City

Choked on a piece of ice

Saw water condensing on the side of a glass

Observed a completely sealed glass terrarium

5)  Thomas Edison got the idea for the first multiplex telegraph by observing the workings of… 

The Gatling gun

His pocket watch

A water pump

A mechanical piggy bank

6)  Charles Duryea got the idea for the spray injection carburetor when… 

He took a walk in the London fog

He visited Niagara Falls

He saw a special mining machine pulverize a piece of iron ore

He saw his wife spray herself with a perfume atomizer

7)  Dr. Rene Laennec was inspired to invent the stethoscope when he saw… 

Children sending signals to each other by tapping on a log

A woodpecker pecking on a tree

A picture of an Indian pressed against the ground listening for hoof beats

The telegraph

8)  Henry Ford conceived of a better way to mass produce cars after his visit to… 

A graveyard

A slaughterhouse

A supermarket

The Grand Central train station

9)  Samuel Colt inspiration for his famous six-shooter revolver was… 

The musical score for "Amazing Grace"

A ship’s wheel

A table setting

Watching a group of men play a game of dice

10)  The de Montgolfier brothers conceived the hot air balloon when they observed… 

A blowfish

An explosion of a gas main

Paper scraps rising above flames in their fireplace

Smoke rising from a cigar

Your Score: