QUIZ: Are You Smart Enough To Work For Thomas Edison?

Thomas Edison

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Google’s interview questions are notoriously hard, but the internet giant is hardly the first employer  known for impossible interview questions.When hiring at his laboratory at Menlo Park, Thomas Edison demanded that his employees have a diverse education and knowledge base.

Applicants reportedly had to get right at least 90 per cent of the questions. We’ve included 20 questions — which means you can get only two wrong.

To see the answers, highlight the black bar below each image with your cursor.

What is the first line in the Aeneid?

Arma virumque cano, which means 'I sing of arms and of a man'

Questions taken from The Idea Hunter

Who composed Il Trovatore?

Giuseppe Verdi

Questions taken from The Idea Hunter

Which countries supply the most mahogany?

Brazil and Bolivia

Questions taken from The Idea Hunter

Who was the Roman Emperor when Jesus was born?

Caesar Augustus

Questions taken from The Idea Hunter

Who was Francis Marion?

An officer during the American Revolution fighting for the colonies, who is credited for inventing guerrilla warfare.

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Where is the River Volga?

Russia

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Who invented logarithms?

Scottish Mathematician John Napier

Questions taken from Mental Floss

What war material did Chile export to the Allies during the War?

Sodium nitrate, which is used to make gunpowder.

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Where is the Sargasso Sea?

In the North Atlantic, near Bermuda. Fun fact: the Sargasso sea is actually an elliptical path trapped by surrounding currents, making it the only 'sea' to be completely surrounded by water.

Questions taken from Mental Floss

What is brass made of?

Zinc and Copper

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Who was Leonidas?

The King of Sparta during the battle of Thermopylae (it's sort of a gimme since 300 came out)

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Who discovered the X-ray?

Wilhelm Röntgen, but Edison and his rival Nikola Tesla were experimenting with the X-ray contemporaneously before it was 'discovered.'

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Where do we get shellac?

Shellac, which is more commonly referred to as wood varnish, actually comes from an insect: a scale bug called Laccifer lacca.

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Who was Bessemer and what did he do?

He invented the Bessemer process, which revolutionised the steel industry and made mass production much easier.

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Who assassinated President Lincoln?

John Wilkes Booth

Questions taken from Mental Floss

Where is Magdalena Bay?

Baja California

Questions taken from U.S. News and World Report

What is the weight of air in a room 10 by 20 by 30 feet?

450 pounds

Questions taken from U.S. News and World Report

Who invented the cotton gin?

Eli Whitney

Questions taken from the National Park Service

Who was Hannibal?

A Carthaginian general

Questions taken from the National Park Service

How many cubic yards of concrete in a wall 12 by 20 by 2 feet?

17.78 cubic yards

Questions taken from U.S. News and World Report

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