January 21st | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

By admin


Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who knows the name of Richard Nixon’s Dog*.

To celebrate my love of Philadelphia and our love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  Benjamin Franklin’s birthday was last week.  If he were alive today, he would be 308 years old and so sort of vampire or zombie.  Thankfully for all of us, Franklin is dead.  But before Poor Richard bought the farm, he accomplished an amazing amount of awesomeness.  Besides founding the University of Pennsylvania and giving Philadelphia its first fire department, Ben was an inventor and innovator.  Below is a partial list of Ben Franklin’s contributions to Philadelphia, America and the world at large.  Your task this week: find the only thing in the list that cannot be attributed to namesake of the Free Republic of Franklin.

America’s first lending library; glass armonica; bifocals; lightning rod; Franklin stove; the concept of “pay it forward”; the first property insurance company in America; the American Philosophical Society; the 111th Infantry Regiment; Daylight Savings Time; a carriage odometer; signer of the Declaration of Independence; signer of the Constitution Ambassador; swimfin innovator; Postmaster General; publisher; President of Pennsylvania; slaveowner; abolitionist; demographer; first man to chart the Gulf Stream; the principle of the conservation of charge; the concept of cooling via evaporation; the “pros and cons” list; America’s first hospital; coiner of the electrical terms “battery”, “conductor”, “positive”, “negative” and others still used today; the first American political cartoon; a phonetic alphabet; first American member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; the flexible urinary catheter.

Answer:  Daylight Savings Time.  During his time in Paris, Franklin wrote an anonymous satirical letter suggesting that Parisians save money on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight.  The same letter proposed taxing shutters and waking people at dawn using church bells and cannons.  This joke has lead many to erroneously believe that the man behind “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” was also behind “Spring ahead, Fall back”.  The modern concept of daylight savings time was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson.

Some notes on the odd, yet true, Franklin accomplishments:

Franklin at one point owned two slaves.  Later in life, he freed them and became an outspoken abolitionist and president of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society.

“President” was the equivalent to “governor” for a period of time in Pennsylvania before the adoption of the 1790 Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Franklin was the 6th “President of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”.

Franklin did not patent any of his inventions, believing that people should enjoy them freely.


*Checkers.  Shortly after being selected as Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate, Nixon was attacked for accepting gifts from political backers, including black and white spotted dog, which his children named Checkers.  Nixon made a televised speech defending himself and attacking his opponents.  During the speech, he said that, regardless of anything else, he would keep the dog.  The speech was historic and, arguably, saved Nixon’s career.

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