Trivia

Hard

The Invention Of Which Of These Things Was Critical To The Rapid Adoption Of The Telephone?

PVC
Bakelite
Cellulose
Brass
An early model bakelite casing telephone.
Ericsson

Answer: Bakelite

When it comes to the early days of the telephone, there was, naturally, a wide variety of factors contributing indirectly and directly to the adoption of the new technology. Among the most critical, by far, however, was the invention of Bakelite—one of the world’s first synthetic plastics.

Why was Bakelite (known formally as polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride) so critical? The sturdy black plastic was easy to work with and made mass production of telephones possible. In the early 20th century, one of the biggest impediments to the rollout of telephone systems was simply the glacial speed of telephone unit production. You can have miles of wires connecting the whole world, but if there are no phones at the end of the wire, then there are no conversations to be had.

Old telephones, typically handmade from sheet metal and wood, were labor-intensive and a single phone might take a skilled worker a week to produce from start to finish. The switch to compression molded Bakelite plastic reduced production time for phone casings from a week to a mere seven minutes. Once the plastic had cooled, it was merely a matter of adding the necessary wiring and attaching the new plastic casing to the electrical component covered metal base plate. The practice revolutionized the entire telecommunications industry and phone sales exploded.

Trivia

Hard

The Glyphs In What Video Game Are Directly Translatable to English?

Trivia

Easy

All Comets Have What Common Trait?

Trivia

Hard

The Bird Of Prey With The Largest Natural Geographic Range Is The?

Trivia

Easy

Which Movie Featured A Very Limited Color Palette In A Nod To Its Comic Book Origins?

Trivia

Easy

Abundant Rose Bushes in Grape Vineyards Serve What Purpose?

Trivia

Hard

The Second Apollo Moon Mission Was Almost Aborted Because Of?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Phrase “Elementary, My Dear Watson” Was Not From A Sherlock Holmes Book, But From A?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Sci-Fi TV Show To Enjoy Widespread Internet-based Promotion and Discussion?

Trivia

Hard

The Oldest Currency Still In Use Is The?

Trivia

Easy

Artificial Grape Flavor Is Modeled After Which Grape Variety?