Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Authors Invented A System For Taking Notes In The Dark?

H.G. Wells
George Orwell
Lewis Carroll
Stephen King
A reconstruction of a nyctograph with a five euro cent coin for size comparison.
Noah Slater/Wikimedia

Answer: Lewis Carroll

Although best known for his iconic works centered on Wonderland, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll was quite a Renaissance man with a number of inventions under his belt, nearly a dozen books written on the subjects of mathematics and logic, and a keen eye for photography.

Among his inventions, perhaps the most curious is a night time writing device he created in order to pen down his thoughts without the effort of lighting a lamp and getting out of bed. The device, known as a nyctograph, was a grid of sixteen squares arranged in an 8×2 format. The note taker would use the grid and a knowledge of the companion symbol system to take notes in total darkness as each symbol relied on a series of lines and dots that could be written down solely by using the edges of each square as a guide.

For those of you that recall the early days of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), you might find Carroll’s system a bit reminiscent of the Graffiti script system that appeared on early Palm devices to assist the user in transcribing notes via the relatively primitive touch interface.

Trivia

Very Hard

Lakes Formed By Meteor Impacts Are Called?

Trivia

Hard

The First Book Sold By Amazon.com Was A Tome About?

Trivia

Hard

Which Movie Franchise Has The Longest Gap Between The First Release And Sequel?

Trivia

Hard

What Common First Aid Technique Wasn’t Invented Until The 1960s?

Trivia

Easy

When Gear Is Made Less Effective In Video Games, Gamers Say It Has Been?

Trivia

Easy

Which Actor’s Portrayal Of A Physical Disability Actually Injured Him?

Trivia

Easy

Which Defunct 1990s Web Host Is Now Archived By The Pirate Bay?

Trivia

Hard

At The Turn Of The 17th Century The Most Popular Drink In Britain Was?

Trivia

Easy

The First Canned Dog Food In America Was Created To Dispose Of Excess?

Trivia

Easy

What Was The First Commercial Application of Microprocessors?