Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for January 14.

In 1874, telegraph message traffic was rapidly expanding and, in the words of Western Union President William Orton, had become "the nervous system of commerce." Orton had contracted with inventors Thomas Edison and Elisha Gray to find a way to send multiple telegraph messages on each telegraph line to avoid the great cost of constructing new lines. When Alexander Graham Bell (died 1922) mentioned to Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sanders that he was working on a method of sending multiple tones on a telegraph wire using a multi-reed device, the two wealthy patrons began to support Bell's experiments financially.

In March, 1875, Bell visited the famous scientist Joseph Henry, who was then director of the Smithsonian Institution, to ask Henry's advice on the electrical multi-reed apparatus that Bell hoped would transmit the human voice by telegraph. Henry replied that Bell had "the germ of a great invention." When Bell said that he did not have the necessary knowledge, Henry replied, "Get it!" That declaration greatly encouraged Bell to keep trying, even though he did not have the equipment needed to continue his experiments nor the ability to create a working model of his ideas. However, a chance meeting in 1874 between Bell and Thomas A. Watson, an experienced electrical designer, changed all that.

Bell was able to hire Watson as his assistant, and the two of them experimented with acoustic telegraphy. On 2 June, 1875, Watson accidentally plucked one of the reeds and Bell, at the receiving end of the wire, heard the overtones of the reed, overtones that would be necessary for transmitting speech.

1. Acoustic means
A. loud.
B. pertaining to sound.
C. electrically transmitted.
D. coded.
2. The Latin origin of transmit meant
A. play music.
B. jump forward.
C. send across.
D. call aloud.
3. The man who told Bell "Get it!" was
A. Thomas A. Watson.
B. William Orton.
C. Thomas Edison.
D. Joseph Henry.
4. For the creation of his invention Bell was especially indebted to
A. Thomas A. Watson.
B. Thomas Edison.
C. Joseph Henry.
D. William Orton.

The information comes from Wikipedia.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-B..........2-C..........3-D..........4-A
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at