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January 10, 2022

Worcester 300 trivia contest, part 1

Photo | NASA Astronaut Alan Bean joins Pete Conrad on the surface of the moon during their Apollo 12 mission.

As part of WBJ’s coverage of the 300th anniversary of Worcester’s founding – which was officially June 14, 1722 – the publication has partnered with the Worcester Historical Museum to run a trivia contest. Readers should email their answers to the question below by Jan. 20 to WBJ Editor Brad Kane at Those with the most correct answers at the end of the year will win a special prize package.

Messages on the Moon

In addition to the development of the liquid-fueled rocket by Robert Goddard, Worcester contributed many inventions to NASA’s Moon landing, including the David Clark Co. manufacturing communications headsets, Honematic Machine Corp. making the lunar lander’s base legs, and Norton Co. contributing superinsulation. Less than a month before Apollo astronauts journeyed to the Moon, NASA asked Sprague Electric to develop a way to leave messages from world leaders behind on the lunar surface. Sprague designed a thin silicon disc about the size of a 50-cent piece, where all the messages would be imprinted and later read under a microscope. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin left “The Apollo 11 Goodwill Messages” disc behind as he ascended the ladder to the lunar lander.

Trivia question: Sprague Electric is known by a new name today. What Central Massachusetts company is it?

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