Many things that we see today was invented accidentally. The straw with what you are sipping cold drinks came accidentally. The velcro that you use to fasten things came accidentally. The dose of Penicillin that saves our life came accidentally. Here are 20 things that were invented absolutely accidentally. So here are 20 accidental inventions that changed the world.
1. Coca Cola
Civil war expert cum pharmacist John Pemberton made coca cola but he actually wanted to make medicine(That’s why cocaine was used as an ingredient to make the coke former times).
2. Ice Cream Cones
Though the history ice-cream is not new, the cone ice cream was born in 1904 World’s fair. In that fair, an ice cream shop was running really well while the neighboring Persian waffle stall was barely selling anything. The stall owners then made the idea of rolling up the waffle, tumbling the ice cream on top and voila…. thus the cone ice-cream was born.
Navy radar specialist Percy Spencer gave us the idea of Microwave oven. So all of us should be thankful to him. One day when he was tinkering around with microwave emitters he felt the chocolate bar in his pocket start melting. In 1945 the world changed, especially the kitchen change after the invention of the Microwave Oven.
Wilson Greatbatch was experimenting on a contraption that could record heartbeats. Suddenly he inserted the wrong resistor and the contraption began to mimic heart’s rhythm. Thus the world’s first pacemaker was born.
In early 1900s shellac was used for insulation. It was made from Southeast Asian beetle and it was costly. Chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland wanted to make money by inventing something alternative to shellack. Thus he invented plastic.
7. Play Doh
Now children like to play with the scented, sticky stuff but it was actually invented as a wallpaper cleaner. During the early 20th century people stopped burning coal to heat their room. So their wallpaper stayed clean. Inventor Cleo McVicker ‘s son invented another use of this – modeling clay
Swiss engineer George de Mestral invented velcro. The story of inventing velcro is really interesting. He was on a hunting trip with his dog while he observed how burrs stuck to its fur. The engineer replicated the effect in his lab. Thanks to NASA as they made this technology popular.
In 1905 Soda pop became the most popular drink. An eleven years old kid Frank Epperson decided to make his own drink at home so that he could save some money. He mixed powder and water and absentmindedly left the mixture out on the porch all night. The temperature dropped severely and in the morning he found the concoction with the stirring stick still in it.
10. Post-It Notes
Chemist Spencer Silver was working for 3M. Accidentally he found a “low-tack” adhesive. It could hold a paper to a surface but during removal, the paper would not tear. One of his colleagues, Art Fry, thought that it would be perfect as a no-slip bookmark and thus the post-it note was born.
11. Potato Chips
A New York-based chef, George Crum invented potato chips in 1853. One of his customers was sending his french fried potatoes back to the kitchen as they were soggy. Crum sliced the potato extra thin, fried them and mixed salt with them. However, his customers liked this and potato chips were born.
Henri Becquerel was experimenting on fluorescent materials to create x-rays by leaving them in the sun. But his experiment was disturbed due to cloudy, overcast skies. Then he left all the materials in a drawer and returned after a week. He became surprised to notice that the uranium rock he had left there printed its image on a photographic plate without any exposure to light. The year was 1896.
You have seen the pink packet of false sugan on the restaurant table. But have you ever thought where it came from? Chemist Constantin Fahlberg was working on coal tar to find it’s alternative uses. After a long day of work, he returned home one day and found that his wife’s biscuits tasted a lot sweeter. Later he realized that he hadn’t washed his hand after work and thus the false sugar was invented.
14. Safety Glass
French chemist Édouard Bénédictus occasionally heat a flask off of his table. It fell to the ground but the glass did not come apart. it only cracked. After close observation, the chemist could realize that the glass containing plastic cellulose nitrate which had covered the inside of it and kept it from shattering on impact.
It was the time of World War II. Navy engineer Richard James was attempting to find out a process to employ springs aboard navy ships to keep sensitive instruments from jumping around. He accidentally dropped one of them. To his surprise, the spring instantly righted itself and landed upright on the floor. After that, children all over the world have enjoyed playing around with this toy.
16. Smart Dust
Graduate student Jamie Link’s silicon chip was accidentally destroyed. To her surprise, she noticed that the individual pieces could still function as sensors. Now they are used to find out fatal tumors to biological agents.
17. Super Glue
Harry Coover was trying to develop plastic lenses for gun sights but accidentally he stumbled across a synthetic adhesive. At the adhesive was far too sticky he then thought that it was useless. But after years it was rediscovered and now it is sold under the name of “super glue”.
We are now using non-stick pans and other utensils in the kitchen. Thanks to chemist Roy Plunkett. In the early 20th century he was working on refrigerants and one day suddenly he stumbled across a non-reactive non-sticky chemical. Planket instantly patented it and thus teflon was born.
19. Vulcanized Rubber
Charles Goodyear was experimenting on making rubber resistant to heat and cold. After several failures, he accidentally found a mixture that worked. One evening he spilled some rubber, sulfur, and lead onto a stove to make a mixture that burnt and ossified but could still be used.
20. X Rays
In 1895 Wilhelm Roentgen was experimenting with cathode rays, he noticed that some fluorescent cardboard across the room was illuminating though there was a thick block between the cathode ray and the cardboard. He realized that the light rays were passing through the solid block.