Think about some of the things you use every day. Did you know that there are plenty of products that you use fairly consistently that were invented by total accident? The accidental creation of something new is a glorious yet weird moment for all involved, full of “What if?” and “How in the world?” The end result is quite amazing for the unsuspecting inventor.
In fact, some of the greatest inventions of all time were complete accidents. Like these eight inventions, for example. They may have been totally accidental, but they were also brilliant.
1.) The Slinky.
Everyone loves a Slinky, but it was an accidental creation. Naval engineer Richard Jones worked on building a power monitor for a battleship at the time of the Slinky’s discovery.
Part of the work was experimenting with tension springs. Jones accidentally dropped one of the springs while working. It then bounced around upon hitting the floor, and the Slinky came into existence.
Sir Alexander Fleming looked for a wonder drug when he discovered penicillin. He threw away his experiments at one point in his research to start new ones. Fleming noticed a mold growing that dissolved the bacteria around it in one of his discarded containers. Sensing an amazing discovery, Fleming extracted the mold and discovered that it contained penicillin.
3.) Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This one is quite delicious. Ruth Wakefield was the owner of the Toll House Inn. While trying to bake a batch of chocolate cookies, she ran out of bakers chocolate. She instead used sweetened chocolate in the batter. The sweet chocolate stuck together but did not melt, creating chocolate chip cookies.
4.) Potato Chips.
George Crum was the chef at the Carey Springs Moon Lake House in upstate New York when a picky customer led him to create the world’s first potato chips.
The customer wanted a plate of fried potatoes, but they weren’t satisfied with the crispness of the potatoes. Crum became fed up with the customer after they sent the meal back several times, so he thinly sliced the potatoes and deep fried them until they were too crispy. Instead of a fight, the customer loved the creation and asked for more.
5.) The Microwave Oven.
What would modern life be like without a microwave oven? Microwave ovens wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for one scientist’s fateful pocket candy bar.
Percy Spencer was working as an engineer with the Raytheon Corporation. He was doing radar research with a new vacuum tube when he discovered something amazing. As he worked, he noticed the candy bar in his pocket was melting. To test his finding, he put popcorn in the machine and it started to pop, paving the way for the era of the microwave oven.
The 1960s could would not be as culturally influential without the added trippiness of LSD.
Chemist Albert Hofmann conducted research using derivatives of lysergic acid at a lab in Switzerland. During his research, he accidentally ingested some of the chemical and went on the world’s first acid trip.
7.) Post-it notes.
These little buggers are pretty much the coolest things ever, and changed the lives of students everywhere. Spencer Silver was the accidental inventor of these notes.
Silver was working for 3M Laboratories at the time, trying to make a strong adhesive. He accidentally created just the opposite, an adhesive that was strong enough to lightly stick to surfaces and remove without leaving a mark. Someone at 3M eventually got the idea to put the adhesive on a piece of paper and thus sticky notes were born.
Bran gruel was the precursor to Wheaties. It was a sloppy, liquidy mess that no star athlete would ever endorse.
In 1922, an employee at the Washburn Crosby Company accidentally spilled some of his gruel onto a hot stove top. The resulting gruel quickly cooked into better tasting flakes. He immediately informed his bosses at Washburn of his amazing discovery, and Wheaties were born.
(Via: Business Insider)
Talk about an intervention of fate! Now I want to accidentally make up a snack…
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