Did you know that some of the inventions we are using in our daily lives are merely created by mistake?
In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver attempted to create the strongest adhesive. Instead, he came up with the weakest adhesive there is as it could only temporarily adhere things together. It was described as one that “stuck lightly to surfaces but didn’t bond tightly to them.” Since his invention was a failure, it wasn’t used or introduced to the market for a period of 5 years. It was only in 1973 when one of his colleagues, Art Fry, attended one of the seminars he conducted and had an idea on where to use Silver’s failed invention – he wanted to use the weak adhesive to stick bookmarks on his hymnbook. They had the idea of sticking the weak adhesive on only one side of the paper and released it to the public as “Press ’N Peel” in 1977, but nobody patronized their product. In 1980, it was released once again as the “Post It Note” and that is when they made history.
In 1905, 11-year old Frank Epperson was mixing powdered soda and water when he accidentally left the container on their front porch. The temperature dropped that night and when he woke up the next morning, his mixture was already frozen with the mixing stick he used. The young boy decided to taste it and his mixture of frozen powdered soda and water was actually good! This wasn’t marketed immediately until 20 years later when it was first introduced to the public as “Epsicle”.
One of the most popular snacks we enjoy nowadays was accidentally invented by George Crum in 1953. Crum was a chef at the Moon Lake Lodge Resort when one of his customers complained about their French fries. The customer said that the french fries was “too thick and too mushy”. Crum replaced the fries with a new batch only to get the same complaint from the customer. He was annoyed at the customer so he repeated the French fries for the third time, but this time, he made sure to slice the potato very thin and fried it until it was golden brown. To his surprise, the customer actually loved the thin and crispy potatoes! Soon enough, it became a house specialty and people were visiting the place to taste his famous “chips”.
In 1826, British pharmacist John Walker was mixing some chemicals when he noticed that a small lump was formed at the end of his mixing stick. He scraped it off on the rough side of a wall. To his surprise, the stick sparked, and a small flame was produced. He deduced that with the combination of the chemicals, stick, a rough substance, and friction, the flame can be produced. Walker produced more of this and sold it as “Friction Lights” at his pharmacy. He made the matches using cardboard cutouts which came in a box with a small piece of sandpaper. After a short while, he decided to replace the cardboards with 3-inch wooden splints. He was advised to patent his invention but he chose not to because he believed that it could be of huge help to mankind.
Do you know any other accidental inventions that changed the world? Let us know in the comments section below!