Most inventions take a lot of time to be created but in this post we are only concerned about those inventions that no one actually intended to invent. So,from dynamite and Coca-Cola to popsicles and Radiation these are the top 10 accidental inventions that changed the world.
Although these days its almost common knowledge, this list wouldn’t be complete without civil war veteran turned pharmacist John Pemberton and what he originally intended as nothing more than a medication (this is also why the original coke actually did include cocaine on its list of ingredients) ended up as one of the most popular drinks in the world.
It was 1905 and soda pop had just become the most popular drink on the market. 11 year old Frank Epperson decided he wanted to try saving some money by making his own at home. Using a combination of powder and water he got pretty close but then absentmindedly left the concoction out on the porch all night. Temperatures ended up dropping severely and when he came out in the morning he found his mixture frozen with the stirring stick still in it.
3. Inkjet Printer
When a Canon engineer rested his hot iron on his pen by accident, ink was ejected from the pen’s point a few moments later. And just like that This principle led to the creation of the inkjet printer.
On November 8, 1895, German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen stumbled on X-rays while experimenting with Lenard and Crookes tubes and began studying them.
There are conflicting accounts of his discovery because Röntgen had his lab notes burned after his death, but this is a likely reconstruction by his biographers: Röntgen was investigating cathode rays using a fluorescent screen painted with barium platinocyanide and a Crookes tube which he had wrapped in black cardboard so the visible light from the tube would not interfere. He noticed a faint green glow from the screen, about 1 meter away. Röntgen realized some invisible rays coming from the tube were passing through the cardboard to make the screen glow. He found they could also pass through books and papers on his desk. Röntgen threw himself into investigating these unknown rays systematically. Two months after his initial discovery, he published his paper.
Röntgen discovered its medical use when he made a picture of his wife’s hand on a photographic plate formed due to X-rays. The photograph of his wife’s hand was the first photograph of a human body part using X-rays. When she saw the picture, she said “I have seen my death.”
During World War II, when navy engineer Richard James was trying to figure out a way to employ springs aboard navy ships to keep sensitive instruments from bouncing around, he accidentally dropped one of them. To his amusement the spring immediately righted itself and landed upright on the floor. Since then kids everywhere have enjoyed playing around with this pointless toy.
The year was 1896 and physicist Henri Becquerel was trying to get fluorescent materials to produce x-rays by being left in the sun. His experiment however, suffered a week of cloudy, overcast skies. After leaving all of his materials in a drawer he returned one week later only to find that the uranium rock he had left there had managed to imprint its image on a nearby photographic plate without any exposure to light
7. Post-it Notes
In 1968, scientist Spencer Silver at the 3M company created a very weak adhesive that would peel off when removed from any surface. The funny thing was that he was in fact trying to create a super strong adhesive No one thought there was any use for such a product, until another scientist, Art Fry, realized that the little pieces of paper made great book marks for his church songs without leaving residue on the page.
A great time to go wrong, huh?
When Will Keith Kellogg began helping his brother cook meals for patients at the Sanitarium at which he worked, he ended up accidentally stumbling across the recipe for Corn Flakes after leaving some bread dough sitting out for several hours. Upon finding the flaky dough he decided to see what would happen so he baked it anyway, and thanks to his curiosity corn flakes was born
9. Stainless Steel
Next time you enjoy your dinner by way of a rust-free fork remember to thank 20th century arms manufacturers for hiring Harry Brearly, an English metallurgist, to develop a non rusty gun barrel. Shortly after testing his creation on various corrosives, one of which was lemon juice, he realized that it wold be perfect for cutlery.
The last but definitely not the least is Dynamite. It’s not like humanity just recently discovered how to blow things up. Gunpowder and nitroglycerin have been around for ages. The issue however, especially in the case of nitroglycerin, was its instability. It wasn’t until Alfred Nobel accidentally discovered a method of containing the substance without hindering its power that people could really start having a blast.