There are many things that we use every day but we take for granted. It’s fun to know that almost all of the things we usually don’t pay much attention while using weren’t a thing even 10 years ago. What is more interesting is that many essential items and life-changing inventions have been discovered by accident! Can you guess any of these?
It all happened when a Chinese cook mixed sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal over a fire as an experiment. You don’t have to think much to guess what happened! The next morning the cook tried to recreate his experiment and he was ecstatic to see that it worked again! Later, Chinese learned that if they put the mix inside a piece of bamboo it exploded! And this is how the firecracker was born!
19. Laughing Gas
Humphry Davy was a young English inventor and chemist who loved to use himself as a lab rat. One day he decided to test the effects of inhaling artificially produced gasses. Not much time had passed when Davy discovered that heat-treating ammonium nitrate crystals that produced gas that if inhaled caused euphoria! Later it was named “Laughing gas”
For years people were trying to find a way to sweeten their food without adding too many calories in them but all attempts were unsuccessful. One day Constantin Falhberg, who was working as a chemist was trying to find other ways to use coal tar. He didn’t make much progress but when he returned home and tasted some fresh biscuits that his wife had made, he realized that they were sweeter than usual… The explanation? He didn’t wash his hands before trying the cookies and he discovered a secret of coal tar. All this for some biscuits!
X-rays are electromagnetic waves that are similar to light but with significantly smaller wave-length. It’s impossible to see them without special equipment, so how did Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen discover them?. Wilhelm was working in his lab and he was testing cathode rays when suddenly he saw something with the corner of his eye on a screen that had some remnants of chemicals from a previous experiment. He was the first person to have ever seen X-Rays!
16. Microwave Ovens
Did you know that this electrical appliance that is on more than 90% of American homes nowadays was discovered by accident? In 1946 an engineer named Percy Spencer was operating a magnetron which is the main component of the radar when he realized that a candy bar that he carried in his pocket had melted and made a mess. He then decided to place an egg in the path of the magnetron waves and soon, the first microwave was ready to be released into the world!
15. Post-It Notes
In 1968 a chemist named Spencer Silver was being employed fro 3M and one day discovered that he had accidentally made an adhesive that was strong enough to support paper on a surface but weak enough to not rip it off afterward. By trial and error, 3 months later the post-it notes were a thing!
14. Potato Chips
In 1853 George Crum, a chef from New York, was frantic about a customer that he kept to return back to the kitchen his french fries because h found them soggy. In his attempt to please the customer George sliced a potato extra thin, fried it into oil and then immediately put it in salt. To his surprise, the customer liked the fries and George became the inventor of potato chips!
13. Coca Cola
While the exact recipe of Coca Cola is not known, the story behinds its invention is fascinating! A civil war veteran named John Pemberton was working as a pharmacist and he was working on medicine to treat ailments such as opiate addiction, headaches, and stomach pain… but by mistake, he invented the most popular drink to have ever been made!
In 1905 11-year-old Frank Epperson decided to try and save some money by trying to recreate the then very famous soda pop at home. He used a combination of powder water but he wasn’t pleased with the result and left the mix on his porch all night. That night, the temperature fell below zero and Frank woke up to see the first popsicle ever made!
11. Ice Cream Cones
Even though ice cream had been served for several years it was never put on a cone until 1904 when at World’s fair, the ice cream stall was selling so much that they quickly run out of plates to put the ice cream on. Luckily the Persian waffle stall next to it was hardly selling anything so the stall owners decided to roll the waffles and place the ice cream on top. The ice cream cone was a reality!
Can you imagine your life without plastic? Plastic is everywhere today but this wasn’t the case 100 years before. Instead of plastic, the most commonly used material was shellac but because it was made from beetles that were imported from Southeast Asia, it’s was very costly. Leo Hendrick Baekeland decided to try and find an alternative and soon he invented a moldable material that could withstand high temperatures without melting. Hence plastic was born!
Did you know that Play-doh’s original use was to clean wallpapers? In the 20th people didn’t have to use coal to heat their homes anymore so their wallpapers didn’t need much cleaning. Cleo McVicker’s son the original inventor of play-doh found an interesting use of it! The rest is history!
8. Super Glue
Harry Coover was working as a researcher at Kodak Laboratiories and his job was to develop plastic lenses to be implemented on gun sights. One day he accidentally made a synthetic adhesive made from cyanoacrylate. He firstly rejected it because it was too strong but years later it found its way to every home.
George de Mestral invented Velcro because of really strange reason. In 1948 he was out in the woods hunting with his dog when he noticed that several burrs were sticking into his dog’s fur. Later he tried to replicate this effect in the lab and soon this invention was being used by NASA!
6. Safety Glass
A French chemist named Edouard Benedictus had an accident in his lab. More specifically he dropped a flask full of plastic cellulose nitrate off his desk but the glass instead of shattering into million pieces it just cracked. Years later all vehicle windshields were made from this!
5. Corn Flakes
Will Keith Kellogg offered to help his brother who was then working at hospital cooking meals for patients. Accidentally he forgot some bread dough out and it sat for many hours. Upon realizing his mistake Kellog decided to bake it anyway and the first-ever corn flakes were made!
Alfred Nobel accidentally found a way to contain nitroglycerin in a tube without making it lose its power. Soon gunpowder had an opponent and a new type of weapon was born. The dynamite!
3. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel finds its way to any household today but it’s at first stainless steel was invented as a material that wouldn’t rust by centering arms. They entered to use the material to develop a gun barrel.
Nitrous oxide and laughing gas were being used for recreational reasons until CharlesJackson, William Mortal and Crawford Long decided to find a practical way of using them for the greater good. They’re attributed as the inventors of anesthesia!
While trying to understand staphylococcus, Alexander Fleming a microbiologist added some bacteria to Petri dishes before leaving home. Normally the bacteria would grow but when he returned he was surprised to see that mold had grown in the dishes. The first antibiotic penicillin was born1