During our everyday lives, there are items that we use unconsciously – they are like a granted part of what we do. What’s surprising, however, is that a lot of these items were invented by accident! Here are 7 of unbelievable stories about how some everyday items were invented!
The Microwave Oven
I don’t think they still exist a house without a microwave oven in its kitchen! It started with a guy named Percy Spencer, research for one Raytheon Corp. In 1945 he was experimenting with a new vacuum tube and became intrigued when the candy bar in one of his pockets started melting. He came back with some popcorn and was shocked to see that it popped! The first microwave, Radarange weighed 750 pounds, was about 22 feet tall and had a price tag of $5.000!
Especially if you’re a diabetic, you’re thankful that Saccharin exists! And you should thank Mr. Constantine Fahlberg, a researcher from the Johns Hopkins University! In 1879, Mr. Fahlberg went to lunch without washing his hands before, having spilled a chemical on his skin. Once he started eating, he noticed the bread tasted unusually sweet! Saccharin did not become extremely popular until the First World War when sugar was rationed and again once the diet soft drinks came into production!
The ever so popular snack that is potato chips was actually invented by accident when a customer started complaining irrationally! At the time this happened, the Moon Lake Hodge in Saratoga Springs was very well-known for its French fried potatoes. One day, some customers complained that the fries were toot hick. George Crum, who was a chef at the time (and who is credited with inventing potato chips) sent a batch of thinner fries, yet the customer complained again! Just to spite him, Crum sent out thin like paper, very crispy fries. What he didn’t expect, though, was for the customer to absolutely love them! More so, the whole establishment started ordering these new potato chips!
Oh, that cup’s handle just broke? Let me get some of that super glue and fix it! In 1942, Dr. Harry Coover while working in the Research & Development department of Kodak, was researching a chemical compound known as cyanoacrylates, trying to create a clear plastic that could be used in guns! The work with this compound, however, was extremely frustrating, mainly because it was sticky! After 6 years, Dr. Coover realized what amazing adhesive properties cyanoacrylates had. The huge commercial boom for Super Glue came in 1959, after one of Dr. Coover’s public demonstrations!
Did you know that tea didn’t use to be placed in bags, but in tea balls or in tea eggs? No? Well, that doesn’t happen anymore because of Thomas Sullivan. In 1908, Sullivan came up with the idea of sending his customer’s dried tea leaves packed in small silk bags. He did not intend for the customers to dip the whole bag in the cup, but that is exactly what happened. Realizing that, Sullivan started using gauze instead of silk and eventually moved to the paper filter.
Put them on the fridge, on your desk, on your laptop’s back or anywhere you want to, really! In the 3M laboratories in the ‘60s, Mr. Spencer Silver was trying to come up with a new, really strong adhesive that could be used for building airplanes. Instead, he discovered the opposite – a really weak adhesive. Finding no use for it, he simply left it.
Fast forward a bit and we have Mr. Art Fry, a chemical engineer whose hobby was choir singing. Unfortunately, his notes fell from his choir book so, when he noticed what Mr. Silver discovered, he knew what he had to do – attach the adhesive to a piece of paper!
Matches appeared as a complete accident! An English pharmacist by the name of John Walker was working on a mixture of different chemicals when he noticed that the rod he was using to effectively mix the ingredients accumulated residue. After trying to clean it off, he resorted to dragging the stick on the floor in an attempt to remove the mix. What happened, however, is the stick caught fire – he called them friction lights!
When I take a look at some things, I always think to myself “how could someone think of THIS thing?!” However, most everyday objects we use were invented by accident! Above all are very interesting stories behind the daily objects we never knew about.