You’re my favorite mistake..Some of the things we love the most were an accident
Coca-Cola • In 1886, a pharmacist named John Pemberton was trying to create a tonic for people who were tired, nervous, or had sore teeth. In a large kettle, he mixed up a medicinal syrup. At first, he mixed it with cold water, and thought it was good. When he went back for more, his assistant has mistakenly mixed carbonated water in the second batch, which made it fizzy - just as it is today. Although it took a while for it to catch on (it cost Pemberton more to promote it than he made off it), eventually Coca-Cola became a beverage sold around the world.
Implantable Pacemaker • The Pacemaker was an accident that actually saves lives today. Wilson Greatbatch was working on a device to record irregular heartbeats when he accidentally inserted a resistor of the wrong size. He noticed that the circuit pulsed, stopped, and pulsed again--just like a human heart. He worked with it for about two years and eventually made the first implantable pacemaker. • Before the implantable pacemaker was invented, people with irregular heartbeats had to control their pulse using a sometimes painful external device invented in 1952 by Paul Zoll. The external pacemaker was about the size of a small television, and administered life-saving jolts of electricity, which sometimes burned the skin. • Greatbatch later invented a corrosion-free lithium battery to power the pacemaker.
Potato Chips • Yes, potato chips were a surprise invention, too. In 1853, George Crum, a chef at a resort in Saratoga, New York, made french-fried potatoes for a guest. The guest disapproved of the fries and sent them back, asking that they be sliced a little thinner. This happened twice, so the chef got a little miffed, so to get even, he sliced the potatoes very thin and fried them so that the guest would not be able to eat them with a fork. Well, it turned out that the guest was ecstatic about the crisp potatoes. Other diners began requesting them and they soon appeared on the menu as Saratoga Chips. • In the 1920s, Herman Lay, a traveling salesman, began selling the chips from the trunk of his car. Today, everyone's heard of Lays Potato Chips.
Penicillin • Penicillin is another famous example of a mistake turned good. In 1928, scientist Alexander Fleming noticed that mold spores had contaminated one of the bacteria samples he had left by an open window. He noticed the mold was dissolving the harmful bacteria. And that's how we got penicillin, which helps people around the world recover from infections.
Velcro • The hook and loop fastener was invented in 1948 by Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer. The idea came to him after he took a close look at the seed pod burrs which kept sticking to his dog on their daily walk in the Alps. De Mestral named his invention "VELCRO" after the French words velours, meaning 'velvet', and crochet, meaning 'hook'.
Chocolate Chip Cookies • One of the most favorite cookies of all time was invented (accidentally) by Ruth Wakefield, an innkeeper. She was baking Butter Drop Do cookies one day, using a recipe that dated back to colonial times. Wanting chocolate cookies, she cut up a Nestlé chocolate bar and put the chunks in the batter. When she took them out of the oven, she expected to find chocolate-flavored cookies. Instead, what she got were butter cookies with gooey chocolate chips. Aren't we glad that happened?
Ice cream cones • Two vendors had their stands beside each other at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the vendors was selling a wafer-thin Persian waffle called zalabia. The other vendor was selling ice cream. It got so hot during the fair that the vendors ran out of dishes for the Ice cream. The waffle vendor rolled a waffle into a cone shape he topped it with some of his neighbor's ice cream. The ice cream cone was a total hit at the world’s fair.
Post-it notes • Yellow sticky notes (Post-it Notes) were about to be invented in 1968 when a 3M researcher tried to improve adhesive tape. He came up with a semi-sticky adhesive - not suitable for tape, but he thought it could have a use for something else, he just didn't know what. • A few years later, another 3M scientist was needing a way to keep his bookmarks from falling out of his hymnal while he sang with his church choir. He needed something that would stick without being permanent. He remembered the weak glue his colleague had accidentally created 4 years before. In 1980 the Post-it Note was created.
Slinky • Who didn’t have a Slinky when they were a kid? If you didn't have one, I'm sure you at least played with one at some time. Slinkies are part of modern Americana. • The Slinky was invented by accident. In the early 1940s, a spring fell off the desk of a marine engineer named Richard James. It tumbled end over end across the floor. This new invention hit toy store shelves in 1948, and the rest is history. • To manufacture his new creation, Richard James designed and engineered machines to transform 80 feet of wire into a 2 1/2 inch tall stack of 98 coils. Boom, he had a Slinky making machine. Today, the Hollidaysburg, PA based factory churns out 3 million to 4 million Slinkies a year. Mrs. James, who came up with the name "Slinky" has been chief executive officer since 1960.
Source • http://www.chiggerridge.com/accidental_inventions/accidental_inventions_index.htm\ Submitted by : Erik Murray RA at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth