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IN Science & Technology ON 03 Jun, 2015
"Necessities lead inventions and inventions lead necessities." Utterly correct conclusion. But it would also be not wrong to believe "accidents led the awesome inventions that have changed the world."
Every invention did not take longer time and hard studies; some of them were just unintentionally discovered out of the usual activities and experiments.
There was no intention to find these inventions and yet it got discovered. Even the salty and tasty potato chips were discovered in the kitchen, and Penicillin was formed in the chemist's lab and likewise there are many other results born, out of the scientific coincidences.
Luckless in forming drugs, in 1880s, a pharmacist named John Pemberton accidently got a huge commercial success when he tried to make a Coca based syrup cure headaches and nervous disorders.The result of his experiment came out as coca cola that became the most popular beverage when in 1885 Atlanta banned alcohol.
Our favorite salty and crunchy snack, potato chips was discovered by Chef George Crum in 1853 at Moon's Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York. He prepared soggy French fries for his customer who did not like its taste and returned it thrice. That made him disappointed and then he cut thin slices of potato, boiled it and fried it just like French fries. For him, it was an experiment to prepare crispy French fries that then got famous as potato chips and people around the world relish it till now.
Ruth Wakefield, the inventor of chocolate cookies, had no idea of the recipe of chocolate chips cookies. In the year of 1930, she was making plain chocolate cookies. For the sweetness, she added chocolate pieces to the cookie dough, expected will be melted. But some of the chocolate remained unchanged. She found that this tastes even better than the plain chocolate cookies and then it got popularity as chocolate chips cookies.
In 1946, Percy Spencer, an engineer with the Raytheon Corporation was conducting a radar-related research project with a new vacuum tube. While experimenting with the device, he found that the candy bar in his pocket started melting, it made him curious and so he grabbed some unpopped corns that started to pop. That sudden moment gave him an idea of a revolutionary cooking device he created later.
Swiss engineer George de Mestral went for a hunting trip with his dog and noticed the burrs sticking to his furs. Eventually, he got an idea to work with this new sticking way but he couldn't. Then, NASA came with this awesome product.
Many times these electromagnetic waves were the accidental discoveries. In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen was experimenting with the cathode rays, and he found the reflection of light from some fluorescent cardboard. He observed that cathode rays were reaching at that cardboard by crossing the solid block, kept in the middle. The further studies, after this incidence gave birth to X-rays.
You just behold your surroundings and you will find hundreds of things made of plastic. In 1907, Leo Baekeland, the Belgian-born chemist tried to develop the substitute of shellac by combining formaldehyde and phenol but he failed to manage the favorable temperature and pressure required to create the replacement. He made adjustments to temperature and pressure and got the product that then used as the replacement of shellac.
In 1894, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg thought for the healthy and purely vegetarian meal for patients. One day he left some boiled wheat sitting out and when he returned he saw that it went stale and got flakes. He then tried this with corns and became successful in his experiment. Kellogg's accidental discovery which then got popularity with the name, Kellog's corn flakes.
You might not believe that even anesthesia could be an accidental discovery. But it's all about observing the small thing that leads to the bigger one. In 1800s, inhaling the compound of ether and Nitrous oxide(laughing gas) was practiced in the parties for entertainment. Crawford Long, William Morton, Charles Jackson and Horace Wells also took part in these laughing parties and accidentally they realized that this chemical compound would be helpful to affect people's perception of pain.
Penicillin is the fascinating accidental invention that was formed when Alexander Fleming went for the vacation in the mid of his experiment with the microorganisms. This discovery was the surprise in his laboratory he got after arrival.
Simon Campbell and David Roberts, two researchers at pharmaceutical company Pfizer were working on the side effects of a drug, and their study turned their way and gave them the outcome, they had never expected. They discovered the drug named UK-92480 to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions. Which was not evidently effective and one who took that drug, complaint that, it causes the erection. This accidental invention blew their mind.
You might have heard that in an ancient times the fire was generated through stones but have you ever thought how did the idea of matchbox strike?
In 1826, John Walker in his lab stirring a pot of chemicals and then he noticed that the dried lump had formed on it. Without thinking anything, he rubbed it with the piece of sandpaper. And it gets ignited. His just an action caused the accidental discovery of matchbox.