Weird History: 7 Life-changing Inventions That Were Created By Mistake

Weird History: 7 Life-changing Inventions That Were Created By Mistake

On a daily basis, we rely on items like microwaves and boxes of matches to simplify our lives. Surprisingly, these ingenious inventions, which enable us to navigate life effortlessly, were not born out of deliberate experimentation but were created entirely by chance.

Yes, you can credit serendipity for a remarkable array of things in your life, spanning from delectable potato chips to the life-saving drug penicillin.

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Here’s a list of some of the most life-changing products that came about as accidental inventions–

1. Chocolate-chip cookies

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by Mistake

Inventor Ruth Wakefield, who was the owner of the Toll House Inn, initially attempted to create regular chocolate cookies. However, while in the process of mixing a batch of cookies, she realised that she had run out of baker’s chocolate.

In a stroke of luck, she improvised by breaking sweetened chocolate into small pieces and incorporating them into the cookie dough. Wakefield’s intention was for the chocolate to melt and thus produce chocolate cookies, but the small chocolate bits unexpectedly stuck whole to the dough instead and voila, she created one of the world’s most beloved cookie recipes.

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2. The Pacemaker

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by Mistake
Wikimedia Commons

Electrical engineer John Hopps, while conducting research on hypothermia, was attempting to utilise radio frequency heating to restore body temperature.

In the course of his experiments, he made a crucial observation: if a heart had stopped beating due to cooling, it could be revived through artificial stimulation. This revelation ultimately laid the groundwork for the invention of the pacemaker.

3. Fireworks

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by MistakeUnsplash

The invention of gunpowder is often credited to an unknown cook in China believed to have been conducting simple kitchen experiments. The accidental creation occurred when the cook inadvertently combined charcoal, sulfur, and saltpetre – ordinary kitchen ingredients from over 2000 years ago.

Curiously, when this mixture was compacted into a bamboo tube (the reason for which remains unclear), it resulted in a sudden explosion, laying the foundation for the discovery of fireworks.

4. Super Glue

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by Mistake

Harry Coover’s search for materials to construct clear plastic gun sights during World War II led to the accidental discovery of a powerful adhesive that stuck to everything it touched.

Although initially rejected, this formula was later embraced and repurposed, leading to the development of what we now know as Super Glue.

5. Chewing Gum

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by Mistake

While various forms of chewing gum have existed since ancient Greece, the modern gum that we are familiar with today didn’t come into existence until the late 1800s.

It was during this time that an American inventor named Thomas Adams came across the chewy delicacy. Interestingly, this discovery occurred only after his initial attempt, which ended in failure, to transform chicle (the primary component of gum) into rubber.

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6. Vaseline

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by Mistake

Excited about the potential applications of petroleum, 22-year-old chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough made the decision to visit the town where the substance had been unearthed, intending to experiment with it.

During his stay, Chesebrough noticed that the labourers involved in drilling the petroleum utilised a byproduct of the extraction process to alleviate and heal cuts and burns on their skin. This observation led to the development of the product now recognised as Vaseline.

7. Ice Cream Cone

7 Life Changing Inventions That Were Created by Mistake

In the present day, ice cream enthusiasts can opt to indulge in their favourite dessert either in a cup or a cone, yet this wasn’t always the case.

According to tales, it wasn’t until the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair that the concept of spinning a wafer-like waffle into the form of a cone was conceived, born out of sheer necessity.

When an ice cream vendor at the fair finished his supply of dishes to serve the frozen treat, the neighbouring vendor, Ernest A. Hamwi, ingeniously fashioned his waffles into cones, serving as makeshift vessels for the ice cream.

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