1. Ice-Cream Cones
Back in 1904, during a fair, when an ice-cream stall ran out of plates, the owners decided to roll up the waffles and plopped the ice-cream on top. And that’s how you got the cone!
2. Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Mrs. Wakefield was a lady who could whip-up the tastiest desserts in Massachusetts. The first batch of chocolate-chip cookies were produced when customers at her shop ordered for some chocolate biscuits and she ran out of baker’s chocolate. She quickly decided to chop some chocolate and added it to the batter hoping that it would spread evenly throughout the mixture after baking. And it did not!
On a hunting trip, Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, with his dog, noticed how burrs would stick to its fur. Later, looking under a microscope, Mestral observed the tiny hooks that stuck burrs to fabrics and furs. Eventually, he managed to replicate the effect in his laboratory and then, NASA came along to popularize the technology.
Intending to come up with a medication which would include cocaine, civil war-veteran-turned-pharmacist, John Pemberton accidentally came up with a fizzy drink instead!
Trying to create a new variety of chlorofluorocarbons, chemist Roy Plunkett went out for a bit, only to come back and find nothing but a few white flakes. Intrigued by the mysterious bits of chemical, he began to experiment with their properties.
The new substance that came out is widely used everywhere as a non-stick cookware.
6. Super Glue
In the process of developing plastic lenses for gun sights, Harry Coover, a researcher at Kodak Laboratories, stumbled upon a synthetic adhesive made from cyanoacrylate.
It was rejected at that time for being far too sticky to be of any use. However, after rediscovering, it is now sold under the trade name of super glue.
7. Safety Glass
After Édouard Bénédictus, a French chemist, accidentally thumped a flask off of his desk, he realized it not break into pieces but only got cracked. Looking closely at it he realized that it was due to the presence of cellulose nitrate coated inside which kept it from coming apart.
8. Stainless Steel
This came about thanks to Harry Brearly, an English metallurgist, who developed a non-rusty gun barrel which, after going through a lot of tests, he realized would be perfect for cutlery.
9. Potato Chips
Thanks to the annoyed chef in New York, George Crum, who in order to teach a customer a lesson who kept sending his french-fried potatoes back to the kitchen because they were soggy, sliced the potato extra-thin, fried them to a crisp and drowned them in salt.
Little did he know that the customer would love it. And the rest is history!
Frank Epperson was 11-years-old when he decided to save money and make his own soda pop which was very popular at that time. He used the combination of powder and water but then absentmindedly left the solution out on the veranda all night.
As the temperature was extremely low, it froze the mixture with the stirring stick still in it.
Keith Kellogg in order to help his brother in cooking meals for patients left some bread dough sitting out for several hours and came back to find the flaky dough instead. It was then that he decided to see what would happen if he baked them.
As we all know, gunpowder and nitroglycerin have been around for ages. And then, there was Alfred Nobel who accidentally discovered a method of containing the substance without hindering its power, resulting in people having a blast, literally.
Two researchers, Simon Campbell and David Roberts, were studying the effectiveness of a new drug and had no clue what their product would turn into. They thought it would treat high-blood pressure and a heart condition called angina. But when it was tested on humans, it was nothing as predicted. Multiple patients reported that the treatment led to erections!
The company launched a new clinical trial to use the drug for erectile dysfunction disorder and named it Viagra.
14. Chewing Gum
It was accidentally invented by Thomas Adams in 1870 when he was experimenting with chicle, the sap from a South American tree, as a substitute for rubber. After mounting failures, the dejected inventor popped a piece into his mouth and as a result, Adams New York No. 1 became the first mass-produced chewing gum in the world.
Invented by one Chinese cook who mixed charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter together instead of sugar, spice and everything nice. The result exploded!
Who would’ve thought, right?