DISCOVERIES FOUND BY ACCIDENT
Added on: 30th May 2015
Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and engineer was trying to stabilize
nitro-glycerine so that it could be stored when a series of
accidents eventually led to the death of his brother in an explosion.
Some say this pushed him even harder. One day while he was
transporting some of the compound a can started leaking.
The packing mixture, however, started absorbing the liquid.
Since nitro-glycerine is most dangerous in its liquid form he
had found his answer.
Constantine Fahlberg, a scientist at John Hopkins University
accidentally carried some compounds from the lab home with him.
While eating dinner he realized the bread tasted strangely sweet in
spite of the fact that he hadn’t used any sugar. He then realized it
had come from the lab.
While building an oscillator to record heart beat sounds in animals at
Cornell University Wilson Greatbatch accidentally grabbed the wrong
transistor. After switching on the device he found it to have a very
familiar rhythmic pulsing sound, very similar to a human heart.
Although alcohol has long been the drug of choice when it comes to
amputations and other painful battlefield style procedures, in the
1800s several doctors realized that ether and nitrous oxide
(laughing gas) inhibited pain in people under the influence.
During World War II, while attempting to create a synthetic rubber
substitute, James Wright dropped boric acid into silicone oil.
The result was a bouncy substance that had no apparent use.
In 1950 marketing expert Peter Hodgson saw its potential as a
toy and now we have Silly Putty.
In 1974 3M employee Arthur Fry used what 3M had deemed a useless
sticky substance to hold bookmarks in his hymnal while singing in
the church choir. Although 3M was initially sceptical about selling
adhesive notes, today they are glad they did.
In 1943, naval engineer Richard James was trying to develop a
spring that would support and stabilize sensitive equipment on ships.
When one of the springs accidentally fell off a shelf, it continued
moving and James got the idea for a toy.
Chef George Crum came up with the snack in 1853 when he was
fed up with a customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back to
the kitchen saying they weren’t crunchy enough. Annoyed,
Crum sliced them as thin as possible, fried them in hot grease,
and doused them in salt. The customer loved them.