Everyday Stuff That Was Invented By Accident

It is hard to imagine how the things we use every day were invented. How would anyone have thought about making them even before they were heard of? We hold these people who invented the things we use each day in the highest regard, because no doubt many of mankind’s greatest inventions required years of patience, skill, frustration and research.

But not all of them. So researchers just got plain lucky in the face of their frustrations and mistakes. Actually, quite a few of the things you use every day were created by accident (or grudges). Pray tell, you say? We shall oblige:

Potato chips

Potato Chips- The anytime, every time snack

Potato Chips- The anytime, every time snack

Inventor: George Crum, a chef at the Carey Moon Lake House in Saratoga Springs

What he was trying to make: A plate of fried potato.

How it was created: One day a customer sent back his plate of potatoes many times and kept asking for them to be more fried and thinner. Crum lost his temper, sliced the potatoes insanely thin and fried them until they were hard as a rock. To the chef’s surprise, the customer loved them and wanted more!

Microwave ovens

Microwaves- The easier way to heat things up!

Microwaves- The easier way to heat things up!

Inventor: Percy Spencer, an engineer with the Raytheon Corporation

What he was trying to make: nothing. It was a radar-related research project with a new vacuum tube.

How it was created: Spencer realized that the candy bar in his pocket began to melt during his experiments. He then put popcorn into the machine, and when it started to pop, he knew he had a revolutionary device on his hands.

Corn Flakes



Inventor(s): The Kellogg brothers, John and Will

What they were trying to make: A pot of boiled grain

How it was created: The brothers accidentally left a pot of boiled grain on the stove for several days. The mixture turned moldy but the product that emerged was dry and thick. Through experimentation they eliminated the mold part and created corn flakes.

Post-it notes

Post It's- To remember things, with a little color

Post It’s- To remember things, with a little color

Inventor: Spencer Silver, a researcher in 3M Laboratories

What he was trying to make: A strong adhesive

How it was created: While working away, Silver created an adhesive that was actually weaker than what already existed. It stuck to objects but could be pulled off easily without leaving a mark. Years later a colleague spread the substance on little pieces of paper to mark his place in his choir hymn book, and the idea was born.


Children's favorite toy

Children’s favorite toy

Inventor(s) : Joseph and Noah McVicker

What was trying to be made: A wallpaper cleaner

How it was created:  Composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil, the product was first manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. When a classroom of children began using the wallpaper cleaner as a modelling compound, the product was reworked and marketed to Cincinnati schools in the mid-1950s.


Tea Bags- For the fastest cup of tea!

Tea Bags- For the fastest cup of tea!

Inventor: Thomas Sullivan

What was trying to be invented: A fail-proof way to transport tea

How it was  created: To market his new product, Sullivan put it in little tea “bags” and attached samples with magazines. The loose tea was intended to be removed from the sample bags by customers, but they found it easier to brew the tea with the tea still enclosed in the porous bags.


coke, diet coke

Coca Cola- The world’s favorite drink

Inventor: Pharmacist John Pemberton

What was trying to be made: A medical remedy for his headaches

How it was created: John basically dumped together a bunch of ingredients into a kettle, in the process creating a recipe that still remains a secret today.

Chewing gum

Bubble gum

Bubble gum- Student’s Favorite Pastime

Who invented it: Thomas Adams

What was trying to be made: create a rubber replacement out of natural latex

How was it created: Overwhelmed with frustration that his attempts to were unsuccessful, Thomas Adams put a piece in his mouth and noticed the flexible material was surprisingly very enjoyable to chew on. He began adding flavors and by 1888, the name “chewing gum” was coined.

In a gist, every mistake may turn into a genius opportunity, just as long as we keep our eyes and minds open! As for these products, as long as they were invented, who are we to complain?

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