Tell This Story to Your Mom When You Make an Mistake

There are lots of inventions in the world, but not all of them are made on purpose. For each of the following inventions, one small mistake helped to change the world.

1.    Post-its

Post-it note

Spencer Silver who was a researcher at 3M laboratories was trying to make a strong adhesive, but he could only develop a weak adhesive instead of it. Arthur Fry, who was a researcher at 3M, was always annoyed when he opened his Bible because his notes were always falling out of it. He realized he can use Spencer Silver’s useless adhesive to make a sticky note paper, and that is today’s Post-it.

2.    Potato chips

Potato chips

George Crum, a chef at the Carey Moon Lake House in Saratoga Springs, was providing foods for customers. One day a drunken customer complained to him that french fries were too thick. George Crum tried to make him very thinly sliced potato fries which are called Potato chips today. The potato chip tasted so good. After this event, the customer never complained of it again. Moreover, it became one of the popular snacks in the world.

3.    Penicillin


Alexander Fleming, a scientist was searching for a new medicine which could cure diseases. He kept failing in experiments. One day he left a pile of petri dishes in his bacteria laboratory to see his mother during vacation. When he came back from holidays, he found a contaminated dish with mold. Ironically there were no harmful bacteria around the mold grown on the dish. Finally he found a powerful  antibiotic, penicillin produced by the mold killed bacteria causing diseases and could save thousands of people’s lives from diseases. Even though it happened accidentally, one scientist’s passion and endless efforts toward the development of a new drug led him to save the world and win the Nobel Prize.

4.    Microwave ovens

Microwave oven

Percy Spencer, an engineer with the Raytheon Corporation, was working on a research related with radar. During repeated radar experiments, he felt his candy bar in his pocket was getting melt. He wondered why, so he put corns in the radar machine and saw the corns starting to pop. He decided to make a machine using this fact and that is microwave ovens which heat ups frozen foods. He accidentally discovered an amazing fact and used it for development of a microwave widely used in the world today.


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