Who better to catch a thief than an ex-con? Not
1. Saccharin or “Sweet N Low.”
In 1871 when chemist Constantin Fahlberg was trying to find alternative uses for coal he one day forgot to wash his hands. He then noticed that his wife’s biscuits tasted sweeter. Once he realized the residue was the culprit it was just a matter of time before we were ripping packets of Saccharin open to flavor our coffee.
A navy radar specialist named Percy Spencer felt the chocolate bar in his pocket melt while he was fiddling with microwave emitters in 1946. Soon after the microwave kitchen appliance became a staple of every home.
3. Potato Chips
In 1853 restaurant customers were still as fussy as they were today. When one kept complaining that his french fries were soggy, New York City chef George Crum decided to teach the customer a lesson. He cut the potatoes extra thin then doused them with far too much salt. Shockingly the customer was quite pleased. Thus, the potato chip was born.
4. Play Doh
Play Doh was invented to be wallpaper cleaner but when folks stopped warming their homes with coal in the early 20th century the material was rendered obsolete since walls didn’t get as dirty. However it’s inventor Cleo McVicker realized it may have another commercial use when he found his son playing with it.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookies
In 1930 Ruth Wakefield, owner of Tollhouse Inn., wanted to make chocolate cookies but had run out of baker’s chocolate. She decided to use sweetened chocolate chunks instead assuming that they would melt and blend just the same. The chunks stuck in place and the result was something delicious just the same.
While chemist Albert Hofmann was studying lysergic acid derivatives in 1938 he accidentally ingested some and had the first acid trip.
After a hiking trip engineer in 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral noticed that burrs kept getting stuck to his pants and his dog’s fur. He realized that they would stick to anything with a loop. Velcro is thus the combination of the words “Velvet” and “Crochet.” Though he couldn’t find much interest in the fashion industry, NASA quickly found many uses for it.
8. The Sandwich
The sandwich was famously invented by the earl of Sandwich (yes, that’s a place) in the 1700s. The earl asked his servant to put meat between bread so that he wouldn’t have to stop playing cards and eat a proper meal.
In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson left his soda making tools on the porch. When he returned to them they had frozen and the wooden stick he used to stir the mixture was stuck inside. In 1924 he finally patented his discovery.