5 Inventions That Changed The World, But Were Made By Mistake

When you think about people who invented something that is used daily in the world today, or something that has actually changed the world, you immediately think about a few extraordinarily smart scientist who recites physics formulae day and night.

However that is not true for all inventors. Did that the person who invented Coca Cola was actually trying to make a pain killer because he was wounded? Who knew that something that went so drastically wrong, could one day be something that the whole world would drink?

read on to know about such inventions that had been not intended to be what they’re today, and have been actually invented due to a mistake!


1.   The First Practical Implantable Pacemaker

While working as an assistant professor in electrical engineering at the university of Buffalo, he reached right into a box of components for a resistor to complete the circuitry while building a heart rhythm recording tool for the chronic disease research Institute there. the one he pulled out was the wrong size, and when he installed it, the circuit it produced emitted intermittent electrical pulses. He associated the timing and rhythm of the pulses with a human heartbeat, and then, he soon began experiments to shrink the device and shield it from body fluids.

2. Microwave Oven

Percy Spencer turned into experimenting with a new vacuum tube known as a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation in 1945. He attempted another test with popcorn when the the candy bar in his pocket began to melt. When the popcorn started to pop,

Spencer immediately noticed the potential on this revolutionary process. In 1947, Raytheon built the Radarange, the first microwave oven, which weighed 750 pounds, was 51/2 feet tall, and cost about $5,000. When the Radarange first became available for home use in the early Fifties, its bulky size and expensive price tag made it unpopular with consumers. But in 1967, a much more famous 100-volt, countertop version was added at a price of $495.

What would we do without the microwave?


3.   Penicillin


The traditional version of this story describes the discovery as a fortuitous accident: in his laboratory in the basement of St. Mary’s Hospital  in London, Alexander Fleming noticed a Petri dish containing Staphylococcus that had been mistakenly left open, was contaminated by blue-green mould from an open window, which formed a visible growth. There was a halo of inhibited bacterial growth around the mould. Fleming concluded that the mould released a substance that repressed the growth and caused lysing (breaking down of the membrane of a cell) of the bacteria.

Scientists now suspect that Fleming’s story of the initial discovery of the antibacterial properties of the penicillium mould is inaccurate. With a modern understanding of how the bacteria and the mould interact, scientists know that if bacteria were already present on the petri dish they would have inhibited the growth of the mould and Fleming would not have noticed any mould on the plate at all. A more likely story is that a spore from a laboratory one floor below, run by C. J. La Touche, was transferred to Fleming’s petri dish before the bacteria were added. At the time of the initial discovery La Touche was working with the same mould found in Fleming’s petri dish.

Fleming showed that, if Penicillium rubens were grown in the appropriate substrate, it would exude a substance with antibiotic properties, which he dubbed penicillin.

The only time mould was paid so much attention, perhaps?


4.    Ink-jet Printer

When a Canon engineer rested his hot iron on his pen by accident, ink was ejected from the pen’s point a few moments later. This principle led to the creation of the inkjet printer.

If that happened with us, our parents would probably scold us… Well.



5. X-Ray Images

On November 8, 1895, German physics Professor Wilhelm Röntgen stumbled on X-rays while experimenting with Lenard and Crookes tubes and began analyzing them.

There are conflicting accounts of his discovery because Röntgen had his lab notes burned after his death, however this is a probable reconstruction by using his biographers: Röntgen was investigating cathode rays the use of a fluorescent screen painted with barium platinocyanide and a Crookes tube which he had wrapped in black cardboard so the visible light from the tube would not interfere. He noticed a faint green glow from the display screen, approximately 1 meter away. Röntgen realized a few invisible rays coming from the tube were passing thru the cardboard to make the display screen glow. He found they could also pass through books and papers on his table. Röntgen threw himself into investigating these unknown rays systematically. Months after his initial discovery, he published his paper.

Röntgen discovered its medical use when he made a image of his wife’s hand on a photographic plate formed because of X-rays. The photo of his wife’s hand was the first photograph of a human body part using X-rays. When she saw the picture, she said “I’ve seen my death.”

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