When some of the best inventions happen by accident

April 22, 2020 11:46 am

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Some people spend years and years on a particular invention. Thinking up the issues, devising a solution and then setting about creating the item that is needed. Almost every process and item that we have in the world today will have come from one inventive thought or another.

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However, there are some inventions that happen by accident and here are just a few of them.

  • Tyres – Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped some rubber mixed with sulphur onto a hot stove and founded the process of rubber vulcanisation which led to stronger rubber that was not as susceptible to extremes of heat. When you join this with modern day processes such as Rubber Injection Moulding, the possibilities for this material become almost endless.
  • Slinky – in 1943 Richard T James accidentally knocked a spring off a shelf and noticed that it fell and uncoiled itself to step off the shelf and neatly coiled itself back up on a pile of books, before uncoiling again and falling further down. This led to James developing the spring and the first 400 “Slinky” toys were sold in store in 1945.
  • Post-it-Notes – whilst trying to develop a super strong adhesive Dr Spencer Silver actually created a weak adhesive that could be used to temporarily stick things together. The accidental invention sat around for 3 years before a colleague thought it would be useful to temporarily stick bookmarks into hymn books. The Post-It note was available from 1980 onwards.