Discovery by Chance 3

by Joy Festus

We live in a world where one needs to know how certain things were invented.  This week we brings you fresh updates on the discoveries in our world as a result of chance. Let’s jump right into it.

1. Post-it notes
Post-it notes were invented by accident, when a scientist named Spencer Silver was trying to develop a strong adhesive for 3M. He accidentally created a “low-tack” adhesive that was strong enough to hold paper together, but weak enough to be easily removed. The adhesive sat unused for years, until another 3M scientist, Art Fry, had the idea to use it to make small notes that could be stuck to pages and removed without damaging the paper. And that’s how the Post-it note was born.

2. Microwave Oven
The microwave oven was also invented by accident, when a scientist named Percy Spencer was working on a radar system for the US military. He noticed that a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted when he stood near the radar set. So, he tested the effect on popcorn kernels and an egg, which also heated up. He realized that the microwaves from the radar were responsible, and he decided to try to use them to heat food. He filed a patent in 1945, and the first microwave oven for home use was released in 1955. Now, they’re a common household appliances.

3. The X-ray
X-rays were also discovered by accident, when a scientist named Wilhelm Röntgen was doing experiments with a cathode ray tube. He noticed that the tube emitted invisible rays that made a fluorescent screen light up. He called the rays “X-rays” because their nature was unknown at the time. But he quickly realized that these rays could be used to create images of the inside of the body. So, the first X-ray image was created just weeks after the discovery of X-rays, and they’ve been used in medicine ever since!

4. Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap was also invented by accident, when two engineers at Sealed Air Corporation were trying to create a new kind of wallpaper. They sealed two pieces of plastic shower curtain material together, but when they pulled them apart, they noticed that the material had formed air bubbles. They realized that this material could be used to cushion and protect objects during shipping. So, they developed a machine to manufacture bubble wrap, and it’s now a ubiquitous packing material!

5. Play-Doh
Like many other accidental inventions, Play-Doh started out as something completely different! It was originally created in the 1930s as a wallpaper cleaner. But when a schoolteacher started using it in her classroom to make Christmas ornaments, the manufacturer realized that there might be a different use for the product. They developed the brightly colored modeling compound that we know today, and Play-Doh was officially launched as a toy in 1956. And the rest is history!

6. Velcro
Velcro was also invented by accident, when a Swiss engineer named George de Mestral went for a walk in the woods. He noticed that burrs were stuck to his clothes and his dog’s fur. When he examined them under a microscope, he saw that the burrs had tiny hooks that allowed them to cling to other surfaces. He was inspired to create a fastening system that used the same principle, and he developed the first version of Velcro. It’s now used in countless products, from clothing to shoes to furniture!

Pls share and stay tuned for more.

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