What is necessary for the invention? Many will respond that this will take months and years of research and experiments. In classical cases, this is exactly what happens. However, history knows a lot of cases when important inventions were committed absolutely randomly. And we are talking not only about scientific, but also quite everyday things. Let’s talk about the most famous of them.
The discovery of penicillin took place in 1928. The author of the accidental invention was Alexander Fleming, who was studying influenza at the time. According to the legend, the scientist was not sufficiently accurate and did not bother to frequent washing laboratory dishes immediately after research. So, the culture of the flu could be stored for 2-3 weeks in 30-40 cups at the same time. And then one day in one of Petri’s cups the scientist discovered a mold that, to his amazement, could destroy the staphylococcus bacteria sown culture. This caused Fleming’s interest, it turned out that mold, which was infected with culture, refers to a very rare species. In the laboratory, she was most likely from a room on the floor below, it was there that mold samples grown from patients with bronchial asthma were grown. Fleming left on the table a cup, which was to become famous, and went on vacation. Then in London there was a cold snap, which created favorable conditions for the growth of mold. The subsequent warming favored the growth of bacteria. Later it turned out. What exactly is this combination of circumstances and served the birth of such an important discovery. And its significance far exceeded the scope of only the 20th century. After all, penicillin has helped and still helps save the lives of millions of people. People paid tribute to the memory of the scientist, after the death of Fleming, he was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, placing on a par with the most famous Englishmen. In Greece, on the day of Fleming’s death, even national mourning was declared.
X-rays or X-Rays.
The author of the discovery was in 1895 the physicist Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen. The scientist spent experiments in the darkened room, trying to understand whether the cathode rays, discovered only recently, could pass through the vacuum tube or not. Changing the shape of the cathode, Roentgen accidentally saw that a chemically cleaned screen a few pounds away a vague greenish cloud appeared. It seemed that a weak flash from the induction coil could be reflected in the mirror. This effect was so interesting to the scientist that he dedicated to him for seven weeks, practically without leaving the laboratory. As a result, it turned out that the luminescence arises from the direct rays emanating from the cathode-ray tube. The radiation itself gives a shadow, and it can not be deflected by a magnet. Applying the effect on a person, it became clear that the bones cast a more dense shadow than the soft tissues. It is still used in fluoroscopy. In the same year appeared the first X-ray. They took a photograph of the hand of the scientist’s wife, on whose finger the golden ring was clearly distinguished. So the first experimental was exactly the woman that men could see right through. Then the danger of radiation still did not know anything – there were even a photo studio, where they made single and family photos.
In 1496, Columbus brought a wonderful thing from the West Indies – rubber balls. Then it seemed like a magical but useless fun. In addition, the rubber had its drawbacks – it stank and quickly rotted, but when it was warm it became too sticky, hardening much more in the cold. It is no wonder that people for a long time could not find the use of rubber. Only 300 years later, in 1839, this problem was solved by Charles Goodir. In his chemical laboratory the scientist tried to mix rubber with magnesia, nitric acid, lime, but everything was useless. The attempt to mix rubber with sulfur ended in failure. But here, quite by chance, this mixture was dropped on a hot stove. So we got elastic rubber, which today surrounds us everywhere.These are automobile tires, balls and galoshes.
In 1908, the Swiss chemist Jacques Brandenberger, working for the textile industry, was looking for ways to create such a cover for kitchen tablecloths, so that it was as much as possible protected from stains. The developed coating in the form of tough viscose was too tough for the intended purposes, but Jacques believed in this material, suggesting using it to package the products. However, the first machine for the production of cellophane appeared only after 10 years – it took the Swiss scientist that much time to realize his idea.
Today such a combination of words is not surprising, but in 1903 everything was completely different. Then the French scientist Edward Benedictus dropped an empty glass flask on his leg. The dishes did not break and it surprised him very much. Of course, the walls were covered with a grid of cracks, but the shape remained intact. The scientist tried to find out what caused this phenomenon. It turned out that before that there was a solution of collodion in the flask, which is a solution of cellulose nitrates in a mixture of ethanol and ethyl ether. Although the liquid evaporated, a thin layer of it remained on the walls of the vessel. At this time in France has developed the automotive industry. Then the windshield was made of ordinary glass, which entailed many injuries to drivers. Benedictus understood how his invention could be used in this field and saved many lives. However, the cost of implementation was so great that it was simply postponed for decades. Only decades after the First World War, during which triplex glass was used as a gas mask, unbreakable glass was also used in the automotive industry. The pioneer was the Volvo company in 1944.
Protective material Scotchgard.
In 1953, Patsi Sherman, a 3M employee, developed a rubber material that was supposed to successfully withstand aviation fuel interactions. But suddenly one inaccurate laboratory assistant shed one of the experimental compounds directly on her new tennis shoes. It is quite obvious that Patsy was upset, because she could not clean her shoes with alcohol or soap. However, this failure only pushed the woman to new research. And now, just one year after the incident, Scotchgard appeared on the light, which protects from different surfaces – from fabrics to cars.
Sticky notes – mnemaker.
This random invention is also known as post-it notes. In 1970, working for the same 3M corporation Spencer Silver tried to develop a super strong adhesive. However, his results were depressing – the resulting mixture was constantly smeared on the surface of the paper, if it tried to glue it to something, then after a while the leaf fell off, leaving no traces on the surface. Four years later another employee of the same company, Arthur Fry, who sang in the church choir, came up with how to improve the search for psalms in the book. To do this, he pasted the bookmarks, smeared with the composition developed earlier. This helped the stickers stay inside the book for a long time. Since 1980, the history of the release of post-it notes – one of the most popular office products – has begun.
Also this substance is still called Krazy Glue, in fact, its correct name is “cyanoacrylate” (cyanoacrylate). ” And his invention also became an accident. The author of the discovery was Dr. Harry Kuver, who during World War II in 1942 was looking in his laboratory for making plastic for gun sights transparent. At the output of the experiments, cyanoacrylate was obtained, which did not solve the required task in any way. This substance quickly hardened and glued to everything in a row, spoiling the valuable laboratory equipment. Only many years later, in 1958, the scientist realized that his invention could be used for the benefit of mankind.The most useful was the ability to immediately seal the composition … human wounds! This saved the lives of many soldiers in Vietnam. With wounded miracles glued wounded could already be transported to the hospital. In 1959, there was an extraordinary demonstration of glue in America. There the host of the program was raised in the air on the two steel plates glued together with a drop of composition. Later in the course of demonstrations, both television sets and cars were raised in the air. Velcro fastener or velcro.
It all started in 1941, when the Swiss inventor George de Mestral walked his dog as usual. Upon returning home it turned out that both the master’s coat and all the dog’s hair were covered with burdock. A curious Swiss decided to examine under a microscope how the plant can so firmly cling. It turned out that all the blame – tiny hooks, with which the burdock was attached to the wool almost tightly. Guided by the pending principle, George created two ribbons with the same small hooks that would cling to each other. So there was an alternative clasp! However, the mass production of a useful product came only after 14 years. One of the first such Velcro began to use astronauts, which are so buttoned spacesuits. Fruit ice cream on a stick (popsicle).
The author of this invention was only eleven years old, and the name of the young man was Frank Epperson. What he discovered, many will be called one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century. Luck smiled at the boy when he dissolved the soda powder in water – a drink that was popular with children at that time. For some reason, Frank did not manage to drink the liquid at once, he left a stick for stirring in the glass and left it for a while on the street. The weather was then frosty and the mixture quickly froze. A funny frozen thing on a stick liked the boy, because you could lick her tongue, and not drink. With a laugh, Frank began to show his discovery to everyone. When the boy grew up, he remembered the invention of his childhood. And now, 18 years later, sales of fruit ice cream “Epsicles” started, which had as many as 7 varieties of taste. Today this kind of delicacy is so popular that only in America more than three million fruit ice cream on a stick, such as popsicle, are sold annually.
Bag for garbage.
Mankind received a sack for waste only in 1950. Once to Harry Vasilyuk, an engineer and inventor, the city’s municipality applied to solve the problem of spilling waste when loading garbage trucks. Vasilyuk for a long time designed a device that operates on the principle of a vacuum cleaner. But then another idea suddenly dawned on him. According to the legend, one of his friends accidentally exclaimed: “I need a garbage bag!”. Then Vasilyuk realized that for disposing of garbage, only disposable bags should be used, which he suggested making of polyethylene. At first such packages began to be used in the hospitals of Canadian Winnipeg. The first garbage bags for individuals appeared only in the 1960s. I must say that the invention of Vasilik was very useful, because now one of the global tasks of mankind is just the disposal of garbage. And this invention, although it does not contribute to the direct solution of the problem, indirectly still helps. Trolley for supermarket.
Silvan Goldman was the owner of a large grocery store in Oklahoma City. And now he noticed that buyers do not always take some goods, because they are just hard to carry! Then Goldman in 1936 invented the first shopping cart for purchases. The businessman himself came to the idea of his invention by accident – he saw one of the customers put a heavy bag on a toy car, which the son was rolling on a string. The trader first attached the wheels to the usual basket, and then, summoning the mechanics to help, he created a prototype of a modern cart.Since 1947, the mass production of this device began. It is this invention that allowed the appearance of such a phenomenon as supermarkets.
Among the random inventions of mankind there are also devices. In this row, a pacemaker is allocated, which helps to save lives for millions of people suffering from heart diseases. In 1941, engineer John Hopkins was engaged in research on hypothermia, commissioned by the Navy. He was tasked with finding a way to maximize the heating of a person who had been in the cold for a long time or in ice water. To solve this problem, John tried to use high-frequency radio emission, which would warm up the body. However, he found that when the heart is stopped due to hypothermia, it can be restarted by stimulation with electrical impulses. This discovery led to the appearance in 1950 of the first pacemaker. At that time it was cumbersome and heavy, and its use sometimes even led to the formation of burns in patients. The second random discovery in this area belongs to the physician Wilson Greithbatch. He was trying to create a device for recording heart rhythms. One day he randomly inserted into his device the wrong resistor and saw in the electrical network oscillations similar to the rhythm of a person’s heart. Two years later, with the help of Greatbatch, the first implantable pacemaker appeared, giving artificial impulses, stimulating cardiac activity.
In 1853, in the town of Saratoga, in the state of New York, a constant, but especially capricious client literally exhausted the staff of one cafe. This man was the railway magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, he always refused the proposed French fries, considering it to be thick and moist. In the end, the cook George Cram tired of chopping the tubers is thinner and thinner, and he decided to take revenge or just play a trick on the annoying visitor. In the oil, several thin slices of potato slices were fried and served to Cornelius. The first reaction of the grumbler was rather predictable – now the slices seemed too thin to be pricked with a fork. However, after trying a few pieces, the visitor was finally satisfied. As a result, other visitors also wanted to try a new dish. Soon a new dish called “Saratog chips” appeared in the menu, and the chips themselves began their victorious procession around the world.
The accidental discovery of diethylamide of d-lysergic acid led to a whole cultural revolution. Few people today can challenge this fact, because the hallucinogen, discovered by the Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman in 1938, largely contributed to the formation of the hippy movement in the 60’s. Interest in this substance was quite large, it also had a huge impact on the research and treatment of neurological diseases. Actually discovered LSD as a hallucinogen by Dr. Hoffman, participating in pharmaceutical research in Swiss Basel. Doctors tried to create a drug that would ease the pain in childbirth. In the synthesis of what was later called LSD, Hoffman initially did not find any interesting properties in the substance and hid it in the vault. The real properties of LSD were discovered only in April 1943. Hoffman worked with the substance without gloves, and some of it got into the body through the skin. When Albert was riding home on a bicycle, he was surprised to observe the “unceasing flow of fantastic pictures, unusual shapes with a rich and kaleidoscopic game of color.” In 1966, LSD was declared outside the law in the US, soon the ban spread to other countries, which greatly complicated the study of the hallucinogen. One of the first researchers was Dr. Richard Alpert, who stated that by 1961 he had managed to test LSD at 200 sites, 85% of whom said that they had received the most useful experience in their life.
And in this case they invented a completely different device. So, in 1945 American engineer Percy Spencer created magnetrons. These devices were supposed to generate microwave radio signals for the first radars. After all, they played an important role in the Second World War. But the fact that microwaves can help prepare food has opened completely by accident. Once, while standing beside a working magnetron, Spencer saw that a chocolate bar had melted in his pocket. The mind of the inventor quickly realized that the fault was the very same microwaves. Spencer decided to conduct experiments, trying to work on popcorn and egg. The last, expected for us, modern, exploded. The benefits of microwaves proved to be there, with time the first microwave oven was made. At that time, it weighed about 340 kilograms and was the size of a large modern refrigerator.