6 Awesome Accidental Discoveries

Timeless inventions are still present in today’s society. However, did you know that some of your favorite inventions were actually discovered by accident? Here are 6 awesome accidental inventions:

Post-it notes – Arthur Fry conceived Post-it notes in 1974 as a way of holding the bookmarks in his hymnal for the church choir. Spencer Silver, a co-employee at 3M, developed and adhesive in 1968 but there was no use for the adhesive until Arthur Fry used it for the Post-it idea.

Slinky – This toy for children which is also often used for physics experiments and demonstrations was created by Richard James, a naval engineer who was looking to develop a spring to support sensitive ship equipment. One of the slinkies fell off a shelf and this was when he got the idea to turn it into a toy.


Penicillin – Alexander Flemming took a vacation and left the staphylococci culture he was studying. Upon his return, he found a fungal growth on the cultures which was battling the staph. He grew a pure culture of this mold and to this day, penicillin is still used as an effective antibiotic.

Potato chips – A certain customer of Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York consistently complained that his fried potatoes were too soggy. Chef George Crum got tired of the situation and sliced the potatoes as thinly as possible, creating this salty snack which was initially known as “Saratoga Chips.”

Popsicles – Frank Epperson invented popsicles when he was only 11 years old and he kept this invention secret for 18 years! It was in 1905 when he accidentally left a powdered soda and water mixture out on the porch where he found it frozen in the morning. This fruit-flavored creation was initially called the “epsicle” but was later on patented as “popsicle.”


Microwave – Whoever thought this highly functional kitchen appliance was the product of an accident? Percy LeBaron Spencer who worked for the Raytheon Company once walked past a radar tube and noticed how the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. He realized how he might have been in front of a potential new product. As an experiment, he placed a bowl of popcorn in front of the radar tube. To his surprise, popcorn was all over the place and today, microwaves are still a big thing among modern kitchen appliances.

These accidental inventions are still enjoyed by people today despite their often comic origins!