Some of the things we use in our everyday living were not invented with their intent in mind. Rather, they are discovered by chance. Unlike the time when Mr. Newton sat under an apple tree and viola came the theory of ‘Gravity’, these inventions are the results attained by accident through their inventors’ attempt to solve a particular problem. Add a little creativity and viola; we have something that is not only useful but also essential to our daily living.
Corn flakes, a staple breakfast for many, was the invention of the Kellogg brothers who were driven by the aim to search for wholesome food which could comply with the Seventh-day Adventists’ vegetarian diet for the patients of the sanitarium where they worked in. Boiled wheat left sitting out by accident became stale. Instead of throwing the food in the bin, the brothers placed the wheat through the rollers. Expecting sheets of dough, they got flakes instead, which the creative duo toasted. The rest we know is history.
© Alexey Arkhipov/ PhotoXpress LLC 2009-2010
Post-it Notes – a daily essential. Without them, would we have to rely on the primitive way of cutting strips of scotch tape and paper? This invention was the brainchild of Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry, both employees of 3M. Instead of successfully creating a strong adhesive, Silver, landed with the prototype of a very weak glue that could be removed effortlessly. Attempts to promote his product failed. Fast-forward 4 years. Fry faced the problem of falling slips of paper used to mark his hymnbooks. Remembering Sliver’s creation, Fry applied the weak glue to his slips of paper and sold the idea to 3M. That was how 3M became synonymously connected with post-it-notes.
© gianna/ PhotoXpress LLC 2009-2010
Food, glorious food! Would our late-nights parked in front of the television be as enjoyable, without potato chips? Created by George Crum in 1853, to satisfy a persistent customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back to the shop because they were soggy and not as crunchy as expected, Crum sliced the potatoes into thin slices, fried them in scalding oil and added salt to them. “Saratoga Chips” took Saratoga Springs in New York by storm. Its popularity spread rapidly through New England and now, the world.
© Ragnarocks/ PhotoXpress LLC 2009-2010
We all have the potential to become inventors. Think creative today!