Plato said, “Science is nothing but perception.” That thought can apply to creativity too. Many inventions are the products of years of effort in the pursuit of a particular cause. Inventors know the problem and patiently work to solve that problem. But deliberate creativity isn’t the only way to invent, or be creative. Often times, creativity can be about seeing the opportunity in an accident. The trick is to be open to new ideas and perceptive. Here are a few accidental inventions.
- Saccharin – The chemist Constantin Fahlberg discovered it while eating a biscuit. He noticed it had an unusually sweet crust. The reason was that he hadn’t washed his hands after working in the lab that day. The next day he went back and tasted everything on his desk until he found it.
- Vulcanized Rubber – Charles Goodyear accidently flung a mixture of rubber and sulfur onto a potbelly stove and it charred into a leathery, but still elastic substance.
- Microwave Oven – Percy Spencer invented it after noticing a candy bar in his pocket melted after leaning in front of a magnetron.
- Velcro – While the Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral pulled burs off his pants and dog, he notices the little hooks from the burs would cling to any type of loop.
- Coca-Cola – The first Coke was invented when a lab assistant of John Pemberton accidentally mixed a cure for headaches with carbonated water.