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7 People Who Got Rich by Accidental Invention

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by mr.pkrfc, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. #1
    Frank Epperson : Popsicle
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    The first ice pop was created by accident in 1905 when 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a glass of homemade soda on his porch on a very cold San Francisco night.
    The next morning he went to go get the soda and it was frozen.
    Using the stirring stick that he had also left in the glass, he pulled it out and tried it.

    He didn't know that it was the beginning of the ice pop discovery.
    However, in 1923, he realized the incident became an idea.
    At first, Frank opened a store and sell ice pops, that was called "Epsicles".
    Seeing that it was a success, in 1924 Epperson applied for a patent for his "frozen confectionery" which he called "the Epsicle ice pop". He renamed it to Popsicle, allegedly at the insistence of his children.
    In 1928, the Popsicle sales of more than 60 million packs around the world.


    Harry Coover : Super Glue
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    The funniest thing behind the discovery of the world's most popular glue is that the glue was actually made because of the failure of an experiment conducted by a chemist named Harry Coover.
    At first, he was experimenting to make a gun sight that was made of plastic using chemical compound, cyanoacrylate.
    But the experiment failed miserably and ended up being a super-powered glue called 'Super Glue'.
    This product became very popular and sold more than 2 billion products until now. This is arguably the most profitable failure ever.


    Robert Chesebrough : Vaseline
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    Born in London, Chesebrough began his career as a chemist clarifying kerosene from the oil of sperm whales.
    In 1859, Chesebrough went to the oil fields in Titusville, Pennsylvania, and learned of a residue called "rod wax" that had to be periodically removed from oil rig pumps. The oil workers had been using the substance to heal cuts and burns. Chesebrough took samples of the rod wax back to Brooklyn, extracted the usable petroleum jelly, and began manufacturing the medicinal product he called Vaseline.



    Joseph McVicker : Play-Doh
    [​IMG]
    In 1952, Joseph McVicker worked at a company called Kutol that produced soap and wallpaper cleaner.
    In 1954, Kay Zufall, the sister-in-law to Joe McVicker, was running a nursery school and needed cheap materials to have her kids make Christmas decorations. In the process of searching for said cheap decoration materials, she read in a magazine that you could use wallpaper cleaner for this task. Knowing the trouble her brother-in-law’s company was in, she went out and bought a bunch of Kutol’s wallpaper cleaner, to see if it would work for this application. After not only observing that it worked, but that the kids had a blast playing with the wallpaper cleaner, she called Joe and told him they needed to make their now obsolete wallpaper cleaner into a toy. Joe then took a look at the Christmas ornaments made by the kids and agreed it was a great idea. They simply removed the detergent from the dough and added an almond scent and some coloring, as it was originally white.​
    Joe decided to re-christen the compound which would now be a toy: “Kutol’s Rainbow Modeling Compound”. Enter Kay Zufall to once again save the day, assuring him that that was a horrible name for their product. Her and her husband, Bob, then set about trying to think up a better one. In the course of their discussions, Kay came up with “Play-Doh”, which they both loved and suggested the name to Joe, who also liked it.

    Some time after that, Joseph set up a company and get a profit of millions of dollars.



    Arthur Fry : Post-It Notes
    Arthur Fry, an American scientist who in 1973, on a Sunday in a church, found this idea.
    Arthur had an unpleasant moment when he finished read a book, and when he wanted to continue to read the next morning, he had forgotten the last page he read yesterday.
    He imagined what if he put a small paper in the page. It will be a better reminder.
    That imagination led him to create a product which ultimately made him wealthy.



    Percy Spencer : Microwave Oven
    Percy Spencer is a scholar of American engineering that is assigned to investigate a machine that can detect enemy aircraft during World War II.
    At the time of his research, he accidentally melt a chocolate bar in his pocket because the microwaves emitted from radar.
    The first food to be deliberately cooked with Spencer's microwave was popcorn, and the second was an egg, which exploded in the face of one of the experimenters.
    To verify his finding, Spencer created a high density electromagnetic field by feeding microwave power from a magnetron into a metal box from which it had no way to escape. When food was placed in the box with the microwave energy, the temperature of the food rose rapidly.
    He secured his discovery and patented in 1940. And the sales of the products, sold well till today.




    George De Mestral : Velcro
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    One lovely summer day in 1948, a Swiss amateur-mountaineer and inventor decided to take his dog for a nature hike. The man and his faithful companion both returned home covered with burrs, the plant seed-sacs that cling to animal fur in order to travel to fertile new planting grounds. The man neglected his matted dog, and with a burning curiosity ran to his microscope and inspected one of the many burrs stuck to his pants. He saw all the small hooks that enabled the seed-bearing burr to cling so viciously to the tiny loops in the fabric of his pants. George de Mestral raised his head from the microscope and smiled thinking, "I will design a unique, two-sided fastener, one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops like the fabric of my pants. I will call my invention 'velcro' a combination of the word velour and crochet. It will rival the zipper in its ability to fasten."

    Mestral's idea met with resistance and even laughter, but the inventor 'stuck' by his invention. Together with a weaver from a textile plant in France, Mestal perfected his hook and loop fastener. By trial and error, he realized that nylon when sewn under infrared light, formed tough hooks for the burr side of the fastener. This finished the design, patented in 1955. The inventor formed Velcro Industries to manufacture his invention. Mestral was selling over sixty million yards of Velcro per year. Today it is a multi-million dollar industry.



    Sources:
    Wikipedia
    inventors.about.com
    ohiohistorycentral.org
    todayifoundout.com
    mr.pkrfc, Mar 29, 2013 IP
  2. Alcalo

    Alcalo Greenhorn

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    #2
    This post is very inspiring! I'd like to give you a "like" but I don't have enough likes for giving you one :rolleyes:
    Alcalo, Mar 29, 2013 IP
  3. mr.pkrfc

    mr.pkrfc Member

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    #3
    @Alcalo It's alright. Glad you like it! :)
    mr.pkrfc, Mar 29, 2013 IP
  4. Alcalo

    Alcalo Greenhorn

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    #4
    What was the name of the story? :D
    Alcalo, Mar 29, 2013 IP
  5. patriciaaj

    patriciaaj Greenhorn

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    #5
    Truly inspiring! I'm also waiting for the right time, lol.
    patriciaaj, Mar 30, 2013 IP
  6. InvestInPixels

    InvestInPixels Member

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    #6
    Great post!

    I have accidents all the time.

    I'm not rich :(
    InvestInPixels, Mar 30, 2013 IP
  7. Alcalo

    Alcalo Greenhorn

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    #7
    Well maybe is just the attitude that you take whenever you make a mistake. Most of us try to avoid that because we're taught that is something terrible. But very few people are not afraid to make mistakes and they even profit from them. We should learn from these people! :cool:
    Alcalo, Mar 30, 2013 IP
  8. Sam Woods

    Sam Woods Greenhorn

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    #8
    Thanks for the post, makes you think if you put your mind to something, you may not get exactly there but you may end up somewhere better. :)
    Sam Woods, Mar 30, 2013 IP
  9. mr.pkrfc

    mr.pkrfc Member

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    #9
    Thank you so much guys for your likes and comments.
    I really appreciate it.
    I'm glad you like my post. Hopefully it'll inspire us to never give up.
    anything's possible!
    mr.pkrfc, Mar 31, 2013 IP
  10. suidmach

    suidmach Active Member

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    #10
    Awesome details on these people! Very interesting :)
    suidmach, Mar 31, 2013 IP
  11. Gianni Palazzo

    Gianni Palazzo Member

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    #11
    I hope I could make a mistake that makes me money one day.
    Gianni Palazzo, Apr 2, 2013 IP
  12. Brett Booker

    Brett Booker Greenhorn

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    #12
    That is very inspirational
    Brett Booker, Apr 6, 2013 IP
  13. Asiangal

    Asiangal Greenhorn

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    #13
    They got rich by accidental invention. But the effort they have taken for marketing their products was quite daunting. I read Vaseline story, and how Robert Chesebrough cut himself, and applied Vaseline on his skin to show how effective the jelly was. In those days advertising or launching a invented product was not at all an easy task.
    Asiangal, Apr 14, 2013 IP
  14. mr.pkrfc

    mr.pkrfc Member

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    #14
    True!!
    Thank you for the additional information. The Vaseline story is quite long, i can't put it all on this post.
    mr.pkrfc, Apr 14, 2013 IP