You Can’t Force Genius: Happy Accidents Gave us Great Inventions

As part of their ongoing “Celebration of Invention,” Gizmodo put together a nice top 10 list of accidental inventions, which ranges from everyday consumer products like Sweet ‘N Low and Super Glue to medical breakthroughs like the Pacemaker and x-ray machines.

Before being found ground into the rugs of child-rearing homes everywhere, Play-Doh was ironically created to be a cleaning product. The paste was first marketed as a treatment for filthy wallpaper—before the company that produced it began to go down the tubes. The discovery that saved Kutol Products—headed for bankruptcy—wasn’t that their wall cleaner worked particularly well, but that schoolchildren were beginning to use it to create Christmas ornaments as arts and crafts projects. By removing the compound’s cleanser and adding colors and a fresh scent, Kutol spun their wallpaper saver into one of the most iconic toys of all time—and brought mega-success to a company headed for destruction. Sometimes, you don’t even know how brilliant you are until someone notices for you.


Ok, but the real genius here is the guy who came up with the scent…or, more accurately, flavor. I mean it’s no secret, this stuff is delicious (look me in the eye and tell me you haven’t tasted it).  I’m getting pretty tired of Ramen noodles; chances are I’m gonna be cookin’ up some Play-Doh pizzas in my Bufalino real soon.  As a wannabe inventor myself, I’m still hoping to come up with some accidental gold mine soon.

Whoops! The 10 Greatest Accidental Inventions of All Time


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