Everything has an origin story. From superheroes, to whatever you had for breakfast, someone sat down and said, “I am going to make this thing.” Or, more honestly, they sat down and tried to make something else, but ended up making the thing that you love instead. Oddly enough, that’s how most inventions, be they artistic, scientific, or culinary, are created: by accident. Check out our list of things that you love that were created by accident and prepare to be shocked by the truth about Corn Flakes.
Chocolate chip cookies, hit songs, famous scenes from movies, and your little sister, what do they have in common? They’re all mistakes! And they’re all on this very carefully curated list of things that you love that were created by accident (well, everything but your sister). The best artists and inventors have become adept at taking credit for their dumb luck, and hats of to them, because we probably wouldn’t know how to handle the fame that would inevitably come along with inventing a game like Space Invaders or the world’s second best dish, nachos (second only to pizza).
Memorize the information on this list and use it the next time you’re on a date, or if you’re waiting on line for ice cream, but before you do that vote for which accidental invention story you love the most.
Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Tollhouse Inn was trying to bake regular old boring cookies when she discovered she was out of baker's chocolate. As a substitute, she broke sweetened chocolate into small pieces and added them to the cookie dough, expecting the chocolate to melt, making chocolate cookies, but the little bits held their form and she started seeing dollar signs.
At the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair,Ernest A. Hamwi was selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry in a booth right next to an ice cream vendor who ran out of cups. And as if fate put them hand in hand, the ice cream vendor bought his supply of cones and gave the world diabetes for years to come.
Young chef Lionel Sternberger, burned a hamburger and hid the charred spot under a slice of cheese, back in the 1920s. Or so claims the Rite Spot diner in Pasadena, CA. The area’s chief of commerce Paul Little said: “Rather than throw it away, he hid his mistake and served it to a customer, who was delighted.”
In Midnight Cowboy, Jon Voight plays Joe Buck, a small-town Texan who goes to New York City to become a hustler and gets scammed by Ratso, a crippled con man played by Dustin Hoffman who later helps him become a gigolo. Since the filmmakers didn't have permits, the famous scene had to be shot with a hidden camera and carefully timed to coincide with the "walk" signal. After about 15 failed takes, a cab driver almost ran them over. Hoffman reacted by slamming the car and yelling, "I'm walkin' here!"