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3 Inventions That Unexpectedly Became World Famous

Did you know these inventions took off for different reasons and became famous surprising even the inventors?

A lot of the inventions that we use daily have been made intentionally. However, many more inventions have gotten famous, and they are used by everyone, everywhere around the world, and they were not created with those intentions.

Science has a way of discovering things, even back in the day when people did not know yet what they had discovered, and using it in many different ways.

However, some types of inventions have started as completely different things with different usages; they have since become useful in a completely different manner, and they have become famous and indispensable in some cases too!

These important inventions, despite their different starts, have become some of the world’s most useful and popular items that not even the inventors could have predicted becoming so important or lucrative, for that matter!

If you are ready to discover the stories behind these world-famous inventions, how they came about, and how we almost did not have them between us with this intention, keep on reading!

What other invention do you know of that could have been something entirely different? Which invention story has stuck with you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image By Serge Vo From Shutterstock


Yes, matches—one of the most used ways to start a fire in the last two centuries—have been invented by mistake! The wild part of this story is how their inventor, an Englishman named John Walker, ended up not patenting his inventions after he perfected them!

Wild right? But let’s go back down memory lane and check out the reason why this has happened.

Back in 1826, Walker was cleaning his hearth in his shop, which housed a number of dried chemicals. Since he tried to scrub the residue from the hearth with a wooden stick, the chemicals caught fire due to the friction on the dried chemical!

This sparked the idea in Walker’s mind that this could be a great invention, and he settled to play with it, trying to perfect his invention and make it easy to use and foolproof.

It took him a while, but on April 7, 1827, the man started to sell his invention in his shop under the name of friction matches!

The matches were an instant success, so much so that they sold out quickly and made the man a pretty big sum of money. His friends and family begged the man to go and patent his idea, but Walker could not be persuaded to do so.

As a result, English businessmen started to make competing products to his, and the matches became a universal product!

Sadly, the man who invented them never managed to make himself an empire of matches, but you should not feel too bad for him. The initial sale and subsequent ones ended up making him a pretty decent profit, and he was financially successful.

So much so that, in the end, he ended up being able to retire after the sale of them and live comfortably for the next three decades of his life!

This invention came to be out of sheer luck and with a little bit of tinkering, so even if the man did not become a billionaire due to his invention, he still managed to live a good life off the profits and help humanity in the meantime!

Image By Great Prints Philippines From Shutterstock

Rubber bands

The fun part of how rubber bands were invented is that they have multiple inventors, and they have been around in their basic form since before they got a patent!

When we look at the Western world and Europe, they were first invented somewhere in 1820 by Thomas Hancock, who made bands out of rubber.

However, this was before vulcanization was discovered, so while he had the band form of the rubber, they would be susceptible to weather and temperature changes; in hot weather, they would soften up quickly, and in cold ones, they would get brittle and snap easily!

The first patented rubber bands came from a London-based industrialist in 1845, and they were more of an afterthought!

The man and an engineer were engaged in various projects involving vulcanized rubber, and they had lots of scraps around. That’s when they realized they could use them to hold things together—an ingenious idea.

While the two have gotten the patent, they are just half of the story, and they are not the only ones who came up with it.

At the same time as the two came up with the idea, in the Congo, indigenous Africans were already using latex, and thus a pretty primitive rubber band. They would put raw latex on their fingers to protect them during work on the rubber plantations, and in time it became stringy and stretchy. Then they would use it as ornamental decorations!

An entrepreneur at the company, Felix Saabye, started to play with these strings and realized their potential for holding together paperwork.

Then he realized that if he brushed it with kaolin, these rubber bands would last longer! He figured out a more primitive vulcanization version on the plantation.

Sadly, Saabye and this rubber band died before he could make the most of his idea, but the two engineers managed to get a patent, and thus rubber bands became known and extremely useful to the public at large!

Image By Alex Segre From Shuttersstock


Yes, this wonderdrug has had very different starting points as a medication, and it had nothing to do with arousal back when its inventor came up with it!

Under its scientific name of Sildenafil, this medicine was initially devised to treat various heart-related conditions, more specifically angina, and hypertension. Nowadays, it is more famous due to its commercial name, and it was issued to treat erectile dysfunction.

The idea behind this medicine, when it was devised, was to create an oral treatment that could be used when people suffering from hypertension and heart issues could stop and cease their heart issues at the moment.

The medicine was so that the blood flow would increase and that it would strengthen arteries and veins, thus managing to pump the blood faster through the body.

And Sildenafil worked as intended! The only problem when it was tested was that it ended up giving male patients increased blood flow in their northern regions if you catch our drift!

It ended up being useful for other types of diseases too; more notably, it was used to aid people with digital ulcerations, systemic sclerosis, congestive heart failure, certain respiratory disorders, and even some stroke patients trying to recover!

While Viagra is now known for its erectile dysfunction aid, it started as a humble heart medication, and it proved to be useful in treating different disorders that are characterized by a lack of blood supply to the affected area.
The only side effect is that male patients were definitely happier more often than not, and it ended up being useful in other more pleasurable areas of life too!

If the way things were made and how science helped the world fascinate you, we recommend that you delight yourself with a show on this topic. This one here is our favorite, and people of all ages can watch it, so you can enjoy it with the family!

If you are curious about other types of inventions and how they have become life-changing as time has passed, we have got you covered! Read about some of the best inventions that we now cannot live without in this article here!


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