Lucky discoveries that made people rich. What do you think is the key to becoming rich? A good education? A high-paying job? Or perhaps an extreme talent?
All of these may be correct, but sometimes, it’s just enough to be in the right place at the right time. In this article, we will share with you 6 lucky discoveries that made people rich, I mean accidental discoveries that brought real fortune to some lucky people.
1. Super Glue
The American chemist Harry Coover and his research team at Eastman Kodak accidentally discovered this product while they were looking for materials to create plastic gun sights. In 1985, this useful product which seems to stick together just about anything generated over $2.5 billion in sales growth. At present, superglue is even used in the electronics and health industries.
2. Post-it Notes
These colorful little sticky pieces of paper were also discovered by chance. Chemist Spencer Silver thought about creating a type of tape that could be used on paper and shared this idea with the rest of the 3M team back in 1973.
One of his employees named Arthur Fry then came up with the idea of making something out of the paper such that it could also be used as a bookmark. He thought about this because he needed something that can hold a scrap paper on his hymnbook while he was singing with a church choir. At present, 6 billion post-it’s are sold annually.
One of the most known and probably the most popular lucky discoveries that made people rich was Coca-Cola. This is the most famous carbonated beverage in the world, but did you know that it was originally intended to be something to cure headaches? John Pemberton had the idea that coca leaves and cola nuts when mixed can become a brain tonic. However, his assistant added carbonated water with those two by accident—creating the drink many people enjoy today.
Chemist Robert Chesebrough discovered ‘road wax’ as he was working on an oil well in 1859. He took a sample of this sticky substance back home and found out that he can make a usable petroleum jelly that can be used for treatment. It was in 1911 when the chemist opened factories in Europe, Canada, and Africa to create petroleum jelly and generate over $75 million.
The substance for making Play-Doh was originally used as a non-toxic wallpaper cleaner for over two decades until Cleo McVicker who was working at Kutol—the company which manufactures this substance—found out that it can be patented as kids’ toy.
He realized this when the children at a nursery school loved it when it was given to them. He then put up Rainbow Crafts and marketed Play-Doh as a commercial product. In just four years, he was able to generate $3 million in sales.
Microwave is another one of the amazing discoveries that made people rich. This appliance has made food preparation faster and hassle-free since 1945. The microwave was discovered accidentally by the American engineer Percy Spencer when he found out that magnetron could melt chocolate as he was conducting experiments on an enemy plane detector. Since this discovery, Raytheon managed to generate profits of over $25 billion.
Who would’ve thought that these lucky discoveries that made people rich were all accidental discoveries? And for those lucky few they turn out to be among the most successful discoveries that brought fortunes to many. This goes to show that even accidents sometimes have the power to turn our lives around in a positive way.