“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits,” Thomas Edison once said. But is hustling all it takes? Is progress always deliberate? Sometimes genius arrives not by choice—but by chance. Below are our ten favorite serendipitous innovations.
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The Microwave – Percy L. Spencer
Saccharin – Ira Remsen, Constantin Fahlberg
Slinky – Richard James
Play-Doh – Kutol Products
Super Glue – Harry Coover
Teflon – Roy Plunkett
Bakelite – Leo Baekeland
Pacemaker – Wilson Greatbatch
Velcro – George de Mestral
X-Rays – Wilhelm Roentgen