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So You've Made Some Mistakes...

Updated on January 21, 2009

Do you realize that some of life's greatest discoveries were created from mistakes? So, maybe its time too see the silver-lining through the clouds. We have all made a mistake or time or another. The goocher is most of the time, we recover from whatever we trip over, dust ourselves off, and pick up the pieces. Then we try to reformulate what we have left and rebuild with what we've got the best way we can.

Well sometimes by pure accident we find our mistakes turn out to be something greater than our original idea. Our mistakes may turn out to be our greatest success. A successful mistake maybe what we find is our actual purpose. Not everyone catches on to who they are, or who they are supposed to be right away. I believe many of us, like most successful mistakes, never really became what we imagined ourselves to be. 

Through experimentation, twists, turns, and unplanned changes...mistakes are made. Learning from our mistakes is how we grow. How we become the people we are today. "It's what we've done, that makes us who we are" was sang by Jim Croce. The words hold true non-the-less. Mistakes, good ol' trial and error. or "the old college try" is what creates the who we are... not the image of who you perseeve yourself to be in your mind.

Results may never quite come out as planned, but the finished out come maybe a pleasent surpise that turns out far better than one could ever imagine. Mistakes do NOT necessarily equal failure. A mistake maybe just an alternitive plan to your grand sceem that may not have worked out the way you wanted it too.

So if mistakes are made by you or someone else...that does not mean all is lost or that you have failed. Failure is not an option, and mistakes are something that may be learned from. Mistakes still have the possibility to be  beneficial. Mistake can be made, they can be repaired. Have you ever been able to repair failure?

Some Discoveries Created by Mistake



One smell most people remember from childhood is the odor of Play-Doh, the brightly-colored, nontoxic modeling clay. Play-Doh was accidentally invented in 1955 by Joseph and Noah McVicker while trying to make a wallpaper cleaner. It was marketed a year later by toy manufacturer Rainbow Crafts. More than 700 million pounds of Play-Doh have sold since then, but the recipe remains a secret.


Fireworks originated in China some 2,000 years ago, and legend has it that they were accidentally invented by a cook who mixed together charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter -- all items commonly found in kitchens in those days. The mixture burned and when compressed in a bamboo tube, it exploded. There's no record of whether it was the cook's last day on the job.

Potato Chips

If you can't eat just one potato chip, blame it on chef George Crum. He reportedly created the salty snack in 1853 at Moon's Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York. Fed up with a customer who continuously sent his fried potatoes back, complaining that they were soggy and not crunchy enough, Crum sliced the potatoes as thin as possible, fried them in hot grease, then doused them with salt. The customer loved them and "Saratoga Chips" quickly became a popular item at the lodge and throughout New England.

Eventually, the chips were mass-produced for home consumption, but since they were stored in barrels or tins, they quickly went stale. Then, in the 1920s, Laura Scudder invented the airtight bag by ironing together two pieces of waxed paper, thus keeping the chips fresh longer. Today, chips are packaged in plastic or foil bags or cardboard containers and come in a variety of flavors, including sour cream and onion, barbecue, and salt and vinegar.


In 1943, naval engineer Richard James was trying to develop a spring that would support and stabilize sensitive equipment on ships. When one of the springs accidentally fell off a shelf, it continued moving, and James got the idea for a toy. His wife Betty came up with the name, and when the Slinky made its debut in late 1945, James sold 400 of the bouncy toys in 90 minutes. Today, more than 250 million Slinkys have been sold worldwide.


Saccharin, the oldest artificial sweetener, was accidentally discovered in 1879 by researcher Constantine Fahlberg, who was working at Johns Hopkins University in the laboratory of professor Ira Remsen. Fahlberg's discovery came after he forgot to wash his hands before lunch. He had spilled a chemical on his hands and it, in turn, caused the bread he ate to taste unusually sweet.

In 1880, the two scientists jointly published the discovery, but in 1884, Fahlberg obtained a patent and began mass-producing saccharin without Remsen. The use of saccharin did not become widespread until sugar was rationed during World War I, and its popularity increased during the 1960s and 1970s with the manufacture of Sweet'N Low and diet soft drinks.

Post-it Notes

A Post-it note is a small piece of paper with a strip of low-tack adhesive on the back that allows it to be temporarily attached to documents, walls, computer monitors, and just about anything else. The idea for the Post-it note was conceived in 1974 by Arthur Fry as a way of holding bookmarks in his hymnal while singing in the church choir. He was aware of an adhesive accidentally developed in 1968 by fellow 3M employee Spencer Silver. No application for the lightly sticky stuff was apparent until Fry's idea. The 3M company was initially skeptical about the product's profitability, but in 1980, the product was introduced around the world. Today, Post-it notes are sold in more than 100 countries.

Silly Putty

It bounces, it stretches, it breaks -- it's Silly Putty, the silicone-based plastic clay marketed as a children's toy by Binney & Smith, Inc. During World War II, while attempting to create a synthetic rubber substitute, James Wright dropped boric acid into silicone oil. The result was a polymerized substance that bounced, but it took several years to find a use for the product.

Finally, in 1950, marketing expert Peter Hodgson saw its potential as a toy, renamed it Silly Putty, and a classic toy was born! Not only is it fun, Silly Putty also has practical uses -- it picks up dirt, lint, and pet hair; can stabilize wobbly furniture; and is useful in stress reduction, physical therapy, and in medical and scientific simulations. It was even used by the crew of Apollo 8 to secure tools in zero gravity.

Microwave Ovens

The microwave oven is now a standard appliance in most American households, but it has only been around since the late 1940s. In 1945, Percy Spencer was experimenting with a new vacuum tube called a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation. He was intrigued when the candy bar in his pocket began to melt, so he tried another experiment with popcorn. When it began to pop, Spencer immediately saw the potential in this revolutionary process.

In 1947, Raytheon built the first microwave oven, the Radarange, which weighed 750 pounds, was 51/2 feet tall, and cost about $5,000. When the Radarange first became available for home use in the early 1950s, its bulky size and expensive price tag made it unpopular with consumers. But in 1967, a much more popular 100-volt, countertop version was introduced at a price of $495.

Corn Flakes

In 1894, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan. He and his brother Will Keith Kellogg were Seventh Day Adventists, and they were searching for wholesome foods to feed patients that also complied with the Adventists' strict vegetarian diet. When Will accidentally left some boiled wheat sitting out, it went stale by the time he returned. Rather than throw it away, the brothers sent it through rollers, hoping to make long sheets of dough, but they got flakes instead. They toasted the flakes, which were a big hit with patients, and patented them under the name Granose. The brothers experimented with other grains, including corn, and in 1906, Will created the Kellogg's company to sell the corn flakes. On principle, John refused to join the company because Will lowered the health benefits of the cereal by adding sugar.


Popsicles In 1905 an eleven-year-old Frank Epperson was mixing powdered soda and water to make soda pop. Frank accidentally left the mixing bucket outside. During the night the mixture froze solid, with the wooden stirring stick standing straight up. But the frozen pop tasted great! Frank started selling Epperson icicles for five cents, later changing the name to popsicles.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies In 1930, Ruth Wakefield was making chocolate cookies at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Mass. When she ran out of baking chocolate, Ruth broke a bar of semi-sweet chocolate into little pieces and added them to the dough. When the cookies were baked, the chocolate hadn't melted. Instead there were little chips of chocolate throughout the cookie. Ruth was soon selling chocolate chip cookies.

Ice Cream Cones

Ice Cream Cones Ernest Hamwi was selling Syrian pastry at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. When a nearby ice cream vendor ran out of dishes, Hamwi rolled some pastry into a cone so ice cream could be put inside. The ice cream cone was a huge a hit. However, an Italian immigrant named Italo Marchiony received a patent to manufacture ice cream cones earlier that same year, suggesting more than one person invented ice cream cones.


Get this. Cheese was invented by an old Arabian traveling across the desert. He had a pouch along with him made from a. . . . . . . . SHEEP'S STOMACH!! Anyway, he poured his milk into it and continued on his way. Later, he opened the pouch to find. . .cheese!


How many people do you know who toss around a pie tin for fun? Well, it might have been a lot if you had lived before Frisbees were invented. College kids used to play catch with pie tins for fun. Why the name? Frisbee Pie Company, of course!


Here he is, the high-and-mighty Earl, sitting daintily at his gambling table when-rats-it's lunchtime! What's a poor Earl to do? Give up his gambling or. . .starve? Suddenly, the Earl gets an idea! He orders his servants to simply pile all the food between two pieces of bread. Easy enough to eat while gambling, and a delightful snack, too. But what does he name this invention of his? Why, after himself- John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich!

Coca Cola

A long time ago, a doctor was carefully working on a new headache medicine. He wanted it to taste good, but also to feel good. He finally perfected it and sent it for approval. When the approvers were inspecting it, they realized that the medicine tasted better than it worked. They put in some carbonated water, changed it a little more, and introduced it world-wide as: Coca Cola, a new soft drink!!

Sister Hazel -"Your Mistake"


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Great Hub.

  • foxility profile image


    10 years ago

    I rather learn from other peoples mistake.

  • Lgali profile image


    10 years ago

    good message

    Learning from our mistakes is how we grow

  • buddygallagher profile image

    Monie Maunay 

    10 years ago from manila, philippines

    what doesnt kill us makes us stronger, I think that's how it is with mistakes. always, there's a lesson to be learned and we're all the better for it.

  • goldentoad profile image


    10 years ago from Free and running....

    Anothe good hub James, I have plenty of disasters, I mean family that has taught me alot by their mistakes, and I got my own screw ups and failures that have taught me as well.

  • KCC Big Country profile image


    10 years ago from Central Texas

    Enjoyable hub!

  • G-Ma Johnson profile image

    Merle Ann Johnson 

    10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

    Who doesn't want to be Everything to at least one someone?  I did for 33 years...just to have him leave me for a younger explain that.. you are a man...except for his mistake..:O(  I thought I knew??? I want to be his I understand you...want to be free...I wasn't right...I wasn't fine...I didn't taste like wine...I wanna be FREE...sorry to be into your hub so touched me and my feelings...Thanks tho...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace


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