15 of innovation's accidental heroes

10/7/2012 | Christian Science Monitor, The

Many iconic inventions weren't the product of inspiration or perspiration but rather of serendipity. Among the top accidental innovations: Potato chips, which a chef cooked as an insult to a fussy diner; X-rays, which Wilhelm Röntgen discovered while playing with cathode-ray tubes; and artificial sweeteners, discovered after a chemist ran some experiments, then ate dinner without bothering to wash his hands.

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Christian Science Monitor, The

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