Behind some of the most seemingly mundane products lie some pretty good stories about how they came to be.




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Potato chips resulted from a cook’s moment of pique.


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Kotex were first manufactured as bandages during World War I.


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The brassiere was invented by Otto Titzling.


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Ivory Soap got its “float” from a manufacturing mistake.


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A “worthless” glue that wouldn’t stay stuck resulted in Post-it Notes.


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The mother of former Monkee Mike Nesmith invented Liquid Paper.*


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The shopping cart was not a resounding success when first introduced.


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The rounded raised markers used to enhance lane markings on California highways,
Botts’ Dots, were named for their inventor.


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Champagne glasses were modeled on Marie Antoinette’s breasts.


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Cabbage Patch dolls were designed to look like survivors of a nuclear holocaust.


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Graham crackers were named for a man who believed that unhealthy diets led to sexual excess.*


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E-mail lists valuable technological innovations brought about by African-American inventors.


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McDonald’s did away with its spoon-shaped coffee stirrers because people were using them as cocaine spoons.


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The stethoscope was invented thanks to a doctor’s modesty.


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The idea for FedEx earned that company’s founder a failing mark while he was college student.


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Play-Doh started out as a wallpaper cleaner.

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