Science has taken on an almost god-like aura and scientists are revered for their great discoveries. Many of those discoveries have improved the lives of people, or saved them, over the centuries.
What most people don’t know is that many of those discoveries weren’t planned and the genius of the scientist was realizing their mistake or their “unintended consequence” was really something amazing. The Daily Mail has cataloged a number of those “accidents” for us.
For instance, the treadmill. If you go to the gym you’ve seen them and probably used them, you may even have one in your home. It was an accidental discovery.
First up, is that treadmill.
It will probably not surprise many that this gym fixture was first conceived as a punishment device.
British engineer and inventor Sir William Cubitt proposed using the muscular power of idle prisoners at Bury St Edmunds gaol to generate useful work in 1818.
Inmates walked for up to 10 hours on these early treadmills – or ‘treadwheels’ – grinding grain or transporting water in the process.
More than 100 years ago a US patent was filed, in June 1913, for a treadmill-style ‘training machine’, and the first consumer models were produced during the 1960s by mechanical engineer William Staub.
Nowadays the pain-enduring factor remains, even if the machinery itself is decidedly more advanced.
Next is something you’re glad your dentist has.
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