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Mistakes That Worked. By: Micki Nordeen and Mason Peterman. Coca Cola.

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Mistakes that worked

Mistakes That Worked

By: Micki Nordeen and Mason Peterman

Coca cola
Coca Cola

Can you believe that one of America’s favorite drinks was invented by accident? On May 8, 1886, an pharmacist named John Pemberton was trying to invent a medicine that would aid the nerves and soothe headaches. Using a boat ore to stir, he cooked up a mixture in a brass kettle over a fire. When he was done, he thought it was successful, and took his new concoction to Jacob’s Pharmacy. He instructed his assistant to mix the syrup with water and chill it with ice. Then, his assistant and he tasted his mixture, and they both agreed it was delicious. They thought it was so good that they wanted another glass. So , he told his assistant to mix another one. However, little did he know, he accidentally added carbonated water instead of plain water. They tasted it and became very excited. They liked it so much, they decided to sell it as a fountain drink instead of a medicine. They named it coca cola after the coco leaves and cola nuts it contained. Then,. The drink was so popular that people in 155 different countries drank 393 million coca cola soft drinks everyday. Thus, Coca Cola was born.

Leaning tower of pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • Bonnano pisano an Italian engineer began to work on a bell tower for for the cathedral in Pisa. Un to his knowledge thee bell tower would become one of the most famous tourist attractions, and one of the most famous structures in the world because of a mistake. The tower was supposed to be 185 feet high. Three stories were completed after he started in the year 1174. All was going well until the tower started to tip or lean. The soil beneath the tower was to soft and the ten foot thick foundation was not strong enough to support the weight. He offset the leaning by making the stories taller on the short side and shorter on the tall side. However this didn’t work. The extra building materials were making the tower heavy on one side, and it leaned even more. For almost 100 years construction halted. In 1275 construction began again. This time two stories were built in line with the others to alter the center of gravity. In the 14th century the tower was finally finished, but each year it leans 1.25 mm. I currently tilts five degrees or about seventeen feet. So, that is how the leaning tower of pizza came to be.

Levi jeans
Levi Jeans

One of the most common articles of clothing was created by accident.

In the year 1853 a man named Levi Straus left New York for California intending to sell dry goods. He went to California because the gold rush in 1849 attracted thousands of prospectors planning to strike it rich by panning for gold. He intended to sell canvas for tents and wagon covers. While he was selling these to prospectors, they were all telling him that they should have brought pants because their warm, don’t wear down, and don’t cost a lot of money. With this advice, he went to a tailor and asked him to make several pants out of his canvas. He started selling these pants, and people loved them. The word was spreading quickly about how great Levi’s pants were. People were telling their friends about Levi’s pants. People kept buying these pants, but soon Levi started to run out of canvas material. So, he started using another sturdy fabric made in France called denim. Levi started making his pants better by using different color-blue, adding stitching, and making pockets. Even today, people all over the world use these jeans for their daily activities.


Long ago, doctors told patients to chew on the bark of a willow tree if they are suffering in pain. So, the people of long ago had no aspirin or medicine. Even as far back as 400 B.C. people in pain were recommended a tea made from willow to calm their pain. In the 1800’s scientists finally discovered that a substance named salicylic acid was in the tree that helped reduce pain and fevers. But, when the suffering took this acid in it caused mouth irritations and severe stomach irritations. A French chemist named Charles Gerhardt was 37 when he mixed a chemical with the acid and it produced good results in 1853. The only problem was that the steps in the procedure were difficult and took a lot of time. Gerhardt decided to set the new compound aside because it was impractical. A German chemist Felix Hoffman was searching for something to relief his fathers arthritis 41 years later. After studding Charles’s experiments for a long time he realized that he discovered a acetylsalicylic acid. Charles never thought that his compound would be useful, but today 70 million pounds of it is produced all over the world. This compound is still very useful and is now known as aspirin.

X rays

X-Rays are in so many different places. Doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, clinics, and airport terminals all have them. Who’s the credit to? Wilhelm C. Roentgen. He was a German physicist and professor at the University of Wurzburg. The day it all happened was November 8, 1895. He was working with a vacuum tube that produced streams of weak electrons called cathode rays. He was in a dark room experimenting with the rays and an electric current when he noticed a screen a couple feet away from him that glowed. He noticed that the tube was surrounded by black paper that prevented ordinary light from coming through it. He continued experiments with invisible rays and decided to call them X-rays since no one knew about them. In 1901, He won the Nobel Prize in physics because of his brilliant discovery. Americans now receive 312 million x-rays a year.

Mistakes that worked

As you can see, there are many mistakes that don’t turn out very badly. You just have to remember to learn from your mistakes, and not dwell on them. All of the inventors here- Levi Strauss, John Pemberton, Bonnano Pisano, Charles Gerhardt, Wilhelm C. Roentgen- might not of even been trying to invent something, but when they did, it was because they learned from a mistake that they made.