ACCIDENTS THAT RESULTED IN BREAKTHROUGHS

You’ve heard of them.

Like maybe the one below.

The rest are here.

SAFETY GLASS

One day in 1903, French chemist Edouard Benedictus was working in his lab when he accidentally knocked an empty glass flask off his workbench. When he picked it up, he noticed something strange: The glass had shattered into many pieces, but they remained stuck together in the shape of the bottle. Upon further investigation, he found that the flask had been filled with collodion, a syrupy chemical solution that, when evaporated, leaves a clear film. The film had coated the inside of the glass and held the pieces together. (Collodion, though quite toxic, was used in those days to seal cuts after surgery.)

Although Benedictus thought this was interesting, he went back to his regular work. A few days later, he read a newspaper story about a woman who had been killed by a broken windshield in a car accident. Benedictus rushed to his lab. By the next night he had invented the world’s first safety glass, which can be found in virtually every car in the world today.

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