(Slideshow) 8 Famous Inventions That Were Made Totally By Mistake

(Slideshow) 8 Famous Inventions That Were Made Totally By Mistake

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1. Everyone loves a SlinkyEveryone-loves-a-Slinky

Invented by navy engineer, Richard James, the slinky was originally designed as a spring to stabilise a meter used to measure horsepower on battle ships. It fell off the table and continued to slink around. James instantly realised it would make a fun toy, and an iconic childhood pastime, the Slinky, was born in 1945.

With a $500 loan, Richard James developed a coil winding machine and started the James Spring & Wire Company to mass-produce the Slinky. The company has produced and sold more than 250 million Slinkies worldwide. Richard James almost bankrupted the company after making large donations to a religious cult which he joined in 1960, leaving his family and the company he founded to his wife Betty James.

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Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.