The world is filled with the unknown, the mysterious, and the unexplored; all sorts of immeasurable innovations are waiting to be discovered. And we think you are just the person to do it! Grab your telescope, your magnifying glass, and your sense of curiosity because we are heading on a journey to the Design By Humans Discover page.
You have no idea what sorts of exciting mysteries might be unearthed in the Discover page. Luckily for you, the delightful — and equally terrifying — Baron Scritches Von Birdguts the Hypoallergenic cat (oh and that weird giant pet grasshopper…) have offered to be the guides on your voyage. And — just think — if the Baron is even half of what you can expect to meet on your journey, then all sorts of remarkable and exciting art is waiting around the corner for you!
In recognition of all the amazing breakthroughs that can happen when you least expect them — or all the amazing Baron Scritches Von Birdguts that you might discover in the world — we want to share our 5 favorite accidental discoveries with you!
In 1928, the scatterbrained Dr. Alexander Fleming rushed out of his laboratory to enjoy a well-deserved vacation in Scotland. However — like anyone about to go on vacation — Fleming shelved the idea of cleaning his workspace until after his return. I mean, when we leave on vacation the very thought of coming back seems impossibly far away. Come back to work? We’ll never come back! We’re going to the Bahamas forever!
Still, upon his return, he discovered that his experiment with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria had grown fungus in his absence. Luckily for him (and the rest of the world!) the mold eventually was marketed as the antibiotic drug, penicillin. Fleming’s accidental discovery changed the history of medicine, the way we treat bacterial infections, and has saved countless lives. It is also proof that we need to go on more vacations…
On a beautiful sunny day in 1941, the Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, was out enjoying a nature walk with his dog. On their way home, he noticed the burrs sticking to his dog’s fur and — feeling curious — he brought the burrs home to inspect under a microscope. Mestral was fascinated by the small hooks in the seeds and their ability to stick to fabrics; he continued to experiment with the idea and eventually invented Velcro! Not only did the discovery bring us Velcro shoes, but with it the realization that everyone needs to spend more time in nature and everyone should get a pet dog. Your dog could make you a millionaire!
Originally created as a cleaning product in the 1930’s, the iconic Play-Doh has since won over the hearts of children all over the world. Who doesn’t love to smash Play-Doh into the shape of a dinosaur, make it into a cake, or just smell it for hours while you roll the world’s longest snake (oh right, parents! Parents don’t love Play-Doh smashed into their rugs…)! Nevertheless, Play-Doh’s life as a cleaner was short-lived and the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. It was time for a new strategy! Thankfully (at least in this case) children love to play with things that they shouldn’t and they had taken a special liking to the cleaning product. So, — after a few changes in Play-Doh’s formula — it became a toy for generations of children to enjoy. So, let Play-Doh be proof that if at first you don’t succeed, listen to children and then try again!
In 1945, the engineer Percy Spencer accidentally discovered the modern microwave while he was working on a live radar set. He realized that the microwave radiation of the magnetron had created a heating effect that melted the chocolate bar in his pocket. From there, the microwave and all its wonders came into our lives! Instant ramen, instant popcorn, instant anything! Moral of the story: always have chocolate or some sort of snack in your pocket. Melting food is the key to success.
In 1943, a Navy engineer, Richard James, was trying to invent a solution to sensitive nautical instruments being ruined by the rocking motion of ocean waves (or giant sea monsters) on a ship. One day, he accidentally knocked one of his samples to the floor and it…sprang right back up! Thus, the beloved Slinky was born! James may not have solved his problem of broken nautical instruments, but he did bring joy to children all around the world. So, you may not always discover exactly what you intended, but sometimes the alternative is even more fun.
Baron Scritches Von Birdguts understands that we can never know what we’ll find on a journey of discovery. Nevertheless, sometimes the journey is half the fun and you might just find something you least expect! Visit the DBH Discover page to find that thing you didn’t even know you were looking for!