(The Gist of Science Reporter) Repurposed Inventions

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Repurposed Inventions


Repurposed Inventions

Coca Cola — Refreshing Soft Drink

  • Coca Cola soft drink was originally invented as a medicine (tonic) by Atlanta pharmacist, John S. at his Pemberton Chemical Company to treat headaches and relieve anxiety.
  • The name Coca-Cola was derived from two main ingredients cocaine from the coca leaf and caffeine rich extracts of the kola nut. It was originally a sweet, alcoholic drink with a mixture of cocaine and wine and was called French Coca Wine.
  • Later the formula was sharpened, improved, carbonated and, in the end, promoted into what it is today. It was Asa Candler to whom Pemberton sold the formula before his death and he turned it into “Coca Cola”.

Listerine — Germ Killing Liquid

  • Listerine used as an oral mouthwash to maintain mouth hygiene was originally invented as a surgical antiseptic with varied uses including treating gonorrhoea, floor cleaning, foot scrubbing. Later it was showcased as a cure for dandruff and also used as a deodorant. It was in the 1920s that the incredible, germ-killing liquid, finally found its worth as a solution for terrible breath.

Slinky — Coiled Toy

  • In 1943, a naval engineer Richard James while working on a new design of spring to stabilize & support the ship’s equipment accidentally dropped the spring on the ground. 
  • The spring kept tumbling end-over-end across the ground instead of bouncing. And thus was born the sleek and sinuous “Slinky”.

Play Dou — Fun for Kids

  • Play Dou, the much-adored kids’ clay was not discovered the way it is today. It was originally invented to clean soot from the walls in the 1930s by a soap manufacturer in Cincinnati. 
  • Although the product they came up with became popular but later in the 1950s, it started facing a decline in business. Luckily, however, it was repurposed by one of the family members of the company and introduced as “Play Dou” – a soft, non-toxic clay loved by kids.

Bubble Wrap — Revolutionising Packaging Industry

  • Popping the bubble wrap — this is something we all must have had fun with! And its invention is equally interesting. 
  • In 1957, two American engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were trying to develop trendy attractive new textured wallpaper for which they sealed together two shower curtains leaving in between air bubbles but this 3D product didn’t work well as they had expected. 
  • They also tried to market it as insulation for a greenhouse but that too didn’t achieve success. But later history was created when IBM was looking for the safe shipping of their newly launched computer and bubble wrap solved the problem. IBM used bubble wrap to pack the computer during transport. 
  • This is when bubble wrap became an overnight success revolutionising the packaging world.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter