Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Common Household Items Was Invented By Accident?

Paperclips
Crayons
Shoe Polish
Matches
A freshly ignited match.
Sebastian Ritter (Rise0011)/Wikimedia

Answer: Matches

The design of strike-anywhere matches is pretty brilliant in its simplicity and effectiveness. It’s just a stick of wood with a blob of dried, highly flammable material on the end that is ignited by friction. Drag the match on a rough surface and boom, with a hiss, a flare, and a wisp of sulfur scent, you’ve got a flame.

That brilliant bit of design, however, was discovered completely by accident. In 1826, a British chemist named John Walker living in Stockton-on-Tees, had a stick with some chemicals he’d mixed up dried on the end. When he scraped the stick across a stone in his hearth, it burst into flame from the friction.

Intrigued by the experience, he replicated it and in the process invented friction matches. After a bit of experimentation with design and materials, his finished product—called “Friction Lights” and first sold to the public in April 1827—closely resembled the same product we use today, right down to the little strip of sand paper on the side of the box.

Trivia

Hard

Myst Island, Setting Of The Iconic 1990s Video Game, Was Named After A Novel By?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Heavily Forested Country On Earth Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Longest Unbroken Treaty In U.S. History Is Between The U.S. And?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Video Game Console To Ship With A Modem And Online Gaming Support?

Trivia

Easy

The Loudest Sound In Recorded History Was The Result Of A?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Popular 1980s Computer Game Blatantly Ripped Off Super Mario Bros?

Trivia

Hard

Climate Changes Have Left Which Creature Without Natural Camouflage?

Trivia

Hard

People In The Medieval Era Believed The Fossils Of What To Be Petrified Dragon Tongues?

Trivia

Easy

A Former Japanese Military Base Is Now Overrun By Tame?

Trivia

Easy

The Land Animal With The Largest Eyes Is The?