The song Bad Moon Rising, written by John Fogerty and made popular by Credence Clearwater Revival - CCR - was written shortly after Richard Nixon was elected president. Fogerty wrote the song to protest Nixon being elected and a forecast for the future as a result.
The song Pretty Woman, written by William Dees and Roy Orbison, was originally written as a slow, crooner, song. It was more likely that someone like Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, or Tony Bennett would have recorded it. The authors could not find anyone to record the song. One night, while driving down the highway, it started to rain, so Orbison turned his windshield wipers on. (This was in the days where windshield wipers only had two speeds - off and on.) As he was singing the words of Pretty Woman to himself, he somehow managed to sing it at the pace of the wipers. Zing! A hit song is born! The next time you are driving your vehicle down the road, and the song Pretty Woman comes on the radio, turn the windshield wipers on. You will find the pace of the song matches the rhythm of the wipers.
Not all inventions were produced by adults. In some cases, it was a child. One such example is an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson invented the Popsicle. He accidentally left his favorite fruit drink with a stirrer in it outside on the porch overnight. When he awoke, the drink was frozen and he found a new delicious treat. He went on to patent his idea and is the creator of the Popsicle, Fudgsicle, Creamsicle and Dreamsicle!
Or, how about Chester Greenwood? In 1858 at the age of 15, he was ice skating and kept getting irritated at how cold his ears got. He tried wrapping his head in a scarf but that probed to be too bulky and itchy. He went home and fashioned 2 ear shaped loops from wire and asked his grandmother to sew some fur on the loops. These became the first ear muffs which he patented and ended up making a fortune on his invention by supplying the US soldiers with ear muffs during World War I.
Abraham Lincoln's personal carriage was used in a classic movie from 1939. It wasn't Gone with the Wind, but rather the Wizard of Oz! Remember the scene where Dorothy, the scarecrow, tin man and the cowardly lion were riding around the Emerald City in a carriage? That carriage once belonged to Abraham Lincoln. the carriage is now in the Judy Garland Home and Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Perhaps one of today's most widely used innovations started out as an accident. In 1953, Carl Swanson had a problem - a 270-ton problem. That's how much leftover turkey Carl, owner of Swanson's - a food processing company - had to use before it spoiled. He thought fast and came up with a revolutionary idea. Soon Swanson's introduced the first frozen "TV dinner" in an aluminum tray: turkey, corn-bread stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes, and peas. At the time, most people still didn't own freezers, so the meals were bought and eaten on the same day. By 1954, more than 25 million TV Dinners had been sold. Swanson soon developed other TV Dinners and had an entire line of them. In 1986, Swanson's aluminum "TV Dinner" tray was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute, solidifying the TV Dinner's role in American history.
Shrapnel was invented by Lieutenant Henry Shrapnel in 1784. It contained 200-300 heavy metal bullets. When it exploded over the target - usually infantry - it scattered the flesh-fragmenting bullets at high velocity. Shrapnel shells were usually fired by field guns, with ranges of up to 10,000 yards. Shrapnel was deadly if one was caught out in the open or if it exploded over a trench. Prior to the canon ball being filled with bullets, it only did damage in a limited perimeter. Shrapnel greatly increased the range of damage. What this good or bad?
Who would have guessed that the idea for M&M'SŪ Plain Chocolate Candies was hatched against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War? Legend has it that, while on a trip to Spain, Forrest Mars Sr. encountered soldiers who were eating pellets of chocolate encased in a hard sugary coating. This prevented it from melting. Inspired by this idea, Mr. Mars went back to his kitchen and invented the recipe for M&M'SŪ Plain Chocolate Candies. M&M'SŪ Chocolate Candies were first sold in 1941, and soon became a favorite of the American GIs serving in World War II. Packaged in cardboard tubes, they were sold to the military as a convenient snack that traveled well in any climate. By the late 1940s, they were widely available to the public, who gave them an excellent reception. In 1948, their packaging changed from a tube form to the characteristic brown pouch we know today.