Most inventors strive for weeks, months, or years to perfect their products. (Thomas Edison tried thousands of different light bulb filaments before arriving at the ideal mixture of tungsten.) But sometimes, brilliance strikes by accident. Here's a salute to the scientists, chefs, and everyday folk who stumbled upon greatness – and, more important, shared their mistakes with the world.UPDATE: After great reader feedback, we've added five additional accidental inventions: Stainless steel, plastic, ice cream cones, Post-it Notes, and matches.
For a light summer supper, serve up a dish of lady peas and tuck a few buttermilk hoe cakes alongside.
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