Most people don't live to be 94. Most people don't receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Most people also don't invent, by accident, an extremely useful and widespread super-substance. Harry Coover, who died Saturday, did all these things.
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits," Thomas Edison once said. But is hustling all it takes? Is progress always deliberate? Sometimes genius arrives not by choice—but by chance. Below are our ten favorite serendipitous innovations.