20 “accidental” inventions and discoveries

Velours and crochet

These two words were combined to make the portmanteau word Velcro, invented by the Swiss engineer George de Mestral. While on a walk in the country, he discovered that his dog’s fur, just like his own velour trousers, were covered in burdock flowers. When he took a closer look at these flowers, he noticed that they had tiny hooks (or crochets, in French) that helped them stick to clothes. After conducting several trials, de Mestral perfected the Velcro that we know today. His invention, consisting of two strips that stick together, was patented in 1951.

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