Inventors are integral to our world. Imagine your life without a car, a refrigerator, or even just plumbing!
Those ones obviously have a specific purpose, but there are some things out there that were created for totally different reasons than what we use them for today.
Before we used it to blow our noses all blessed winter long, Kleenex was marketed as a replacement for "cold cream towels" to apply skin care products. In 1924, the product was sold as "the new secret of keeping a pretty skin as used by famous movie stars." Six years later, in 1930, this was changed to brand Kleenex as we know it today.
During World War I, Kimberly-Clark produced surgical dressing out of Cellucotton, which was relatively new at the time. Cellucotton was super absorbent and helped treat battle wounds, but as time went on the nurses found the product was also useful for feminine hygiene needs. After the war, it was marketed as "sanitary napkins" and the name was changed to Kotex, short for "cotton texture."
3. Bubble Wrap
Now it's used for packing (and for having fun) but bubble wrap was originally designed to be wallpaper! Engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes were trying to invent a textured wallpaper, but strangely enough the market wasn't huge for that. Then, IBM announced their new computer in 1959 and Fielding and Chavannes had a great idea. They pitched bubble wrap as a packing material and the rest is history.
Are you ready for this one? When Lysol was first introduced, it was marketed as a "vaginal douche" as well as contraception. Shocker, though: it did NOT prevent pregnancy and it was extremely dangerous. The fact that it's now used as a disinfectant should probably make that clear.