A chainsaw is a powerful tool, which is commonly used for chopping trees, trimming wood, and other do it yourself tasks. But did you know, the chainsaw began with an ulterior purpose? These are 3 popular things that were invented for something else and why you should work on your ideas today.

1. The Chainsaw: The chainsaw began chopping wood in the 19th century, but it had already been used as a medical instrument by doctors in the 18th century.

The miniature chainsaw was specifically used in childbirth, when a doctor would need to remove a mother’s pelvic bone because it was obstructing the baby from being delivered. The convoluted chainsaw would also be used to remove parts of the pelvic bone that was diseased.

It was invented by Scottish doctors John Aitken and James Effrey. The procedure was called symphysiotomy. The saw was later named, ‘the Osteotome’, after being developed by German physician Bernard Heine, in 1830.

The saw was designed more to the shape of a knife, but with pliable jagged teeth. After proving success, it was used all throughout the 18th and 19th century during childbirth. Luckily, medicine, medical practice and techniques have improved, and women no longer have a higher chance of seeing their doctors hacking away at their private parts.

In 1883 a patent for a chainsaw of the 20th century was made by Frederick L Magaw. and then again in 1906 by Samuel J Bens. They were designed to produce and chop wooden boards.

In 1918 the first ever portable chainsaw was made by Canadian inventor James Shand. This trimmed the path for electric chainsaws and gasoline chainsaws, which were introduced a few years later.

These earlier models needed two people to operate, and they were only ergonomically light enough to be carried by a single person after World War II.

In 2022, the global chainsaw market was worth $3.4 billion.

A patent of bubble wrap, created in 1964.

2. Bubble Wrap: Bubble wrap has many purposes for a thin plastic sheet with carefully curated air bubbles. It can be used to wrap fragile parcels, or it can be used as a satisfyingly fun pastime. But have you ever considered using your bubble wrap as wallpaper? Well, it was what it was originally intended for!

The wallpaper was made by business partners Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957, who were trying to make a prototype for textured wallpaper. They had put a pair of shower curtains into a heat-sealing machine and thus created a sheet of film with air bubbles.

The invention was not a complete failure, they were given a grant, and more than 400 ideas for the use of bubble wrap were created. They were first trialed as greenhouse insulation but ultimately did not work.

Fielding and Chavannes continued searching to find a purpose for bubble wrap and in 1960 they finally found it. They founded Sealed Air Corporation and began selling bubble wrap to IBM (The International Business Machines Corporation) who used it to transport delicate computer parts.

Before that, companies were using newspaper to keep items safe during shipping.

After IBM’s patronage in Sealed Air Corp, more companies purchased bubble wrap for their deliveries and parcels had a new fashionable wrap to wear.

Still, the company was not returning profits, and in 1971, TJ Dermot Dunphy became CEO, helping Fielding and Chavannes to build their annual sales to $5 million in his first year.

Bubble wrap was a success, only not for the walls. The wrap later found popularity again while used as a pool cover and worked when keeping pools warm.

Sealed Air Corp is still a thriving company to this day, despite paying a settlement of $728 million to cover bankruptcy and fraud allegations against Dunphy in 2002.

Sealed Air Corporation currently has a net worth of $5.27 billion in 2024.

A Coca-Cola advertisement from the year 1888.

3. Coca-Cola: 1886, and the first concoction of Coca-Cola was created by Dr. John S Pemberton. It was originally an alcoholic, medicinal tonic which was intended to alleviate headaches and anxiety.

This is the story of how Coca-Cola fizzed out of the medical scene and foamed into stores as a soft drink.

It began as coca leaf extract, kola nut and carbonated water and it was originally named “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.”

However, the drink, which was advertised as an alcoholic beverage for headaches, was pulled from the shelves in May 1885 after Georgia passed a prohibition bill. Pemberton had no choice but to redesign the drink as non-alcoholic.

In 1885, the drink was also renamed to the popular “Coca-Cola” and was suggested by Frank Mason Robertson, who was Pemberton’s bookkeeper. Robertson also designed the fancy cursive letters that are still seen on Coca-Cola bottles today.

After these changes, the drink grew in popularity and was sold in soda fountains in Atlanta, until 1903 when another concern was made over the coca leaf, which was used as an ingredient in the drink. The leaf contained traces of cocaine and, Coca-Cola stopped using these leaves and replaced them with spent coca leaves that had the cocaine taken out of them.

In 1891 Asa Candler, the former Mayor of Atlanta, purchased Coca-Cola from Pemberton for $2,300. Candler was one of first to use merchandising in his advertising campaigns. With Candler’s direction, Coca-Cola began distributing to other parts of the States at a staggering speed.

By 2000 the company had made $17,354 million in revenue.

Over the years Coca-Cola has acquired the rights to many restaurants, beverages, and movie studios, all the while developing Coca-Cola’s recipes to extend to Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke.

Coca-Cola continued to rustle up many other popular drinks recipes. They are also the owners of brands such as Fanta, Dr. Pepper, and Costa Coffee, to name a few.

On March 12, 2024, Coca-Cola’s net worth was reported to be $260.9 billion. How’s that for an illicit druggy drink?

Inventions are the way forward to improving our lives. They can save us time, can save a life, and could make us a bank account.

The computer was invented in 1837 by Charles Babbage, however it was deemed pointless, and nobody wanted to fund his project.

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1879, though when he proposed the idea to Western Union (the world’s most important communications company), they regarded the invention as a toy. Within years, the owner of Western Union at the time, William Orton, realized he had made a mistake.

As I continue my professional career as a writer, I remind myself that the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling were first rejected and I should still work today.