April 16th, 2008

Laptop with wireless mouse


I love how many technologies became famous for reasons having very little to do with their invention. That's one of the niftiest things about studying the history of invention: inadvertant applications.

Today, I learned that celluloid was invented in order to produce cheap billiard balls, as the price of ivory made them increasingly unaffordable in the late nineteenth century. Later experimentation made movie film possible. But first, there were billiard balls.