MANY of the most important discoveries in the field of science have been the result of accident, and a large book might be written on these happy accidents that have brought either fame or fortune to some one.

Two little boys of a spectacle-maker, in Holland, while their father was at dinner, chanced to look at a distant steeple through two eye-glasses placed one before the other, and found that the steeple was brought much nearer the shop windows. They told their father on his return, and the circumstance led him to a course of experiments, which ended in the telescope.

Some shipwrecked sailors once collected a pile of sea-weeds on the sand, and made a fire to warm their benumbed fingers and to cook their scanty meal. When the fire went out, they found that the alkali of the seaweed had combined with the sand and formed glass.

In the days when every astrologer and every chemist was seeking after the philosopher's stone, some monks, carelessly making up their materials, by accident invented gunpowder, which has done much to diminish the barbarities of war.

Sir Isaac Newton's most important discoveries concerning light and gravitation were the result of accident. His theory and experiments on light were suggested by the soapbubbles of a child; and on gravitation, by the fall of an apple as he sat in the orchard. It was by hastily scratching on a stone a memorandum of some articles brought him from the washerwoman's, that the idea of lithography first presented itself to the mind of Senefelder.

Blue-tinted writing paper arose from the carelessness of a woman. Mrs. East, the wife of an English paper-maker, going among the vats while the workmen were at dinner, let a blue bag fall into one of them. Horrified at the mischief that she had done, she said not a word about the matter. The spoiled paper was hidden away in his warehouse by the angry papermaker for four years; then he sent it to his London agent, to be sold for what it would fetch. The novelty was admired, and the agent not only sold the whole stock of blue paper at a high price, but asked for more.

Middle-aged persons remember when the fourth page of a letter sheet was left blank, so that it might be folded outside, and the address written upon it. Now, envelopes are necessary utilities; but their origin was due more to accident than design.

A Brighton stationer took a fancy for dressing his window with piles of writing paper, rising gradually from the largest to the smallest size in use, and to finish his pyramids off nicely, he cut cards to bring them to a point. Taking these cards for diminutive notepaper, lady customers were continually wanting some of that "little paper," and the stationer found it advantageous to cut paper to the desired pattern. 

As there was no space for addressing the notelets after they were folded, he, after much thought, invented the envelope, which he cut by the aid of metal plates, made for the purpose.