Alfred Nobel, of the Nobel Prize, lost his brother to an accident at his lab. They were working with liquid nitrogen and attempting to create a more stable explosive. Nobel was able to complete his research after the accident and invented dynamite.

Alfred Nobel, inventor of the dynamite, was astonished to read his own obituary, titled “The merchant of death is dead,” in a French newspaper. It was Alfred’s brother who had died, but the episode made him reconsider his legacy. His last will specified that his fortune be used to create the Nobel Prize.

In the 60s, the Fisher Pen Company reportedly invested $1 million to create a “space pen,” one that could write upside-down, in frigid or roasting conditions. They sold 400 units to NASA and 100 to the Soviet Union.