This week's Imagination Hat: On this day in 1925, a thermite was used for the first time: used to break up a 250,000-ton ice jam that had clogged the St. Lawrence River near Waddington, NY. What in the world is a thermite? I went on a hunt to find out. The thermite (or aluminothermic) reaction is one in which aluminum metal is oxidized by an oxide of another metal, producing great heat in the process. Johannes Goldschmidt (1861–1923) is principally noted as the inventor of thermite. Goldschmidt was ORIGINALLY trying to produce very pure metals, but he soon realized the value in welding and the value in incendiary devices.
As with many inventions, after the first purpose is foiled, the second purpose is found quite by accident by the sheer effort of attempting the first. If your first attempt has failed, think before you sack it! What else can you do with it? Is there another entirely different industry where it can be applied? If at first you don't succeed, see if there is a consolation prize that you may have overlooked, that may be worth more than the original idea. That is this week's Imagination Hat.
Wishing you a profitable week!