He made this discovery that would change his life and the future of water gun toys.
In 1982 Lonnie Johnson says he “was working on a new type of heat pump for refrigerators and air conditioners that used water instead of toxic Freon. I was machining some nozzles and experimenting and shot some streams of water across my bathroom. I started thinking myself geez, this would make a neat water gun.” He then built a prototype out of Plexiglas, PVC piping and a two-liter soda bottle.
Johnson has been working on a myriad of other inventions since the “Super Soaker” made him famous. He’s gotten back to his original idea of an environmentally friendly refrigeration system, he’s developed a battery he believes can make electric cars more practical and is researching a new way to generate energy from the sun. Despite the more than 100 patents he holds, though, his name will forever be tied to a toy gun. And given the vast success of his “Super Soakers”, he’s perfectly okay with that.[More.](http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/brought-you/happy-accident-changed-squirt-guns-forever)