Saccharin – The oldest artificial sweetener was accidentally discovered in 1879 by researcher Constantine Fahlberg, who was working at John Hopkins University in the laboratory of professor Ira Remson. Fahlberg’s discovery came after he forgot to wash his hands before lunch. He spilled a chemical on his hands and it, in turn, caused the bread he ate to taste unusually sweet.
In 1880, the two scientists jointly published the discovery, but in 1889, Fahlberg obtained a patent and began mass-producing Saccharin without Remson.
The use of Saccharin did not become widespread until sugar was rationed in WWI, and it’s popularity increased during the 1960’s and 1970’s with the manufacture of Sweet’N’Low and diet soft drinks.