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Post It Note

Arthur Fry invented the post it note but Spencer Silver invented the glue

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Businessman with sticky notes on window
Cultura/Frank van Delft/ Riser/ Getty Images
The Post It Note may have been a God-sent, literally. In the early 1970s, Art Fry was in search of a bookmark for his church hymnal that would neither fall out nor damage the hymnal. Fry noticed that a colleague at 3M, Doctor Spencer Silver, had developed an adhesive in 1968 that was strong enough to stick to surfaces, but left no residue after removal and could be repositioned. Arthur Fry took some of Spencer Silver's adhesive and applied it along the edge of a piece of paper. His church hymnal problem was solved!

The New Type of Bookmark - Post It Note

Arthur Fry soon realized that his "bookmark" had other potential functions when he used it to leave a note on a work file, and co-workers kept dropping by, seeking "bookmarks" for their offices. This "bookmark" was a new way to communicate and to organize. 3M Corporation crafted the name Post It Note for Arthur Fry's new bookmarks and began production in the late 70s for commercial use.

Pushing the Post It Note

In 1977, test-markets failed to show consumer interest. However in 1979, 3M implemented a massive consumer sampling strategy, and the Post it note took off. Today, we see the Post it Note peppered across files, computers, desks, and doors in offices and homes throughout the country. From a church hymnal bookmark to an office and home essential, the Post It Note has colored the way we work.

Arthur Fry

Arthur Fry was born in Minnesota, as a child he showed signs of being an inventor making his own toboggans from scraps of wood. Arthur Fry attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied Chemical Engineering. While still a student in 1953, Arthur Fry began working for 3M in New Product Development he stayed with 3M his entire working life.

Spencer Silver

Spencer Silver was born in San Antonio. In 1962, he received his BS in Chemistry from Arizona State University. In 1966, he received his PHD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado.In 1967, he became a Senior Chemist for 3M's Central Research Labs specializing in adhesives technology. Spencer Silver is also an accomplished painter.

Spencer Silver has received over twenty US patents.

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