Big Idea On Paper
They are produced in a variety of sizes and colors. They decorate just about every desk in the world. We use them to make notes, take telephone messages, post reminders and mark pages in a book. Managers, secretaries, and students can’t live without them. What are they? Post-it notes of course!
In 1968, Dr. Spence Silver, a research scientist for 3M Company developed an unusual adhesive. It stuck to objects, but could easily be lifted off; not exactly what he had planned. It was originally thought to be useless, but Silver shared his idea with colleagues.
In the early 1970’s, another 3M scientist named Arthur Fry was singing in a church choir. He used bookmarks to keep his place in the hymnal, but they kept falling out. Remembering Silver's adhesive, Fry applied some to his bookmarks. He noticed they were strong enough to stick to surfaces, but left no residue after removal, and could be repositioned. His problem was solved.
3M Corporation created the name Post-it for Fry's bookmarks and began commercial production in the late 70s. In 1979, the company launched an innovative consumer marketing strategy and the Post-it note took off. Today it is one of the top 5 office products sold. Said Art Fry, “None of us were really geniuses. We were just normal people who were willing to give something new a try.”
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