Were There Any Competitors While Photography Was Being Invented

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Today I found out Postal service-It Notes were invented by accident.

There were really two accidents that lead to the invention of the Post-It notation.  The showtime was by Spencer Silver.  According to the old Vice President of Technical Operations for 3M Geoff Nicholson (now retired), in 1968, Argent was working at 3M trying to create super potent adhesives for use in the aerospace manufacture in building planes.  Instead of a super strong adhesive, though, he accidentally managed to create an incredibly weak, pressure sensitive agglutinative agent chosen Acrylate Copolymer Microspheres.

This adhesive did not interest 3M management every bit information technology was seen equally too weak to be useful.  Information technology did take two interesting features, though.  The offset is that, when stuck to a surface, it tin can be peeled away without leaving any residuum.  Specifically, the acrylic spheres only stick well to surfaces where they are tangent to the surface, thus assuasive weak enough adhesion to be able to be peeled hands.  The second big characteristic is that the adhesive is re-usable, thanks to the fact that the spheres are incredibly stiff and resist breaking, dissolving, or melting.   Despite these two notable features, no one, not fifty-fifty Argent himself, could think up a adept marketable utilise for it.  Thus, even with Silver promoting it for five years straight to various 3M employees, the adhesive was more than or less shelved.

Finally, in 1973, when Geoff Nicholson was fabricated products laboratory manager at 3M, Silvery approached him immediately with the adhesive and gave him samples to play with.  Silverish too suggested what he saw every bit his all-time idea for what to use the adhesive for, making a bulletin board with the adhesive sprayed on it.  1 could then stick pieces of paper to the bulletin board without tacks, tape, or the like.  The paper could subsequently exist easily removed without whatsoever remainder being left on the sheets.  While this was a decent idea, information technology wasn’t seen as potentially profitable plenty as almanac bulletin lath sales are fairly low.

At present enter the second accident by chemical engineer Fine art Fry.  Besides working at 3M as a Production Development Engineer and being familiar with Silver’s adhesive thanks to attending ane of Silver’south seminars on the low-tack adhesive, he too sung in a church choir in St. Paul, Minnesota.  One niggling problem he continually had to deal with was accidentally losing his song page markers in his hymn book while singing, with them falling out of the hymnal.  From this, he eventually had the stroke of genius to use some of Silvery’s adhesive to help keep the slips of paper in the hymnal.  Fry then suggested to Nicholson and Silverish that they were using the agglutinative backwards.  Instead of sticking the agglutinative to the bulletin lath, they should “put it on a slice of newspaper and then we can stick it to anything.”

This initially proved easier said than done, in terms of applied application.  It was easy enough to become the adhesive on the paper, but the early prototypes had the problem that the adhesive would often detach from the paper and stay on the object the paper was stuck to, or, at least, exit some of the adhesive behind in this way.  In that location was no such problem with the bulletin boards Silvery had made considering he had specifically fabricated them then that the adhesive would bond better with the board than the paper. Ii other 3M employees at present entered the scene, Roger Merrill and Henry Courtney.  The ii were tasked with coming up with a coating that could be put on the newspaper to make the agglutinative stay bonded to information technology and not be left backside on any the newspaper was stuck to when it was removed, a task at which they were ultimately successful at achieving.

Interestingly, because management at 3M all the same didn’t recall the product would be commercially successful, they more or less shelved it for 3 years, fifty-fifty though the Postal service-It notes were extremely pop internally at 3M labs during that bridge.    Finally, in 1977, 3M began running exam sale runs of the Mail-It annotation, then chosen “Press ‘n Pare”, in a sure areas in four dissimilar cities to see if people would buy and utilise the product.  It turned out, no one much did, which confirmed in the minds of the executives that it wasn’t a good commercial product.

Luckily for offices the world over, Nicholson and Joe Ramey, Nicholson’s boss, didn’t feel like giving up yet.  They felt the marketing department had dropped the brawl in that they hadn’t given businesses and people samples of the product to use to let them meet for themselves how useful the notes could be.  So a year after the initial flop, 3M tried again to introduce the Mail service-It note to the world, this time giving huge amounts of gratis sample Post-It annotation pads away in Boise, Idaho, with the campaign deemed “The Boise Blitz”.  This fourth dimension, the re-club charge per unit went from nigh nada, in the previous effort, to xc% of the people and businesses that had received the free samples.  For reference, this was double the best initial rate 3M had always seen for any other production they’d introduced.  Ii years later, the Postal service-Information technology note was released throughout the United States.

So afterwards 5 years of constant rejection for the adhesive and some other seven years in development and initial rejection, Post-It notes were finally a hit and accept since get a mainstay in offices the world over, today existence one of the superlative 5 best selling office supply products in the world.


  • Ever wonder why the standard color for Post-Information technology notes is yellowish?  It turns out this was kind of an accident also.  The official story from some at 3M is that it was because information technology created a “expert emotional connection with users” and that it would “contrast well stuck to white newspaper”.  Even so, co-ordinate to Geoff Nicholson there was no such thought given to the colour.  The real reason Post-Information technology notes were yellow was simply because the lab next door to where they were working on the Post-It note “had some scrap yellow paper – that’s why they were yellowish; and when we went back and said ‘hey guys, yous got any more flake yellow newspaper?’ they said ‘you want any more than go buy it yourself’, and that’southward what we did, and that’s why they were yellowish. To me information technology was another one of those incredible accidents. It was not thought out; nobody said they’d better exist yellow rather than white because they would alloy in – it was a pure accident.”
  • Another obstacle in the initial launch of Mail service-It notes was that, because it was a completely new type of production, it required the construction of new machinery to mass produce the Mail service-It note pads, which was initially prohibitively expensive for a product seen past many within 3M every bit destined for commercial failure.
  • While nigh Post-Information technology notes only have a thin strip of adhesive, you can buy Post-It notes that are completely covered in the back with the agglutinative.  One example of a identify this blazon of annotation is used is at the U.S. mail.  These full adhesive backed notes are used at that place on forwarded mail.
  • Postal service-It notes received an upgrade in 2003 when 3M launched a new version of the Post-It annotation with super gummy glue that has better adhesion to vertical surfaces.
  • Spencer Silver holds a total of 22 patents, including the patent for the “depression-tack, reusable, pressure sensitive agglutinative” used in Post-Information technology notes (Patent#: three,691,140).  Silverish is still working at 3M today in their special adhesives department.  He too has a doctorate in organic chemistry, which he received two years before inventing the adhesive used in Post-It notes.  On the side, his favorite past time is painting using pastels and oils, which he plainly is extremely accomplished at.
  •  Post-Information technology notes are occasionally used in art-piece of work.  One such famous example was in 2008 when Shay Hovell used 12,000 Post-It notes to create a replica of the Mona Lisa.  The well-nigh expensive Postal service-It note art piece was done past R.B. Kitaj and sold for £640 (almost $thousand) in 2000.
  • Art Fry received his early education in a i room schoolhouse.  He studied chemistry at the Academy of Minnesota and was hired while still in schoolhouse at the “Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company”, which afterwards was re-named 3M.  He retired from 3M in the early on 1990s.

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Source: https://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/11/post-it-notes-were-invented-by-accident/

Posted by: Fusiontr.com

Originally posted 2022-02-12 06:53:21.