Posted on April 6, 2018
Maybe you've already heard that the not-very-strong adhesive found on post-it notes was developed by accident? Scientist Dr. Spencer Silver was actually trying to develop a super strong adhesive!
But accidental inventions can still be very happy accidents! Even though Silver's invention seemed to be a solution without a problem - nobody was asking for a super weak adhesive! - he thought that the low-tack, reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive was going to be useful.
That was way back in 1968.
Silver worked for 3M, and he tried to convince others at his company to find a use for this super weak adhesive. Finally, someone in the company decided it was a good idea. Arthur Fry only had immediate access to yellow paper, but he used the yellow paper and the low-tack adhesive to make "Press 'n' Peel" bookmarks that would cling to the book pages - but that could be easily repositioned and reused without damaging the pages.
That was in 1977.
Actually, sales in stores in four cities were pretty disappointing. So instead of trying to convince people to buy a new product they never knew they wanted, 3M decided to just give away the product for free. That was in Boise, ID, and the free samples were followed up with a survey question: "Would you be interested in buying this product, now that you've tried it?"
A whopping 94% of the people said "Yes!"
That was in 1978.
Finally, someone at 3M decided to name the yellow sticky notes Post-Its, and on this date in 1980 they went on sale all over the United States.
What happens when people have access to a new product that they never knew they wanted?
PRANKS SO BEAUTIFUL THEY MIGHT BE ART
FOR SURE, THIS IS ART!
COMMUNITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES
- Everyone was invited to contribute personal or community to-do lists on this giant community To-Do list:
- "Subway Therapy" helped New Yorkers cope with their dismay after the 2016 presidential election.
- In Zürich, Switzerland, people in the Occupy movement wrote messages of support on sticky notes.
- The message board created during the 2014 Hong Kong protests became covered with Post-It notes from supporters.
DUELING OFFICE BUILDINGS
- This is what happens when people battle with sticky notes!
Also on this date:
Be sure to check out the story of Robert Garrett, pictured here. It's pretty strange and cool!
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