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From: ch71@bonjour.cc.columbia.edu (Christopher Horymski) Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Subject: Post-it, Scratch'n'Sniff - Related? Date: 20 Dec 1993 18:29:05 GMT Hope you haven't there/that/t-shirted this yet. Here's a summary about the history of the Post-it note that I read in Wilson Quarterly last year (Autumn 1992). Nowhere in the article is Scratch'n'Sniff mentioned. A 3M researcher, Spencer Silver, invented quite accidently an "unglue" while trying to create a tacky adhesive. The flubber was shelved as it didn't solve his "immediate problem". Later, another researcher, Art Fry, remembered the substance when annoyed with bookmarks that kept falling out of his hymnal. Fry develops product. Empty suits not impressed. Fry finally convinces a division of 3M to test market product. Post-it notes now muck up every office in the G-7. The article was adapted from a book, then forthcoming, _The Evolution of Useful Things_ by Henry Petroski. I'll check the Library of Congress to make sure it indeed got published. So we have: A. (T) Silver invented the Post-it substance B. (?) Silver/3M had nothing to do with Scratch'n'sniff C. (?) Post-it has nothing to do with Scratch'n'sniff Chris "will inhale thermal fax paper for a cheap high" Horymski Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban From: hatunen@netcom.com (DaveHatunen) Subject: Re: Post-it, Scratch'n'Sniff - Related? Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1993 20:53:40 GMT In article <2f4qth$oug@apakabar.cc.columbia.edu> ch71@bonjour.cc.columbia.edu (Christopher Horymski) writes: [see above /jrh] Not sure the names are correct, but PBS had a segment on this very subject in program based on Tom Peters' "In Search of Excellence". They actually interviewed the guy who invented Post-Its, and the story above pretty much covers it right down to the hymnal. But the suits were, apparently, more receptive. They tried to figure out how to market something that really defied attractive description. And seemed to not do anything useful on the face of it. So they made up a batch and sent large samples to the secretaries of something like the Fortune 500 CEOs. The secretaries used them, their bosses used them, and pretty soon they wanted more. The rest is marketing history. The whole reason Peters mentioned it was that he touted 3M as one of the companies that did pay attention to unusual ideas, and, as I understand it, actually requests that their engineers and scientists spend substantial chunks of time on seemingly useless research.

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