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Inventors Post-It Notes - Art Fry and Spencer Silver

Post-it ® notes may have been a God-send…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, Dr. Spencer Silver, had developed an adhesive that was strong enough to stick to surfaces, but left no residue after removal and could be repositioned. Fry took some of Dr. Silver’s adhesive and applied it along the edge of a piece of paper. His church hymnal problem was solved!

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 Fry’s bookmarks and began production in the late 70s for commercial use.

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 Post-it ® notes 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.

Post-It Notes
Art Fry needed a temporary permanent bookmarker.

Post-It Notes
The Post-It homepage.

Art Fry and Post-it ® Notes
From 3M's website.

Art Fry and Spencer Silver
In the 1970s, Art Fry invented the Post-it ® Note. But he could not have created this without the previous invention of his colleague, Spencer Silver.

Related Information
Office Innovations

©Mary Bellis

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