Sticky Notes


Post-it (1977), Arthur Fry & Spencer Silver

In 1968, working as a scientist at 3M, Spencer Silver wanted to develop the strongest glue in the world. Instead he invented the worst glue: an adhesive that was easily detachable, reusable and pressure-sensitive. Five years later, his colleague Arthur Fry came up with a concrete use: with the adhesive he anchored his bookmark in his hymnbook. The idea of the Post-it was born.

The distinctive yellow color was chosen arbitrarily, as the lab only had yellow scrap paper to use. 3M’s patent ran out in 1997, but the yellow color remains registered company trademark and the Post-it name has become genericized for all such products in many countries.

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© 3M, Cynthiana, US

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