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The Sebir That Bred Post-It Notes

Background

In 1968, a chemist at 3M Dr Spencer Silver was attempting to develop a super-strong adhesive but instead, he accidentally created a 'temporary' adhesive. In concert with a colleague, Art Fry, he noticed that the unique low-tack adhesive allowed paper notes to be attached and removed at will without leaving marks or residue

Goal

Improve the ease of attaching and removing paper notes

Problem

Attaching paper notes to things was awkward and time-consuming

Sebir

The ease of attaching and removing paper notes was now possible through the creating of an adhesive that bonded on a temporary basis only A paper note could be added to and removed from a host service because the adhesive on one of its sides was reusable

Association Comment

Dr Spencer Silver and Art Fry associated more broadly from the capability of a weak adhesive to bond temporarily to a surface and, in so doing, was able to breed a reusable adhesive that enables paper notes to be temporarily attached and removed

Historic Impact

As a result of the exploits of Dr Spencer Silver and Art Fry, the now ubiquitous Post-It Notes debuted in American stores on 6 April 1980