For National Inventors Month this May, we’re celebrating innovation and highlighting some of the country’s finest innovators by telling you more about some who have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Art Fry: Post-it Notes
Admit it. You love your Post-it Notes so much it’s hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist.
But exist they didn’t before Art Fry, a University of Minnesota graduate working at 3M, built on the idea of adhesive microspheres, which were created by his colleague Spencer Silver. Fry decided to take the adhesive and coat paper with it, thus developing the idea of “repositionable notes,” a.k.a. Post-it Notes.
Of course the Post-it Notes we all know and love today have been refined over the years, but Fry got the idea of a sticky pad rolling, and Post-it Notes showed up across the country in 1980.
According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, “[r]epositionable notes are now among the five best-selling office products in the U.S., and when 3M received the National Medal of Technology in 1995, Post-it Notes were named among the products that helped the company earn the award.”
Aside from being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Hall was also accepted into 3M’s Carlton Society, “the highest honor given to a 3M scientist.” Fry retired from 3M in 1992 after spending his entire career with the company.
We salute you and your Post-it Notes, Mr. Fry!