St. Paul, Minnesota – The inventor of the adhesive used in one of 3M’s best-known products, the Post-it Note, has died, the company said.
Spencer Silver was 80 years old and died on May 8 at her home, according to the note published by her family.
Silver was working in a company laboratory in 1968 when he discovered a unique formula that made it possible to adhere a note to any surface, remove it and even re-stick it to another surface without leaving a residue, 3M said.
Silver searched for years for a practical application for his invention, what he called “a solution in search of a problem.” In 1974, his colleague Art Fry came up with the idea of using the adhesive to prevent bookmarks from falling out of his hymn book when he was singing in church.
The product was initially called Press ‘n’ Peel (press and peel) in 1974, but only hit the market in 1977 and gained popularity in 1980 under the name Post-it Note. It is now one of the best-selling products in 3M’s consumer products division.
Silver, who retired in 1996, obtained 37 patents while working at 3M. He also won the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention, among other accolades.
He is survived by his wife, daughter and two grandchildren.