ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Hope's Corner: Sticking Around

"There are life lessons to be learned from the invention of Post-It Notes. Never let a good idea go to waste. If you believe in something, stick with it," writes Jackie Hope.

Jackie Hope BW.jpg
Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. Hope's Corner is a weekly humorous column with a message of hope.
Contributed / The Dickinson Press
We are part of The Trust Project.

I wish I would have invested a bundle of money in the 3M Co. right after it launched its Post-It Notes. Because my personal consumption of them over the years has probably been the primary driver of their sales. The 3M Co. owes me, big time.

Post-It Notes are totally amazing. They are a better invention than Super Glue and Saran Wrap. I love Post-it Notes as much as Twinkies. And I endured the demise, and later resurrection, of Twinkies. I might not survive if Posties were taken off the market. I probably would stay up late at night cutting yellow paper into little squares and attaching double-stick tape to their back sides.

Post-Its began humbly, like many great inventions. Velcro was inspired by an Alpine hiker who got burdock seeds stuck to his socks. Super Glue was discovered when scientists were looking for a substitute for clear plastic gun sites during World War II.

Post-Its owe their existence to Dr. Spencer Silver, a 3M scientist who was trying to make a super-strong adhesive. He did not discover a Super Glue suitable for paper, but what he found was a weaker adhesive that could be used over and over. He formulated this adhesive in 1968, but the idea did not stick until 1974, when a friend of Dr. Silver, Art Fry, needed a removable adhesive to stick a bookmark in his hymnal.

Now, see, that is exactly when I use most of my Posties for. I use them in music books to mark pages. I put them at the bottom of pages of music, so that I can grab the note like a tab, and quickly turn the page. And I write hymn numbers on them and stick them to the music rack on my church organ.

ADVERTISEMENT

Anyway, Fry then began experimenting with the adhesive, and stuck with it until he developed those pale yellow notepads we all now love. By 1977, the 3M Co. was marketing the notes in bookstores, calling them “Press ‘n Peel” bookmarks. Not a lot of readers adhered to the idea.

Undaunted, Fry stuck with his notepads. In 1977 the company gave them out as freebies in Boise, Idaho, and 94% of the consumers said they would buy them, if they were available.

In 1979, Post-Its were launched across the country. This time the idea had traction, and those little yellow fellows could be soon seen sticking to office documents, honey-do lists and a slew of hymnals.

Now we have extra-sticky sticky notes, waterproof sticky notes, stickies in nearly every color and size, and stickies especially made for page marking. The page markers are my fave. They come in pop-up containers, like skinny miniature tissue boxes.

There are life lessons to be learned from the invention of Post-It Notes. Never let a good idea go to waste. If you believe in something, stick with it. And yellow is the perfect color for honey-do lists.

Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. "Hope's Corner" is a weekly humorous column centered on a message of hope for residents in southwest North Dakota.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
What To Read Next
"It is time for the government to run our presidential nominating elections, not the political parties," columnist Jim Shaw writes. "That means holding primaries."
"The truth is, oil and gas development, along with all of the energy development in North Dakota is done responsibly and in an environmentally friendly way,"
"Sadly, we're getting the government we deserve."
"We would hope that Representative Dyk would reconsider the damage that his false statements have done," the Williston Basin School District No. 7 said in a released statement.