Tri-Cities genius sought
1. Sticky notes
Spencer Silver invented the glue in Post-It Notes, also called sticky notes even though that term is trademarked by a different company, but didn’t know what to do with it. Colleague Arthur Fry was having
trouble getting his bookmark in his church hymnal to stay put and remembered Silver’s glue. Product testing in Boise revealed 95 percent of people liked the product.
2. Silly Putty
Silly Putty was invented in 1943 as a potential substitute for rubber after the Japanese military invaded rubber-producing islands in Asia. A poor substitute, the bouncing putty had no purpose until sold to a toy store in 1949. It wasn’t even marketed to children until the mid-1950s.
Celluloid, a key ingredient of plastic, was first developed as a substitute for ivory for use in producing billiard balls. The first versions of the product were not strong enough for use in pool balls but led to the discovery of something far more ubiquitous.
4. Gun Powder
Gun powder was invented as an elixir for immortality in China. By the 11th
Century, Chinese emperors had found a far more useful purpose for it.
TNT was originally used as a yellow dye. The German military poured it into
artillery shells in 1902 and TNT has been a popular explosive ever since.