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best invention in last 50 years

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What is the greatest invention of the last fifty years? Post it notes appear everywhere in our lives without us paying much attention to them. They are little sheets of paper, most commonly and originally in the bright yellow colour, which temporarily attach to documents and many other items without causing any damage. They are excellent substitutes to bookmarks and great for sticking on the backs of friends with little messages to the public most commonly 'kick me'. However, post it notes were not always this successful and popular. It took two men named Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry - and an accidental invention - to eventually get the notes out on the market and bought by the public. During the year of 1970 Spencer Silver worked at 3M laboratories which is a glue company located in America. Spencer Silver was set the task of developing an incredibly strong adhesive like no other on the market. However, Silver wasn't very successful. In fact it was a complete failure and instead of creating an ultra-strong adhesive, he created a new super weak adhesive. ...read more.


However, these markers kept annoying poor Mr Fry by falling out all over the place during the church service. Not only was this an embarrassing ordeal to go through, but he probably would have been thrown out with all the fuss he was making if it was not for his brainwave. He remembered the meeting of Silver's he'd attended-not by choice of course. He distinctly remembered the super weak adhesive that no one could find a use for and immediately applied a layer of Spencer Silver's weak adhesive glue onto the markers. This kept them in place until the end of the church service and stopped Arthur Fry from blushing anymore - the poor lad. The markers remained in place yet when Arthur Fry lifted them up they left no marks on his pages and did not damage the book in any way. This was an amazing discovery which Arthur Fry tried to take further into the business world. However, as with all big ideas, there were problems. 3M were hesitant to release this new idea in case it was taken badly by the public or other businesses. ...read more.


This proved to be the turning point for the post-it note and by 1980 3M distributed the post-it notes nationwide, this time actually receiving money in return for the little slips of paper. This was ten years after Spencer Silver developed the original super weak adhesive - took them long enough didn't it. Despite being 3Ms original invention, 3M's patent ran out in 2001 which means that since then, post-it notes can be produced by any company with no danger of facing a legal ordeal. The post-it note is now a must have product in offices worldwide and is also used as a teaching technique with students. The post-it note has changed and shaped the way we live our lives today very significantly without us realising to a large extent. Very subtly the post-it note has taught us to become more organised and helped us remember those all important phone numbers and messages. It has become the most important element for youngsters when revising. Today the post-it note also appears in funny little shapes and various other bright colours-probably to attract kids to the art of revision more. Whether it has worked or not is a question that remains unanswered and perhaps an invention of the next fifty years will solve this question. ...read more.

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