3M launched its first line of sticky notes as Press ‘n Peel bookmarks in 1977, but the results were tepid. Three years later, the product was rebranded as Post-it notes and the concept soon struck gold. The company’s patent expired in 1997, but the original product’s distinctive yellow color is still trademarked. However, many Post-it users have noticed that the notes tend to curl up from the bottom when stuck on a wall, or computer monitor, probably due to the grain of the paper. Back in 2013, a clever blogger named Martin Schapendonk publicized a solution -- rotate the pad and write with the adhesive on the side. When you peel off a Post-it note when the adhesive is on the side, rather than on the top, it tends to stay much flatter.
Spencer Silver's notable work:
- Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, came up with the idea of a reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive in 1968. He was attempting to invent a super-strong adhesive instead.
- For years, Silver’s idea was an answer to a problem that hadn’t been identified yet -- until a colleague began to use the prototype sticky notes to mark favorite songs in his hymnal.
- The color of the original sticky notes was not planned. The team behind Post-its began using yellow scrap paper during development, and the idea just stuck.