Stick to It!

A member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Spencer Silver has more than 20 patents for his work at 3M, but his greatest creation initially stalled. The pressure-sensitive, reusable adhesive he invented in 1968 simply had no known practical application.

Seven years later, a 3M colleague, Art Fry, became frustrated with paper bookmarks that continually slipped from the pages of his church hymnal, and he sought something that would stay put. Fry and Silver worked together to produce samples, which proved a hit around the office, and by 1980 the ubiquitous yellow reminders called Post-it Notes were on store shelves (and now they are all over our desks, notebooks and calendars). Post-its are a way of life, wouldn't you agree? Thoughts and reminders would be slipping from the pages of our minds (like Art's hymnal) without these sticky heroes.

Consider this lesson in teamwork on May 21, National Memo Day, and celebrate (if you don’t already have plans) by leaving a complimentary note or strategic thought for a partner to find. Grab your pen and get ready to write.

Check out some other everyday inventions (fly swatters, clothespins and wire coat hangers are all included) in this slideshow: "Top 10 American Inventions"

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Josh Ellis is the editor in chief for SUCCESS magazine. Before joining SUCCESS in 2012, he was an accomplished digital and print sportswriter, working for the Dallas Cowboys Star magazine, the team’s gameday program, and Originally from Longview, Texas, he began writing for his hometown newspaper at 16.

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