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Happy Birthday, Post-its!

By on April 28, 2010 in Post-It Notes

post it notes

Stationery legends, Post-it Notes, have reached the 30-year landmark. Since their inception in 1980, they have become so ubiquitous in both offices and households as to become widespread symbols of organisation and reminding. The sticky yellow notes have spawned many imitators, but none of them have shaken off the now genericised “Post-it” moniker.

The emergence of the Post-it Note is one of office history’s great episodes, like May ’68 or the end of Apartheid. Like many ideas of genius, Post-its were are first resisted by their eventual manufacturers, stationery giants 3M.

In 1968, 3M scientist, Spencer Silver, had developed a new type of low-tack, repositionable, pressure-sensitive adhesive. Geoff Nicholson tried to promote the glue in the commercial tape division, but bosses didn’t want to know. Then another colleague, Art Fry, came up with the idea of using the adhesive in a notepad. He used these sticky notes to keep pages in a hymn book. Nicholson then distributed samples of the sticky notes round the 3M offices and his secretary quickly became inundated with requests for more. Nicholson’s marketing director was still rejecting the idea of distributing these notes commercially.

“I was really ticked off,” says Nicholson. “So I told my secretary, ‘Please direct all requests for samples to the marketing director.’ He was flooded with requests for a product he didn’t believe in.”

The Post-it Note was born.


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Paperstone’s own selection of Post-it Notes is simply ginormous. Start browsing at our Post-it Notes section or try individual sections, including:

Post-it Z-Notes
Post-it Indexes
Post-it Neons


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