Which item was invented by a secretary and later sold for $47 million dollars?

You must be amazed by the post’s title; Which item was invented by a secretary and later sold for $47 million dollars? Bette Nesmith Graham, a Texas Bank secretary in the 1950s, invented the common correction fluid, a liquid paper.

Because she made mistakes often, she became frustrated at being unable to correct them. Using white tempera paint and a watercolor brush, she corrected these mistakes. In 1979, Gillette purchased liquid paper for $47 million. Nette Nesmith Graham was a secretary, model, typist, and artist for the Bank of Texas. Typos were frequent in her writing, so she came up with a way to fix them. Liquid Paper was the name of the patent, and it sold for 47.5 million dollars.

Liquid Paper: What is it?

Liquid Paper
Image By: Flickr.com

It has been widely used for more than fifty years. The correction fluid reduces the time and effort required to correct mistakes on paper with its water-based formula. A secretary came up with the idea for this product. After inventing Liquid Paper, she was fired from her job, but the company she worked for turned her into an executive worth $25 million.

How was Liquid Paper invented? The invention of the white-out

How was Liquid Paper invented?
Image By: Flickr.com

Liquid Paper is the trademark name of a writing correction liquid manufactured in the 1950s when typewriters were the most common method for creating text documents. The majority of individuals who used a typewriter used Liquid Paper amendment liquid before the advent of the word processor. With a tiny brush with the jug of liquid, you could cover composing errors, permit the liquid to dry, and type the correct letters or characters into the space.

Bette Nesmith Graham’s efforts led to the development of Liquid Paper dissolvable. While working in a composing pool, Graham realized directly how incomprehensible it could be to type just about a whole page of text, only to mistype it. Even though a few apparatuses were used for rectification, they generally left behind a smear, which was inadmissible in many cases. As a result of her dissatisfaction with those instruments, she began testing, which eventually led to Liquid Paper’s invention.

Nette Nesmith Graham: How Did She Invent Liquid Paper?

She made many mistakes if she had to sum it up in a single line, as her writing was always bad. Because she wanted this job to feed her family as her salary at Texas Bank was $300 a month when she was 30. She had to find a way to hide her mistakes or fix them.

Liquid paper facts

Today’s technology is familiar to us. It’s like a part of us. Before word processors, people used typewriters to type and print stuff (like MS Word). It wasn’t possible to remove anything written on the paper. It was like writing on paper with a pen that renders it irremovable. Nette made silly mistakes with typewriters, too.

Some mistakes were made when she typed something on paper with a typewriter. She got frustrated with them. It was hard for her to stay on the job, and she was also worried about losing her job.

Despite her best efforts and energy, she couldn’t get the words to work. Then she figured out a magical way to fix her mistakes. She painted it with a watercolor brush with White Tempera Paint liquid paper. Easy peasy. That’s how she kept her job.

Liquid Paper: How Did Everyone Know About It?

Do you think she knew that she made a magical invention that would make her incredibly rich? Keep reading it.

Nette wasn’t that impressed with liquid paper now that it’s been invented; she uses it a lot. Every time she made a typo, she put on a little bit of water-based tempera paint to match the color of her stationery at work.

Take the tempera paint to the office in a bottle. Because this worked so well for her, she got addicted to it. Typing was no longer an issue for her. She used this trick in private so that her boss would never notice. Another secretary found Nette’s helpful liquid, and she asked for some. There was a green bottle waiting for Nette Graham at home. She gave her this green bottle labeled “Mistake Out.” Upon hearing about Graham’s magical liquid, all of the other secretaries in the bank asked for some as well.

How did Nette come up with the name “Mistake Out”?

Graham, an artist, spent a great deal of time experimenting in her small kitchen lab to develop this formula. Because she was unfamiliar with chemistry, she could not further refine its formula. It was not working, so she tried to improve it with the help of a local library formula, but that didn’t work either.

Last but not least, she turned to a high school chemistry teacher. This product was so popular. The liquid paper was a highly efficient and useful product that everyone loved for its high efficiency and usefulness.

Creating the company Mistake Out

Finally, she started her own business called “Mistake Out.” Her son Michael filled bottles with the Whiteout patent when they had an order. Micheal would also ask his friends for help filling those bottles for her mom’s new business. Although Graham founded a new business, the business was not so good initially, and she had to work night and day shifts to make ends meet.

Founder of Mistake Out

Her company finally became successful after many years. While the ‘Mistake Out’ company was becoming a great success, she left her typing job at the bank. It was so popular that IBM wanted a piece of it, but they didn’t take her up. They instead developed their product.

Wrapping up

Hopefully, the above article lets you understand Which item was invented by a secretary and later sold for $47 million dollars? The story tells how a woman becomes rich from her writing errors.


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