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Photo by Ravi Palwe on Unsplash

The original post its are canary yellow because the only available paper at the time of invention was canary yellow scrap paper.

The colourful squares of paper that we cannot live without in office spaces actually are an invention that people don't readily acknowledge. Over the years, it has made its way into almost all realms because of how useful it is.

The idea of the post-it comes from the genius collaboration of two men, Spencer Silver and Art Fry. These men, like all great men, found themselves in a quandary over simple things that they could not fix at all, and suddenly things clicked together when they met, and sticky notes as we know them were born.


Coloured post its Post its are available in all colours today and are essential in office spaces Photo by Hugo Rocha on Unsplash


Spencer Silver was trying to invent a strong adhesive that would stick to surfaces permanently but his formulae did not work out. He ended up with a semi-sticky substance called a microsphere that worked based on pressure sensitivity. On the other side of the story, Art Fry struggled every week to place hymn numbers while singing in the choir. He used to use scraps of paper to identify the page numbers but they would invariably fall out. He needed a permanent solution.

Both these men worked at 3M and came together to put the adhesive to use. Fry suggested little pieces of paper to help with his singing. In no time, sticky notes that stuck to any surface without leaving a residue or damage came into being. Initially, people did not pay much heed to this new invention but soon enough, it began to sell. The original post is canary yellow because the only available paper at the time of the invention was canary yellow scrap paper. Today, however, all colours, sizes, and shapes of post-its are available.

Keywords: Paper, Adhesive, Spencer Silver, Art Fry, Post Its


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